Number of weeks: 2
Required books?: Yes
Live video session?: No
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
In our world, in our nation, in our neighborhoods, in our schools and businesses, even in our congregations, there is too much fear. The bruising political campaign we endured last year is only the most obvious expression of it. What can we do, as followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to encourage safety and peace in our own locations, beginning with our own hearts?
This short course is a beginning, considering Jesus’ call to love, not fear, not tolerate, but love Others, because Jesus has loved us. It is a journey that is very relevant to today’s world.
Required Materials: Participants must purchase the excellent new book, Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love by Bishop William H. Willimon, which is not included in the course fee.
This new course is currently under consideration by Discipleship Ministries to be an official Lay Servant Ministries advanced course. In the meantime, conferences and districts may choose to recognize this class for LSM credit apart from Discipleship Ministries. Ask your district Lay Academy director about this possibility.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Rev. Beth Galbreath is a United Methodist deacon whose interest in interfaith dialogue and understanding has grown over a lifetime. Her strong Christian and United Methodist identity has been stretched and blessed by some religious diversity within her own family!
She has not only studied Islam, Judaism and other world faiths academically, but she has traveled in Israel/Palestine, Jordan and Turkey in the company of renowned interdisciplinary scholar and teacher Dr. James Fleming (whose 30-year ministry of “peace through tourism” in Jerusalem continues in Georgia), along with Muslim and Jewish guides.
Rev. Galbreath has served in a church which housed a Shia Muslim congregation, and as coordinator of Chicago’s Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories she led efforts to connect the two congregations through a wonderful evening of exchanging some of our sacred stories (with potluck). As vice president of the Nework of Biblical Storytellers International, she shares its belief that telling and listening to one another’s stories is a major route to understanding and peace. This class is rooted in some of the stories that all three faiths share, and shares some that are unique, as we encounter Islam and Judaism as siblings of Christianity.
Beth serves on the pastoral leadership team of Compassion UMC, a new church plant in Brookfield, IL, and Crossroads of Life Prison Faith Community, an effort to plant a new congregation within the walls of a women’s prison. If successful, the prison community will certainly be an ongoing opportunity for interfaith dialogue.