Contents: Introduction -- What Are Your Priorities ? -- What Are Your Criteria ? -- A Critical Variable -- What Is the Institutional Context ? -- Fifteen Benchmarks -- Who Is the Client ? -- Building in Continuity -- Function, Theme, or Organization ? -- Fifteen Questions for the Sunday School -- Why Have Adult Classes ? -- What is the Role of Parents ? -- What is the Role of the Vacation Bible School ? -- Where are the Men ? -- The Nursery -- Entry Points and Assimilation -- Notes.
"Everyday encounters and planned interactions can become the foundation for ecumenical learning and offer a powerful alternative to formal and book-based education. [This book] explores ways in which to encourage this creative informal approach alongside and within formal education. It develops the idea that individuals and communities need to recognize, value and utilize effectively the learning opportunities which surround them. [This book] challenges readers to consider the implications of ecumenical learning and offers ideas for fostering such learning in local congregations, educational institutions and church-related groups". -- back cover.
Each chapter includes questions for individual or group discussion.
The Story Keepers is an animated series, in 13 episodes, based on the Gospel of Mark, which was written by the Rev. Brian Brown, a retired English Methodist minister. The series uses cartoons to teach since "Animation is to today's children what stained glass and religious art were to a pre-literate society". The project has been enthusiastically endorsed by both Catholic and Evangelical Protestants. The series was produced in Ireland and the British version features a Jesus who speaks with an Irish accent. [In North America the series is distributed by Zondervan and has been re-dubbed with North American voices.] The stories focus on a group of first-century Christians, many of them orphan children, who live and face persecution in Nero's Rome. Children are captivated by the stories and the series has become a well-deserved success.
The author, an Anglican priest, reflects on his experience when he was invited to speak to a class of Grade 12 students "who were studying cultures comparatively and doing sociological analysis". "So I'd started off by pointing out that religious language has several levels of meaning -- not just the literal. So when we say, 'Our Father', we don't intend to say that God is a man. Again, blank stares. Obviously, they had never heard of the 'Our Father', and certainly it had never occurred to them to think of God as a man". "In a world in which intelligent high school students have never been to church and know nothing of biblical imagery, it is urgent that we find new ways to communicate the gospel". "Finding striking new ways to express the gospel is what the early Christians were urgently trying to do. They hunted for imaginative images that their contemporaries would immediately understand. Calling Jesus the modern passover or the ultimate temple sacrifice certainly got people's attention. The conversation was immediately underway -- and with energy". "If you know a high school student, ask him or her what they or their peers think about Jesus. And be prepared to sacrifice your previous understanding. Your sacrifice in listening respectfully might be the blood of a modern passover by which God rescues us from slavery to images about Jesus that have no power in our day into conversations of unimaginable power".
"Like many raised in the last gasps of Christendom, I attended schools, took part in after-school activities and absorbed media that, especially early on, reinforced much of the moral message of my family and church. This was as expected. My basic spiritual and moral formation was left to the broader culture -- with both its faults and benefits -- while the distinctive practices and beliefs of my denomination were discussed in the very brief time we spent in Sunday school". "The insistence of many Indigenous Christians that we must rediscover discipleship is born in the awareness of some of this reality. For all of us in the church, this post-Christendom reality is a call to believe, live and practice the radical love of Jesus. The calls demands a deep and vigorous commitment to a form of Christian education and formation. We are no longer propped up by the institutions of our broader culture".
"Archbishop Mark MacDonald is national Indigenous archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada".
Fr. David Salmon was the first Gwich'in Athabaskan to be ordained to the Episcopal priesthood. He "often used an ancient Athabaskan teaching technique, still alive among many of the Athabaskan or Dene peoples, including the Navajo in the U.S. Southwest. He would use his hand to teach Eph. 4:11, suggesting that Paul may have used five fingers as a way to show that the Holy Scripture is imprinted in Creation". "Fr. David would point to his thumb, the 'Apostle-Bishop', and show that it was the only finger that touched all of the other ministries. The first finger pointed, which indicated the spiritual gift of prophesy. The second finger, as evangelist, was the longest finger. The third finger, on which we place the wedding band, stood for the pastor. The little finger was the teacher; when you move it, the other fingers move as well". "God's purpose touches each and every human being. It is our privilege, responsibility and joy to take God's hand of anointed ministry and mission, and walk in partnership with the Holy".
"'Learning in a World of Many Faiths, Cultures and Ideologies: a Christian Response' -- that was the title of a four-year project on intercultural education (1986-1990) sponsored by the WCC Sub-unit on Education. ... The project [was] directed by Martin Palmer of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC) based in Manchester, England .... The findings of these research efforts were reported on in five issues of the project magazine, 'Interlink'. But the need was foreseen from the very beginning for a more popular treatment, addressed to parents, teachers and pastors, in order to stimulate reflection and spur readers to action in their own churches and countries. This book, written by the director of the Interlink project, attempts to meet that need. Its major theses is that Christians must accept religious and cultural diversity as a gift from God, and must, therefore, take seriously its implications for education." -- Preface.
Contents: Preface / Clifford Payne, Director, WCC Sub-unit on Education -- Acknowledgements -- Why Worry ? -- What is Happening in Education ? -- So What Exactly is Pluralism ? -- Can We Have Diversity in Education ? -- So What Can We Do ?