My wife, Tami, is an avid reader who always has at least two books she's reading (usually not at the same time). As an elementary teacher, she has a love for children's books and has been working her way through the Caldecott Award winners of the last 100 years or so. But she also makes regular use of the library and, since she got her Kindle, she also downloads free books and sometimes checks out electronic copies from the library system. I tease her because she always keeps a "boring book" on her bedside table to read last before going to sleep so her brain won't be running over the plotline.
I, on the other hand, tend to read for pleasure in spurts. I can go for months without picking up a novel and then start obsessively reading one book after another. Sometimes I will read a book suggested by Tami or another friend, sometimes it will be a novel that catches my eye, and sometimes I'll even be inspired to read the novel a movie I saw was based on.
So what about the Bible? I usually only read a short passage to start each day (other than my sermon preparation). There have been a few times when I read through the entire Bible over the course of a year (or a bit longer). There is so much to meditate on and apply to our lives in Scripture that it's a shame that many Christians never get beyond the Gospels and a few favorite passages. For whatever reason, some people find reading the Bible to be too intimidating to attempt.
This Sunday, September 7th, we'll be launching a church-wide experience in discovering the continuous story of God's love and pursuit of humanity. To aid our discovery, we'll be using "The Story", an abridged, chronological arrangement of biblical passages from the NIV Bible. For those of you who may be new to faith, The Story will give you a holistic and sequential picture of the storyline of Scripture. For you seasoned Bible veterans, the chronological arrangement of texts will help illuminate the way the whole Bible fits together in a single grand narrative. In no way is The Story intended to replace the Bible. We will be using it in the same way you might use a devotional book to gain new insights and perspectives on God's Word.
The children's Sunday School classes will be using the special curriculum so that they will be focusing on the same part of the story as the rest of us will be in Worship. There are age-appropriate versions for the entire congregation and the youth group and some newly formed small groups will focus on the Biblical passages contained in each week's chapter.
We have copies of the materials available for you to purchase. Here are the prices of the different resources:
* Adult hard cover edition (retail $19.99) $10
* Teen soft cover edition (retail $14.99) $8
* The Story for Kids (retail $9.99) $6
* The Story for Children (retail $19.99) $12
* The Story for Little Ones (retail $17.99) $10
We hope that everyone in the congregation will be reading these Bible passages together, so we don't want anyone to let the cost keep them from getting the appropriate book. If you would like to contribute a bit more in order to offset the cost for someone who may have difficulty affording their own copy, you are welcome to. Plan on bringing cash or your check book and make checks payable to "CCC".
One of the great things about Community Covenant is the number and variety of study/community groups that we participate in throughout the week. There are large, small, men's, women's and co-ed groups. Some of the existing small groups will be using The Story as the basis for their study and two new groups will be starting up. If you are not already a part of a group, I hope that you will consider joining one of the new ones - or even starting your own! Contact the people at numbers listed for more information.
Wednesdays at 7:00 PM facilitated by John and Melodie Fleming (760-885-4907)
Thursdays at 7:00 PM facilitated by Jeff and Tami Palmberg (997-0305)
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church