The Kerygma Program

Idea Bank Newsletter

Resources for Leaders of Adult Bible Study

Tips, Techniques and Stories

Issue #35 July 2015

Kerygma's E-Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue

For Reflection

The Growing Season

We are currently in the church season known as "Ordinary Time" for which the liturgical color is green. I cannot think of a more appropriate color for this season in the midst of the summer growing season. Corn is to be "knee-high by the Fourth of July." With longer days and more sunshine, even little basil plants on the back porch are starting to stand tall in their pots.

We can think of this ordinary time as full of the things we expect of summer--vacations, gardening, maybe grilling and picnicking, perhaps a little more outdoor time for reading those books that we just couldn't get to earlier in the year. For others, it may be packing up and moving to a new place. With all of these activities, is this time really so ordinary?

It's funny that we often think of other seasons of the church year as optimal for teaching and learning, full of activity, and the better time for Christian education. Christian education schedules and Bible studies in many churches start up in the fall and run until May or early June. We count the Sundays so we have the appropriate number of sessions to study a particular biblical book and allow time for special studies in Advent and Lent. But in terms of learning and growing, don't write off this time as "ordinary." A local pastor, Gena Sheller, stopped by the Kerygma office this past week to review some Kerygma studies her adult education committee is considering for the fall. They had just finished 38 wks of Kerygma studies (Discovering the Bible and Listening to Scripture) and are taking a summer break.

Gena said she now looks forward to the "hallway conversations" at church. On Sundays before and after worship, the adults who were in the Bible studies say things like, "You know that session when we talked about the paraclete?" (the NT term for the Holy Spirit) "Well I was thinking about that the other day and this occurred to me ..."

In other words, study groups or adult ed classes may be on hiatus, but thinking about and reflecting on what was studied earlier in the year is not. Far from it! In fact, now is the growing season. The seeds planted earlier in the year (reading, studying, discovering the Bible together), these seeds are taking root and leading to deeper reflection on Scripture-- meaning faith and action.

So, I hope that, like Gena, you experience some hallway conversations as adults share their reflections about what they studied.

And as we say at Kerygma,

Come Grow With Us!

For Planning

Have you considered my servant Job? These words are spoken by the Lord in the opening verses of this ancient book. And we are invited to do just that in Job and the Life of Faith: Wisdom for Today's World. This Kerygma study of Job was written by Dr. Carol Bechtel, professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary. It will soon be available with newly added leader materials including new video, audio, and slide presentations that can be shown on a standard DVD player & TV. You can pre-order a Job Leader's Disk by calling our office.

This 7-session study begins by introducing you to Job, both the book and the man. In the 6 sessions that follow your group will explore the following themes as you read and study together: An Ancient Story, The Impatience of Job, When Familiar Answers Fail, Closing Arguments, The Voice from the Whirlwind, and Life Within Limits.

As Dr. Bechtel writes, "The book of Job cuts straight to the heart of what it means to be human. It is the most profound exploration of the life of faith ever written, and wrestles with some of life's most perplexing questions ... There was never a time when the book of Job was not relevant."

While we are encouraged to "run with endurance the race set before us," (Heb. 12:1), the book of job addresses head-on the need for endurance and provides wisdom for Christians today as we face challenges and difficulties in life.

Your Questions to Me

What do I do now? What would be the best study to do next? Can you help us prepare leaders for our adult Bible studies? Do you have any shorter studies? Longer studies? How can I promote this new class in our adult education program?

When you have questions about Kerygma Bible study materials, or about your Christian education for adults, the Kerygma office is the place to call. As others have done before you, call us at 1-800-537-9462 (800-KERYGMA) or 412-344-6062. We welcome your calls and I will be glad to assist you.

phone: 800-KERYGMA (537-9462)
fax: 412-344-1823
mail: 300 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Suite 205
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1507