Prerequisites: None required. Strongly recommended: Reading and familiarity with William Willimon’s This We Believe, in preparation and readiness to lead discussion on Wesleyan faith and practice for Lenten study, beginning this Monday evening. Also, reading and understanding of John Wesley’s article The Character of a Methodist, as provided by Carol in preparation for same. Also, knowledge and familiarity with Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, and readiness to interpret Wesleyan faith and practice in its context. Also, prayer. Preferably without ceasing.

Assignment: Using all of the above sources, as well as personal experience, reason, tradition, and church teaching both local and institutional, integrate Christian practice into daily life. Be prepared to discuss whether there is a contradiction between (1) Wesley’s insistence that the distinguishing marks of a Methodist in no way include opinions of any sort, nor peculiar words or phrases, actions, customs, or usages, and (2) the existence and content of Willimon’s book describing the distinguishing marks of a Methodist. Keep in mind the examples, both positive and negative, from the lives of Christians you encounter, and that you are also an example to your fellow students. Be prepared to be challenged on this point, as well as on all other points.

Required elements in this assignment include loving God; loving neighbor; the active practice of doing good in any and all ways; the avoidance of doing harm in any and all ways; and the cultivation and regular maintenance of practices enabling faithful living: prayer, worship, communion (as available), searching the scriptures, and fasting (please include research on a variety of practices, along with your references).

Due: Daily. In-person examinations weekly, on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and most Saturdays. Formation of study groups is highly encouraged and may in fact be necessary for successful navigation of this course.

Extra credit: Demonstrate, with and without discussion, whether Christian practice is in fact integrated into daily life, or the converse.

Please be advised: Likely outcomes of participating in this course include not only intellectual challenge and growth, but more notably joy, deepened love, heightened frustration levels, anger, strengthened community, intense need for forgiveness and to forgive, confusion, differences of opinion and potential for heated discussion, weeping, grief, peacefulness, torment, sense of mission, life disruption, misunderstanding, being used (by others in ways you will not enjoy), being used (for good), feelings and actual experience of not fitting in with the rest of the world, unexpected travel, spending and being spent, and participation in the Kingdom of God on earth. Also, a lasting discomfort with owning more than two silver spoons.

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