OPERATIONONESIMUS – 2017 ADVANCE WORK

Introduction
It’s great that you’re planning to be at Onesimus Training this year. You’ve probably either been before, you’ve heard about it
from someone you know, or you’ve read about the program. In any case, you probably know that Onesimus is a rewarding
experience in which past participants have established relationships that they’ve enjoyed ever since. There’s more to it.
Onesimus is hard work.
Onesimus is hard work because living a truly spiritual life is even harder work. If you’ve read the gospels and know about Jesus’
life, then you know something about the difficulty. And you know something about the wonderful, unmatchable results of Jesus’
life. In a similar vein, Onesimus would be neither a durable nor memorable experience if it were easy.
The start of Onesimus Training is the collection of assignments on the next few pages. The purpose of the assignments is to
challenge you. To stretch you. You may already be going to school, working a job or both. Your first challenge may be reserving
the time needed to do these assignments well.
Upon your arrival at training you’ll be asked to demonstrate that you’ve done these assignments. If you’ve not done them, you
may be asked to excuse yourself from all non-class activities until you complete the work.
Evidence of a prepared assignment will vary depending on your style of preparation. Written notes or outlines will be great. If
that’s not your style, be prepared to give a detailed verbal account. Consider submitting your evidence beforehand, either by
email, post, phone call, Facebook message, etc. Also, if you prepare something in advance, but then decide at training to prepare
something different, that’s completely fine. You don’t have to present the material you submitted, just speak to the
superintendent on site to discuss your change in topic.
We’re determined that all assignments will be used explicitly during training. We will eliminate “make-work” assignments that
you never hear about again. To sum this up: we’ll respect your effort, you respect ours.
There are three specific assignments outlined here for which you will need to show evidence of your preparation:

Part One: First Week Presentation, assigned topic
Part Two: Second Week Presentation, your choice of topic
Part Three: Assignments from your teachers, in preparation for their classes

The primary goal of these assignments is to strengthen your familiarity and accuracy with the Bible. The secondary goal is to
improve your skill at articulating what you learn from Scripture. We’re trying to make you “fluent” in Scripture. To assess your
own progress with the assignments, continually measure your familiarity with your points. Get others to help you assess your
accuracy and the clarity of your explanations.

Everyone involved in Onesimus wants to see you succeed. The teachers, the other students, the support team, the staff—all are
going to support you, encourage you and celebrate seeing you meet challenges and grow.
We expect you will have questions and concerns about this work. You will have plenty of time during training to work with us
and the other teachers and superintendents during training, but feel free to reach out to us beforehand as well.
Please read through this document carefully. Your first action item that requires an immediate response is under the Service
Sessions heading below.
God be with you in your work!
Love in Jesus,
The OO Committee (Chris & Jen Wubbels, Levi & Jessica Gelineau, Maggie Schlageter, James & Becky Ross, Matt Drabenstott)
Service Sessions
During the afternoons, you will have several hours set aside to participate in service sessions: small work groups intended to help
you hone a specific talent that you can put to use in your ecclesia and in the worldwide body of Christ hopefully for the rest of
your lives. Please prayerfully consider the following areas of service and determine the top two you feel you would be the
most effective in.

Once you have thought about the options below, please email Sis. Maggie Schlageter (maggieschlageter@gmail.com) with
your top two choices by May 13th, at the latest.

Sunday School
 Prepare Sunday school classes to be used at your ecclesia or a Bible School
 Gain better confidence and skills to use in preparing and teaching classes for children
 Gain a better understanding of how to interact with children of different ages
 Learn new strategies/ways of teaching

Art
 Document Onesimus 2017 through images.
 Learn how to improve your artistic skills.
 Learn new ways to use art, including photography, as an act of service.

