March Newsletter 2021

Dear Friends,

On resurrection Sunday, on their way to the tomb, the women worried about the stone blocking the entrance (Mark 16:1-4). When they arrived, they found that the obstacle in their way was already gone. A new life was beginning, but they had not yet realized the hope of resurrection.

We have grieved and worried so much this year. The resurrection of Jesus has also removed barriers, and a new season of church ministry is over the horizon. Let me share with you three metaphorical stones that once seemed to be obstacles in the way of the church.

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New Video Course from David Fitch: What is the Church? Why It Still Matters

David Fitch has released a new streaming video course! Watch the 2-minute trailer now at SeminaryNow.com. At a time when the church in North America is losing credibility and cultural influence, Professor Fitch offers a new vision and kingdom imagination for how to be the church. The book, What is the Church and Why Does it Still Matter can be purchased now.

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COLLEGE STUDENTS CONSIDER DIVERSITY WITH SEMINARY NOW

In 2020 Dr. Tom Bergler, Professor of Christian Thought and Practice at Huntington University, was looking for materials for several classes that would encourage discussion on issues of race and racism. “These are important issues for all Christians to think about,” he says. He wanted to include content that would help students attend to these topics and consider how the body of Christ should be seeking equality and inclusion for all people.

When Dr. Bergler looked at the offerings from Seminary Now, he was impressed by how strong they are in the areas of diversity, racial issues, and how the church should respond. He also appreciated that the video format of Seminary Now provides variety and interest for students beyond just reading textbooks.

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NEW BOOK CALLS FOR EVERYDAY DISCIPLESHIP AROUND THE TABLE

When Greg Mamula and his family moved to a new neighborhood six years ago, they started inviting neighbors over for meals to get better acquainted. He didn’t realize at the time that these kinds of experiences would inspire DMin research projects and eventually a book.

Mamula, who serves as the Associate Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches (ABC) of Nebraska, recently published Table Life: An Invitation to Everyday Discipleship. “I am writing from a place of being personally and professionally impacted by Table Life,” he says. “I have participated in table fellowship in local churches, small groups, and my own neighborhood. My ministry with the region has given me opportunity to create a whole program for local churches to engage in Table Life. Having seen the impact on my personal life and several local churches led me to believe this was something worth sharing with others.”

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CAN YOU REALLY PARTNER WITH OTHER MINISTRIES?

Written by Tommy Lee, Executive Director of the Grow Center

Partnership seems to be a popular term in Christian circles. When ministry leaders get together I often hear the phrase “let’s find ways to partner together.” I hear donors encourage ministries to “partner together” and not reinvent the wheel. Having been involved in ministry for over a decade now, I find that creating partnerships is easier said than done. It’s actually pretty hard. Often once you get into the details it can get messy and complicated. And when ministries do partner together it’s usually for one project and then they never want to work together again. I think that is why so many ministries or even departments within ministries work in silos.

Why is it so hard to partner together?

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SUPPORT THE NEW NORTHERN 

Today, we stand on the shoulders of these who have gone before us. They cheer us on from the “cloud of witnesses.” By giving to Northern Seminary, you can pass the baton to the next generation of pastoral leaders.

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RECOMMEND A STUDENT TO NORTHERN  

P.S. Have you considered leaving a gift to Northern in your will? Please reach out to Jeff Bope with questions and to discuss further, (630)620-2177 or jbope@seminary.edu.


Your friend,
William D. Shiell
President and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching, Northern Seminary

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