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Seminar at Southminster will explore Christian origins

Church news for Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood

BEAVERTON - The myth of Christian origins maintains that early Christians formed a unified, loving community, but is this really the case? In a program entitled 'Heresy and Orthodoxy in Early Christianity,' scholars of the Jesus Seminar will explore the diversity of the first Jesus followers.

This program, part of the 'Jesus Seminar on the Road' series, is sponsored by Westar Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to religious literacy. It will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 12250 S.W. Denney Road in Beaverton, Oct 7 and 8.

On Friday evening, in a presentation entitled 'From Jesus to Constantine: Disunity to Unity,' Bernard Brandon Scott, Darbeth distinguished professor of new testament at the Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, Okla., will look far back into the mists of emerging Christianity to examine the early conflict and controversy. He will examine the plurality and diversity in early Christian belief and ask why Christianity grew, why it succeeded and how it became unified.

In the Saturday morning workshop (9:30 a.m. to noon), Nina Livesey, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, will examine the stark difference between the book of Acts and Paul. Paul is concerned with the end; Acts with building an institution. So different are these two views that the real Paul would be considered a heretic by the author of Acts.

In the Saturday afternoon workshop (1:30 to p.m.), Scott will explore imperial images to understand the meaning of the Roman empire and then explore the early Christian hymn embedded in Paul's letter to the Philippians for its imperial imagery. Then he will turn his attention to how Constantine turned the church into an empire. Then both presenters will connect the dots, explaining how the emergence of the Christian movement in the first three centuries questions the myth of Christian origins and upsets the orthodoxy model of a pure Christianity despoiled by the heretics. This raises real questions for our modern understanding of Christianity.

All sessions are open to the general public. Registration is $75 for all three events and $50 for additional family members. The individual cost is $20 for Friday evening and $30 each for Saturday morning and afternoon sessions. Registrations can be made through Westar Institute, Willamette University, 900 State St., Salem 97301, by calling toll-free 877-523-3545, or online at westarinstitute.org.

Questions on local arrangements should be directed to Southminster Presbyterian Church, 503-644-2081.

Wednesday is class night at St. Bart's

BEAVERTON - This fall, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 11265 S.W. Cabot St., is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday evenings for a colorful array of activities.

There will be a book discussion of N.T. Wright's 'Surprised by Hope,' facilitated by Ward Nelson. This marvelous book addresses the two-sided coin of Christian hope: what we should expect in this life and what we can expect on the other side. Understanding Christian hope in its fullness, Wright argues, also helps us to reframe our very mission as followers of Christ.

'Out and About in Beaverton' - guest speakers will open doors to the richness of opportunities and good work being done by agencies all over Beaverton (and Washington County) for our elders, our children, our pets, the arts, recreation and the environment. This will be co-hosted by Susan McClain and Assistant Rector Charlotte Wells.

Tai Chi - exercise class with master Kevin Holmes. Tai Chi is a martial art practiced for physical and spiritual health benefits. It is said to promote longevity and is known for being practiced in graceful movements (sounds suitably Episcopalian).

The classes begin at 6:45 and end at 8 p.m. A simple supper is also available at 5:45 for $3 per person.

St. Bart's is a growing and contemporary Episcopal community that combines a rich tradition and heritage, beautiful liturgy and music with progressive social action. All are welcome.

BCC sets parenting seminar Saturday

BEAVERTON - 'Cooperation, Consequences and Keeping Your Sanity,' a parenting seminar featuring Daphne Huffman from the National Center for Biblical Parenting, will be held at Beaverton Christian Church Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

'You don't want to miss this seminar,' said Pastor Dan Ferguson. 'Whether your kids are preschoolers, elementary age, or well into the teenage years, you'll receive practical tools to help build long-lasting character into their hearts. Come learn how to develop cooperation and responsibility. You'll go home with new ideas in mind, and hope in your heart,

'This seminar will focus not just on how to change a child's behavior but rather how to develop your child's heart so that the behavior is guided by a right heart,' Ferguson added.

Some of the topics to be covered include teaching kids to listen and follow instructions; correction ideas that touch the heart; and ending discipline times with impact.

'Bring the whole family. Children through age 12 will learn in fun and exciting ways how they can enhance family life,' he added.

The cost is $20 per adult. Child care will also be provided. People can register online at biblocalparenting.org or by calling 1-800-771-8334.

For more information, contact the Children's ministry office at 503-646-2151 or visit bcc.org.