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Past Events in 2013 on the TransformingTheChurch.org Website

The following notable events took place in 2013. The events are expired and carried here for archival purposes only.

We're Doing Some Renovations to the Public Website

We are performing some renovations to the public website to use the new features recently added to our content management system. This work will be done this week and next. You may notice some of the changes and some will be only in the behind-the-scenes structure. Also, we will be adding new content about our upcoming courses for the summer and fall terms. We will try not to be disruptive while we work.

Now Running: "Lent: Dying, Rising, and Living Anew"

RL-02_rick_image_1_cropped_200w.jpgGetting ready for Lent involves some thinking, praying and setting the stage for the changes that we hope to introduce into our lives in the weeks ahead.  Even though we may think we may be hidden away until we are ready, we find in the Hebrew Scriptures of the First Testament that God is not waiting around for the seasons to change.

 God is relentless: From the first day of Lent, the Ash Wednesday, the Scriptures we hear (and read and study) make God’s call to us clear: “Return to me with your whole heart.” The first month of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere may seem too soon to begin thinking about Spring, and the lengthening of days which we know as the “Lenten Season.” But it isn’t…especially not for the busy pastor who will be faced soon enough with “Ash Wednesday."

RL-02_rick_image_2_250w.jpgAnd this is why Christian College of Georgia and TransformingTheChurch.org have partnered to prepare a way for busy pastors and all others who are seeking a depth of understanding of the First Testament Scriptures which are our “highway in the wilderness” leading us to Easter. We have endeavored to make this course as RELEVANT and as ACCESSIBLE to as many Pastors as possible. Our pricing is set in order to ensure that even those on a “lean” professional development or educational budget can participate. This is not only fresh, new content for Lenten preparation, but affords several hours of direct interaction with the instructor/scholar.

RL-02_rick_and_linda_image_1_cropped_250w.jpgJoin us in this weekly journey of video lectures by Dr. Rick Lowery, followed by video dialogue between Rick and his pastor, The Reverend Linda McCrae, as we prepare ourselves for the experience of study and preparation like the early church prepared converts before baptism on Easter Eve. What better way to discover meaning for TODAY than to join with colleagues in this video course and its weekly live conference calls with Dr. Lowery in advance of each Sunday’s text.

The course will consist of six weekly video-on-demand sessions, each featuring Dr. Lowery's lecture and a discussion of the text between Dr. Lowery and Rev. McCrae. Also included in the course will be six weekly live conference calls with Dr. Lowery for interactive discussions and Q&A.

The six live session will be:

  • January 31 at 11 A.M. CST - Covering VOD Session #1 for Ash Wednesday.
  • February 7 at 11 A.M. CST - Covering VOD Session #2 for the first Sunday in Lent.
  • February 14 at 11 A.M. CST – Covering VOD Session #3 for the second Sunday in Lent.
  • February 21 at 11 A.M. CST - Covering VOD Session #4 for the third Sunday in Lent.
  • February 28 at 11 A.M. CST - Covering VOD Session #5 for the fourth Sunday in Lent.
  • March 7 at 11 A.M. CST - Covering VOD Session #6 for the fifth Sunday in Lent.

Click here to order the course online for sermon prep for $79.99 per student.
Click here to see a free video sample of this course.
Click here for course details.
Click here for the flyer PDF file.
Click here for the brochure PDF file.
Click here to read the course syllabus.
Click here to read press release #1.
Click here to read about Rick Lowery.
Click here to read about Linda McCrae.
Click here to read the anticipated course outcomes.

Also Available for Bible Study Groups

For this Lenten season, we are offering "Lent: Dying, Rising, and Living Anew" to support Bible study groups. We have configured two additional specialized products to facilitate groups want to use our materials for a congregation-wide Lenten studies:

  • A Group Public-Use License that trains a Group Leader and provide a special license for viewing the course's videos in a group setting (more below.)
  • An Individual Access License for Members of a Group that allows each member of a group their own user account and the right to view the videos on their own outside of the group setting (more below.)

Click here to order the Group Public-Use License for $99.99 per group.
Click here to order the optional Individual Access License for Members of a Group for $12.99 per user.

Group Public-Use License

Normally, our courses are licensed for individual use; for being used by a single student or, occasionally, a husband-and-wife ministry team.

To support the use of our courseware in group settings such as Bible studies or small-group exercises, we also provide a Group Public-Use License which allows our video to be shown to groups of people in a church setting.

An example of the use of a Group Public-Use License would be for a group of congregants meeting together in a church- or middle-judicatory setting to watch our videos over a series of weeks (typically viewing one video per week) and, while in the group setting, discuss the material among the group while being facilitated by a group leader.

A single Group Public-Use License covers a group meeting in a single defined venue (a church, a ministry group, etc.) and lasts for the duration of the course (five weeks, six weeks, etc.) Also, the organization hosting the group and using the Group Public-Use License is welcome to assemble a group of any size from several people to hundreds of people.

