Archive for the 'Anglican Education' Category

Pat Lynch and CFM have a new podcast on religion and culture

December 23, 2014

Here is a new, and important, outreach from Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc. The new podcast “Reconciled” is on the internet and this is your invitation to give it a try at:

http://reconciled.podomatic.com

The plan is for a daily cast (usually five days a week), under five minutes, dealing with religious and cultural affairs.

You can help! Listen (it’s free) “like.” comment, share, subscribe, and tell your friends. This kind of thing does not just mature overnight. It takes time and work. Fortunately, the work is not back breaking.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement in 2014. We have (God willing) a big announcement coming in January!

May you enjoy the blessings of the season,

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Passing on the Faith: Anglicanism’s advantages

August 1, 2014

One of my projects involves providing parents the theological and cultural background to help young people fit into the increasingly unfriendly American scene. I have been involved in planning a number of very exciting Sunday school classes on the topic. Such gatherings seem to be deliberately designed to be anything but exciting and rarely useful, but this was the big exception. One thing that made the programs “work” was the inclusion of college students and those who have graduated within the past decade. They were great! There were also a number of “expert” speakers on psychology and culture. All the  presentations were relatively brief. You might try it at your church. I can help.

One thing did get left out, and this might not apply to your congregation. It is my belief that Anglicanism has a tradition and set of practices that makes it especially relevent to these darker times. Anglicanism as we know it from the middle 1500s has passed through a good deal of persecution and civil war. Sometimes, to our great shame, Anglicans have represented the heavy hand of oppression. Who do you think the Pilgrims were running from anyway? In the United States around 1790 what group would be more excluded than the Church of England?

Anglicans have kept a catholic liturgy alongside a Reformed theology. Anglicans have a sense of the essentials and can also recognize the “extras.” At least, thoughtful Anglicans have this capability. Our capacity for disagreement and “tension” is almost scandalous. Clear thinking Anglicans are in possession of the skills to nurture and spread the gospel in the good times as much as the bad. This is what I am trying to teach. One does not have to be grumpy or nostalgic to be a traditional Anglican. It only takes a little knowledge and the Holy Spirit’s leadership.

Why is passing on the faith a big deal?

July 29, 2014

Christian Foundations for Ministry just wrapped up a series of classes at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Little Rock. The concept is born from the apparent departure of many young people from Christian belief. In many ways, they are like their parents being over-worked, suspicious of authority, and unwilling to get mixed up in demanding social activities. There are plenty of reasons, and the truth is that most of us walked away from organized religion in the younger days.

Today is different because Christianity is being forced to accept its place as a cultural minority. For the modern believer, this new situation may not result in martyrdom, but a life of enforced irrelevance is certainly no fun. This reordering may or may not be permanent. The elements are present for all  sorts of misbehavior. The point is that young people will be in a very much worse environment than their parents.

The supposed “grown ups” are often disconnected from the realities that personally demean and discount the individual follower of Christ. For one thing, if one is entirely clueless about postmodernism, he is missing the foundation of much contemporary thought. The traditional apologetics does not fit into a world that is, first, relational, and otherwise suspicious of absolutes. Yes, this is very similar to a lot that was happening in the 70s, but the “other side” has all the presumption of place that was formerly the sole possession of Christians.

This is not very pleasant, but here we are at the beginning of the decline. Yes, we have the biblical hope for final victory, but Jesus has placed the gospel in human hands and evangelization is our responsibility. It is a direct order from the Head of the Church, the Great Commission. That’s the big deal.

Should lay people study theology?

June 17, 2014

It is obviously a loaded question. What am I going to say? Heck, no! Why bother? It all turns out the same one way or the other. (By the way, that is a better argument than you may think!) If you come down the line of Anglicanism or some other liturgy-heavy form of worship, you have been confirmed (usually around age 12) and that is the PhD of religious studies for regular folks. Study is a load of work and, if you are not careful, it might change your mind. If could change your life. If things are going well, that is the very last thing you might desire.

In Matt 25, the Lord describes the Last Judgment and the process of handing out final grades. There is not the first hint of academic achievement but plenty about taking care of the least among us. So there! Case closed! No more Christian Education (and most of us hated it anyway!).

But how are we to know in advance of the Last Day? What source tells us that kindness towards the sufferers is one of the final manifestations of our Christian life? And what’s all this business of eternal punishment anyway? And, beside the fact that he is a really nice man, where did Jesus get that kind of authority?

