Dr. Kathy Black

The Christian Year

The narrative, drama, symbols, emotions, theologies and practices of the Christian Year is explored as well as its relevancy for us today.

The Emerging Church

What is it? What does it look like? How do they worship? Who is involved in it? What can we learn from this movement?

Ministry with Persons with Disabilities

How can our churches be more accessible in being in ministry with persons who live with a wide variety of disabilities?  What biblical and theological assumptions contribute to the oppression of persons with disabilities and which ones offering healing and wholeness?

Paraliturgies for Remembering and Healing

Paraliturgies are those worship services/rituals that take place outside the sanctuary at times other than Sunday mornings.  They may be designed for someone who has to give up the car keys because driving has become too dangerous.  Or it may be a service of remembrance on the anniversary of a traumatic event in the life of a community.  Or it may be a ritual designed for a family gathered around a hospital bed as a loved one is removed from life support.   What are design principles for paraliturgies?  Who should design them?  How are they implemented?

Planning your Own Funeral Service

While this may seem a rather morbid topic for a church group to consider, it is precisely what Christians should be doing – helping others to celebrate their life as they pass over into the heavenly realm of God.  We talk about funerals as a Service of Death and Resurrection because we believe in an afterlife in union with God.  You know best what your favorite hymns are, your favorite scripture passages, who you want to help lead the service, what special music or poetry you may want included.  Clergy are thrilled to have input from the one whose life the community is celebrating because your family may not know, and if they do know, they are grieving and can’t always remember.  We will face the topic of Christian death head on and examine a variety of resources for service design.

Comparative Yearly Cycles of Christians, Muslims, and Jews

Shared narratives, symbols, theological concepts and spiritual practices are discussed as the Christian Year is compared with the Muslim Year and the Jewish Year.  Themes discussed with be: times of preparation, repentance, inner reflection, atonement, acts of justice and mercy, fasting and feasting.