Literary Society : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Several of us in the Northwest Missouri Conference are about to establish a conference-wide literary society, which meets every couple of weeks at area churches, commencing in January 2003.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I am interested to know whether other such societies exist on a conference level, and if so where they are and how they operate? Our desire is to communicate with them and to ascertain what to avoid and what to stress in this undertaking.

The Discipline calls for "literary exercises" during one day of the annual conference, or at some other time established by the Bishop. I'm particularly interested in knowing if this is being implemented and the quality of its execution.

Your insights, thoughts, and prayers are fervently solicited.

By Grace,

Rev. Dr. Larry D. Coleman

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


Rev. Coleman: This is a fascinating concept. I confess to having no prior knowledge about a "literary society" until your recent post. What page in the Discipline & Doctrine can I find this concept? Is the concept of a literary society modeled after a book club or is it more like the 'Dead Poets Society' where only a priviliged few can participate in esoteric reading, debate and scholarship? QED

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Bro. Dickens:

Thank you for your inquiry. The "literary exercises" to which I alluded are set forth on p.260 of the 2000 Doctrine and Discipline.

We are still formulating the precise manner and mode of operation. That is why we sent out our plea for help.

What is initially envisioned are discrete groups that will read The Bible, cover to cover, as the principal piece of "literature" over a 2 to 3 year period, while also supplementing and enriching that reading and discussion flow with other classic works, i.e., The Mis- Education of the Negro, Aesop's Fables, Roots, Siddhartha, in short whatever else the Spirit might send. A website is contemplated, along with "literary exercises" on a church, quarterly, district, and annual conference level--who knows, maybe a general conference level!

The idea is to edify, fortify, and strengthen AME's so they may be better equipped to do the Lord's work, and to win souls for Christ by enabling non-AMEs, indeed, non-Christians to join the literary society and thereby be proselytized indirectly, inobtrusively, inevitably. To that end, each session will begin with devotion, and will climax with an invitation. There will also be a collection. The discussion of the Bible and the book selections will consume the body of the program.

So, there you have it. Once again, your thoughts, prayers, and suggestions are fervently solicited.

By Grace,

Rev. Dr. Larry D. Coleman

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

Rev. Coleman -

Thanks for your reponse. Your model of the literary society sounds exciting and intellectually rewarding. I wish someone in my Episcopla District would have the creative imagination to do preciesly what you propose. QED

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

Good work Rev. Coleman, please keep us posted. For our Literary Society in My church several of the members will be regular contributing writers for our online Magazine (to those who have not seen the magazine please visit) so that is exciting. Also in our DMC commission there is a literary component, so we will include these activities in our annual report. And to my biological brother Bill, maybe the WMS and or YPD in your district could help get a literary society going? The WMS is the most well connected organization in our denomination. And the WMS curriculum includes studies around the world, so they would be a natural to help with a literary society.

I am excited for what Rev. Dr. Coleman is doing is empowering Laity. The Literary society and other activities of our denomination are suppose to be run by laity. Bill do get back to us and let us know what is happening in your district regarding this matter. One last thing the fact that you are a professor carries a lot of weight. And one area of concern that I have for our denomination is learning about economics and financial responsibility among the members of the denomination. Bill perhaps you can suggest some books to help literary societies get started on reading and writing on this topic. One last thing the Christian Edcation Department of our denomination is looking for people to develop curriculum for our denomination. The Literary Societies good be a wonderful bridge for doing this. Please go to the Christian Education web site. Keep up the good work Dr. Coleman, hmmm there is just something special about pastors in the fifth district! I wish I could be in the fifth district.THAT'S RIGHT I AM! (I am so funny, I crack myself up) Love you guys,

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

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