For over twenty years of parish ministry, I have offered a variety of Bible Studies. It is both a passion of mine and an essential part of my role as a pastor to teach God's Word. Conversations around scripture are generative and life-giving. They help to shape our faith perspective and faithful response. In recent years, I have found my preaching enriched by the interaction that I have with others around a reading from the Bible.
Wanting to increase the presence of St. James in our neighborhood, I am taking my Bible teaching on the road. Starting this week, I will be offering a forty-five minute Bible Study at Savage Senior Living. It is my intent to duplicate this weekly effort at other senior living communities where we have a lot of St. James members. These efforts will replace the 'in-house' study on Thursdays that I previously offered. It is with joy that I note that those who regularly attended my 9:00 a.m. Thursday Bible Study share my excitement about moving this study into the neighborhood. They have promised to come to one of the two weekly offerings. I am grateful for their support and encouragement with this outreach initiative.
I'm easing into the new schedule with adding the weekly study at Savage Senior Living this month. In September, I will be adding another location (to be announced soon once I have the details confirmed). For those who are concerned about me adding too much to an already busy plate, I am exchanging a single hour and a half time of teaching for two forty-five minute slots. 'Time-wise' it is an even swap. When I consider that I will be multiplying the number of people I am able to reach in the neighborhood, it is a big WIN-WIN situation.
It is important for us as a church to be moving beyond our walls to share the love and grace of God in new and creative ways. Each of us have agency in this effort. We may not be leading a Bible Study. No matter. Each of us have our talents, interests, and abilities to connect with those who live around us. Each of us, as a child of God, are called to take God's Word into the community through our actions, kindness, compassion, and generosity. I pray for you - asking God to give you the imagination, courage, and strength as you live out your faith. I ask that you would pray for me, and for the new Bible Studies that St. James is offering to the wider community.