Christians are obliged to take up the cross and follow Jesus (Lk 9:23). That does not sound very appealing. You can be darned sure that Jesus’ public relations consultant sat him down hard after that little slip-up. Most people do not have much of a stomach for executions, especially their own. What if Jesus really meant it? If the Christian life that hard? Why would anybody follow Christ, except to avoid that eternal punishment thing.

Is it possible that Christ has in mind something more than the avoidance of spending all time in a burning pit of suffering. If God has something more in mind for his righteous people, something very good and beautiful, we could only learn about it by study. That would take time and effort and the guidance of a knowledgable teacher.

God has a good future for his holy people. He intends for each of us to become students and to make students of others (Matt 28:18-20. Jesus set the example. Look how he quotes the scriptures and teaches from the law and the prophets. See how Jesus both teaches the written word but lives it out. That is what we must do in this world today.

 

CFM, Inc. is looking forward to the New Year! #ChristianEducation

December 24, 2013

This has been a year full of developments which would have been impossible to predict. One year ago, the Anglican School of Ministry suddenly discontinued the Foundations program and suspended the academic portion of the ASM operation. From this disappointing circumstance, it was determined to continue a new program of continuing education type classes for believers to strengthen their personal ministry and walk with Christ.

Since some of you may be ASM alumni, it would be appropriate for me to note here that the academic transcripts have been transferred to Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. The Registrar is a professional and helpful lady named Stacey Willard. Trinity, an outstanding and fully accredited seminary, has arranged a very fair and proper program for the transfer of ASM credits. As the holder of an MMin from ASM, I feel very well-satisfied with the quality of education which I have received.

The abrupt end of Foundations required that I become involved with our state licensing agencies in order to assure that the newly established institution was operating in accordance with laws and regulations. This was an eye-opening experience. By May, it became obvious that the little school would have to incorporate as a not-for-profit religious corporation. In October, it was determined that Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc. would best prosper if it obtained 501(c)3 status from the IRS. You may have heard that this is a time-consuming and expensive process. Let me confirm all that you have heard. There have been some changes as a result of this demanding process.

CFM, Inc.  is supervised by an independent Board of Directors. Our officers are:

Mr. Kenneth E. Benson, Chairman

Ms. Gail H. Douglas, Treasurer

Dr. David Sims

Mr. Patrick Lynch, Secretary (Non-voting)

CFM is developing an advisory board to strengthen the institution’s presence and to provide ideas and professional insight on the development of curriculum.

The goal of the CFM, Inc. program is to provide fully equipped followers of Jesus Christ for effective Gospel-centered ministry through high quality and relevant Christian education provided to students in their local congregations. The classes may also be suitable for those in ordained ministry seeking to enhance and maintain professional proficiency. Here are a few items on our “to do” list.

• Present the standard class offerings on a regular basis, while maintaining affordable tuition.

• Implement focused “mini-courses” of four to six weeks duration.

• Offer, without charge to those attending, public discussions of important religious topics.

• Develop strong relations with various Anglican jurisdictions and entities.

• Expand the school’s sphere of influence beyond those worshiping in the Anglican tradition.

• Produce a podcast on important religious topics.

The school operates with some formality, as required by federal law. For example, there are explicit written policies on conflicts of interest and non-discrimination. The IRS 501(c)3 status is pending, and CFM is allowed to seek financial support and donors are entitled to treat contributions as tax-deductible. This is a small organization, with a very frugal management. Nonetheless, CFM does have some financial needs, including;

• mandatory general advertisement of our non-discrimination policy

• lease of teleconference channels for distance students

• computer equipment

• ordinary office expenses

• printing expenses

• costs associated with putting on public events and seminars

• attending AMiA Winter Conference and other similar meetings of Anglicans and Evangelicals.

These items are, for the most part, minimal in size. Our guiding philosophy is to do as much as we can in-house. Our brochures, as an example, are written, designed, and printed on personal equipment. Our officers serve without salary and the principle expense is compensating instructors and developing curriculum. If, after prayer and reflection, you feel led to make a contribution, please make the check payable to “Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc.” You may forward the donation to the contact address for CFM,Inc. in the column to your left.

Thanks for your kind consideration and may God pour out all of his richest blessings on you in this season when we look forward to the glorious coming of our Lord and Savior!

