This week the Committee for the Uniform Lessons Series (CUS) will hold its 150th annual meeting on the campus of Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. The meeting, directed by Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens, NCC Director of Christian Education and Faith Formation, with support from Keith Swartzendruber, NCC Senior Administrative Assistant, draws participants from its twenty-four partnering denominations and publishing houses. Every March, delegates come together to collaborate on the development of lesson outlines by selecting, organizing, designing, and creating a plan for study of the whole Bible.
This year’s meeting (March 8-10) offers a blended program to include both online and in-person participation. The Reverend Garland F. Pierce is the current chair of CUS and will moderate the business of the annual meeting. Pierce is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and serves his denomination as the Executive Director of the Department of Christian Education. In addition to the business CUS must accomplish across two and half days of meeting, participants divide into age-level teams (children, youth, and adults) and invest considerable blocks of time to write learning objectives for the fifty-two lessons of the curriculum year.
Participants will be inspired and equipped for their writing tasks by the teaching of the Rev. Dr. Dennis R. Edwards, Associate Professor of New Testament at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL (pictured at right). In four teaching segments Edwards will offer biblical context and set the tone for the 2026-2027 curriculum outlines. The lessons are drawn from Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, John, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, as well as the shorter NT letters contained in 1, 2 Peter; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude.
Worship is always an integral part of the CUS annual meeting and during the service Wednesday, March 9, Dr. Jody Hill, president of Memphis Theological Seminary, will be the guest preacher. This year’s service will be especially meaningful as CUS celebrates the sesquicentennial anniversary of its ecumenical partnership. The Rev. Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield (Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) and James Deaton (Managing Editor, Church of the Brethren), will share testimonies of their personal connection with CUS, as well as the impact of the International Sunday School Lessons in the history of their respective denominations. Other CUS members might very well add a spontaneous testimony of their own as many of them have labored together in this curriculum project over their entire career as Christian educators, pastors, professors, editors, and curriculum publishers. They express deep appreciation for one another and for the breadth of wisdom that comes in digging deep into God’s Word with colleagues across diverse Christian traditions.