Public Speaking
 Prepare a talk or class to give at your home ecclesia
 Improve your confidence and skills in public speaking
 Both guys and girls welcome

Music
 Coordinate daily musical praise and worship while at OO
 Learn how to use music and composition for ecclesial worship
 Learn how to use music in preaching
 Explore the role of music in your personal spiritual life

Community Outreach
 Learn to work as a team while planning events
 Preparing preaching activities that will be carried out during Onesimus
 Gain skills that will help you feel comfortable planning preaching activities for your home ecclesia

On Fridays, everyone will take a break from their regular service sessions and work together on camp projects during service
session time. (Do not include Camp Projects/Physical Labor as one of your two choices, since everyone will participate.)

Camp Projects - Physical Labor Fridays
 Serve your brothers and sisters by helping out around the camp
 Projects may include painting, yard maintenance, etc.
 Learn new ways of using physical acts of service to help others

First Week Presentations
For the first week presentations, each student is assigned a chapter or several chapters. In 5 - 10 minutes, provide an overview,
an explanation of the chapter(s)’s main points, and how the content fits into its book. When you email Maggie your service
session choices, she will email you back with your presentation chapter assignment.

Joshua (Chapters 1-24)
Judges (Chapters 1-6)

Second Week Presentations
The goal of the second week’s presentations is to give you the opportunity to share personal Bible study that you have found to
be interesting, encouraging, or helpful.

Your presentation should show a command of scripture. Unlike morning and evening devotions, which can be based on one brief
spiritually grounded thought, your presentation should show a more complex structure and sophistication. Develop a body of
relevant passages from the Bible, and use that as your basis. From there, organize your thoughts into a 5-10 minute presentation.
Be sure to link your main points to specific Bible passages. Make the connections clear, and ensure your application is consistent
with each passage’s context and intent.

During the first week of Onesimus, a superintendent/committee member will want to hear a brief summary of what you plan to
present about. You can also reach out to superintendents or committee members at any time during the first week to run through
thoughts and work through any aspects of your presentation you’d like to get other perspectives on!

Assignments from Teachers
Week One: Classes by Bros. Steven Cox and John Launchbury

 Brother Steven’s class will be a workshop. The group goal: produce 12 issues of a mobile phone app-based
preaching magazine geared at your nominally Christian or church-going peers. At the end of the week, you
should have a road plan for 12 issues worth of content that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to forward to your
college roommate who is a nominal Mormon, Catholic or a nothing, or give to your own second cousin who
thinks the Christadelphian side of the family are a bit weird.

Six homework tasks follow. You are being asked to do a good amount of work in preparation for this workshop, but it will ensure
a productive and exciting experience when we all come together at Onesimus. Understanding that you may not be able to
complete all six tasks, please take note of the following instructions.
Homework Tasks 4-6 are mandatory.
Homework Tasks 1-3 are recommended, however, you may decide to do a minimum of just one of these three tasks. If you
only do one, please do the task that corresponds with the first letter of your last name. This will ensure that some
participants have background on “Faith Alive” publication, some have background on “Glad Tidings”, and some come
with new ideas.

If your last name starts with A-G, please complete task 1.
If your last name starts with H-P, please complete task 2.
If your last name starts with Q-Z, please complete task 3.

Homework Task #1: Download and look at a copy of the UK 15-25 magazine “Faith Alive”
http://www.thechristadelphian.com/media/files/faith-alive-sample.pdf (December 2014 Biblical conscience is the issue currently
available free) Now, write a 1 page review of it. This can be any format or approach you like, provided it fills 1 page, font size
12. If you’re stuck for where to start you may want to address:

Format: How does it display on your phone or tablet? What ease of use features does it lack that you might get on a general news
or sports magazine? Is magazine format even the way to go?
Content: How inward-looking, introverted is it? (see Page 6 “our position as Christadelphians” – apart from obvious giveaways
like this are there any cultural giveaways that might rub up a non-Christadelphian relative or friend the wrong way? There may
not be). Does it have any content that would be interesting to a non-Christian?
How would you bring it to life – perhaps to allow comments? If so, how would you manage comments to avoid trolls?

