I want to invite you to be part of a special Sunday Bible study series at ARBC during the season of Lent. The Lenten season is the forty days (not including Sundays) from Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018) through Holy Saturday (the day before Easter, March 31, 2018). This is traditionally a season of fasting and reflection as we prepare ourselves for the events of Holy Week that lead to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday (April 1, 2018). It is also a time for embracing spiritual practices that help us grow closer to God, and this year we will place special emphasis on practices that allow us to grow together as a congregation.
Over the last few years we have recognized the importance of engaging our congregation through conversations that bring the generations of our church together. This is especially important as we continue through our vision process. We have recognized that if ARBC is going to be a church for people of all ages and stages of life, then we need to be sitting at the table together, learning and growing together. And since life today often requires that you be away from your community of faith, we also feel that it is important for us to equip you to engage in spiritual conversation in your homes, on the road, and wherever you may be.
With that in mind, for seven Sundays from February 18-April 1 our congregation will meet together in the Fellowship Hall at 9:45 a.m. for a time of Bible Study for All Ages. We will progress through curriculum that speaks to both children and adults of all ages, and that engages people of varying learning styles through different activities. Everyone is invited, because we believe everyone will benefit from this time together. After Easter you will be welcome to return to your traditional Bible study groups, but for now we will study and grow together.
Each week we will teach a lesson, engage each other in conversation and play, create and pray together in ways that equip us to engage in spiritual formation both on and off of our campus. This time will be a gift to our incredible Bible study leaders, as they get a much-deserved break. Along the way we will build relationships that will carry our congregation forward past Easter and our vision process, and into the future.
I invite you to come, but I also challenge you to prepare to enjoy this experience with some within the church with whom you do not normally associate. If you are part of an adult Bible study group, sit and experience this study with some of our children. If you are there with your family, invite someone who is in a different situation of life to join your table. If your kids are no longer at home, sit at a table with parents and their children. I guarantee they would appreciate the additional adult support.
Whatever other Lenten practices you may embrace this year, let’s make a pact to be together for Bible study during these seven weeks. Our church will grow much closer as we continue to follow our Lord and discern God’s future for us. We pray that this practice will bless each of you.
Rev. W. Mattison King