Gather Bible study themes
What's coming up in our 2016 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.
2016 Bible Study ScheduleJune The heart of the matter: Treasure in clay jars
July The heart of the matter: Seeking God
August The heart of the matter: The ministry of reconciliation
September When God’s not fair: Jonah and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day
October When God’s not fair: Jesus and the evil eye (when God blesses the undeserving)
November When God’s not fair: Paul and the power of failure (when God chooses the unlikely)
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.
Summer 2016: The heart of the matter
Try Gather's summer Bible Study, "The heart of the matter," for free using the links below!
For summer 2016, Angela Shannon, a pastor at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas, will share “The heart of the matter,” a three-session Bible study on learning to deal with conflict through the ministry of reconciliation.
“Repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are healing words,” Angela Shannon writes. “We hear these words spoken from our pulpits, in our hymns and various places throughout our churches. Yet we see conflict in our society and the ways in which we harm each other. We are about to enter an election year where the politics are as shrill and mean as ever.”
Although we look to the church for a safe haven from conflict, Shannon says, “life follows us through the doors, and there too we find conflict.”
“Conflicts are nothing new to the church,” Shannon says. “What’s miraculous is that God continues to create us anew. God insists on entrusting us with the ministry of reconciliation."
She continues: “In working with congregations, I have found that although people are familiar with the healing words of Christ’s church, we must continue to learn the practical application of these words.”
Fall 2016: When God’s not fair--Coming to terms with a merciful God
For fall 2016, Meghan Johnston Aelabouni helps us explore biblical images of a God who acts beyond our conceptions of what's "fair." From Jonah’s prayer to God from the belly of a big fish to school-age siblings and squabbling nations, this fall we'll delve into what it means to worship a God who forgives the guilty, chooses the unlikely and gives to those who haven't "earned" it.
Session 1: Jonah and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day: when God forgives the guilty
Session 2: Jesus and the evil eye: when God blesses the undeserving
Session 3: Paul and the power of failure: when God chooses the unlikely
December 2016: Advent devotional
Sonia C. Solomonson, an award-winning writer, freelance editor and certified life coach, shares a devotional around the theme of Advent waiting: what wants to be born in you?
Solomonson is an award-winning writer and editor, as well as a certified life coach.
Each December, Gather plans to feature a devotional that centers on some aspect of Advent or Christmas. (This could become a reader favorite. We received many positive comments from readers who enjoyed last year’s devotional, written by Women of the ELCA’s director of discipleship, Valora K Starr. We’re in good hands with Sonia to continue this tradition.)
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)
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 including:
Reclaiming the “L”: Renewing the Church From Its Lutheran Core
Dancing Down the Hallway: Spiritual Reflections for the Everyday
A Story Worth Sharing: Engaging Evangelism
Previously, Kelly taught leadership at Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minn.) and co-founded A Renewal Enterprise, a national firm that helps values-based organizations work more effectively.
Many key concerns for Women of the ELCA (women’s health, ending human trafficking, working toward gender equity, racial justice, poverty, education, etc.) are part of Kelly’s current work as the executive director for the Young Women’s Christian Associations (YWCA) in Southern Arizona.
Fall 2017: The Apostles' Creed
Julia Seymour, a pastor at Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, Alaska, will share a three-session study on the Apostles’ Creed.
She’ll explore what creeds are for, what we’re saying about God and Jesus, what’s missing but still might be encompassed and how we can still have questions and ask God to help and guide us.
Why is the Apostles’ Creed the most basic of our “ecumenical” documents? What are our other statements of faith?
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.