Homework Task #2 View the April 2017 edition of the Glad Tidings Magazine: http://www.gladtidingsmagazine.org/back-
issues/previous-issues-2017/ Same homework as in Homework Task #1, write a review 1 page, size 12 font. Again you can write
anything, it doesn’t have to follow these bullet points, which are only if you are stuck what to write:

What’s the overall feel of the magazine? It’s aimed at people with some interest in the Bible, and these days many of the
subscribers are in Africa. How suitable do you think the approach (try and ignore the British spellings) would be to college
students in North America?
It’s ‘flat’. No videos, no music, no hyperlinks. What can or would you link to? If you do link are you pulling people away from the
content of the magazine?

Homework Task #3. Pick any app (mobile or tablet) magazine or forum format you particularly like. Doesn’t have to be a
religious publication/forum, though it can be if you wish. Again write 1 page, font size 12. This time, please try to cover the three
following sections (because everyone will be bringing something different to look at, this will make our discussions/sharing out
easier.)

Introduce the magazine/forum you are reviewing. If it’s from a specific date give the date and the URL.
Cut and paste a screen shot into the document.
What technical or content features could Christadelphians learn from? Or avoid?
(Note : please write in a way that come July, during the 1st week of Onesimus, your notes still make sense to you if you get asked
to stand up and introduce the media you chose and what we could imitate from it.)

Homework Task #4. The idea is the 12 issues will have 12 different editors, giving everyone who wants to be (and some who
don’t want be!) editor or co-editor of one issue.

Write an issue outline for the month you will be managing editor. There are no rules here. Your issue can be a YouTube and a
poem if you think a full magazine (like the Faith Alive and Glad Tidings review examples) would overload the nominal Christian
or non-Christian peer you have in mind. Or it could have a live element like an online chat or podcast.
Are you going to have a theme for the month or mix and match topics included?

Homework Task #5. This is probably going to be the most difficult task. Create a piece of audio-visual content. This should be
minimum 3 minutes, maximum 10 minutes. Not a full 18 minute TED Talk. This length is “long enough to be serious and short
enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online.”

Content can be anything. Two people chatting about the Bible around a coffee table is more interesting than a single ‘talking
head’.

If you know how to edit in a couple of photos, Powerpoints, etc., that would be massively impressive. To do that you’d need to
know how to use video editing software like Windows Movie Maker or Adobe PremierePro, or iMovie on an Apple.
https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/importing-still-images.html

Don’t worry; this is not going to end up on Youtube, this is an exercise which (unless you really want to send it global) will only
be seen by the others taking part on Onesimus. But it should be a test version of something which could be polished and (once re-
made, re-filmed) end up as multimedia content in an app-based monthly ‘magazine’.

Video quality doesn’t matter – the standard of definition from a digital camera or an iPhone will be fine. But watch out for sound
quality – you might even want to borrow an external microphone – particularly if filming outdoors.

The multimedia bits of magazines and forums typically get seen/heard more than articles get read, so this is not just a cosmetic
‘livening up’ of the magazine, it may be the most important part of what gets sent out each month.

If you’re coming to Onesimus with someone you know you can work together – but it will mean a team of 3, for example, still
has to produce 3 products, one per member.

These are examples of Youtubes done by some Birmingham young people in 2007-2009 in an initiative called YouPreach.
Soundbites in a park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygcoYgcxW9M
Nic in Jerusalem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8lXLmTJreM
Kosovo: 2008 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soU1kYPEn9c
Sadly that initiative died out – partly because those involved didn’t have a way to ‘quarantine’ their content – which was trying to
be young and positive – from the other things that may come up under ‘Christadelphian’ on YouTube. (How do you solve that
quarantine problem? On YouTube you can’t.)

