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LECTURE SERIES/WORKSHOPS
- the Rev’d Canon Tony Harwood-Jones

These programmes are available to your club, society, or church group, and can be adapted to local needs.  As well, if you don’t see what you want, just ask.  The basic concept: high-quality Adult Education delivered in your own meeting space, with minimal time and effort required of your leadership.  Usually participants would pay a small registration fee, part of which may be retained by the sponsoring group.  Contact me for details

CONTENTS

WORLD RELIGION AND THEOLOGY

Introduction to the Christian Faith
Everything you wanted to know about basic Christianity and didn’t seem to pick up in Sunday School.  This programme has been adapted to weekend missions and evening study groups.  It begins with the foundation message of Judeo-Christianity - that the Creator of the Universe slowly revealed himself to an ancient culture - and moves through the story of Jesus to the development of the Christian Church.  Six sessions.

Distinguishing Anglicans
A study of the major world religions.  What distinguishes our faith from other forms of Christian and non-Christian religion?  Starting with the origins of the three major religious groupings in the world: (1) Oriental religions of social behaviour (Confucianism, Shinto); (2) the “enlightenment” religions of India (Hinduism, Buddhism); and (3) the Theistic religions of the middle east (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the view gradually narrows down to Christianity, then Western Christianity, then post-reformation Christianity, and finally Anglicanism in Winnipeg.  Six sessions.

Anglicanism — a Strangely Ethnic Faith
A look at the very English character of Anglicanism, from its origin under the monarchs of England to the problems created by years of British colonialism, to its glorious language, music, and sense of pageantry.  A single 50 minute presentation.

Living Alongside Islam
The 2001 Census reports 549,205 Muslims living in Canada.  As such, Islam is now the largest non-Christian group in the country, having increased by 128% since 1991.  Muslims are our neighbours, and yet many of us know very little about them other than what is reported in the media about “extremists” and “fundamentalists.” This illustrated lecture teaches the basics of Islam; what is important in the faith, and how it compares to Christianity.  One session.

The Da Vinci Code — Separating Fact from Fiction
The blockbuster book, and the movie based upon it, are great entertainment, with suspense, action, and a romantic sub-plot.  But... the plot purports to be the uncovering of great secrets, apparently fought over by real-world organizations ranging from the Knights Templar to the Roman Catholic church; not to mention a secret society whose membership includes historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton.   Is the “truth” about the Holy Grail really true?   A one-session illustrated lecture (2 hrs).

The Anglican Church and the Same-Sex Controversy
All around the world the Anglican Communion is struggling to find the proper way to treat homosexual relationships.  In 2004 an international commission published The Windsor Report which has proved to be an excellent resource for learning about how ethics are done in the Anglican church (no matter what becomes of its actual recommendations).  Using the Windsor Report as a framework, this programme explores the makeup and polity of the Anglican Church, and reflects on the latest developments in the debate.  It comes in either a single presentation, or a six-session series


SPIRITUALITY AND CHRISTIAN LIVING

When the Going gets Rough
Although there is plenty of joy and peace to being a Christian, there is also a “cost.” Three seminal books are explored, each of which looks at some form of rough travel on the Christian road: John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul, William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship. Six sessions.

Spiritual Direction – an Introduction
This one-hour lecture defines Spiritual Direction as “Submitting my relationship with God to the scrutiny of another Christian, and consenting to be guided by this person’s advice.”  As well, it sets out the fundamentals of a life of prayer.


CHURCH HISTORY

Henry VIII
Henry the Eighth, king of England from 1509 to 1547, is notorious for his multiple marriages.  This often obscures the fact that he made profound changes to his country and to the religion of his people, and in many ways (because his people went on to become a global empire second to none) he put his stamp on the next five hundred years of world events.  A one-session illustrated lecture (1.5 hours).

The Anglican Reformation
Sixteenth century England was the nexus of profound religious change. The church separated from Rome and the acclaimed Book of Common Prayer was created. It was an age of martyrs; but by the end of the century the levelling influence of the Anglican church prevailed.  Six sessions.

Rocking the Boat
  (Forces and movements affecting the Anglican Church in the last 400 years:)
Beginning with the Anglican Reformation, this six-session course follows the history of the Anglican Church, with the various movements that both inspired and vexed its membership.  During a rollicking run through history, and while meeting some memorable characters, course participants can also expect to explore the concepts of:
  1. Divine Authority (the central issue of the Anglican Reformation)
  2. Church governance (Elizabethan and Jacobean Anglican issues)
  3. Rationalism (the 18th Century “Age of Reason”)
  4. Public morality (Church and state issues of the early 19th Century)
  5. Piety (The Oxford Movement)
  6. Ecumenism (the greatest religious accomplishment of the early 20th Century)
  7. Recent controversies such as feminism, and changing sexual norms
Note: Each of the above elements can be had in a separate stand-alone session.

STUDYING THE BIBLE

Introduction to the Entire Bible
How did the Bible originate? What version should I buy? How do I read and study the Bible? What are the “books” of the Bible all about?  12 sessions.  Study Guide booklet.

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians - real world problems, deep theology
St. Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth is full of tantalizing references to a community of very real people.  Paul addresses their issues and conflicts in a way which combines extremely practical advice with timeless theological insights.  A six-session study of one of the most fascinating books of the Bible.

St. Paul's Letter to the Romans
The longest of Paul's extant letters is a carefully-worked theological treatise in which he introduces himself to the Christians in Rome, most of whom he has never met. He outlines his theories of “Justification by Faith”, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God's plan for the Jewish people, the “Body of Christ”, and much more (including the very contentious matter of same-sex relations). This six-session course examines each of these topics in turn, noting how they have shaped the church through the centuries, and exploring ways in which they might, or might not shape our faith today.

The Psalms, Prayerbook of both Jews and Christians
An in-depth Bible Study of the Psalms, using them as a vehicle to reflect upon the nature of prayer - both as a public rite in a church and as the intimate and personal encounter with God. Six sessions.


CHURCH LEADERSHIP

Ethics for church leaders – an Overview
This two hour seminar explores the interaction between morals, ethics, church policy, and the Law.  Defining “Ethics” as “systematically applied morals,” it goes on to outline some of the main areas where church leaders must be vigilant and proactive: privacy, intimacy, child protection, financial management, and congregational conflict.

Offering to God – a history of religion and money
This overview of how humans give to God begins with ancient sacrifice and ends with 21st C. Stewardship programmes.  Although it stays with historical fact, the underlying question this session poses is: “How do I, as a Christian, offer myself to God?”  Single session; One hour PowerPoint presentation.

A Survey of Anglican Canon Law
This two hour session has been created for church leaders specifically in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.  After an overview of the place of Canon Law in the whole Christian church since Biblical times, the lecture looks briefly at the constitution and canons of (1) the Anglican Church of Canada; and (2) the Ecclesiastical “Province” of Rupert’s Land.  Finally the lecture examines (3) the Canons of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land in slightly more detail.  It is a short session for such a huge topic, but the main point comes near the end, when the following question is explored: what happens when actual practice diverges too greatly from what church bylaws say should be in effect?

An Adventure in Congregational Development
Helping a congregation develop an in-depth all-member visitation.  What it means to represent your congregation in someone’s home.  Similarities and differences to Biblical stories of the mission of disciples.  Looking for the gifts God has given us.  Visiting do’s and don’ts.  This programme can be done with or without an explicit Christian Giving component.  Four to six sessions.  A short, single-session version on home-visiting is also available.