The Rev. Dr. Tom Butler, pastor of Sparks United Methodist Church in Nevada, has authored a course being offered through United Methodist Communications' (UMCom) Online Learning Center (www.moodle.umcom.org). The course, Let Her Keep It, is subtitled "A New Approach to the Study of the Gospel According to John."
Let Her Keep It is a 10-week study of three stories from the Gospel According to John: The Raising of Lazarus, The Anointing of the Feet of Jesus by Mary of Bethany, and The Washing of the Feet of the Disciples by Jesus.
Upon completion of the course, Butler says, students will be able to identify Mosaic oracles (called "signs" in the Gospel) embedded within the narrative of these Gospel stories, find the original setting and meaning (primarily in the Septuagint version of the Torah) of these oracles, and discern the hidden meaning woven into the Gospel text through these oracles.
This method of studying these three stories (applicable to studying the entire text of the Gospel According to John) will help the student discern a hidden storyline that reveals how Jesus replaced the Mosaic Temple, the Mosaic Festivals of Sacrifice, and the Mosaic Priesthood. Let Her Keep It focuses on the replacement of the Mosaic Priesthood with the Disciples of Jesus. "These disciples clearly included women as well as men," Butler says.
Let Her Keep It begins March 5 but already is at capacity, due to pre-registration. However, plans are underway to offer the course again next fall. The study utilizes Dr. Butler's book by the same name, available for $16 plus S&H by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – as well as through Amazon.com. The book will be made available at no charge to those who register for the next class.
"I'm so excited about this course!" says Butler. "I realized that some people have had difficulty understanding what I wrote in my book, so I created 10 lectures that expand upon the material in my book and make it easier to understand my method and my thesis. I'm praying that this medium, which allows people to study Let Her Keep It at their own pace and in whatever time they can arrange during their busy lives, will finally allow me to share what I believe is a gift from God."
Dr. Butler developed his course with the help of the UMCom online training, "Moodle 100," which trains persons to use Moodle software to create courses that they can offer on line.
UMCom has created a section for the California-Nevada Annual Conference on its Online Learning Center – a place where other locally-written courses may be added in the future. To find it, go to www.moodle.umcom.org. Look near the bottom of the Online Learning Center home page to locate "Other Course Categories." The first listing is "California-Nevada Annual Conference" (note where arrow is pointing in photo at upper right). Click on that link. The page that opens gives an overview of the Cal-Nev Conference, and shows courses currently being offered under that heading. (Second photo at left, above.)