The new year 2023 has so far been a whirlwind for us at the Center for Christian Studies. On January 9, we kicked off our first live, weeks-long course: “Glorify God with Your Body: Christian Sexual Ethics.” It is a seven-week course held every Monday evening in Austin, but with a Zoom option for those at a distance. We have 62 registrants who attend each week to learn from four different teachers about Christianity and sexuality in the 21st century.
On the weekend of January 20–21, CCS hosted a church leaders retreat for the elders and ministry staff of West Side Church of Christ, Searcy, Arkansas. I will say more about that retreat in a later blog post, but it was a wonderful time of renewal and fellowship.
On January 24–25, I represented CCS by speaking at the Texas Ministry Impact Conference at East Side Church of Christ in Austin. I was asked to speak on the topic of sexual ethics, which, I have noticed, is a topic in high demand these days—and for good reason. We are pleased to be able to help churches and Christian leaders think through these important issues that confront all of us in various ways.
The January 2023 issue of the Journal of Christian Studies was published and shipped out. This issue was focused on biblical studies, and it included five thought-provoking articles on the theme of the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue.
We also released a new video series on Teaching Bible Classes. In this series, Todd Hall and I discuss the challenges, concerns, goals, and nuts and bolts of teaching adult classes in a congregational setting. Every church that has teachers and wants to equip new ones will want access to these videos. We are still offering a 50% discount on subscriptions to our video collection, but that discount won’t be valid much longer, as we continue to add new series to the site.
Of all we have to be grateful for at the beginning of this year, at the top of my list are the faithful CCS donors. Their support and generosity have made it possible to get CCS started—from nothing!—and grow into a ministry that blesses so many people today. We launched the McNicol–Weed Endowment, and in the first four months we have raised $102,000. We are just over halfway to our goal of $200,000.
In 2022, our first full calendar year of operation, CCS received gifts from 75 different donors (or donor family units), doubling the 37 we had by the end of 2021. Included among these donors are four congregations.
For 2023, we would like to add another 38 donors to our list of supporters. And we would like to double the number of congregations that support the mission of CCS.
We thank these 75 donors for their continuing support.
If you do not yet support CCS, please consider making this a regular part of your charitable giving. If your congregation does not yet support CCS, tell your leaders about our resources, share our website, and get us in contact with them. Only through such supporting partnerships can CCS continue to provide—and expand—this high level of reliable scholarship for the church through videos, live instruction, journals, and books.