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Vol-125-2 2010 Spring Windows

Vol-125-2 2010 Spring Windows

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Published by kairosapts
Spring 2010 Issue of Windows, publication of Austin Seminary
Spring 2010 Issue of Windows, publication of Austin Seminary

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Published by: kairosapts on Apr 29, 2010
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SPRING 2010
 
CONTENTSLOOKING OUTWARD
The President’s Preaching and Speaking Engagements 
 April 23-25,
Leader 
, Southminster Church,Missouri City, Texas, Annual SpiritualRenewal WeekendMay 9,
Preacher,
First Presbyterian Church,Lufkin, TexasMay 18,
Host 
, Evening with the President,New Braunfels, Texas June 13,
Preacher,
Sesquicentennial at FirstPresbyterian Church, Stephenville,Texas August 22,
Preacher 
, Opening Convocation,Covenant Presbyterian Church,Charlotte, North Carolina
 2-13 A Christian education primer 
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Christian Education
What can we learn about forming people of faith? 
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The role of the pastor
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The role of the educator
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The role of the congregation
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Community news
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Development news
 20 
Faculty news
 23
Continuing education news
 24 
Alumni/ae news
Theological Education Fund (1% Plan)
The theological schools of thePresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) nolonger receive funding from thebasic mission budget of the General Assembly. Churches are asked tocontribute 1% of their operating budgets to the fund, which is thendistributed to the seminaries.Publisher & Mailing Statement 
Windows 
is published three times each yearby Austin Presbyterian TheologicalSeminary.ISSN 2056-0556
Non-profit bulk mail permit no. 2473
 Austin Seminary 
Windows 
 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary 100 E. 27th St. Austin, TX 78705-5797phone: 512-404-4808e-mail: windows@austinseminary.edufax: 512-479-0738 www.austinseminary.edu
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Cassandra C. Carr,
Chair 
Michael D. AllenKaren C. AndersonThomas L. Are Jr.Susan BeairdF. M. Bellingrath IIIDianne E. Brown (MDiv’95)Elizabeth Christian Joseph J. Clifford James G. CooperMarvin L. Cooper James B. Crowley Elizabeth Blanton FlowersDonald R. FramptonRichard D. Gillham Walter Harris Jr.Bruce G. Herlin J Carter King III (MDiv’70)Michael L. LindvallCatherine O. Lowry Blair R. MonieLyndon L. Olson Jr.B. W. Payne William C. Powers Jr. Jeffrey Kyle RichardTeresa Chávez Sauceda (MDiv’88) Anne Vickery StevensonKarl Brian Travis John L. Van OsdallSallie Sampsell Watson (MDiv’87)Elizabeth Currie Williams
Trustees Emeriti 
Stephen A. MatthewsMax ShermanEdward D. Vickery Louis Zbinden
 WINDOWS
SPRING 2010Volume 125 Number 2
DITOR 
Randal Whittington
ONTRIBUTORS 
Channing BurkeShuhan ChanCaitlin DeyerleNancy ReeseLana Russell
I
n my growing-up years, Christian Education was primarilmemory work. As an elementary student in an Atlanta church,there was a year in which I and my fellow third-graders memorizedlarge gaps of Bible verses which, it was hoped, we might file away in a mental file cabinet from which we could retrieve it all in timesof need. The thing I was proudest of was being required to mem-orize, at the end of that year, the Apostles’ Creed, which I couldthen say every Sunday in worship with all of the adults around me.Then we moved to a county-seat town in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where I was confirmed as an eighth-grader in anold church founded in 1736 by Scots who were deeply formed by theWestminster Confession.To be confirmed in that church, I hadto memorize the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Every Saturday morning for months, I would sit in the office of Miss WistaMcElveen—the beloved Christian Educator there—and recite toher every jot and tittle of that catechism. “Now, Teddy, what is thechief end of man?”Man’s…chief…end…is…to…glorify…God…and…enjoy…[God]… forever.”Thanks to those two congregations, I had under my belt, by the time I was a middle schooler, a pretty good working knowledgeof the most familiar texts of scripture, some of the most formativepsalms, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the catechismof perhaps the sturdiest piece of the theological architecture of theEnglish Reformed tradition.It was memory work. It didn’t make me a Christian, or even abetter person. It was, after all, only a bit of the “grammar” of Christian faith. But I believe I have been building on that gram-mar ever since. In Luke’s account of the Resurrection, the end of all this grammar is for the Spirit to enliven it with meaning. TheResurrection miracle for Luke was that “they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the elevenand to all the rest.”Christian Education puts us in touch with the grammar of thefaith, for sure; and, when it is redemptive, it laces all that grammar with the living syntax of faith until it’s impossible to tell the dif-ference between what we know, and how we live this knowledgeout.This issue of 
Windows 
focuses upon Christian education intoday’s challenging times. In the pages that follow, David White,Rodger Nishioka, Sarah Allen, and Ellis Nelson will describe pat-terns and trends that may be different in many respects from the way I learned the faith from Miss Wista. What remains the same,however, is how the things that we remember are enlivened by theHoly Spirit until we are transformed by such memory.You will alsoenjoy the rest of the news that lies within, so start memorizing—Imean, reading!Faithfully yours,Theodore J. Wardlaw 
President 
 
 WINDOWS / Spring 2010
David White is the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Associate Professor of  Christian Education at Austin Seminary. The author of  
Awakening YouthDiscipleship in a Consumer Culture
(Cascade, 2007, coauthored with Brian Mahan and MichaelWarren) and 
Practicing Discernment with Youth
(PilgrimPress, 2005), he received aValparaiso Project research grant to explore the practice of discernment among local congregations.
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grew up in a small church in Mississippi, where Sunday school was conducted in the church basement by a company of earnestteachers wielding flannel boards and picture books. In thoseclassrooms I learned much of what I know about the Bible, andI will forever insist that this is an important element of forma-tion, not simply for the information transmitted, but also for what itteaches informally about being part of a community of faith. There Ilearned to share, to treat others with respect, to let guests go first in thepot luck line, and to not hit girls (apologies to Becky Sweeney, wher-ever you are!). Also, in those days, we prayed in schools, observed bluelaws, attended services on Sunday and Wednesday evenings, got out of school in the early fall to attend community revivals. It seemed onemight absorb Christian faith as easily as breathing the air.Of course, one has only to scratch the surface of Southern religiousculture to find deep-seated racism and all sorts of things we should notbe proud of. Yet, despite the risk of over romanticizing the past, wemust acknowledge that support for the Christian faith has grown weak-er at the same time that cultural forces counter to such gospel values ascommunity, altruism, peace-making, and truth-telling have only grownstronger. Children and adults do not come to us as blank slates, muchless, as they once did, predisposed toward Christian formation. They come to our churches already formed by myths, habits, and sensibili-ties, many contrary to Christian thought. For those concerned abouthow we make disciples, or how we form and deepen people inChristian faith, these current times represent something of a crisis—anopportunity to review previous assumptions and practices while envi-sioning more faithful and vital ways of fostering Christian formation.
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