Bexley-Seabury Offerings

The Diocese of Rhode Island, as part of Province I, has partnered with Bexley-Seabury Seminary to offer Pathways for Baptismal Living. Currently there are two courses we bring to your attention:

Backstory Preaching’s Sermon Camp

Over the course of seven weeks, you will learn an adaptable rhythm of sermon preparation so you routinely complete your sermons by Friday. This rhythm incorporates your spirituality so you preach Good News you believe, and preach it more effectively. This process of studying the sermon text is adapted from the ancient rhythm of Lectio Divina: read, study, express, and pray. While you will learn to employ this process over five contiguous days, it is expected you will adapt this process and schedule to suit your personality and calendar. In addition, you will learn and apply BsP’s “Heart of the Message” process to clarify and articulate your sermon’s message and content. You will also appraise sermons based on BsP’s definition of an effective sermon, with two sermons of your own and two of your peers. By the end of this course you will:

  1. Write better sermons faster
  2. Consistently complete your sermons on your desired schedule.
  3. Grow closer to God in the process of sermon prep.
  4. Create a sermon prep process to sustain you throughout your ministry.
  5. Preach into the uncertain state of the world.

This course is for those preparing for a Lay Preaching License and is meant for those who have gone through Education for Ministry, or taken the pre-requisite courses. Additional information on this course is here. If you are interested in becoming a Licensed Lay Preacher or Minister, please begin here.

More information and registration for Bexley Seabury courses is found here.

Discerning my path for faithful living

More than a course, this innovative communal process invites participants into a time of deep listening, practice of ancient and modern spiritual disciplines, and insights offered and received regarding individual gifts and passions — all within a brave/safe circle of trust. In addition to monthly synchronous Zoom meetings in small groups of 6-8 with a trained facilitator, participants will engage classic and current texts, videos and articles on discernment, spiritual practices, and the ministry of the baptized. Our journey together will be enriched with activities for self-reflection, guided conversations with others, and exploration of our own contexts. Our goal is to encourage each person to practice discernment of their call as a baptized Christian and equip them to actively be the Body of Christ in daily life.

This discernment process is meant to assist persons in finding their lay vocational ministry; it is not intended as a step towards ordained ministry.

More info here.

You can watch informational videos from the Instructor, and past participants.

Complete this online form.

The Diocese of Rhode Island is offering to pay $100.00 towards each tuition; it is expected that the participant and their parish will make up the difference. There is scholarship funding available, based on need.

Other formational opportunities with Bexley-Seabury will be coming. Please stay tuned.

Congregational Development Commission

 

 

The Congregational Development Commission (CDC) provides funds for programs that strengthen congregations, especially those that are field testing new programs/initiatives on behalf of the diocese, done in partnership with other churches, or are part of a plan to spur significant growth, expand ministry, etc. CDC meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

Mustard Seed or Vineyard Grants

The CDC announces an ongoing grant program available to all congregations in Rhode Island. Do you envision a program or new ministry to help develop your congregation into a more faithful and vibrant expression of the Body of Christ? Do you have plans for making your congregation more responsive to the local challenges and opportunities before you in your community? How about ideas for transformative collaborations with other congregations that fit with your unique mission or vision for ministry? CDC Mustard Seed or Vineyard grants offer your congregation the financial support to put your vision into action. You can read about past recipient programs here.

Apply now for a Mustard Seed or Vineyard grant.

Mustard Seed grants are for proposals up to $2000. These grants can be approved immediately by the CDC at its monthly meetings.

Vineyard grants are proposals over $2000 and require both CDC and Diocesan Council approval. The application review and approval time for the Vineyard grants is two-three months.

Application Process:

The link above will take you to (a Wufoo) form which will serve as your application. You will be asked to upload an income statement. The application and your statement will be reviewed by the Grants and Loans Committee and if applicable forwarded to CDC and then if over $2,000.00 the grant request will be forwarded to Diocesan Council. You may be asked for additional information before a decision can be made. Grants and Loans Committee meets every Monday.  CDC meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Diocesan Council meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Grant money available for your congregation’s Way of Love events

The Congregational Development Commission (CDC) would love to help fund events and programs sponsored and run by YOUR congregation which would invite people across the diocese to experience the different practices in the Way of Love.
Every three months the CDC will focus on one of the specific spiritual practices, and hopes to sponsor at least one congregation’s event each quarter. What is it that you might be able to plan that we can help fund so that you can share it with the entire diocese?
Apply for a CDC grant here.

