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Grants funds lay-led Bible study project

Grants funds lay-led Bible study project

General Seminary announced that one its professors received a grant to conduct a series of lay-led, learner-centered, parish-based scripture studies this Summer and Fall.

The Episcopal Evangelical Education Society (EEES) grant to Deirdre Good, Professor of New Testament is for a series of lay-led, learner-centered, parish-based scripture studies this Summer and Fall. The first study was held in Maine on May 26. They will conclude this Fall at parishes in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


GTS:

From Prof. Good’s description of the seminars:

If Scripture and its interpretation lies at the heart of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, then we need to encourage and deepen parish-based lay-led Scripture studies by sharing resources from what already works in several parishes with what is being planned in other parishes and dioceses. We need to identify successful pedagogies and their methodological implementation and we need to make all these resources accessible on a website for the whole church.

The plan is to bring clergy and laity in the parish together with seminary faculty to do parish based bible study using effective pedagogies e.g. learner-centered teaching so as to train laity in the parish to teach others and thus deepen witness to and proclamation of scripture.

The hope is to use these experiences as a pilot project that could be transferred to other parishes by making videos of classes and creating websites.

Good is a contributor and essayist at the Episcopal Cafe. Congratulations, Deirdre!

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deirdregood

Thank you Andrew and Episcopal Cafe! There's a movement across our dioceses and in local churches to read the Bible in various ways, building on the extraordinary work of EfM. This means there are good resources to draw on.

I've talked to priests across the country: One priest said that engaging the congregation in reading the Bible together unleashed energy in unanticipated ways: a tremendous enthusiasm emerged in the congregation for worship, bible study, and service in the community. Another told me, “This is the most exciting thing I've done in my ministry.” A third said, “This was by far the biggest success of my ministry...We didn’t get the whole turnout of fifty people each time, but we got close to it. In the back of my mind I was prepared to get only 12 – 15, which I would then loudly proclaim as a great success and how pleased I was. forty plus was a miracle.”

Parishioners excited by the experience of Scripture Studies are no longer intimidated or even afraid of the Bible. “I felt guilty all my life not knowing the Bible. It was like a black hole,” an intelligent college-educated parishioner said. They can now understand contexts of biblical passages as opposed to lectionary fragmentation. “I liked how we tied in the writers and the historical context,” a parishioner said. Another said, “I enjoyed reading the books all together. We hear little bits of them in worship, so it was great to be able to read through whole books.” One priest told me that a parishioner said that she appreciated her sermon better for having read and studied the entire passage from which the gospel was taken three weeks before it was preached.

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