simulation

VIDEO: Host Your Own Agape Meal

In “Bringing the Word to Life” in the April 2014 issue, Sojourners senior associate editor Julie Polter reviews Creating a Scene in Corinth, by Reta Halteman Finger and George D. McClain. Combining cultural research with a dose of creative fun, the book leads church groups in simulations to explore the apostle Paul's letter to the church in Corinth.

To help you understand what a simulation from the book looks like, the staff at Sojourners hosted their own agape meal described in the book. This ancient church meal, or “supper of the Lord,” celebrates fellowship and the church.

Follow along with these simple steps outlined in the video to learn how to host your own agape meal.

Video credits: Rebecca Kraybill (director) and Ben Sutter (videographer and film editor)
Music: "Celtic Impulse" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Rebecca Kraybill is the editorial assistant for Sojourners. Ben Sutter is the online assistant at Sojourners.

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Bringing the Word to Life

ONE YEAR MY small group decided to have each member choose a person named or alluded to in the gospels to “follow” during Lent. We researched our people and the customs of that time and reflected individually and collectively on their encounters with Jesus. Then we hosted a community meal for family and friends on the night before Easter. Each member of our group came in character as the person we’dstudied and tried to recreate the mood of that frightening, confusing, grief-filled night for followers of Jesus after his death and before his resurrection. After the meal, each of us presented a monologue that tried to project what our person might have been thinking and experiencing at that time.

The attempt to immerse mind, soul, and body into scriptures that I had listened to for much of my life (but perhaps hadn’t really heard) was a transformative experience: It burned away long-held assumptions and revealed new facets of chapter and verse.

The book Creating a Scene in Corinth: A Simulation, by Sojourners contributing editor Reta Halteman Finger and George D. McClain, provides a useful and fun toolbox for small groups, Sunday schools, religion classes, and even imaginative individuals who want their own full-immersion experience of scripture and biblical scholarship. It invites readers to a deeper understanding of the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth by using role play to “become” members of the different factions of that community as they hear Paul’s words read for the first time. The authors assert that “as we more clearly experience what Paul meant in the first century, we can better understand what his writings mean in our 21st century context.”

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Pennsylvania Pastor and Church Charged in Mock Raid, Kidnapping

RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News

John Lanza, pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church. RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News

It was supposed to be a realistic lesson on the dangers missionaries sometimes face overseas.

But after a mother’s complaint that her teen daughter was injured and terrorized during a mock terrorist kidnapping staged by the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara, Pa. it might be up to a criminal jury to decide whether the church crossed the line.

Almost four months after the fake raid and complaint by the mother of a 14-year-old girl identified only as K.T., police on July 27 charged Youth Pastor Andrew Jordan and, in an unusual move, the church itself.

Jordan and the Glad Tidings church are charged with one count of false imprisonment and one count of simple assault.

While at least one legal expert said charging the church is novel, authorities said they felt they had to act to protect other children.

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