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Online Orthodox education programme - Printable Version

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Online Orthodox education programme - Paul Harrison - 14-09-2006 03:27 PM

Is the online Orthodox education programme a new thing to go along with the British Orthodox Fellowship or is it something already running? Either way, how can I go about signing up to it?


- admin - 16-09-2006 03:04 PM

Hi Paul

We are certainly working hard to try and develop a coherent educational program which will be of use to members of the Fellowship, and anyone else I guess.

Would you like me to send you one of our draft modules for you to work through and comment on to help us develop them more quickly and more usefully?

The same invitation is open to anyone else.

Peter


- Paul Harrison - 16-09-2006 03:38 PM

Dear Peter

I would like to work through one of your modules. If I can in any way assist you to develop a programme, I am more than happy to do so.


- Guest - 12-02-2007 07:14 PM

I would be most interested in this education programme and would like to receive a Module.


Education Programme - Mark Fletcher - 12-02-2007 08:21 PM

I too would be very interested in this education programme and would like to receive a module, if you think that's appropriate.


- admin - 12-02-2007 09:15 PM

Hi everyone

We are still working hard on producing some instructional materials, but we want them to be of a high quality, and of use to the people who use them - people like yourselves.

It is appropriate that members of the Fellowship be able to feed back directly about the quality and content of the materials we produce to support Fellowship education. So I believe it useful that we discuss things here openly and draw on the widest range of comments from members of the Fellowship and the British Orthodox Church.

I have uploaded one draft module I have produced myself. Some other friends have looked it over and made suggestions. I would value any others here also downloading it and working through it and giving some feedback here.

The module is in pdf format and is here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.britishorthodox.org/Module_2.pdf">http://www.britishorthodox.org/Module_2.pdf</a><!-- m -->

Perhaps you could offer comments on:

i. The academic level of the module. Is it too easy, too hard, or just right?

ii. What about the way it is laid out, the various sections etc?

iii. What about the content? Is it too spiritual or too doctrinal or too historic? Or is it balanced OK.

iv. This is only a work in progress. What topics would you choose if there were a range of modules available?

v. If we were to produce several levels of study, for instance:

a. Introduction level as a broad basis

b. Catechesis for ongoing preparation and investigation

c. Development for those who have joined the Church perhaps

d. Ministry for those entering into various ministries

how long would you expect the Introduction level to last? Four lessons? Six lessons? The idea would be to cover the whole range of Orthodox life and thought very briefly and broadly. Then the Catechesis level would go into more detail.

How would folk think about the Introduction Level containing:

a. What is British Orthodoxy module

b. History module

c. Spirituality module

d. Doctrinal module

e. Tradition module

f. Liturgy module

Not necessarily in that order or containing any of those modules of course? Or is there something missing?

I hope that many people will comment. We can only succeed in producing something useful if we can produce something that people will want to use. So please comment in general, and about the contents of a limited Introduction Level programme.


Introduction Level Programme - Mark Fletcher - 13-02-2007 04:20 AM

Thank you very much for uploading the draft module. The academic level is just right for me, and I feel that you have pitched it "spot on". It's clear and simple, yet not simplistic, and very well written. I enjoyed the quotations and questions and thought that they were most illuminating. The layout is good and pleasing to the eye. It allows room to write stuff at the sides. The content is balanced, in my opinion.

Were a range of modules available, I would try and choose topics which covered all the basics of The Christian Mystery, including important historical considerations like doctrinal development. If you were to produce the levels of study outlined, I think that your plan for the Introduction Level is just right, and the six lesson topics are what is required to simply state the truth in love.

I feel that it would be a mistake to make the material unnecessarily complicated, or people might "miss the wood for the trees". I suppose that you could add a further reading section listing books that people might find helpful should they want to enquire in greater depth on particular topics. The way Bishop Kallistos Ware does it towards the back of his book 'The Orthodox Church' is helpful.

Hope this helps.


Justin Martyr - Mark Fletcher - 13-02-2007 07:06 PM

In particular, I thought the following quotation from Justin Martyr included in the module was an absolute gem:

Quote:Justin Martyr 155 AD

I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are born again in the same manner in which we were ourselves born again. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Except you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers' wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Isaiah the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: "Wash you, make yourselves clean; put away evil from your souls; learn to do good; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, says the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if you refuse and rebel, the Lord shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it."

And for this rite we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.

And this food is called among us the Eucharist [the Thanksgiving], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and for being born again, and who is living as Christ commanded us. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these things; but in as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is my body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is my blood;" and gave it to them alone.



- Guest - 19-02-2007 10:21 PM

Dear Peter,

Yes, I agree with John that any teaching module should also be aimed at people from the Fellowship and of course others. I agree to that the Modules should include an Introduction to Orthodox Life (with a reading list), and Sacramental studies, ie liturgy, which is very different to a main stream Anglican/Catholic Church, which could perhaps step by step take the novice Orthodox through the services used by the church.

Reading through Module 2 this would be the right level for me and is extremely well set out.

I look forward to hearing more and would offer my services to help in any way that I can in the future.

God Bless,

ROBIN


Study Day etc. - John Charmley - 20-02-2007 10:13 PM

Dear Fr. Robin,

It is valuable to have your views here; I am so glad that you think the module is aimed at the right level.

