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Secretary's report

Hi all

Our new Bible Study has been going very well. We are following a program called Community Bible Study, which provides a framework for us to explore books of scripture in a caring environment where all contributions are welcomed. Currently we are meeting once a month on a Wednesday evening, but this could change so please email stanleywilfridmerttens@gmail.com with your evening of choice!

The first bible study saw us getting into a very deep discussion indeed. Despite the fact that we were "only" doing an introductory session the program, we quickly found ourselves confronting some of the most difficult and fundamental issues in the Abrahamic faiths. The questions we posed ranged from Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?, to How can you tell if God is speaking? Together we pondered righteousness, success, the relevance of Jewish law to us modern Christians, and the benefits (or lack thereof) of fasting. 

In the second session we laid the groundwork for our coming reading of 1 Thessalonians by looking into the historical context of that early Christian community. Along the way we had some interesting discussions about the nature of Truth, the place of doctrine in our lives, the crisis of community in our society, and whether or not we should have wine and nibbles at bible study. The only firm conclusion we reached regarded the latter issue, and you’ll hopefully be gratified to hear that it was warmly affirmative!

Please join us for future bible studies to wallow in the mysteries of scripture (and have wine and nibbles) with your fellow believers. Just email Wilf at stanleywilfridmerttens@gmail.com to get the materials and invite yourself along!

Hope to see you there

Wilf

P.S. On the same evening as our inaugural bible study, an American poet whose work has given me great pleasure over the years died after a long battle with cancer. His name was Tony Hoagland. One of my favourites of his, fittingly enough, is called Bible Study. Here’s an excerpt:

I was on the road for so long by myself,

I took to reading motel Bibles just for company.

Lying on the chintz bedspread before going to sleep,

still feeling the motion of the car inside my body,

I thought some wrongness in my self had made me that alone.

 

And God said, You are worth more to me

than one hundred sparrows.

And when I read that, I wept.

And God said, Whom have I blessed more than I have blessed you?

 

And I looked at the mini bar 

and the bad abstract hotel art on the wall

and the dark TV set watching like a deacon.

 

And God said, Survive. And carry my perfume among the perishing.