Asbury’s Summer Institute to explore Eastern Orthodox Christianity

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – Asbury United Methodist Church is starting its next round of religious studies classes this month.

The Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson, Asbury’s senior pastor, will lead the 2021 Summer Institute of Religious Studies, “Understanding Eastern Orthodox Christianity,” beginning on Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.

This marks Laxson’s 10th year to lead the institute. He has invited various voices representative of the Eastern Orthodox tradition to come and be a part of this year’s institute.

“I’m excited about the opportunity of expanding people’s minds and developing greater appreciation about what Christianity is really like in other parts of the world,” Laxson said. “I also want to help American protestants recognize that Christianity has been around a lot longer than we have. We wouldn’t be here without the ancients of the faith.”

There are more than 220 million Eastern Orthodox Christians, making it the second-largest Christian communion in the world.

Those interested in participating in the Summer Institute may attend in person or virtually at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Aug. 25.

The suggested reading for the class is “Being Orthodox” by Martin Dudley.

Asbury has a limited number of copies available for purchase for $15 at the welcome center on Sunday mornings.

Electronic and physical copies can be purchased at Smile.amazon.com.

Scratch-made meals by Asbury’s Chef Krissie Klamer are available each night before the institute from 5-6:15 p.m.

Those who attend class virtually may still order dinner.

Orders need to be made for each person as the church is not preparing family-style meals. Anyone who places an order can stop by Asbury’s kitchen and fill a to-go box.

Complimentary nursery care will be provided during the class from 6-8 p.m. Elementary students may attend Downtown Summer Nights with Kids Town. Middle and High School students are invited to Cool Downs, acoustic worship nights, with RESET Student Ministry.

For more information about the Summer Institute, visit Asburyonline.org/institute.