The Kerygma Program

Idea Bank Newsletter

Resources for Leaders of Adult Bible Study

Tips, Techniques and Stories

Issue #33 April 2015

Introducing Kerygma's New Program Manager, Peggy Heely

In This Issue

Pleased to meet you...

Having recently come on board with Kerygma as their Program Manager, I want to introduce myself to you.

My name is Peggy Heely and I am an educator who loves learning--why we learn, how we learn, and helping people to learn.

After being a high school history teacher in the states,

I took on a 2-year assignment in Peru as the social studies teacher for middle and high school students, the children of missionaries who were translating the Bible into the languages of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. From there I went to seminary and earned a master of religious education degree.

I then served on the campus ministry staff of a church in Pittsburgh, PA, following which I was asked to serve as a parish associate for young adult and new member ministries.

It was in this context that

I first used a Bible study curriculum developed by Kerygma, specifically The Bible in Depth. To this day,

I don't know who learned more, the participants, or me as the leader--a learner among learners.

As I transitioned from school classroom to church education, I realized that I had become fascinated by how adults learn--basically how and why we go about learning anything. I was interested in why one thing interests this person and something else interests another and how we learn a lot more about a lot of

things then we will ever receive credit or earn a salary for--about life, and faith, and how to live as Christians in our world.

My fascination with how adults learn landed me in a doctoral program to study (you probably guessed by now) adult learning. Since then,

I have worked in academia and the church; both schools of education in themselves, but different by degrees. Basically, because in the church, we don't give them--degrees, I mean. No degrees are needed. No tests, no final papers, no semester projects.

However, what the church offers in terms of learning--

its message, the greatest story ever told, the kerygma

or proclamation of the good news-- can change the life of a person, or a group of people, more profoundly than any one certificate or degree ever will.

And so I stand with you as pastors and educators of the church, to assist and support you in your callings to help the people of God to learn the word of God, the Bible, and to consider its message for us as the church in our time, in our world at large, and within our homes and communities.

In Praise of the "Justs"

I attended a conference of church educators recently. As I stood at our Kerygma table with the 30+ Bible studies available for review, conference attendees would stop by and we would introduce ourselves to each other. A number of them would say, "Oh, I'm just the DCE," or "I'm just a volunteer leader of a Bible study." I would then say to them, "You don't need to say 'just.'"

What I wanted to say was, "You are not just a Christian educator or just a volunteer." You are bearers of the good news, equipping others not to be hearers only, but also people who live this message and bring it to others. You are workers in the vineyard. And so, I stand and applaud each of you for the good work that you do.

Adult Learning & Bible Study

As has long been a foundation of Kerygma's approach, we learn best what the various books of the Bible mean to us as we consider what they meant to the original communities to which they were addressed. And so, The Kerygma Program will continue to work with pastors and scholars as they write studies that invite you into the texts of these books with the tools to understand their meaning, what they meant to their original audiences, and then, what they mean to us.

For Your Planning ...

2016 will be here before we know it. One aspect of it is actually already here-- the beginnings of the US presidential election as individuals announce their candidacies and begin to campaign.

Unlike Britain and Canada where campaigning and media coverage are relatively limited, a US presidential election can feel like a long deluge or an extended avalanche. And so I wondered what might help us, as Christians and citizens, to turn our thoughts to questions such as "What makes a leader?" or "How has God called people as leaders within the biblical narrative?"

Kerygma has such a study, which is part of the Great Themes of the Bible series. God Calls Leaders is a 7-session study of the inspired leaders who made a difference in the biblical drama. This study will help your congregation to consider the attributes of leaders and explore how God worked through the lives of Patriarchs and Prophets, the fishermen who became disciples, and a certain carpenter from Nazareth.

In the Works ...

To give you a "heads up" on what Kerygma is currently working on, I can tell you about updates and new studies in process.

--Updates to Job and the Life of Faith

We are currently in the last phase of a revision to our study of the book of Job. Carol M. Bechtel, author of both the Resource Book and the Leader's Guide, has reviewed her work on Job and the Life of Faith: Wisdom for Today's World. In her revision, you will find new slide presentations and videos for use in your group sessions.

--Two New Studies: Isaiah and Revelation

Two new studies are also in the works: a study of the Old Testament book of Isaiah and a study of the New Testament book of Revelation.

We will keep you posted on the release of a new Kerygma study of Isaiah, a study which can help us to understand what a prophet from Old Testament times has to say to today's world. We may be very familiar with the passages of Isaiah read or sermonized for us during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. (For example, do you recognize the words of Isaiah 9:2-7?)

This study of Isaiah can help us to see anew the visions of a prophet, whose words have inspired composers and painters, poets and preachers over the centuries and speak to us in ways that surprise and delight. "A people who walked in darkness have seen a great light."

What Works for You?

I am very interested in what is happening in adult education in your church, Bible study group, or worship community. Please contact me with your stories, questions, comments, etc.
The Kerygma Program is committed to the ongoing education of adults in the church. Kerygma has the knowledge and experience to equip you to propel your Bible study to a new level! View our free webinar or contact me for a consultation. We want to help you to help others to learn and grow in faith.
phone: 800-KERYGMA (537-9462)
fax: 412-344-1823
mail: 300 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Suite 205
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1507