Then some music clips:
Fishers Tale acoustic band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3YmfXZcEnY
The Seventh Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZInGlKYYAM

Then some more professional WCF and UK-CALS videos:
Leen Ritmeyer on archaeology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAcSDAVN_UY
Carol Foster on Faith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uzyNHgi98

And, although this is not – repeat not – about TED talks, if you do go down the ‘talk’ route, then maybe look at this first.
TED founder Christ Anderson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FOCpMAww28

Homework Task #6 – this isn’t something that has to be handed in, or presented in the group by the first classes in July, but is
something we should be thinking about. If there is Bible verse that really comes to mind in relation to witnessing to Christ and
God, through media – in this case an app-based magazine – what would it be? And what does that verse tell us about the way
God uses believers, all believers, to reach other new believers and strengthen existing believers? And what benefit does being
involved in that have on those working together? Keep a record of any verse that comes to mind. Hopefully by the end of the
week, the final class, everyone will have a verse that expresses the way they see the exercise.

 Brother John’s class is entitled “Jesus Inside”.

These sessions will focus on deepening the foundation of your faith and discipleship. You will be challenged to
move beyond a view of religion as a set of mechanisms, things like rules, rituals, and transactions. Instead you
will have the opportunity to see your discipleship as a set of aspirations, as a transformation inspired and
enabled by God through Jesus. Be prepared to think deeply about your spiritual journey and what it will be like
to have “Christ formed within you”.

This homework is designed to help your mind and heart wrestle with deep spiritual questions. Please try to do these four
homework exercises on different days because that lets your mind work on them in the background. You can work with a friend
so long as you make sure your work reflects your personal thinking. You won't be required to share the results in class, but you
will get so much more out of our sessions together if you have already started thinking about these things.

1. Rules gone wild.

Read Matthew 23. Pick four things Jesus criticizes the religious leaders of doing, things he labels as hypocrisy. Write them down.
For each one of them, try to figure out what was really going wrong. Here’s an example:
“In verse 13 Jesus says they shut the kingdom in people's faces, letting no-one in (including themselves). They were religious
people, but Jesus is declaring that all their religious effort was going astray. It wasn't just a failure in their teaching because they
themselves were missing the point. And it wasn't just that they missed the door, their religious activities were working against
their salvation! Maybe it was that they became proud when they followed their religious rules. That pride would then prevent
them from being humble with God.”

2. Sitting quietly for 10 minutes

Find a quiet space. I like sitting cross legged on my bed, but find any place that works for you. Sit with your eyes gently closed
and breathe a few times, noticing how your breath comes in and out. Maybe feel it at your nose or in your chest. Now set a timer
for 10 minutes. For these 10 minutes try to concentrate on your breath, noticing it as it goes in and out. You will probably
become distracted (like a 100 times!). Don't worry. As soon as you notice your mind is wandering, bring your attention back to
your breath and carry on noticing how it moves in and out. When the timer goes off breathe deeply and gently, and quietly thank
God for your breath.

3. Gethsemane

Read Matthew 26. Write down answers to the following questions (four to six sentences per answer should suffice):
a. What is the context in which Gethsemane takes place (what just happened, and what is about to happen)?
b. How would you describe Jesus' state of mind and faith during Gethsemane?
c. What does “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (v. 41) mean to you?
d. Why do you think the Bible includes the Gethsemane event?
4. Sitting with God

Again, find a quiet place to sit. Breathe, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath. This helps to quiet the mind and bring it
into the present. Now start talking with God (silently or out loud as you wish). Either communicate with Him directly or talk with
Jesus, whichever you feel most comfortable about.
- Tell Him about something that happened today, as if he is your friend.
- Now sit and breathe for a while, noticing the feel of your breath.
- Now tell God about a friend of yours. Say whatever you feel like saying.
- Again, take a minute or two simply sitting quietly and noticing your breath.
- Now tell God a secret you have never told anyone else. Just tell him, don’t ask for anything.
- When you’re done, breathe quietly again.
Close with breathing deeply and thanking him for your breath.

