Several years ago, someone in a church asked me if there was a way I could share the information I have stuck in my head about the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) beyond one sermon at a time. They wanted to be able to open the Hebrew Scriptures and read it on their own with some confidence. I spent a lot of time looking for the right curriculum, but everything I found was either not scholarly enough to enlighten, or so scholarly it was inaccessible to most people. So I wrote my own.
I remember a visit from my DS at the time (Rev. Lynn Dyke(. I told Lynn that we had 20 people who had successfully finished the first class. When I told her I wrote the curriculum myself, she said, "You need to go full time or get a part time job. If you're writing curriculum, you're bored." Maybe I was bored, but I think everyone who has heard me preach knows I have a passion for the wealth of information about God in the Hebrew Scriptures. I love sharing tools to access that information with anyone who wants to learn.
After listening to your questions this year, I've decided it's time to offer the first of the four courses I've written on the Hebrew Scriptures. We will meet on Wednesday nights at 6 PM. Childcare will be provided as we want to make this as accessible a possible. To that end, there will also be a Zoom option for those3 out of town and recordings of the readings available for those who learn better by hearing than by reading. The first class is Wednesday, July 20. I will then go on vacation for two weeks, so you will have two weeks to digest (and watch some recommended videos if you're interested) before we dive back in to finish the course in August.
This course will be entirely on the book of Genesis, although you will learn things that will help with the other four books at the beginning of scripture. The remaining courses are on David and the Monarchy, the Exile, and the Writings. You can take as many or as few as you'd like, although Genesis is highly recommended because it has all the foundational finformation. As many of you have come to expect, you will get a binder with each class's information, readings, and homework (yes -- it's pretty important to do the readings and homework if you want to keep up but it takes less than an hour a week).
I chuckled a little as I wrote this because I realized the person who suggest3ed it (and one of the most faithful students) has a Marshfield connection -- Dr. CJ Maples, who spent part of her career teaching at Marshfield Public schools.
We'll have a sigh up sheet available soon for the class. If a class that gives you the tools to read and understand scripture for yourself is something that appeals, I hope to see you there.