Patrick Lynch

Non-Discrimination Policy

The CFM, Inc. school admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

A fresh look at Anglicanism

December 9, 2013

The upcoming term at Christian Foundations for Ministry will take a long hard look at the Anglican world. This is a “continuing education” type class that does not require you to write a paper or take any exams. There are assigned readings and, once every week, we all get together for a spirited discussion. The new Anglican Worldview class is ready to roll out on Tuesday evening January, 14, 2014. The tentative plan is to conduct the classes in the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church library in Little Rock and on the internet by private teleconference on WebEx. We will begin the weekly gatherings at 7 PM Central and conclude at 8:30.

Those of you who participated in a similar course on Anglicanism offered over the summer of 2011 may recall that we nearly ended up in open revolt. We all learned a great deal and no furniture was damaged, but the clear need for a fresh textbook was made very obvious. We ill be using The Study of Anglicanism. Sykes, Booty, and Knight, Editors. Revised Edition; Fortress Press, 1998. The Anglicanism 2014 Syllabus is attached and I must admit being very excited about this broader approach to the Anglican Way. The book is a bit “thick,” but the class will not be reading the whole thing and I will walk you through the good stuff. Don’t be afraid!

Registration is open now. If you are interested, drop me a line! (Pat Lynch email link is in the left hand column.) The CFM school admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

A “thank you” to everybody who helped me on the journey to my Master of Ministry

October 10, 2013

In the fall of 2007, Rev. Dr. Mark Quay, now Senior Pastor of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Birmingham, Alabama, started pestering me about joining his new school. It was to be called “Anglican School of Ministry,” and the old Anglican Mission in America was interested in developing well-educated lay leaders. Oh, THOSE were the days my friend!

I kept giving Mark the brush-off until he resorted to his stockpile of WMD’s. “It really doesn’t matter, Pat,” Mark said, “you probably don’t have the self-discipline to complete the program anyway.” The program? I discovered in my files a “Certificate in Christian Studies.” The goal eventually became a Graduate Diploma in Theological Studies as a terminal credential. I also completed sufficient work to have earned the Certificate in Anglican Studies and the Certificate in Diaconal Studies. I have completed 72 graduate credit hours in biblical studies, theology, Anglican studies, and Christian education. That is probably enough for a guy who is not on the ordination track. My emphasis is in Christian Education.

Mark taught me how to do competent research and writing projects, and how to think like an educational professional who is also entrusted with the care of souls. I am in Dr.’ Quay’s debt because, by opening the doors of learning, he made me a millionaire. Mark brought a guy named Henry Baldwin in from the Netherlands to take over as Dean at the school. Baldwin is a retired nuclear submarine captain (in OUR navy! ROFL!) and had a high-powered doctors degree in New Testament studies from some big time institution (see below). Dr. Baldwin quickly became both a trusted friend and mentor. I am so very grateful to him and Mrs. Shirley Baldwin, his wife and former ASM Registrar, for encouragement and good advice. I miss Henry and Shirley like crazy. He is now the Dean at Holy Cross Anglican Church in the Atlanta area.

Issuing my diploma is probably one of the final official acts of the Anglican School of Ministry. Dr. Art Going, the current Dean, put my document in the mail and there was no “Pomp and Circumstance.” I am sure they played “Taps” instead. This final outcome for ASM is very disappointing, especially in light of the sacrifices made by so many to keep this school running.

ASM has been folded into Trinity School for Ministry in Pittsburgh. I am told that Trinity maintains the ASM academic files. It is a wonderful seminary and I envy anybody who has the time and money to attend. ASM specialized in distance learning, parish level mentoring, and reasonable tuition. The faculty was made almost entirely of dedicated Ph D level instructors. If I am ever able to scrape together a few nickels, the quest for further theological education may continue.

There are a number of people who deserve to be thanked for helping me through the past seven years. If I have left anybody out, it was an error and I am sorry. Please drop me a line and I will make good! Here goes.

My bride, the lovely Marie, who encouraged me and prayed for me even in my moments of exhaustion.

Rev. Dr. Mark Quay, Founder, and former President and Dean of ASM. He is a retired Air Force major (prior-enlisted), having served 23 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Southeast Missouri State University, Diploma in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute, a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, an MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a DMinEd from American Christian College & Seminary. He recently completed the DMin in Leadership with Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he wrote his dissertation on mentoring theological students.

Rev. Dr. Henry Baldwin, Dean, mentor and friend. He earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy and holds the MAR in New Testament Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary. He received the PhD in New Testament Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Mrs. Shirley Baldwin, former ASM Registrar, Librarian, friend, advisor, and encourager.

Rev.. Joel Pugh, retired Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, the mentor for my final semester. Every minute you spend in Joel’s presence is like a minute in heaven. He is a quiet man of great wisdom with way more education than most of us could handle.

