Dear Friends in Christ,
As we make our way through Lent, we always encourage members and friends to use this special season to deepen their spiritual lives. Prayer, scripture reading, acts of service and sacrifice all help us to draw closer to God. While some folks “give up” things for Lent, others add such spiritual practices to their daily lives. Our One Great Hour of Sharing Offering offers one such opportunity for giving and sharing.
In the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition, we value scripture very highly. Bible reading is an important and valuable way to learn more about God and God’s will for our lives. Daily Bible reading and meditation on what has been read have long been held in high regard in our tradition. Many of you are joining us in the verse a day journey through Lent, whether electronically, or through the booklet that has been made available. Together, we are using the Scriptures to guide us on our Lenten journey.
When we gather on Sundays, the reading and exposition (or interpretation and application) of Scripture are at the very heart of our worship. The Scriptures are read and proclaimed in the company of the gathered faithful, and together we hear and learn, and then go out into the world to live and do.
On most Sundays, we use the New Revised Standard Version of scripture for the readings. Folks are encouraged to read along in the pew Bibles. Our current pew Bibles (and the Bible in the lectern, which the lay readers use) contain an older version – the Revised Standard Version – so the readings do not always match up. Some folks find this disconcerting, and it can be a little awkward to try to follow along.
In an effort to make the community reading of Scripture as meaningful as possible, Session has decided that we will purchase new Bibles for the pews – these will be the New Revised Standard Version. We have found an edition that has fairly large and very legible print. We hope to have these Bibles in the pews by Pentecost, which is Sunday, May 20.
We are offering members and friends of the congregation the opportunity to be a part of this project by donating money for the Bibles. We know of at least one donor who has already pledged to provide a significant number of Bibles, but we want everyone to have an opportunity to help us purchase Bibles in memory or in honor of a friend or loved one. Members are also free to order a personal copy for their homes. In this Crier, you will find a form for this very purpose, and special envelopes will be available in worship in the coming weeks.
We who gather as the disciples of the living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, can delight in this opportunity to make the written word available and accessible to all who enter our doors for worship. We can’t think of a better way to honor a friend or loved one during this holy season.
As the coming celebration of resurrection and new life approaches, we pray that we might all spend more time with both the living and the written Word and that God will bless us richly as we do so.
Yours in Christ,
Mary Jane & Gary