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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 Schedule

May  Mary and Elizabeth: Sisters across the generations
June 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.


Mary and Elizabeth: Sisters across the generations
Mary and Elizabeth: Sisters across the generations


Mary and Elizabeth: Sisters across the generations

For May 2016, Norma Cook Everist, professor of Church and Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Bible study author Norma Cook EveristIowa, shares an intergenerational Bible study session on Mary and Elizabeth: Sisters across the generations. Norma is a deaconess and an ordained ELCA pastor. Her latest book is Seventy Images of Grace in the Epistles That Make all the Difference in the World.

"Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit," Norma Cook Everist writes. "Here is sister conversation across the generations. Elizabeth is the first to witness to the identity of 'my Lord' and his incarnation into the world. Indeed it is the first proclamation. Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry! No quiet whispering. No doubtful, 'Do you think, maybe?'

"Mary hears surety and feels security in the words and in the arms of her relative Elizabeth. Elizabeth is more than a 'mere' relative; she is a sister in faith."



 

The heart of the matter

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 Angela Shannonstudy 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.”

Session 1: Treasure in clay jars (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Session 2: Seeking God (Jeremiah 29:14)
Session 3: The ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)


 

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


Coming up

Galatians: Christian faith and Christian freedom

For winter 2017, 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)

 

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 Allan Powell

 

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 gather@elca.org and put "new Bible study idea" in the subject line.

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May 2016

As sisters across the generations, Elizabeth and Mary offered each other support as they each heeded God's calling. In this month's we examine how generations of women can come together to learn from and share life with one another.

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