A Group Public-Use License cost a few dollars extra to help defray the production costs of the courseware. In exchange, the group can “legally” show the video to the entire group with the blessings of the course’s copyright holder. Additionally, each of our Group Public-Use License includes one normal license for the Group Leader. Using this normal license, the Group Leader can participate in the fully-interactive course and Virtual Classroom where the interactive activities with other students and instructors will help prepare the Group Leader to lead the Bible Study or small group. It is assumed that each group will need at least one leader. However, if more leaders are desired, additional Group Leaders can be trained through the purchase of as many additional normal licenses as needed.

Individual Access License for Members of a Group

Individual participants of a group covered by the Group Public-Use License DO NOT receive the right to individually log into the Virtual Classroom and stream our video individually. The Group Public-Use License only covers playing the videos in a public group situation from the Group Leader’s account BY the Group Leader. Individual members of the group cannot access the Group Leader’s account.

However, for a small additional fee, each member of a group can purchase access to a specialized Virtual Classroom to view our videos from their home or offices outside the meeting times of the group. Individual Access Licenses provides the individual members of a group with their own access whenever they wish during the term of the class. Using this option, each individual member of a group can view or review our videos as many times as they wish. Also, the specialized Virtual Classroom provides limited interactive functions such as an interactive Class Forum and a few other functions that allow direct participation for the individual members of the members of the group.

Individual Access Licenses for Members of a Group are highly recommended for every member of a group. They have proved very successful for groups and are very popular. However, they are optional. Typically, certain cohorts of a group (those without personal computers or broadband connections) can be served by the public viewing and within-the-group discussion of the Group Public-Use License WITHOUT the individual access option. However, for those members of the group with the technical resources to benefit, Individual Access Licenses for Members of a Group provide a great benefit for a very small fee for each user.

See Our 2012 Christmas Card

2012_christmas_card_200w.jpgIt is Bill Anderton's long-time tradition to make a short video production to serve as a Christmas card to be used on his websites during Christmastide. We are this year's host for his 2012 Christmas card.

From December 22 to December 27, this video was used in the main masthead of the home page of this website to greet our visitors. On December 27, the placement of the video was retired to this standalone page where is can now be seen.

This year's Christmas Card features a photo-realism-style 3-D animation with a sound track composed of sound effects and the carol "What Child Is This" played on a simple music box.

Click here to see this year's Christmas Card and read its backstory.

Coming Soon: The Next Class With Dick Hamm

This is a fully-interactive media-rich online learning course composed of five high-quality video-on-demand sessions and five one-hour fully-interactive sessions with Dr. Hamm. In addition, participants are provided with an interactive online learning community to discuss classes and application topics with other students under the supervision of Dr. Hamm. As a bonus, the course includes a sixth video-on-demand session that is a music concert by John Tracy singing songs about change and personal transformation.

"Recreating The Church: Leadership For The Post-Modern Age," by Dr. Richard (Dick) Hamm, is intended for clergy, lay leaders and members of church congregations. This course is based on the book, also by Dick Hamm, of the same title, TCP Leadership Series, Chalice Press, 2007 and supplemented by up-to-date findings from recent consultation. Click here for details.

This five-session on-line course helps us make sense of the new context in which we of the church find ourselves, provides practical models by which to understand how our congregations need to change, describes a visioning process by which we can discover what God is calling the church to be and do now, and provides practical advice and counsel to those who provide leadership for change.

Click here for details.

Click here to register for the course.

Click here for a larger version.

We're Working On a New Upgrade for New Capabilities

During our holiday break and before the start of the next set of classes after the New Year, we are completing a significant upgrade to our TeleWorship Content Delivery Network (CDN) and its media servers. As I write this story, we are working on the upgrade and should be completed and tested over the holidays.

We have been operating Adobe’s Flash Media Sever (FMS) family for a number of years; most recently FMS v4.5. Adobe has recently upgraded this product and renamed it to be Adobe Media Server 5 (AMS 5). The FMS name has been retired. However, the new upgrade to AMS 5 is much more than just a new name.

AMS 5 retains all of the FMS 4.5 features as well as add many new features that are important to our future for providing advanced streaming media services and interactive applications to any device. We are currently working to implement AMS 5 Extended on all of our servers. Click here to see the data sheet.

AMS 5 will allow us to continue to provide advanced Adaptive Streaming services to our Windows and Mac personal-computer users but to also provide these same services to users with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets include Apple’s iOS devices and Android devices.

AMS 5 will also add additional security features and support for new protocols that will allow us to begin to converge our live conferencing and collaboration services to a common set of servers for the first time. Also, using AMS 5 features, we are beta testing exciting new interactive features and functions such as “social streaming” that will become a regular feature of our Connected Community.

Additional announcements and news will be posted soon. We are planning to do some Connected Community Free Events early in the new year to demonstrate our new capabilities.