April 24, 2017
Dear FBCD Family:
One of the innovations of my interim pastorate that has made a good case to stick around long term has been the First Baptist University (FBU) program on Wednesday nights. As we conclude our second FBU term, it seems a good time to look back and look ahead.
The core idea behind the FBU program has been threefold: to enhance the educational and support program of our church, make use of the wide range of gifted people in and near our church family, and better serve the local Decatur community.
In two "semesters" of FBU so far, I believe we have seen considerable success. Instead of one Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study, we have offered multiple interesting options in two main areas: Christian content (theology, Bible, history, ethics), and support/life skills.
Christian content courses have included:
CS Lewis' Mere Christianity (Bob Williamson), Epistle of James (Keith Pierce), History of the Bible and Development of the English Bible (Bill Fulkerson), and Restorative Justice—mass incarceration and death penalty (Linsey Addington).
Support/Life skills classes have included:
Basic Computer Skills (Randall Hampton, Katie Base Roberts, Aaron McGinnis), Voice (Kathryn Hartgrove), Financial Peace (Matt Visser), Caregiver Support (Ann Murphy), Grief Support (Larry Connelly, Tommye Morris), Marriage Enrichment (Monique Wischusen), LGBTQ Support (Amelia Markham, Theron Clark-Stuart), Loving Someone Addicted (Rob Stanback, Larry Connelly, Debra Dantzler), Total Body Conditioning (Kristian Smith).
I also note that both youth and children's ministries have ramped up their programs for FBU. Dale Doud has offered a children's program on Wednesday nights—FBU Kids, with special music and drama offerings provided by guest leaders.
In terms of numbers, my best estimate is that we averaged around 125 in the first FBU Winter Term, and about 100 in this Spring Term, which concludes this coming Wednesday night.
Please find a chance to thank the FBU teachers who have worked so hard to make these classes a success!
And remember that for May, which has 5 Wednesdays, we will narrow our focus to two adult options: a course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I will lead along with Matt Snyder, and the Total Body Conditioning class. Our Bonhoeffer class will meet in Carreker Hall. The textbook will be Christiane Tietz, Theologian of Resistance. Come on out!
Have a wonderful week — serve Christ, live in the power of God's Spirit!