Sample Curriculum

Below is a sample month of curriculum. Fellows spend time completing the reading before each cohort meeting. During the cohort meeting the group goes through the liturgy together and spends time answering the discussion questions.

Overview

The Bible is a Story, a winding and harrowing story of a people in union with God declaring God’s goodness, justice, and mission in the world. It is very good news that breaks into the troubling news of our sin-shattered lives and our broken world, bringing about new life, new hope, reconciliation, forgiveness, and God’s shalom.

Objectives

  • Knowing — To understand God’s vision of shalom for creation.
  • Doing — To see particular ways in which we participate in vandalizing and violating shalom and fostering and fighting for it.
  • Feeling — To sense where God’s Spirit might be stirring within us for the sake of proclaiming and practicing the very good Gospel.

WEEK 1: SHALOM

  1. Listen to the November Podcast with Dr. Chuck DeGroat
  2. Read Psalm 8, Psalm 24
  3. Read The Justice Calling, by Hoang and Johnson, Chapters 1-2
  4. Read The Very Good Gospel, by Lisa Sharon Harper, Chapters 1-2

Liturgy

Jesus said: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
—Matthew 18:20 NRSV

Silence is kept

A canticle is said or sung
Gloria in Excelsis – A Song of God’s Glory

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father,
we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Thanksgivings and Intercessions are offered

The Collect of the Week
Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Discussion

  • Lisa Sharon Harper contrasts “thin faith” and “thick faith.” Describe these distinctions. How have you seen them in play in your experience?
  • For both authors, the notion of shalom plays a crucial part. Why it is important to start with shalom when engaging the story of Scripture?
  • Based on what you are reading, what are characteristics of shalom? How do you see these characteristics manifesting in your own context or work or relationships?
  • What are the implications of being made in the image of God for relationships, reconciliation, and justice today?
  • Discuss the practice of Sabbath. Why is Sabbath important to our souls and to God’s creation?

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

WEEK 2: DISRUPTION

  1. Read Romans 8
  2. Read The Justice Calling, by Hoang and Johnson, Chapters 3-4
  3. Read The Very Good Gospel, by Lisa Sharon Harper, Chapter 3

Liturgy

Jesus said: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
—Matthew 18:20 NRSV

Silence is kept

A canticle is said or sung
Phos hilaron—A Song of the Light

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Thanksgivings and Intercessions are offered

The Collect of the Week
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Discussion

  • When you hear the word “sin” what are associations you make (based on early family or church experiences, or perhaps toxic versions of faith)?
  • Often, sin is defined in a narrow and individualistic way (it’s about me and my behavior). The authors broaden the implications of sin and the Fall. How?
  • If injustice (i.e. racial, economic, etc.) is an implication of sin, how does that change how we consider confession and repentance?
  • How does “sin” impact systems and structures in which you are a participant?
  • What do you find yourself crying out in lament about?

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

WEEK 3: HOPE

  1. Read Philip 2:1-18
  2. Read The Justice Calling, by Hoang and Johnson, Chapter 5
  3. Read The Very Good Gospel, by Lisa Sharon Harper, Chapters 4-6

Liturgy

Jesus said: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
—Matthew 18:20 NRSV

Silence is kept

A canticle is said or sung
Te Deum Laudamus – A Song of the Church

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as the Lord;
all creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all praise,
the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
 to glory everlasting.

Thanksgivings and Intercessions are offered

The Collect of the Week
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Discussion

  • Hoang and Harper root the hope of reconciliation and restoration in the person and work of Jesus. How does this free us from feeling as if we have to accomplish everything?
  • The authors of both books begins to unveil the implications of God’s shalom in the world, as broadly as concerns of international justice and as near as our view of ourselves. Where were you particularly moved or stirred by these implications personally?
  • How does your church participate in works of justice and reconciliation in specific ways? Where do you feel particularly inclined to enter in?

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

WEEK 4: SERVICE AND FELLOWSHIP

  1. How is your November going? What are you learning? What questions do you have?