Nature — Our First Way of Knowing God

Video-based Adult Christian Study Curriculum

$75 $25 for the first 300 purchasers thanks to a generous contribution!

Long before there were synagogues, churches or even the Bible, God made God’s self known through the creation. The Scriptures are packed full of examples of people coming to understand God through the fig tree, the sparrow, violent storms, and of course Living Waters. The Celts even name two books of Divine revelation — the Scriptures and the Book of Nature.

Today, we live largely separate and disconnected from the earth and its ecological processes, and yet this knowing of God in and through God’s creation is still embedded deep within us. We experience it in a sunrise or a sunset, an awe-inspiring mountain range or a gentle stream. And we grieve together for the role we have played in the precarious state of the creation today.

This seven-week study is meant to awaken this visceral knowing of the Creator through the creation, reconnect us with the sacred landscapes we call home, encourage us to provide space and time for spiritual reflection in nature, and to live in greater harmony with the God’s earth. Nature — Our First Way of Knowing God includes videos, discussion questions, and a suggested spiritual practice in nature — Try This — for each week that can be done either individually or as a group. The study also encourages participants to examine and transform their own lifestyles to help bring health and wholeness to God’s beloved creation.

Available on download and DVD/CD. Please select format below.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to send DVD orders or spiral-bound guides. Downloads and PDFs are still available.

Idea light bulbTo provide churches an alternative to in-person study groups during this time of social distancing, learn how to use the download versions for remote learning with our How-To Guide For Online Studies.

Product Description

Presenter

Course presenter Dr. David Lowes WatsonBeth Norcross is the presenter and the principal contributor to this course. A native of England, he was educated at Oxford University (M.A.), Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (M.Div.), and Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (Ph.D.). Dr. Lowes Watson has written extensively in the fields of Methodist history and theology, evangelism, and congregational life and mission.


Video Presentations

Session 1: From the Beginning (## min)
Session 2: Provision and Thanksgiving
(## min)
Session 3: The Spirituality of Water
(## min)
Session 4: Connection and Compassion
(## min)
Session 5: Death and Grief in Nature
(## min)
Session 6: Renewal and Response
(## min)
Session 7: Developing a Regular Spiritual Practice in Nature
(## min)


Study and Discussion Guide

Each Study and Discussion Guide unit includes a short reading, discussion questions, and a brief prayer to be used in addition to the video for each session.

Sample Study and Discussion Guide pages:

Sample Study and Discussion Guide pageSample Study and Discussion Guide pageSample Study and Discussion Guide page


Instructional Segments

Session 1: Class Leaders in the Early Methodist Movement

  • Class Leaders in the Early Methodist Movement video (9:25 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 1: Class Leaders in the Early Methodist Movement (PDF)

 

Session 2: The Role and Responsibilities of Class Leaders

  • The Role and Responsibilities of Class Leaders video (9:19 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 2: The Role and Responsibilities of Class Leaders (PDF)

 

Session 3: What are the Qualities of a Good Class Leader?

  • What are the Qualities of a Good Class Leader? video (3:32 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 3: What are the Qualities of a Good Class Leader? (PDF)

 

Session 4: Class Leaders in the Church Today

  • Class Leaders in the Church Today video (6:24 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 4: Class Leaders in the Church Today (PDF)

 

Session 5: The Nature of Discipleship and the Role of Class Leaders

  • The Nature of Discipleship and the Role of Class Leaders video (9:59 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 5: The Nature of Discipleship and the Role of Class Leaders (PDF)

 

Session 6: Helping People Grow as Disciples

  • Helping People Grow as Disciples video (7:31 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 6: Helping People Grow as Disciples (PDF)

 

Session 7: Class Leaders and the Role of Laity in Today’s Church

  • Class Leaders and the Role of Laity in Today’s Church video (5:37 min)
  • Study and Discussion Guide — Session 7: Class Leaders and the Role of Laity in Today’s Church (PDF)

Usage Rights

Nature — Our First Way of Know God is designed for use within a single congregation or charge. To purchase rights for further distribution, please contact the Lewis Center at (202) 664-5700 or lewiscenter@wesleyseminary.edu. Bulk rates are available.