As the New Year began, we invited church leaders to share with us the gist of their "New Year's sermon," or the theme that will be emphasized in each church in the months ahead. The results have been compiled into an e-book that we hope you'll find interesting. (UPDATE: our most recent contributor is Steve Bell -- see page 15.)

We received sermon or blog summaries from numerous pastors and church leaders, and we continue to welcome your input (this e-book can be easily updated if new content is submitted. "the word in 2010" is yours to enjoy: feel free to save it, print it and share it. All we ask is that this book be shared without alteration or editing (see the copyright notice on the back cover).

Click on the cover to begin reading (right-click to save).



Thank you to each contributing writer! And be sure to be part of a larger compilation when we'll do the same thing for 2011!


Healthy Soul Conference

Urban Sanctuary has released details of the upcoming Healthy Soul Conference, to be offered cooperatively with the E P Wahl Centre. To register online or to read more in depth about this event, visit the Urban Santuary website.

Conference Purpose
We desire to provide a retreat experience in a conference setting that gives you a taste of Urban Sanctuary’s first step in spiritual formation. Our hope is that this beginning will whet your appetite for further steps. You will receive a handbook that can be used after the conference with friends or your small group to deepen your experience of spiritual growth. 

Edmonton “Becoming a friend of God” with Len Thompson, director of Urban Sanctuary
conference price $70
student price $40
register online at
for more info, call 780-477-5731 or email

Note: register a group of 7 and receive 15% off, register before February 24 and save $10


All events will be held at West Meadows Baptist Church:

friday, march 12 (start time at 7pm)

Session #1 - A Disappointing Adolescent Start

Breakout Discussions

Session #2 - A Humbling Journey Home

saturday, march 13 (start time at 9am)

Session #3 - A New Adult Friendship

Breakout Discussions

Session #4 - Fellowship at the Supper Table


Session #5 - Invited on a Journey

Breakout Discussions

Session #6 - A Partnership Offer


About Len Thompson
Len is the director of Urban Sanctuary, an adjunct faculty at Taylor Seminary and the author of a series of small group study guides on spiritual formation.

Taylor has added a new course for the winter term -- Anglican History and Thought. The Anglican Communion is one of the largest and most influential Christian communities in the world, and this course will trace the origins and developments that have made this movement what it is today. The draft syllabus is below, and to inquire further about this (or any) course at Taylor Seminary, email us at

NEW! Click here to see a video in which Dr. Schmidt discusses the course with Tim Willson, Taylor's Communications Director.


Taylor Seminary

CH 524 Anglican History and Thought

Winter Semester 2010 Syllabus (unofficial)

– To develop Christ-minded leaders who make a difference in the world –

INSTRUCTOR:               Darren Schmidt, Ph.D.

                                                Office Phone: 780-431-5769



SCHEDULE:    Tuesdays, 8:20–10:00


CREDITS:          2




An introduction to the historical development of the Anglican Church and Anglicanism, from the sixteenth century to recent times.



At the successful completion of this course the student should have:

1)    grasped the main outlines of Anglican history and thought;

2)    enhanced their awareness of, and appreciation for, Anglican faith and practice;

3)    gained a sense of the relevance and meaning of Christian history to personal Christian understanding and modern-day church life and issues.




Readings will consist of selected chapters, articles, and primary source readings from a variety of sources. These will be made available to students at the beginning of the semester, with a nominal fee to cover printing expenses, as well as via reserve reading in the library.




1) Reading                                                                                                                                                    25 hours


Assigned reading should be done prior to the weekly lecture time, to serve as important background to the subject of the lecture. Class discussion will be a regular feature of lecture times; students should be prepared to contribute to discussions.


2) Reading Journals                                                                                                                                    5 hours


In addition to other assigned readings, five primary source readings of note will be distributed (one week in advance) by the instructor, to serve as a basis for scheduled discussions during class time. Prior to the designated class discussion, write a one- to two-page summary of the reading in question, identifying the historical context in brief (using textbook readings and additional sources if necessary), the main points, and both the historical and contemporary significance of the reading. These summaries should be handed in at the end of the lecture. If unable to attend the lecture, the journal assignment should be handed in at the seminary office or e-mailed to the instructor by the day of the lecture; late penalties will apply.


3) Research Paper                                                                                                                                   20 hours

Conduct research and write an analytical paper on an individual figure or on a particular event or aspect from Anglican history. If interested in writing a biographical paper, you may either select from the list provided in the first week of class by the instructor, or suggest an individual of your own choosing, subject to the instructor’s approval. Other topics, again subject to approval, might include a particular congregation / parish or regional / national church (i.e. the Anglican church in Canada, Ireland, or Nigeria), movement or organization (i.e. the Oxford Movement / Tractarianism, the Church Missionary Society, the Alpha Movement), a key event or issue (i.e. the Great Ejection of Puritan-leaning ministers under King Charles II, or debates at a particular Lambeth conference of Anglican bishops), or the historical development of an Anglican distinctive (such as the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Anglican understandings of the Eucharist, or the concept of the Anglican “middle way” (via media) in doctrinal and practical matters).


