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Summer is Almost Here!

Summer is almost here! Many schools are closing, young people are walking across stages to get their diplomas, swimming pools are being cleaned, bug spray and sunscreen are flying off the shelves, and our church is gearing up for a whole array of summer ministries.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the first annual Firefly Festival on June 1 and about the special Sunday School offerings being planned for June and July. Start bringing your gently used clothing to the church for Christ’s Closet, our clothing giveaway in late July. Spend time praying for our youth who will be traveling on choir tour and to Mountain T.O.P. in the coming weeks. Pray for all of the lay and clergy delegates from middle Tennessee who will gathering for Annual Conference in mid-June. The list of things to do and ways to participate in the life of the church this summer is long!

But before the summer season gets into full swing, I want to tell you about something exciting that’s coming up in the fall. I know, I know. Who wants to be thinking about   the fall right now? But trust me, you’ll want to know about this! Since many of you will be traveling and on different schedules in the coming weeks, I want to introduce it to you now because I’m too excited to wait much longer!

Beginning in the first week of August and ending in May of 2015, our congregation will take a “Journey through the Bible” together. We are going to work our way through the whole biblical story from Genesis to Revelation over the course of ten months. We’ll be taking this journey on Sundays during worship, and there will be many opportunities for small group studies and classes. We’ll also have some resources available as well for anyone who wants to read the Bible through on their own. All the plans are still being made, but suffice it to say that there will be many different ways to join in this journey!

I can’t overemphasize how important it is for all of us to read the Bible. So many of us feel like we really don’t know the Bible at all. We’re intimidated by it. It’s an enormous book with all different kinds of literature inside it: story, poetry, parables, letters, apocalyptic writing, drama. It’s confusing and often leaves us with more questions than answers. What’s more, we hear the Bible used and misused so often that we get overwhelmed trying to understand it on our own. It’s easier just to let others tell us what it says rather than to try and decipher it ourselves.

If you’ve ever felt this way about the Bible, let me invite you into a “year with the Bible,” starting in August. We’ll be reading it together, so you won’t be in it alone. There will be others reading it alongside you and lots of places to bring your thoughts and insights and questions. No doubt, as we read together we will have many questions that don’t get answered. But I believe with all my heart that we will hear from the living God, who continues to speak through the scriptures to all who open their hearts and minds.

So, if you’re looking for some good summer reading, why not get a head start on reading the Bible? Maybe you could read the book of Genesis between now and August. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could read the whole Torah, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Either way, begin praying now about how God might be inviting you to join in this journey through the Bible!