Week Two: Classes by Bros. James DiLiberto and Brad Ricks

 Brother James’ class will be a deep exploration of the theme of worship.

As we approach the end of the book of Revelation, we hear the angelic command repeated twice, “Worship God,” as
we see visions of worshippers – either of God and the Lamb or of the Beast. This has always been the ultimate choice
for God’s people, but whom we worship and how depends on that which we see as beautiful, glorious, and worthy of
praise. During this second week of Onesimus, we will take a journey from the beginning to the end of the Bible as we
explore the subject of worship and uncover the secrets of a life filled with praise in every part, expressing the adoration
we have for the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in both devotion and action. Our Lord told us that His Father is seeking
those to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and showed us by example, “Father, glorify your name”, as it will be when
He returns and “All the nations You have made shall come and worship before you, O LORD, and shall glorify your
name.” (Ps 86:9) To help prepare for that great day, we will spend the week in both Testaments exploring aspects of
personal worship expressed in ceremony, music, witness, prayer, and loving service, which are so beautifully
epitomized in Ps 86:12— “I give thanks to you, O LORD my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name
forever.” Come, now is the time to worship!

In preparation for Brother James’ class, please think through and write down your thoughts on the following discussion group
questions in relation to each of the Psalm readings listed in the chart below.

Discussion Group Questions for each Psalm reading:
o Who wrote the Psalm and can you describe its literary style?
o What was the author’s relationship with God like at the time of writing?
o What struggles or trials do they appear to have and how does the Psalm help process these?
o How is the author’s view of God illustrated and how does the author express their worship of God?
o Try praying using some of the words of this Psalm and describe how this affected your feelings with God.
o What lessons can we learn from this text about our prayer life and worship – both communal and personal?

Worship God: We Glorify Your Name
Key Passage for Whole Week: Psalm 86:8-12 (to be read out at the end of each session)
Reading Key Verse
Psalm 115 - Not To Us O Lord “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake
But To Your Name of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Ps 115:1 ESV)

Psalm 51 - Then You Will “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O
Delight In Right Sacrifices God, you will not despise.” (Ps 51:17 ESV)

Psalm 86 - The Nations You “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will
Have Made Shall Worship You glorify your name forever.” (Ps 86:12 ESV)

Psalm 116 - Then I Called On “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”
the Name of the LORD (Ps 116:13 ESV)
Psalm 84 - Better Is One Day in “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!” (Ps 84:1 ESV)
Your Courts

Psalm 2 - Blessed Are All Who “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” (Ps 2:11 ESV)
Take Refuge In Him

Psalm 45 - Therefore God Has “You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon
Blessed You Forever your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.” (Ps 45:2 ESV)

Psalm 118 - Blessed Is He Who “You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will
Comes In The Name of the extol you.” (Ps 118:28 ESV)
LORD
Psalm 144 - I Will Sing a New “I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will
Song to You, O God play to you” (Psalm 144:9)
Psalm 113 - The Name of the “Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and
LORD is to be Praised forevermore!” (Ps 113:2 ESV)

Psalm 16 - I Have Set the “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is
LORD Always Before Me fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
(Ps 16:11 ESV)

 Brother Brad’s class will center around Matters of Life and Death.

During this class, discussion will center around prominent Bible contrasts such as light and darkness, life and death,
truth and lies, etc., with a focus on the life and death choice that each of these concepts present. Our goal is to
emphasize the constant need that our efforts be focused on leading others in The Way of Life.

In preparation for Brother Brad’s class, please respond in writing or in audio recordings to the following prompts; answers may
remain anonymous.

 Explain the qualities of the individual(s) and their teaching that made the greatest positive influences in your life
of faith.

 What Bible concept(s) do you find most beneficial to strengthen your faith?

 What might be the greatest hindrance(s) to maintaining your faith over time?

 What do you expect from teachers and speakers to help build your faith over time? From family and
friends? From ecclesial leaders?

Read Psalm 119 and 1 John. Write down your impressions.