Rev. Dr. Don Shepson, Associate Professor of Ministry, Leadership, & Spiritual Formation, Department Chair at Toccoa Falls College.He is a graduate of Wheaton College (BA Sociology, 1990), Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv, 2001) and received the PhD in Educational Ministries at Talbot School of Theology. He taught all of my Christian Education courses and Anglican Worship.  His gracious assistance made my studies much more profitable.

Rev. Michael Pahls, Pastor of Trinity in the Fields Anglican Church in Marion Arkansas. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MDiv) and Central Bible College (BA). Michael is currently completing his dissertation a PhD in Historical Theology at Saint Louis University. He is the author/co-editor of two scholarly books. He is a former mentor and my instructor in systematic theology, sacramental theology and church history,

Dr. David Sims earned his doctorate from the University of Durham in 2006. He earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1994, his Juris Doctor in 1986 (University of Florida College of Law) and his BS in Business Administration/Finance in 1983 (University of Florida). David was in instructor in systematic and moral theology.

Dr. Joel Anderson holds an MA in Old Testament from Trinity Western University, and a PhD in Old Testament Theology from the University of Pretoria (South Africa). He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Evangelical Theological Society.

Mr Bill Elkins, ThM is a Dallas Theological Seminary grad. His love of scripture is infectious. Bill taught me numerous classes on Old and New Testament, along with Biblical Inspiration.

Mr. Mike Forrest, ThM is another DTS guy. Great teacher of Old Testament exegesis, and wonderful help, source of good advice and many good books.

Bob and Pauletta Baxter, who have never failed me.

Mr. Joshua Baxter

Mr. John Kooistra

Mrs. Gail Douglas, a former student in the Foundations program, constant encourager.

Mrs. Perri Neale and Dr. David Neale. Such friends are hard to find.

Jim and Judy  De Vries

Rev. Sam Murrell

Ken and Barbra Benson

Mr. George Norton

Ms. Laura Neale

Mrs. Carla Thommason

The many students of the Anglican School of Ministry. Although we were often separated by many miles,  you  gave me new ideas, challenged my old ideas, and sharpened my mind. It was a pleasure knowing every one of you.

So here I am, 63 years old and wondering what door God will open. This is one of the very few times one can put a check mark on the “to do” list. It may be that I have more than 20 useful years remaining and I am sincerely optimistic. Thanks to the God in heaven who provides for all our needs.

Top Ten Reasons to enroll in the New Testament introduction

September 12, 2013

UPDATE: The class is still taking students. You can join in the second week and easily catch up! The meetings are going to be very enjoyable and educational.

It is back to class on September 17.We will be meeting in Little Rock in the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church library, but there are some slots available for out-of-town folks on WebEx. Why might you bother taking a class from some Nobody in Arkansas? Glad you asked that question. Here from the “home office” is the Top Ten list of fairly good reasons to know more about the New Testament.

1. We focus on Jesus and placing the student in relation to the the sacred text and the Savior.

2.The Nobody who leads the class has just completed (we hope!) the academic requirements of an MMin. It’s not like attending Oxford, but one does pick up some basic biblical skills. Mr. Nobody specializes in probing discussion starters.

3. The text is Gundry’s New Testament Survey (Fourth edition). Much cool reflection, great charts, useful maps.

4.The meetings are not dull lectures, but lively discussions with smart classmates (Several advanced degrees and one has a Ph. D.).

5. The 7 PM Central Time works out well for many people, and things wrap up at 8:30.

6. Yes, you do have to read sections of a book, but there are no exams or papers. It is a non-academic course designed for lay leaders and folks who want a deeper spiritual experience from Bible reading.

7. You do not have to be an Anglican to participate, and those of us who are Anglicans promise to be on our best behavior.

8. Reasonable tuition and the book is under $20.00 on abebooks.com, although by now you might need to break down and buy the Kindle version.

9.It is easy to drop Pat Lynch a note: plynch@swbell.net.

10. You are bound to learn SOMETHING and develop some real friendships.

How I spent my summer vacation

September 7, 2013

Life was so busy this summer; one would think I was getting stinking rich. The work was just that hard and, now that fall is almost here, let it be known that. It would be great to find some small part-time something to do. There were a couple of classes to be taught and there were also two courses at the Anglican School of Ministry that will complete the seemingly endless Master of Ministry program. In the middle this overload, I agreed to serve on the strategy team planting New Hope Anglican Church of Little Rock. It starts weekly services on September 15. More on that later.

