An Invaluable Resource for Learning

I wanted to call attention to an invaluable resource that I’ve been using for a few years now, but lately has become precious to me and I want to share. It’s called iTunesU, and its essentially a podcast that you can download that features thousands of colleges and universities across the world. There are tens of thousands of classes you can listen in on, whether its anthropology, economics, political sciences, philosophy, etc, and it’s all free.

What I’ve been using it for however, is the seminaries. Specifically, Reformed Theological Seminary. I’ve been “taking” their classes for two years now, listening in on hundreds of lectures primarily involving Church History, Doctrine and Philosophy, Old Testament History and Reformed Epistemology. This year though my interests have shifted, and what I’ve become passionate about is pastoral ministry.

In this RTS doesn’t disappoint. I’ve lined up some 700 hours of classes, all surrounding various aspects of pastoral ministry and ecclesiology. I wanted to share some of the specific classes with you

1. Disabilities and the Church

21 hours of classes on how the reality of physical and emotional disabilities plays out in the church, from how to outfit a church to make it disability accessible, how to work with professionals and caregivers, how to have a theology of suffering, the medical contexts, how to prepare for death, the role the deacons and elders play, family dynamics, the role of church order in a disability context, outreach to those with disabilities, and about 25 other lecture sessions in the same vein.

Other classes, each of which  has 20-40 lectures in them, are:

2 Educational Ministry of the Church

3. Introduction to Pastoral and Theological Studies.

3. Pastoral and Social Ethics

4. Roles and Relationships in Pastoral Ministry

5. Theology of Pastoral Ministry

6. Pastoral Counselling

That is just from one seminary and those are just some of the classes. There are others. After I finish I have my eye on Westminster Theological Seminary, and then perhaps Concordia University. Oh, and they also have hundreds of chapel sessions, which is a fantastic bonus.

Ecclesial Sermon Roundup

Weekend of Sunday July 17, 2011

Fort McMurray Alliance Church. Bonnie Hodge

Family Christian Centre. Pastor Brian Bursey

Fellowship Baptist Church. Pastor Brent Carter

Emmanuel Baptist Church. Pastor D.A Glenon

Morning service. Evening service

MGA is a bit behind and have not posted their sermon yet, but I will update this page as soon as they do so.

Paperthin Hymn; Sanctus

Sanctus [Holy Lord God]

Holy, holy, holy Lord. God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest.

 

Reflections

The Sanctus is the last part of the preface in the Mass. It is designed to be sung by the celebrant and the people and in my estimation is an exquisitely joyful time. When we attended St. Thomas Anglican for a time, they had a slightly quirky version of this which always put a smile on my face.

It is thousands of years old. Clement of Rome d. about 104) mentions the sanctus. He quotes the text in Isaiah 6:3 and goes on to say that it is also sung in church “for the Scripture says . . . Holy, holy, holy Lord of hosts; full is every creature of his glory. And we, led by conscience,  gathered together in one place in concord, cry to him continuously as from one mouth, that we may become sharers in his great and glorious promises.” The second part of the text beginning with the word “Blessed”), is taken from Matthew 21:9, which dexscribes Jesus’ Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem.

The Sanctus, apart from merely being mentioned by Clement, is later spoken of by Origen, St Cyril, Athanasius, John Chrystosom, and other Church fathers. I think much of the beauty of it is because the nature of it seems to be  a never ending hymn sung by angels, archangels, saints and all creation in worship of God. It is pure unbridled adoration.

This particualr version is sung by Tara Ward from the CD “Hope for a tree cut down” As always I don’t endorse this church or all the songs on their CD, but this truly is a phenomenal rendering.

 

 

Worship from the Alliance Church

I was listening to the July 3rd sermon at the Fort McMurray Alliance Church, and right at the end they included the song “Beautiful Savior”.  It is a simple and beautiful song with phenomenal lyrics. I believe it is sung by Lucas Welsh, and I was deeply and personally blessed by listening to it and worshiping with it.

Your nail-scarred hands are beautiful.
Your nail-scarred feet are beautiful.
And by Your wounds, my wounds are healed.
Your crown of thorns is beautiful.
Your cross of scorn is beautiful.
For by Your wounds, our wounds are healed.

Beautiful Savior. Jesus, we believe.
Despised and rejected. Jesus, we receive You.

Scourged for our atonement. You endured it all.
For the glory of the Father.
We were among the ones You saw?

I hope to be able to include  more worships songs from different local area churches in the future, and this is a great one to start it off.

Who is the Church for?

The Church is a place for repentant whores and whoremongers. The Church is a place for repentant idolaters and homosexuals. The Church is a place for repentant thieves and coveters. The Church is a place for repentant drunkards and  murderers. The Church is a place for repentant liars and gossips. The Church is a place for repentant prostitutes and pimps. The Church is a place for repentant pornographers and rapists. The Church is a place for repentant child molesters and pedophiles.

The Church is a place for repentant people, and so we ought to welcome all of these people and love them fiercely as important  members of the body of Christ, remembering that such were some of us, but we were washed, we were justified, and we were sanctified by the blood of Christ