2022 Advent Study
Our 2022 Advent Bible Study is All the Good: a Wesleyan Way of Christmas. From the book:
“Journey Through Advent with John Wesley’s Means of Grace. The season of Advent offers time and space for Christians to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas through reflecting on the story of salvation. In All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas, a group of diverse Wesleyan scholars will take you on an Advent journey guided by the practices in John Wesley’s means of grace. John Wesley’s emphasis upon practices of piety and mercy–or good works–drew from the larger Christian tradition. Each chapter guides participants through one of the four weeks of Advent by reflecting on biblical passages in light of an aspect of Wesleyan means of grace highlighted by illustrations and stories. Readers will look at; 1) preparing the way for God, 2) the impact and significance of prayer, 3) the substance of good works and caring for others, and 4) sharing God’s mission to the world. In this season of Advent as we await the birth of the Christ child we will remember and know God’s goodness and love for us.”
2022 Fall Study
Our 2022 Fall Bible study was Soul Reset by Reverend Junius B. Dotson. From the book:
“Soul Reset is a call for the church and all of Jesus’ disciples to reset and reorder their lives around spiritual practices, to learn to walk through our difficult seasons with our souls connected to the source of Living Water so that we don’t burn out or break down. And if we do burn out or break down, we learn to lift one another up and point one another back to Jesus.”
2020 Lenten Study
Our 2020 Lenten Bible study was Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, the third in a series by this popular author and teacher. Many of us enjoyed her Advent study in November, and her Parables study last summer. It was an excellent opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ!
Cokesbury describes her book as follows:
In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine delves into the history and literature surrounding the last days of Jesus’ life. She sets the narrative in a historical context and analyzes the risks and motives of the story’s characters.
Dive deep into the history of the last days before the crucifixion.
Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward. Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.
In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. The book provides a rich and challenging learning experience for small groups and individual readers alike.
2019 Advent Study
Our four-week 2019 Advent study was Light of the World: A Beginners Guide to Advent by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. The study featured a 12-minute video each week by Dr. Levine, followed by prayer, Bible readings, and lively discussion. The book and study are described in the following review:
In Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the story of the birth of Jesus. Join her as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit from the Magi. These stories open conversations around connections of the Gospel stories to the Old Testament, the role of women in first-century Jewish culture, the importance of Mary’s visitation and the revolutionary implications of Mary’s Magnificat, the census and the stable, and the star of Bethlehem and the flight to Egypt.
2019 Summer Study
Our 2019 Summer Adult Bible Study/Book Club was based on the book Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi, written by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, a prominent Jewish scholar.
We read her book over the course of six weeks and met at the church weekly to view a 10-minute video and discuss the main points in each chapter as we progressed through the readings.
The introduction to the study guide begins with the following paragraph:
“In Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi, Amy-Jill Levine uses her scholarship on first-century Jewish history to hear Jesus as a Jewish teacher speaking to a Jewish audience. Her point is not to dismiss any helpful Christian interpretations that have been made of the parables over the past 2,000 years. Rather, she seeks to recover their original provocation and so help to explain why people first decided to follow Jesus. In her work on the parables, she tries to imagine what these short stories would have sounded like to people who had no idea that one day Jesus would be recognized as divine, or even that he would be crucified. How would these people have heard the words of this Jewish storyteller? And how can those same stories, two thousand years later, challenge us to look deep into our own lives?”