The act of teaching tends to educate the instructor as much as the student. There was that adult education course on the 39 Articles of Religion at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Little Rock. Now tell me true, how many churches will allow a class on pure doctrine? This is one of the reasons St. Andrew’s is such a great church. And it is treating me very graciously as I help my friend Sam Murrell begin to lead an ACNA congregation.

There was a “continuing education” class on the Old Testament that, as the instructor, caused me to gain some new insights. There is a fresh appreciation for Isaiah, and the second Isaiah. Now do not go tearing your cloths off and start barking at passing cars. I do not personally care if there were six guys named Isaiah. The book is historically accepted into the canon and that is good enough for this little guy in Little Rock. This is one of those non-academic programs that does not have exams or papers and does not issue a diploma. The students are great people who study hard because they want to know more about the faith and get closer to Jesus. This fall I am dong a survey of the New Testament. We will see how these books of Holy Scripture are applicable to everybody today. You will gain an entire new outlook on the Christian religion. Being an Anglican is not necessary for admission and there are some spaces available on WebEx for out-of-town folks. We have wonderful and enlightening discussions.

I also took two classes at the Anglican School of Ministry. These represent the final work in my Master of Ministry program. Spiritual Formation (THE 504 at ASM) deals with the health of the soul and is one of the most useful classes in which I have participated.  This one had a load of reading: Leanne Payne on the Healing Presence, Ken Sande’s The Peacemaker, and my old friend (well, he feels like a friend) C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. These were great and had much practical and inspirational content. Have you read Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God? This is the finest insight for a holy life. Of course, that seems completely beyond all practical possibility in a world dominated by getting more stuff and getting more pleasure. Brother Lawrence has a simple rule of non-stop conversation with the Almighty. It is powerful. Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy is 400 pages of good advice on the Christian life. He masterfully paints the picture of a safe and good world, ruled by a loving and caring God. In this class, the student develops a devotional reading journal for 45 days and develop a plan of scripture and inspirational readings. I used the Daily Office of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer as my framework. Keep in mind, this is a “journal” in which one comments on what the readings say and the personal meaning with application. This is an incredible experience. My instructor was Dr. Mark Quay, who is also pastor of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Without Dr. Quay, I would not have begun this journey in his den as part of the inaugural ASM class. This academic journey has made me into a different person. (Don’t worry, I still have the old “Bad Pat” kick!)

My other academic course was Sacramental Theology (THE 606 at ASM). There was so much reading! The final paper assignment was at least 15 pages on the “missional” understanding of Sacraments in the Anglican tradition. The final product was 22 pages of text (and a 2-page bibliography). There is nothing like the researching and thought process of organizing a paper to impart a deeper understanding of the subject. This was a fine class. I am very grateful to my instructor, Dr. Michael Pahls for his leadership and helpful observations. Many of my friends have helped me out with encouragement, prayer, and financial support. I need prayer most of all for good decisions and wisdom.a

My friend, Rev. Susie Wiggins, compares seminary to killing birds. You kill enough birds and eventually somebody gives you a degree. I hope to get my Master of Ministry in the next few weeks. Many people ask me what I plan to do with it. The answer is “nothing, absolutely nothing.” That somewhat sarcastic answer reflects my typical use of humor to keep people at distance. I am not one of the young hot-shots, so I am really not so sure what God has in mind. Ordination? If that is in God’s good plan, he will take care of it. I would like to do more with my little school – Christian Foundations for Ministry, write more on this blog, and finish the book I have halfway completed.

The Glad Streams blog has suffered. I plan to write much more this fall and maybe even start a podcast. I am still looking for that part-time gig and, sometime soon, God will see to that. I am blessed.

39 Anglican Articles of Religion: the marriage of Priests, excommunicate persons homolies, civil authority, private property, and oaths (Articles 32-39)

August 26, 2013

This is the final segment of the St. Andrews Anglican Church in Little Rock’s adult ed presentation on the 39 Articles of Religion. St. Andrews deserves special thanks and credit for permitting a class on such weighty doctrinal matters. The Articles are part of Anglican identity and, we pray, a source of integrity for the Anglican portion of the Household of God. Nate Smith and I (Pat Lynch) make the final presentation. You may listen to the audio file here. The notes on Articles 32-35 will be available here: Articles 32-35 and you may find my notes on 36-39 hereHO Articles WK 10.

Again, thanks to all who have shown interest and to St. Andrews Anglican Church.