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Christian Methodist Episcopal

Department of Christian Education

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Sunday School

"Online you get to know your students' minds not just their faces."

eLearning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhereeLearning includes training, the delivery of just-in-time information, and guidance from experts.   Imagine having a Sunday School teacher available to you at your convenience, not just on Sunday morning...

If we could stop time and inexpensively bring together all of the people in the CME Church who need to learn and the resources to teach them, we would not need e-learning.  In the real world, people have jobs to do and funds are limited.  We envision our learning program leveraging the power of technology to overcome the limitations of time, distance, and resources.  Some examples of how we will deliver eLearning include, but are not limited to:
  • Asynchronous eLearning
  • Self-paced Courses
  • Discussion Groups
  • Synchronous eLearning
  • Virtual Classroom
  • Audio and Video Conferencing
  • Chat
  • Shared Whiteboard
  • Application Sharing
  • Instant Messaging

No single e-learning method is best for every learning need. We will most likely need to use several eLearning technologies as well as traditional learning methods.  Our blended learning program will combine eLearning and traditional learning methods.  Thus providing the convenience, speed, and cost effectiveness of eLearning with the personal touch of traditional learning.

Vital Information for Christian Educators
  • Persons who are offered choices are more motivated to participate and learn than persons who are not given choices
It is important to offer choices to people because people have different, interests, needs and abilities.
  • Concepts that are concrete can be communicated more easily than abstract  concepts
Jesus illustrated this principle very well through parables, actions and 
relationships to connect to real life experiences.
  • Dialogue produces more learning and growth than monologue
One way to do this is to discuss each week’s sermon during Bible Study.
  • Persons care more about what happens when they are able to commit themselves to tangible meaningful tasks
In meetings when people are given opportunity to choose tasks to perform they are more readily able to commit to the tasks.
  • Each congregation must see that Christian Education ministry as specialized tailored for the particular time and place in which it lives
  • Planning and evaluation are essential to effective Christian Education in the church
This makes possible affirmation for work that is well done, recommitment
to a goal, or establishment of new goals. 

The Ministry of Music In The Black Church
Based on the Book written by J. Wendell Mapson (1984)

This is a workshop designed to get the local church to think about singing in the local church.  After the session(s) members of the local church are expected to be more in tune with why they sing in the church.

I. Why sing in the church?  

     A. African Tradition
         a. Religion and music is embedded in African life.
         b. Music told the unwritten history of the community.
         c. Alternation of improvised lines and fixed refrains is part of the tradition.
         d. During American enslavement of Africans musical forms of Africa were retained.
         e. A major part of the tradition was the call and response.
         f. Music had an improvisational quality.

 How does the music in your local church embody the African Tradition?  Give examples and discuss in the group.

      B. Black Theology and Black Music
          a. It is how black people see God, the world and themselves
          b. Music gives shape to theology.
          c. Black Church music is the life-blood of the church.  People judge the spiritual tone of the church by its music.  People are drawn into the community of faith by music.
          d. Music is to be a legitimate response to God, telling the story of hardship, disapointment and hope.  It ushers people into the very presence of God and sends people to serve.
          e. Music and Worship in the Black Idiom expresses the communal nature of the black experience, edifying the family of God.  It ministers to the whole person.
          f. It balances the freedom of the Holy Spirit with liturgies.
          g. It is a place of celebration and healing.

You may need the leadership of your pastor to help with discussing the music you currently use in worship.  A good exercise will be to look back over the last month and look at all the music you use.  What does it say about how your church sees God, the world and themselves?

What does your music on Sundays communicate about the spiritual tone of your church?  What is the difference in being “drawn into the community of faith” and “drawn to worship on Sundays?”

Name the kind of music your church uses, e.g. hymns, gospel, rap, etc.  What theology does your church have based on its music?

     C. Biblical Understanding
         a. Worship is a human response to divine initiative.
         b. Music is a way of expressing our faith.
         c. There is spontaneity and freedom.  It was true in the New Testament churches.
         d. Music expresses the present day situation.
         e. Music is guided by the Holy Spirit, but there are restrictions.
         f. Music was an act of celebration in the New Testament churches.

 Because worship is a human response to divine initiative what should our first song(s) express?  (Praise and adoration to God).  What is the first hymn you sing?  What does it express?  If music expresses the present day situation, does that make hymns out of date?  Look at some hymns and answer for yourselves.  Is there room for new hymns to be written?  Why not write some?  Restrictions refer to decency and order (for example you would not break windows and say it was the Spirit)

II.   Why A Choir?

     A. To speak for the congregation because of the possession of certain skills. Rehearses to sharpen and polish the choir’s skills.  The tools of the choir are refined through practice, discipline, commitment and training.  The choir is a collective voice.  A good reason to look the part of unity.  The choir provides the ministry of spiritual growth through singing.

     B. To speak with the congregation as participants in the act of worship. This is done primarily with hymns so everyone in the church can sing.  Of course now that can be done with other genre of music through the use of projecting songs on a screen.

     C. To speak to the congregation with special music, rehearsed and prepared.

During worship all people should be given opportunity to sing.  How does your choir provide spiritual growth to the congregation?