Gather Bible study themes
What's coming up in our 2017-18 Bible studies?
In the fall of 2015, Gather began offering Bible study in a different way, and we hope you like it. We now offer more Bible studies (winter, spring, summer, fall, and an Advent devotional), and the leader guide will be included in the magazine. With this new format, we can use a variety of new writers who might not have agreed to write a nine-month study and separate leader guide.
2017-18 Bible Study ScheduleJanuary No other Gospel (Galatians 1:1-2:21)
February Children of God through faith (Galatians 2:19-3:29)
March Heirs of the promise (Galatians 3:24-4:31)
April For freedom Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1-6:18)
Looking for past Bible studies?
Each summer Gather makes our summer Bible study available for free download. Check out our past summer Bible studies here.
Winter 2017: Galatians: Christian faith and Christian freedom
Kit Kleinhans, a professor at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, will share a four-session Reformation anniversary Bible study on “Galatians: Christian faith and Christian freedom.”
"Biblical scholars describe Paul’s letter to the Galatians as the Magna Carta of Christian freedom," Kleinhans writes. "Martin Luther called it 'my Katie von Bora.' Like his marriage to Katie, Luther’s relationship with Galatians was a rich and lasting one: over a period of 20 years, he published six commentaries on the epistle. Luther’s reformation was centered in the doctrine of justification by grace through faith for Christ’s sake, which he saw as the heart of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia. It is also the heart of Paul’s–and–Luther’s message for us today."Session 1: No other Gospel (Galatians 1:1-2:21)
Session 2: Children of God through faith (Galatians 2:19-3:29)
Session 3: Heirs of the promise (Galatians 3:24-4:31)
Session 4: For freedom Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1-6:18)
May 2017: You are not alone
For our annual intergenerational devotional, Gather presents 10 reflections from 10 diverse women of many generations sharing what it means to trust God, who knows us completely with our joys and our struggles.
Summer 2017: All anew
Kelly Fryer will explore “All anew,” a three-session Bible study that shares the theme of the 2017 Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis. She has also committed to lead the Bible study or a workshop at the triennial gathering. She will bring to this role the experience of a pastor, teacher, entrepreneur and communicator. Kelly has more than 20 years of experience in turning around ministries and organizations and has authored faith-related books.
Session one: Say goodbye to nice--Nice is not the same as good. Making nice is what you do to avoid upsetting people. But Good knows there are more important things than your reputation, your balance sheet and whatever else it is you count on to make you comfortable. Good does what matters.
Session two: Stand with the least of these--God requires of those who live in privilege and comfort to recognize what God is up to and join in. God is on a mission to love, bless and save the world. If we are going to be a part of that mission, here is where it begins: Among the poor and those who have been displaced and disenfranchised.
Session three: Upending the tables--What is our responsibility when the very systems that have been put in place to protect people and make sure justice is done become tools to oppress? Do we just stand by and allow injustice to continue?
Fall 2017: The Apostles' Creed
In “The Apostles’ Creed,” Bible study author Julia Seymour, pastor at Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, Alaska, writes: “Beyond preferences or evenly deeply held convictions, the theological underpinnings of a religious
community are the structure for teaching, preaching and action. For our life of faith together, creeds are more than just words, they are vessels for carrying one another through doubt, joy, and sorrow.”
Session titles are:
Session 1: I believe in God...
The Apostles' Creed is one of the oldest unifying symbols of Christianity. Groups of early Christians needed a tool
for teaching and evangelism that explained the basics of the faith. The Apostles’ Creed shaped their baptismal training, blessing in dying and how communities of faith defined themselves in faithful union. The creed has three parts or articles. The first article talks about God, the Holy Creator and Parent of all things. We’ll explore what the Apostles’ Creed says about God—and what it leaves undefined—as well as how this stirs our holy imagination.
Session 2: I believe in Jesus Christ...
In Scripture, Jesus is called the Messiah, the Son of God, a teacher, a healer, the pioneer of our faith, the rock of our salvation, Son of Man and other titles. In the Apostles' Creed, Jesus' life and ministry is briefly summed up.
Jesus is described as God’s only Son and our Lord—one who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born by the Virgin, who suffered under Pilate, who was crucified, died and was buried. The creed is a definition of the work of the Father, Son and Spirit, yet there is also fullness to being followers in the Way of Christ that is not described in the creed. Why is the description of Jesus, the mediator of our salvation, so spare? How have the words of the creed drawn a circle around acceptable beliefs regarding Jesus?
Session 3: I believe in the Holy Spirit….
In the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is revealed not through characterization, but through the power of the Spirit in action. How do we understand the communion of saints, forgiveness, resurrection, the church and all that will be, as the revelatory work of the Holy Spirit? As part of the Trinity, the Spirit carries the same weight as the Father and the Son, yet many of us are drawn to one part of the Trinity more than others. How can we use the creed to perceive and honor the Spirit and the Spirit's work?
Spring 2018: Multiple meanings: Learning from other interpretations
Mark Allan Powell will explore what Biblical stories mean to people around the world. Powell, a professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, has taught at seminaries in Estonia, Russia and Tanzania. He edited the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and has written more than 100 articles and 25 books on the Bible and religion.
coming in Spring 2017
A reformation bible study
by Kit Kleinhans
Coming in spring 2018
Multiple Meanings: Learning from Other Interpretations
How do we (or don’t we) empathize with different Biblical characters? What do Biblical stories mean to different people, even different groups of people around the globe?
by Mark Allen Powell- See more at: http://www.womenoftheelca.org/2015-16-monthly-themes-pages-217.php#sthash.8VDXzo5y.dpuf
So that's what we're doing. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for us? If so, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "new Bible study idea" in the subject line.