SEQUIM — After a few years off, attendees of the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course said it remains as pertinent to their beliefs as ever.
“It looks at the historical, biblical, cultural and strategic purposes of God in the world,” said Associate Pastor Rick Dietzman at Sequim Community Church.
“It discusses the beginning of the Bible to the end, and seeing the big picture of what God is doing in the world and through history.”
For 15 weeks, a different instructor from Washington, state or from across the globe will speak on an array of topics ranging from “The Expansion of the Christian Movement” to “Pioneer Church Planting.”
An introductory class begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sequim Community Church, 950 N. Fifth Ave. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 16, dinners begin at 5:30 p.m. and classes at 6 p.m. through May 8 with a celebration.
The first two nights are free to attend. Course costs will range from $280 to $577. Scholarships may be available.
Sequim Community Church hosted the initial event in 2012 and another in 2014. This time, members of four churches — Sequim Community Church, Dungeness Community Church, Faith Lutheran Church and Independent Bible Church — are organizing the event.
Joanne Meinzen said this will be her third time taking the class and that it’s done a lot for her spiritual walk. She’s joined the Olympic Peninsula Women’s Fellowship and continues to disciple to those around her, including neighbors.
“Because of the class, I feel free to talk to people about what God is doing,” she said.
That includes a now-96-year-old neighbor she and other neighbors have been speaking with and praying for. She said he “came to know the Lord” two years ago.
“[Perspectives] is more of a discipleship class than a missionary class,” she said.
“You go out of here so excited every night wanting to tell everyone what you’ve learned.”
For attendees, there are three levels for the class with different requirements:
• Key Reading, about 20 pages and five personal responses each week.
• Certificate Level, 40 pages of reading and 20 graded questions, and a five page paper at the end.
• College credit, three credit hours.
Cost for the course includes two books, “The Perspectives Reader,” with articles on mission work worldwide, and “The Perspectives Study Guide,” a workbook on the reading.
Depending on the amount of reading chosen and fees paid, participants could be eligible for college theology credits.
Dietzman said “Perspectives” was designed for college students and it has a lot of depth.
“It’s the kind of instruction you can get in a good seminary class,” he said.
“It’s good because you have this variety of speakers with different life experiences and that makes it a very engaging experience.”
Norman Hardie, one of the “Perspectives” leaders from Dungeness Community Church, said the class flies by.
“Before you know it, it’s all over,” he said.
Meinzen said the course has helped bring local pastors together more, and Dietzman agrees.
“It’s definitely helped strengthen [relationships],” he said.
“There aren’t many things where you bring together so many churches.”
When he first took the course, Dietzman said it helped him open his eyes to the church around the world.
“Sometimes it’s depressing thinking maybe the church is shrinking in America but around the world it’s a different story,” he said.
For the 15-week session, organizers hope to have at least 70 people attend.
For more information on course costs, ranging from $280 to $577 and potential scholarships, call Meinzen at 360-683-6560, or visit www.perspectives.org/Sequim S19.
The first two nights are free to attend.
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
After Wednesday, weekly topics are:
• Jan. 16 — The Living God Is a Missionary God.
• Jan. 23 — The Story of His Glory.
• Jan. 30 — Your Kingdom Come.
• Feb. 6 — A mandate for the Nations.
• Feb. 13 — Unleashing the Gospel.
• Feb, 20 — The Expansion of the Christian Movement.
• Feb, 27 — Eras of Mission History.
• March 6 — Pioneers of the World Christian Movement.
• March 13 — The Task Remaining.
• March 20 — How Shall They Hear?
• March 27 — Building Bridges of Love.
• April 10 — Christian Community Development.
• April 17 — The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches.
• April 24 — Pioneer Church Planting.
• May 1 — World Christian Discipleship.
For more information on course costs and potential scholarships, call Meinzen at 360-683-6560 or visit www.perspectives.org/SequimS19.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].