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Western Mennonite School

Course Syllabus

Sermon on the Mount, fall 2012 Instructor: Brother David Engle

Junior/Senior Elective Bible

Course Description This class will study the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5-7 and will wrestle with the implications of taking them seriously and using Jesus as the model for our own lives today, both personally and corporately as part of the kingdom of God. This is what the WMS Mission and Goals statement means by examining the “centrality of Christ’s teachings in all aspects of life.” The WMS Philosophy of Education states that a biblical understanding of discipleship means using Christ as a model for what we do and how we live, including the willingness to embrace the teachings of loving our enemies, how we use our wealth, and sacrificing social status or position to serve others with humility. We believe that living according to the values of the kingdom of God will transform persons and their relationships with others, but will often place Christians in tension with the social systems within which they live. We believe the church is the mutually supporting community that enables believers to live faithfully and redemptively as followers of Christ.

Goals and Objectives Students will read portions of the Bible. Students will increase the level of their awareness of the complexity of the Bible stories beyond their previous level. Students will understand that the Bible comes from a different time and culture/language than our own and will increase their prior knowledge of these aspects. Students will demonstrate familiarity with selected passages by showing their ability to retell/paraphrase stories; by showing recognition of memory passages and recalling their locations; by recall of memorized portions. Students will learn how to find a way to memorize that works for them. Students will demonstrate the ability to listen respectfully to perspectives that differ from their own, and then to engage in thinking and discussions about the way these perspectives can challenge our own points of view. Students will compare interpretations of what Jesus meant by what he said, as well as the challenge it presents to prevailing societal values and worldviews. This will happen both through lesson presentations, readings, and listening to the views of classmates in class discussions. Students will develop good written communication skills to complete assignments that use topic thesis statements and paragraph organization to analyze and discuss texts and their implications.

Course Content Historical/ Cultural context background The Kingdom of God and Christ-centered ethics—WWJD today? Torah commandments re-interpreted Love your enemies Jesus’ words for social ethic and excuses why not Hypocrite and the mask


Sermon on the Mount 2012

Materials Students will need a New International Version (NIV) Bible, and ESL students will also need a Bible in their own language. Students will need writing utensils and paper every day.

Grading: Participation (60%): --Assessment of student learning (and the grade) is based mostly on class participation. Good class participation by students makes the course better than it would be without it. Basic class participation means arriving on time, prepared with Bible, notebook, assignment and writing utensils, and not being disruptive or distracting;

--Attendance is very important because of the focus, discussion and interaction which happens during the class time. It is impossible to fully replace the learning from a missed class session with make-up work. Class participation is a very significant part of this course and absences of any kind from discussions and lessons diminish the learning in the course. Regardless of your reason for being gone, other students will not be able to hear your views and insights and therefore will not be able to consider them and compare them with their own. Active participation includes physical participation (vocal) in Bible memory preparation exercises. Active participation includes making vocal contributions relevant to the class discussion, such as asking questions or responding to another person’s ideas. It’s good to have an opinion or idea about things that are part of the lessons. This is especially important for discussions in smaller groups because it helps keep the group discussion going and on a relevant topic. Other ways to show active participation are through attentive listening body language and posture, taking notes, taking initiative to get answers to questions you have about things that are unclear. Active participation means doing worksheets during class, because this means that you are engaged in the conversation about the topics. During class it is easier to get clarifications to questions from the teacher, to discuss the topics with partners, and also to overhear other people doing all of those things. This is where you can learn what all to include in a written response where you need to go beyond just your own ideas or perspectives (“I don’t know what else to say about this topic.”) Disruptive behavior is not good class participation, because it hinders both your learning and that of others in the classroom. This includes talking when you should be listening, distracting others from working or paying attention, mistreating the class atmosphere of spiritual inquiry and growth with disrespectful or inappropriate comments. Being unprepared for class time by not having your stuff is also disruptive.

Written Assignments and Related Quizzes (10%) Some worksheets will be counted as written assignment. These are an opportunity for you to develop your ability to communicate in writing with good topic/thesis statements and clear focused supporting sentences. They will be evaluated on the effort you make to explain and support your thoughts and observations.

Project (10%) Reading Bible Ten Minutes every day As an exercise towards developing a regular personal devotional practice, students will prayerfully read the words of the Bible for a minimum of 10 minutes for each of ten days within a two week period, regardless of the number of class periods or school days. This is intended to be an individual exercise, not a group activity. This is to be done outside of the Bible class period. Each student will select their own readings. Students will regularly record the date and the passage they read on the sheet. Students will submit their written record every two weeks with the signature or initials from a parent, so that there is some accountability about being honest.


Sermon on the Mount 2012

Memorization (20%) Bible memory is a required part of the WMS Bible curriculum. We will work together on these daily as a class, usually orally and in unison. Different learning styles can be accommodated, but everyone is expected to actively participate during class. We will be using the New International Version (NIV), but you may talk to me about using a different version. You should be prepared to take the test in class on the date scheduled. It will be a written test, but spelling and punctuation and handwriting will not usually count towards the grade. Each memory test will be scored out of 25 points. Alternative needs can be arranged for outside of class. If you know you will miss class the day of the test, experience shows that it is better to take the test earlier rather than later.

Attendance: Attendance expectations and procedures as described the Student Handbook apply to this class.

Specific Class Rules Classroom procedures which are described in the Parent/ Student Handbook for this school year apply.

Sermon on the Mount Bible Memory Test Schedule, fall 2012 1.

Sept. 21, Friday

Matt. 5: 3-12

2.

Oct. 5, Friday

Matt. 5: 13-20

3.

Oct. 18, Thursday

Matt. 5: 21-26

4.

Nov. 2, Friday

Matt. 5: 27-32

5.

Nov. 16, Friday

Matt. 5:33-42

6.

Dec. 7, Friday

Matt. 5: 43-48

7.

Dec. 21, Friday

Matt. 6:1-9

8.

Jan. 17, Friday

Matt. 6:10-15

Contact Information: e-mail address dengle@westernmennoniteschool.org home phone before 8:30 pm (503) 371-4371


Sermon on the Mount 2012


Sermon on the Mount 2012

Please sign and return this, or send me and email dengle@westernmennoniteschool.org

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