Friday, August 08, 2008

Growing Biblical engagement around Opawa

I am currently reading the history of the Bible Reading Fellowship in the UK in early 1900’s. One idea that struck me was how, as well as providing regular Bible notes, they had a monthly evening to introduce these notes. I began to think about how we engage the Lectionary here at Opawa, the “what next?” conversations that emerged from our recent “How to Read the New Testament” course and my wheels started to spin …

A proposal: That we encourage Bible reading and we encourage the Lectionary by doing one-off “Introduction to the book” on an Opawa evening, whenever the Lectionary gets to that Bible book. This would take about 90 minutes (7:30-9pm), this would be shared among the pastoral team, and that any resources we have are also placed in the Opawa 24/7 prayer room for further study, along with a whiteboard/postit notes, on which people can write “what struck them? what questions they have?”

This could
– build a culture of Bible literacy
– over time, we would end up covering lots of the Bible
– serve as a regular advertising reminder of lectionary
– adds layers to the weekly lectionary reading we are now practising at church, reading the Bible for it’s own sake
– honours “how to read the Bible” courses we have run, creating links and ongoing community around these

The detail:

I propose we start this February 2009 and make this one of our “goals” for the year. I have already thought about doing a 3 week series early next year around having family devotions. This project would fit well with that.

Looking at the Lectionary, there are 4 months of shared seasons (Lent, post-Easter and Advent). We could do these initially as lectionary texts, and then evolve them into short courses on related Lent, post-Easter and Advent themes as the years roll by. Then there are some months (6 in total in year A and B, 5 in year C) with only one Bible book. That leaves 3 months a year in which there are shorter books. My suggestion is that we stick with the 1 book/month pattern, choosing the longest book initially in these months. Thus we are looking at 11 “evenings” a year. With our 3 or 4 pastoral staff, we will each be doing 4 evenings a year, plus keeping an eye on the 24/7 prayer room.

The rhythm:

This is what the Lectionary looks like in monthly summary (Download file). This means that

Every year: Lent series; post-Easter (1 Peter or Revelation); Advent series

Year A: Genesis; Romans, (Job or Colossians or Acts), (Philipians or Judges or Ruth), Hosea, Matthew

Year B: Exodus, 1 Cor, (Proverbs or 1 Timothy or Acts), (Apocrypha or 2 Samuel), (Galatians or Ecclesiastes), Mark

Year C: Books of Law; 2 Cor, (Jonah or Esther), (Acts or Ezekiel), (Apocrypha or 1, 2 Kings), (Nehemiah or Amos), Luke

Posted by steve at 06:05 PM

1 Comment

  1. Good to see you’re finally planning to preach from the bible, Steve 😛

    Comment by Iain — August 8, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

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