Week Four

26 November 2012 / Leiturgia

This week we’re going to be working with the curriculum Harris calls leiturgia. There are lots of ways to think about worship and prayer, and indeed you have other classes devoted to these elements of Christian life. In this setting, we’re going to focus on some basic ideas about what prayer is, how we experience it, how we can invite people into various practices of prayer, and so on.

This week I’ve recorded two separate videos, one which reflects on our work last week, and one which looks forward to what we will be doing this week. Before you start listening to them, please download the learning rubric handout, and make sure you still have the Vella handout and the trio of triads handout available.

Also, I wil mention in the first video four websites: Feautor.org, VibrantFaith’s Faith Formation Learning Exchange, the Practicing Our Faith site, and the MinistryToChildren site.

Video reflection part one:


Video reflection part two:


There are two foci for our work together this week. One is an episode of Glee, and one is a physical exercise I’d like you each to try at home.

Concerning Glee:

You need to begin by watching the episode in its entirety. If you’re unfamiliar with this tv show, you might first read about it in the wikipedia. Then reflect on the episode with at least the following questions: How is prayer represented in that episode? What kinds of things do various characters think prayer involves, and how do various characters imagine relationships with God in the midst of that prayer?

Now, think about Roberto’s four scenarios, and see if you can place various characters in the scenarios. How might you approach teaching prayer to people in each scenario? How would you define prayer for them? What might be one form of prayer that you would recommend trying with people who live in that scenario?

Make sure that you spend some time thinking about the triad of “confirmation, contradiction, continuity”: how, if at all, do you see that dynamic playing out with any of the characters on the show?

Concerning embodied knowing:

I’d like you to try this short physical exercise, which is an embodied — or kinesthetic — kind of learning. It will take about 15 minutes to do, and you should try it with enough space around you in front of your computer so that you can move freely. (Don’t be alarmed that the page begins by talking about a book that you haven’t read. I originally put this exercise together online for a different course.)

One caution before trying this, however: if at any point you feel something that is too difficult to sustain, please do not continue the exercise and seek some appropriate counsel.

Individual work

Watch the episode of Glee entitled “Grilled Cheezus.”

Take the book quiz which involves both the Jacobson Book of Faith text, and your core foundation textbook.

Now would also be a good time to make sure that you’ve started your portfolio, and in particular, have at least done the basic self assessment on competencies.

By Friday, participate in the large group discussion.

Group work

This week I want you to practice a form of religious education which John Roberto calls “curation.” Spend some time searching the Net for interesting ways to teach prayer.

I’m putting you into pairs, and asking each pair to focus on what it might mean to teach about prayer, or to teach a form of prayer, to someone in the scenario your pair has been assigned. The pairs are: Scott and Tim (scenario 1), Michelle and Rachel (scenario 2), Jack and Jerome (scenario 3), and Tom and Cullen (scenario 4).

As a pair use the Vella learning principles, and the learning unit rubric, to think about how the examples you’re finding are helpful, and ways in which they might be problematic. Choose the example that you decide is the best one, and share it with the larger group, offering some rationale for why you chose it and how you think it would work with people in your scenario. Please also reflect briefly on what you learned in the process of trying to do this, and please do this by Wednesday at midnight.

You can do this work via email, skype or phone. I don’t need to “watch” your pair work, but please feel invited to email me with any questions or concerns you might have.