 

Which practice we will focus on each quarter:

 

April-June 2019: Turn
July-Sept. 2019: Learn
Oct.-Dec. 2019: Pray

Jan.-Mar. 2020: Worship
April-June 2020: Bless
July-Sept 2020: Go
Oct.-Dec.: 2020: Rest

How2charist videos and discussion guide

How2charist: digital instructed Eucharist

An instructed Eucharist in digital format, available 24/7.    All of the How2charist videos for viewing on our diocesan video portal.  You can view individual “chapters” or the full-length video.

The Diocese of Rhode Island was one of many sponsoring organizations and individuals who helped fund the project so it would be available to the whole Church for free. A Spanish-language version featuring native Spanish-speakers is currently in production.

How2charist Discussion Guide – black and white (easier photocopying)

How2charist Discussion Guide – full color

The How2charist project website. You can download your own copies of the videos for use in your parish by supplying an email address.

 

Faith and Leadership

Faith & Leadership is a website that provides a host of resources designed to “create lasting change by strengthening the ecology of Christian institutions that enable U.S. congregations and pastors to flourish.” It is the online magazine of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, which designs educational services, develops intellectual resources, and facilitates networks of institutions.

Every two weeks, Faith & Leadership publishes new content that draws on multiple disciplines. Five days a week they curate News & Ideas, a daily roundup of stories from other news outlets about the church and the world. You can follow their content through email newsletters and social media. They encourage you to share their free content with your colleagues and friends.

How can they do this? Support is provided by a major grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937.

 

Healthy Eating

Churches can help its members and members of their community improve their eating habits by offering programs, education and support. Here are some to consider:

Mindful Eating

Americans tend to eat mindlessly. We are unaware of tastes and smells and textures as we focus on conversation or television or reading material. Mindful Eating gives an opportunity to slow down and experience dining in a very conscious way. Eating can become a joyous and spiritual experience as we develop a healthy relationship to food.

Mindful Eating is based on the Buddhist tradition of focusing, of being very conscious of whatever activity one is engaged in. It is developed for use with a group of parishioners who are self-selected. If you have had a program on food, diet or exercise, you might want to use this as a follow-up. It is also very appropriate for use during Lent and Advent.

DOWNLOAD Mindful Eating Program

Portion Plate

The Portion Plate is a portion control dietary program that promotes a balanced, nutritional approach to meal planning. Recent scientific studies show that nearly 60% of Americans are overweight, and that one of the main reasons for this growing epidemic of obesity is that we simply eat too much food. To help curb that trend, Episcopal Retirement Homes’ (ERH) Parish Health Ministry offers The Portion Plate program customized for congregational use.

  • Participants sign up and pay a $10.00 participation fee to take the Portion Plate pledge. This enables the individual to receive a fun, portion-controlled plate, corresponding educational placemat, as well as a pledge log and daily meditations.
  • By taking The Portion Plate pledge, participants commit to using their plate during at least one meal per day (lunch or dinner) for a two-week period. They will record their use of the plate on the pledge log. Participants will also have the option of focusing on other health behaviors, such as daily exercise and water consumption, by using the personal goals checklist.

Portion Plate Program Packet includes implementation materials (program overview, implementation guidelines, sign-in sheet and program evaluation form), promotional materials (sample bulletin announcement, sample newsletter article, flier/poster, spiritual support materials, and Healthy Thoughts bulletin insert), and participant materials (participant guidelines, pledge log sheet, participant evaluation form, personal goals checklist, daily meditation, top 10 portion tips). $ 50 for the program

Portion Plate Kit for each participant (includes a plate & placemat) — $ 10 each plus shipping
Call (513) 272-5555 ext. 4285 or 1-800-835-5768

Learn more at: Episcopal Retirement Services

 

Just Eating

Just Eating is a free seven-session program on the relationship between our faith and our food by the Presbyterian Hunger Commission includes a Middle School Curriculum and a Leader’s Guide and Participant Guide for adults, teens or intergenerational use.

“The curriculum explores how practicing our faith is foundational to meaningful and healthy living, for ourselves, for the earth and for others in the world.  In particular, the program asks us to consider how eating—one of the most basic human activities—is an invitation to experience God and to journey with others in the world.”