The advantage of taking a modular approach is that it allows two things of value to happen: it allows us to have a number of levels, which means that people can start where they think it appropriate to start; and it allows us to approach the huge topic of Orthodoxy in a form that is less forbidding than it would be otherwise.

You are so right about the Liturgical element; I have come to realise how impoverished my experience as an Anglican was on this area, and long to know more. Fr. Gregory's book on Morning and Evening Incense is an excellent start, and anything more along this line is most welcome.

In Christ,

John


- Rick Henry - 17-07-2007 01:24 PM

Dear All,

After just skimming through module #2, I must say that I am quite impressed, and excited to see this type of program available. I am a strong supporter of all such endeavors that seek to promote education for all, and not just the privileged!

To see this type of resource available which addresses a clear and present need in Christian Education, is both a true blessing and an inspiration to me. This approach really is perfect.

But, my question today, before I give this module a hard read, is who is the author(s) of this? And, possibly as well this is a suggestion for the old suggestion box right off the bat. I like to know who has written what when I am reading it. Admittedly, this may just be a pet peeve of mine, but even with the increasing trend in some documentaries, for example, whereby they begin by throwing a great number of talking heads at you without identifying who these folks are, I have a hard time truly engaging with what is being said, at times, while wondering where it is coming from.

In Christ,
Rick


- admin - 17-07-2007 01:40 PM

Dear Rick

It was I.

We are still trying hard to get our act together with respect to education, not least because I think we understand that a key model of our evangelism in a spirit of generous Orthodoxy is to share what we have received so that others can understand as far as they are able, and in their own time and in their own space, so that we are facilitators in some sense, or co-facilitators with the Holy Spirit, of folk's encounter with Orthodoxy and with Christ.

So we are still working. I know that John is working on a draft module. I am hoping that we can get some sort of semi-firm outline ready quite soon and then a few of us can be tasked by Abba Seraphim to produce the first set of authorised modules.

Peter


learning more about Orthodoxy - vrc - 05-02-2010 10:50 AM

Hello,
I am new to the site, and new in my desire to learn about the Orthodox tradition. I have long felt unfulfilled by Anglicanism, to the point where my links with the Church have at times all but disappeared.

Recent circumstances (unemployment) have given me time to think about things more deeply, and God has taken my prayers and petitions and led me to this. I had no idea we even had an Orthodox tradition here in the UK, other than the Russian and Greek churches (I once went to a Russian Orthodox service in London, and even went to a fund-raising ball in the 1990s!). They were very beautiful, but I left thinking 'this is only for Russian people - I don't understand what is going on'.

Now, with the internet, I can read for myself what 'it' is all about and clearly, this is speaking more to my heart and mind than my previous experiences. I particularly like the the stronger sense that I believe I am seeing of inclusiveness with God through Christ and the very clear sense of being linked to the early church, rather than a sense of mild but polite alienation after centuries of political wrangling to be assuaged by hymn singing. Perhaps my words here are indelicate (maybe even plain wrong), but I am keen to learn more.

Could someone please direct me to the learning modules and let me know what is required for me to embark upon this?

I would also be keen to go on a retreat, or even spend time in seclusion in an Orthodox environment (later in the year), to immerse myself in this spiritual journey a little more. Is there such a place/retreat in the UK?


learning more about Orthodoxy - vrc - 05-02-2010 11:55 AM

Hello,
I am new to the site, and new in my desire to learn about the Orthodox tradition. I have long felt unfulfilled by Anglicanism, to the point where my links with the Church have at times all but disappeared.

Recent circumstances (unemployment) have given me time to think about things more deeply, and God has taken my prayers and petitions and led me to this. I had no idea we even had an Orthodox tradition here in the UK, other than the Russian and Greek churches (I once went to a Russian Orthodox service in London, and even went to a fund-raising ball in the 1990s!). They were very beautiful, but I left thinking 'this is only for Russian people - I don't understand what is going on'.

Now, with the internet, I can read for myself what 'it' is all about and clearly, this is speaking more to my heart and mind than my previous experiences. I particularly like the the stronger sense that I believe I am seeing of inclusiveness with God through Christ and the very clear sense of being linked to the early church, rather than a sense of mild but polite alienation after centuries of political wrangling to be assuaged by hymn singing. Perhaps my words here are indelicate (maybe even plain wrong), but I am keen to learn more.

Could someone please direct me to the learning modules and let me know what is required for me to embark upon this?

I would also be keen to go on a retreat, or even spend time in seclusion in an Orthodox environment (later in the year), to immerse myself in this spiritual journey a little more. Is there such a place/retreat in the UK?


- Antony-Paul - 06-02-2010 03:38 PM

Dear vrc,

It sounds like you are in a similar situation to me (except I am from Rome not Canterbury).

I am fortunately close to one of our priests who has quite a bit of material that may be of use to you.

If you contact him direct I am sure he will help you. You can find all our clergy and church contact details on the BOC website. But try: <!-- e --><a href="mailto:fr.simon.smyth@copticmail.com">fr.simon.smyth@copticmail.com</a><!-- e -->

With love and prayers,
Tony.