Besides giving an historical account of the person or subject, this assignment involves the tasks of critical analysis and interpretation. How have various authors approached the subject? Do you agree or disagree with their assessment? How is the history important in relation to the present day? Interpretations can vary significantly: for example, the sixteenth-century lives of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer or John Foxe will look quite different depending on the context and perspective of the author / historian evaluating them. Where possible, seek out a variety of sources and attempt to explain the variances of interpretation: for example, you might compare accounts by Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, or modern academic authors, or use two or more Anglican histories published in different time periods.


Please follow the Seminary’s Guide for Research and Writing (SBL style) (available from the library) for formatting all components of the paper, including title page, footnotes and bibliography. The bibliography should consist of at least five substantial sources, including encyclopaedia entries, academic articles and books, and comprehensive church histories. The paper is due at the beginning of class on the day of your presentation.


(2000 words)                                                                                               Due Date: Various


3) Presentation                                                                                                                                             4 hours

Present the core research of your paper to the class. The purpose of the presentation is not only to accurately represent the history, but also to be creative and engaging. What is the essence of your study, and what are some of the most interesting or relevant aspects? How might we understand your subject’s place within the broad sweep of Christian history? Students are encouraged to use audio-visual aids (PowerPoint, art, music, costumes, dramatic monologues, etc.) to enhance the presentation and facilitate good communication. Please be concise: the presentation will be limited to 15 minutes, plus some time for questions.


Provide a one-page handout for members of the class which summarizes the major points of the presentation. Submit the handout to the instructor well in advance of the class if you wish it to be photocopied. Also, please advise the instructor if any technology is required, such as PowerPoint, TV/VCR, etc.


Note: students will not be tested on material from these presentations in the final exam.


4) Final Exam (two hours, held during exam week)                                                 6 hours




Late assignments will incur a penalty of 5% per day (not including weekend days) for a period of one week, after which the assignment will not be accepted and a zero grade will be given. Extensions are considered only for verified medical or family emergencies; these must be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible.




Reading Journal                                                                       15%

Research Paper                                                                         25%

Class Presentation                                                                   15%

Participation                                                                              15%

Final Exam                                                                                 30%



DATE         TOPIC
Jan. 19     1. Introduction to Anglicanism; Ancient English Christianity
Jan. 26     2. The English Reformation, 1517–1564
Feb. 2     3. Foundational Documents: The Royal Acts, The Articles and Homilies, The Book of Common Prayer
Feb. 9     4. The Age of Elizabeth: Catholics, Puritans, and the via media
Feb. 16     5. Spirit & Flesh: Politics & Puritanism from James I to Charles II
Feb. 23     6. Glorious Revolution to Great Awakening: Order, Toleration, and Reasonable Religion
Mar. 2     7. “Revival,” 1730s to 1790s: The Evangelical Awakening and the Church’s Response
Mar. 9     8. The Colonial Church, beginnings to the American Revolution
Mar. 16     9. Revolution and Expansion, 1770s–1830s: Church Order, Politics, Evangelicals and Missions
Mar. 23     10. High Church Revival: The Oxford Movement / Tractarianism
Mar. 30     Reading Week – no class
Apr. 6     11. The Church in the Victorian Age
Apr. 13     12. Worldwide Anglicanism, latter 19th century to WWII
Apr. 20     13. The Anglican World, WWII to present

The E P Wahl Centre invites you to be with us Tuesdays at Taylor for onWORD, a series that features a variety of outstanding Bible teachers, speakers and authors.

January 5, 12: Dr. Jerry Shepherd will introduce the genre of Wisdom Literature in the Old  Testament, with a special focus on the book of Proverbs. What do we mean by “wisdom” in the Old Testament?  How can we tell the difference between wisdom and folly (which can sometimes look a lot alike!)? The second session will look at some of the problems raised by the wisdom literature, especially in the books of  Job and Ecclesiastes.  What do we do when some of the wisdom statements in the book of Proverbs don’t seem to be actually working out? See bio below.

January 19, 26: Rev. Neil Gordon will lead a journey through the Song of Songs. Often overlooked in Bible study because of its brevity and its subject matter, this scriptural work is a rich view of ancient Hebrew psychology, the nature of intimacy, and the  dynamics of desire (either for a beloved or the Beloved). This study will look at authorship, structure, canonicity, and content, as well as the wide variety of interpretations of this work.
The Rev. Neil Gordon is currently Rector of St. Thomas Anglican Church in Sherwood Park and studied at Trinity College at the University of Toronto.  He has had a life long interest in the Bible, especially in the Hebrew scriptures and in innovative ways of teaching and understanding the word of God.

February 2, 9: Mary Kassian will discuss one particular aspect of the Book of Proverbs, contrasting wise and foolish women in Proverbs 7. Mary is just about to release her latest book Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. It's a compelling study of 21 points of contrast, helping you discern the difference between wild and wise: are you are living as a wise person, or have you bought into the lifestyle our culture holds as ideal?
Mary Kassian is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary. You can visit her website here.

February 16: Dr. Jerry Shepherd brings the Wisdom Literature series to a close with a look at how Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the wisdom of God, as depicted in the poems, songs, discourses, proverbs and laments of the Old Testament. We will try to understood more fully what Paul meant when he said that Christ has become for us “the wisdom of God.”
Dr. Jerry Shepherd is an Old Testament scholar and a popular professor at Taylor Seminary. He was a contributing writer for the “The Expositor's Bible Commentary” (Zondervan, 2008).