Available as a free download from LeaderResources by clicking on the links above or from our site by clicking on the links below:

Just Eating Leader’s Guide
Just_Eating_Participant Guide
Just_Eating_Middle_School_Curriculum

 

 

 

 

“The Cross and the Lynching Tree” Study Guide

The Center for Reconciliation has created a study guide for “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James H. Cone.

DOWNLOAD The Cross and Lynching Tree Study Guide >    

This study guide includes evocative quotes from the book, conversation starting questions, suggested prayers, links to thought provoking songs and videos, engaging activities and a variety of resources to help participants continue to deepen their knowledge beyond the five book study sessions.

This guide is especially appropriate for Lent, when we focus on Christ’s death on the cross. However, this guide contains more sessions than can be accomplished in a weekly Lenten study program. Group leaders will need to select which quotes and questions they want to discuss or will use within the first five sessions or consider or consider continuing the study program after Easter.

Questions about the study guide should be sent to the Center for Reconciliations program manager, Elon Cook at elon@cfrri.org.

Go to the Center for Reconciliation Website for more resources and events.

Forward Movement

Best known for Forward Day by Day, a daily devotion providing meditations on scripture readings, Forward Movement continues to build on its history of encouraging discipleship and evangelism.  In the past it was mostly known for its brochures along with the Forward Day by Day meditation booklet. Today they offer books and ebooks for small groups, individual study, and prayer, Christian formation courses, leadership events, Spanish and bilingual resources, pamphlets, downloadable resources, a daily podcast, apps for your smartphones or tablets, and online engagement opportunities.

Church Publishing

Church Publishing is the foundational imprint owned by the Church Pension Group (which provides pensions for clergy and lay employees of our churches). Launched as the Church Hymnal Corporation, the original church publishing house was dedicated to publishing a single work, The Hymnal 1918, which remains in print to this day.

In the nearly 100 years since its first publication, Church Publishing has emerged as an important provider of liturgical and musical resources for The Episcopal Church, along with works on church leadership, pastoral care and Christian formation. With its growing portfolio of professional books and resources, Church Publishing is recognized as the official publisher for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States and publishes documents authorized by the General Convention. Through the years, Church Publishing has consciously broadened its program, reach, and service to the church by publishing books for and about the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Morehouse Publishing was independently founded in 1884 and specializes in works for laity, “the people in the pews.” Like Church Publishing, Morehouse serves The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, but the Morehouse program also reaches out to the broader Christian community with works designed to provide spiritual enrichment and practical guidance to people from all walks of faith. Morehouse seeks to expand and deepen the Church’s ministry by publishing leading-edge titles in genres including faith and spirituality, women’s issues, youth, and family.

Seabury Books is our “trade” imprint, targeting the retail book market at large. Seabury titles reflect the rich and diverse world of religious belief, thought, theory and application. Seabury Books publishes fresh, new works and classic titles for general readers, professionals, students, and scholars, from the viewpoints of many faith traditions. The Seabury Books imprint has become a progressive, ecumenical trade imprint, publishing a rich and diverse list of thought-provoking books in areas including theology, ethics, culture and society, Scripture, and homiletics.

Morehouse Church Supplies (MCS) provides a single-source solution for securing high quality church-related products in many categories. While the Episcopal Church is its largest customer group, MCS also caters to parishes, congregations, church schools, and professionals from many denominations.

Product lines include Episcopal gifts, jewelry, certificates, stationery, and others. Parish registers and forms are also in the product mix as well as items for individual and corporate worship and prayer, including lectionary bulletins, and annual planning calendars.

Morehouse Education Resources (MER) is the CPI division publishing exciting Christian formation and curriculum programs such as Living the Good NewsGodly Play®, and Weaving God’s Promises. Some MER programs are specific to The Episcopal Church (Weaving God’s Promises) while others, like Godly Play®, are ecumenically focused.

Church Publishing Incorporated is also a provider of useful and relevant online and downloadable e-Products for use in worship planning and other ministries. Examples of these important resources include The Rite Stuffritebrainritesongriteworship, and Preparing for Sunday. The diocese pays for a license for the ritesong for all of our churches so they are able to use music, print lyrics in their bulletins, etc.