One of Bishop Farr's initiatives is to encourage churches to create new places for new people. New faces at Marshfield UMC help me appreciate that initiative. When new people arrive, they want to know when the next new study/group is starting. It is easier to join a new group as a new person than to walk into an existing group as the new person. With that in mind, we're stirring up how/when we offer Bible Studies this year, so when someone new asks when the next group or study is starting, we can always say "soon."
We have several teachers planning Bible studies for various points in the year. We will share their class information as decisions are made. I have four planned for the year, and we tried different schedule options for each. Every class I teach will have two times -- one online and one in person. A group of MUMC leaders is involved in a MO United Methodist Foundation learning cohort in Digital Discipleship, where we are getting lots of good information on how to do online classes better to meet the needs of homebound students and those who live outside of Marshfield.
Later this year, I will be teaching David & Solomon, Having Men for Dinner: the Bible's Murdering Women, and Revelation & Apocalyptic Literature. Beginning March 12, I will be teaching The Gospels. There is no prior reading for this class. Each class will equip you to read one of the gospels as a singular account of Jesus Christ. It will help us understand how the accounts are related and why we need all four.
We will begin with the Gospel of Mark on March 12 from 3:30-5:00 for in person and 5:30-7:00 for online. We will learn what we need to know about Mark, and then students will be encouraged to go home and read it as a book, sending in any questions they have along the way. Then we'll dive into Matthew, Luke/Acts, and finish up with John the week of Easter. This is a great study for Lent because it makes it possible for students to read and understand the Gospels of Jesus Christ in new ways as we walk toward the events they describe, the Passion and Resurrection. I look forward to connecting with you in class, either in person or online!