Tag Archives: Erickson

Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide – and on to Pentecost

By Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning

Holy Week is in the mirror and Eastertide is upon us. To all musicians, liturgical artists, educators, clergy, office and facilities staff and volunteer alike – well done! You made it, holy Easter afternoon nap and all.

While some of you are on vacation, alone or with family, others will preach instead of the lead minister. In many places, the congregation may be more sparse than usual for the Sunday after Easter because it coincides with spring break for local school systems.

Whatever your circumstances, I encourage you to let the dust settle and then gather with other leaders in your congregation to assess your education, worship, fellowship and outreach offerings during the past 6 or seven weeks. My favorite approach to assessment is to ask myself two simple questions:

What went well?

What might we do differently?

After doing so, ask the same questions of others, and compare notes. While memories are fresh, you’ve gathered feedback that will be useful not only next year, but in other seasons as well.

It’s also time to consider some additions to your liturgical season tool kit. Take a look at these for starters: Continue reading Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide – and on to Pentecost

Downloading Advent

By Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 33: 14-15

So it began for many Christians on Sunday, Nov. 29. Or at least it began that way for many congregations that follow the Revised Common Lectionary. For those congregations using the Narrative Lectionary, it began, “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.” 2 Kings 22:1-2

“It” is Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, the four Sundays prior to Christmastide. It happens every year. Congregational volunteers and staff leaders ponder how to engage children of God of all ages in meaningful activities designed to enrich the understanding and practice of watchful waiting. The good news is there are many resources available – and they will most likely be readily accessible this year for those who are still rounding out their Advent preparations and for those who are already determined to incorporate some new, contextually-appropriate, meaningful resources into next year’s preparations. Continue reading Downloading Advent

Resource Round Up

By Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning

Most church leaders are generalists. We may be better at, or enjoy, some aspects of our work more than others, of course. But we are called to mix it up on a regular basis. And that’s a good thing, because according to the HBR, “the future may belong to the generalist.” It turns out that we just may be better at navigating uncertainty.

By virtue of our work, however, we often need some specialized information. This post is another compilation of resources I’ve discovered, used, recommended, and otherwise found helpful in the time since put together my first list. Continue reading Resource Round Up

Resources for 21st Century Lifelong Learners

By Sarah F. Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning

Thanks to the web, there’s a vast array of resources out there. Assessing how and what to use is a challenge. How do you curate your lists of resources and information, your “go-to” lists for planning learning events, worship, conducting program assessments, hiring, or writing effective proposals?

It’s a daunting task. According to this Industry Tap article, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. By some forecasts, and thanks to the “internet of things,” information could soon double every 12 hours.

I don’t have a singular answer to these questions. But I have a 7-point approach (a perfect number!) and some of my current favorite resources to share.

Continue reading Resources for 21st Century Lifelong Learners

CLL Explores and Reinvigorates Preaching the Lectionary

The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary will offer Lectionary Studies: Lent/Easter B through Christmas C on January 20-23, 2015. Four morning seminars on worship and preaching the lectionary (RCL) will take a fresh look at the liturgical year. The schedule allows participants time for independent work to plan worship and teaching for the coming year.

“Courses about preaching and worship are always at the top of the request charts,” says Sarah Erickson, director of Lifelong Learning. “Many church leaders also schedule time to create outlines for upcoming seasons of the church year. This event is a blend of both.” Continue reading CLL Explores and Reinvigorates Preaching the Lectionary