It has been an enriching learning experience for Ken and me to “step out of the boat” by participating in the June Bible Study on Acts under the leadership of Rev. Laurie Taylor Weicher.
Our study was shared by approximately 40 FPC members/friends. Of course, Acts is Luke’s account of the apostles’ acts for God. Our study was timely, given the unsettled time in which we are currently experiencing. It was clearly on our minds and like a release of concern/stress to share various questions with our study partners. Laurie ensured that all of us had the opportunity to share our interpretations, reflections, and questions the scripture revealed. Ken and I especially learned from other participants as we met in discussion groups. Though Ken and I agreed that we might not be the most polished of communicators, as our study progressed, we became more comfortable expressing ourselves. God was with us throughout our journey through Acts.
We discussed questions such as the following:
- How does the church interact with the world today?
- Can I be a Christian and also be able to interact with the world?
- What kind of gifts do I have as a Christian?
- How do I interact as a Christian within my community?
- Do I differentiate between various cultural groups? How?
- Is conversion necessary?
- Is conversion a single act of an ongoing experience?
- Is repentance necessary?
- How do I define freedom?
- How is God a liberator?
- How do I practice Christianity?
- What makes Acts the living word of God?
- How does God’s word shape me as a body?
- How is FPC sharing the gospel with boldness and without hindrance?
It was the sharing of reflections from Bible study members that clearly opened our minds to a diversity of interpretations of Acts and Paul’s role as an apostle of Jesus. As time progressed during our study and we became more comfortable with our study/discussions, Ken and I sought to share very personal thoughts and experiences that have been either disturbing or in need of endorsement. Too frequently, we were uncomfortable to share. Thanks to our Christian friends who reassured us of our beliefs. It also confirmed that our conversion was a lifelong process. This Bible study was indeed an eye-opening experience. God blessed us in so many ways. Yes, Ken and I stepped out of the boat a number of times searching for God’s plan for us. Thank you for this eye-opening experience.
Nancy & Ken Russell