Bible Study Options

coffee-book-628x363The days have warmed, the sun has peaked out it’s head and it seems like it is finally time to start making plans for the summer. Part of those plans here at First Baptist Church in Essex include a summer book group or Bible study.

What would you like to read together?

Possibilities have been outlined below. Feel free to add your own suggestions. Cast your vote by contacting Pastor Joy via email at or via text at 860-581-0493.

Option 1: Living our questions

What questions about faith, life and God do you have?  For this group, there would not be a book, just a chance to explore questions, thoughts and reflections about faith that weigh on your minds.  It would be an opportunity to examine and explore questions like: What do we mean when we use terms like salvation, sin and evil?  Are there more than one way to understand these terms?  What do we talk about when we talk about God?  How do we truly love our neighbors?  What if our neighbors aren’t very nice?  What do we do then?  This group would be a chance to explore and reflect together on the real questions, challenges and struggles that we face as people of faith in the world today.

Option 2: Bible study on Acts

Acts is a book of the Bible that teaches us about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the beginnings of the Jesus movement and lives of the apostles in the face of the fear and uncertainty that surrounded them.  For this Bible study, we would read through the book of Acts together, listening to how the Spirit was speaking to the disciples back then and how the Spirit is speaking to us right now.

Option 3: Simply Jesus

In the book Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Is, What He Does and Why He Matters, N.T. Wright summarizes 200 years of modern Biblical scholarship and models how Christians can best retell the story of Jesus today. In a style similar to C.S. Lewis’s popular works, Wright breaks down the barriers that prevent Christians from fully engaging with the story of Jesus. For believers confronting the challenge of connecting with their faith today, and for readers of Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God, Wright’s Simply Jesus offers a provocative new picture of how to understand who Jesus was and how Christians should relate to him today.

Option 4: An inspiring story of one mother’s journey to heal

In the book, Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable, Loss, and Rituals that Heal, Sheila Collins shares the true story of a mother’s fierce love and determination, and her willingness to go outside the bounds of the ordinary when two of her three adult children are diagnosed with life-threatening disease. Collins is an active Interplay leader and is a colleague of Lisa Laing.

Option 5: Reflecting on being an multigenerational church

In Messy Church: A Multigenerational Mission for God’s Family, Ross Parsley invites us to ponder and wrestle with what it truly means to be a multigenerational family of God.  What does that mean for all aspects of our church life?  How does that call shape both our worship life and our relationships?  In his book, Parsley reminds us that church, like families, can be messy, but it is in the messiness that we experience the beauty of God at work in our lives.

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