Today, January 30th, Cartsbridge Church launched out on an exciting venture called ‘Community Bible Experience.’ The aim is to read a specially formatted version of the New Testament over the next eight weeks. The strength of this project lies in the fact that we will do it together.
The elders of the church spent some time discussing Community Bible Experience at a mini retreat last August and it was then that we mapped out the process. A small team was formed to take it forward, the idea was promoted to the Church at our weekend away to Lendrick Muir at the end of October and we offered a gift wrapped copy of the New Testament at the church service on December 18th. Information featured in our Newsletter over this period before it was fully presented to the church family at the All Age Service on January 28th. We have given out 214 copies of the New Testament as well as 10 people opting to download the e-version for a tablet/smart phone.
Community Bible Experience will not be easy but we believe that doing it as a church family at the same time will encourage people rise to the challenge and support one another over the coming weeks. To help towards that end we will meet on Wednesday nights at the church for a ‘book club.’ These will be informal gatherings in small groups where we will discuss what we are reading and provide opportunities for people to ask questions and share what they are learning.
As I have already mentioned this edition of the New Testament differs from the current format in a number of key ways:
· Chapter and verse numbers have been removed from the text;
· a single-column setting is used to present the text more clearly and naturally;
· footnotes, section headings and any other additional materials have been removed from the sacred text; and
· the books have been placed in an order that should help readers understand them better.
In my preparation for the launch of Community Bible Experience I discovered the following statement which captures the reason why an initiative like this has the potential to enrich the life of a local church. ‘Nothing is more important to spiritual growth than regular, meaningful engagement with God’s word.’