Lions, Marj Pon, Rebecca Laird, Amanda Bachus, and Julie Glass (left to
right) talk during a taping of "Unfailing Love: Growing Closer to Jesus
Christ," the second in a series of Bible studies produced by the United
Methodist Publishing House and United Methodist Communications.
"Sisters Bible Study for Women" is a six-week Bible series written
especially for women. The first in the series, "Knowing God: Making God
the Main Thing in My Life" by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, was published in
August. More than 5,000 women participated in the first study. UMNS
photo by Ronny Perry, Photo number 03-515, Accompanies UMNS #586,
No Long Caption Available for this Story
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sitting in a comfortable living
room sipping coffee, five women are talking about a pregnant 13-year-old
It isn't someone they know; it's someone about whom they have read.
The living room is a television production stage. The 13-year-old girl they are discussing is Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Amanda Bachus, Julie Glass, Faye Lions, Marj Pon and Rebecca Laird are being taped for a "Sisters Bible Study for Women."
so young and pregnant by the Holy Spirit, that is really beyond my
comprehension," Bachus says. "That is why I am here in this Bible study -
I want some answers."
Unfailing Love: Growing Closer to Jesus
Christ, written by Laird, is the second in a series of Bible studies
being produced by the United Methodist Publishing House and United
Methodist Communications. It will be available in March.
six-week Bible series is written especially for women. Research
conducted by the Publishing House pointed toward a need for such a
study, says Mary Catherine Dean, an executive with the Nashville-based
The first in the series, Knowing God: Making God the
Main Thing in My Life by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, was published in
August. More than 5,000 women participated in the first study, Dean
"It is wonderful to hear the authors and be in the presence
of strong, thoughtful women who are so willing to be open about their
faith journey," says Leslie Alexander, an executive with United
Methodist Communications. "This is a really high-quality product, and I
hope many women will use it."
"Sisters" invites women to delve
into the Bible, but it also offers them an opportunity to form deeper
relationships with other women, says Lions, one of the four "sisters" in
the group led by Laird.
"Part of what I have enjoyed most is
getting to know the authors and working with them," Lions says. She says
an added bonus was gaining three new "sisters," all of whom work for
the communications agency or the Publishing House.
"It is great
relating to them and realizing for once in my life there are others that
share some of the same joys and concerns that I do."
"Relationships are really important to women," says Cynthia Gadsden, print editor for the series.
doing research for the project, Gadsden found that most material on the
market was lecture based and didn't highlight the relational aspect
that the "Sisters" series does.
"The leader is right there
leading a one-on-one discussion with the sisters," she says. "We wanted
to have recognized leaders, but we also wanted leaders with whom women
could relate and interact."
"The closeness that we experienced in
this relatively short span of time was amazing," says Marsha Murphy, a
member of Connell Memorial United Methodist Church in Goodlettsville,
Tenn., who recently participated in the first "Sisters Bible Study" at
her church. "We shared openly and supported each other and continue to
Murphy says the diversity of the women on the tape adds value to the program and makes it seem more like "real life."
author of the first study, is associate pastor of Trinity United
Methodist Church in Lafayette, Ind. She is also author of The
Laird is author of Leslie Weatherhead's
The Will of God: A Workbook. She is a licensed minister in the Church of
the Nazarene and is serving a Presbyterian church. She lives with her
husband and two daughters in Madison, N.J.
"Sisters," Dean says, is an "open-ended series, meaning it could go on and on, depending on the market."
is good to have these Bible sessions; they are needed," Bachus says.
"The fact that we call ourselves 'sisters' helps. Going through the
Bible from a woman's perspective is very interesting."
For more information on the series, go to www.Cokesbury.com.
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*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service, a unit of United Methodist Communications.