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The Affinity Project

Thinking Beyond Church Walls

Thinking Beyond Church Walls

Publishing for Those Who Define Themselves as Spiritual but Not Religious


The Upper Room Center for Christian Spiritual Formation is in partnership with MediaCom Australia in exploring how to reach those who define themselves as spiritual but have no ties to a particular church. We’ve named our partnership The Affinity Project, and it is primarily a research initiative. The Upper Room and MediaCom have a long history of partnership around the daily devotional guide and book publishing. The Affinity Project focuses intently on the future. How do we as publishers listen to and reach out to those who have strong faith but have disaffiliated from the institutional church? The Affinity Project seeks to respond to three particular questions.

  • How do we serve the spiritual formation needs of a post-Christian church?
  • How is faith born among non-church Christians?
  • What community life and formational leadership will serve post-Church Christians?

We’re tending to these questions through the work of Rev. Dr. Ian Price, Sharonne Price, and Rev. Jenny Tymms.

  • Ian is the former CEO of MediaCom Australia and is a minister in the Uniting Church in Australia.
  • Sharonne has years of experience overseeing ministers, chaplains, and congregations and has spent 25 years in palliative care and hospital chaplaincy.
  • Jenny is a writer and Minister in the Uniting Church of Australia who seeks to integrate contemplative practices into the active working day.

The Uniting Church in Australia and the publishers that support these Uniting congregations are in the throes of a culture shift that offers a vision for the future of the church in the U.S.Through a series of retreats and intentional conversations over the course of 2019, Ian, Sharonne, and Jenny will glean insight and information from the populations they serve and in turn share that insight with our Upper Room staff. If you are curious about the future of the church and want to learn more, we welcome you to follow the work of The Affinity Project.

Opportunities

  • Engage in our online conversation through this online classroom. Respond here to the questions we'll pose once each week from March 18 through April 22.
  • Join us on April 24 for an interactive staff learning afternoon with Ian and Sharonne, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Listen in as Ian and Sharonne introduce this project at our April 18 UR Staff Meeting
  • Request a time to meet with Ian and Sharonne while they are in the U.S. (April 15-18) or another time via Skype

For questions or additional information, email Sharon Conley at sconley@upperroom.org.


Your Instructor


Sharon Conley Cottingham
Sharon Conley Cottingham

Sharon Conley Cottingham along with the Formational Learning Team's Linda Furtado, Tim Savage, and Lee Catoe will be monitoring discussion in our Affinity Project classroom.


Course Content


  About The Affinity Project
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  Shifts and Changes in the Church
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  Is the Church Dead?
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  The Big Picture
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  Getting Over Ourselves
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  Frustration Expressed
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  The Issue of Language
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  Opportunities
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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