When this newsletter arrives in your home, we will have begun our journey through the Bible together using Scripture Union USA’s “E100 Bible Reading Challenge.” There are three components to Hope’s twenty week E100 campaign.
First, individual E100 participants are reading five passages of scripture each week, guided by Whitney T. Kuniholm’s book, The Essential 100. The book is designed to be used with your Bible. I am finding Kuniholm’s book very helpful. His brief introductions to each week’s readings help us understand the scriptures in their context, and his reflections encourage us to think about how each reading might apply to our lives. By reading these passages—fifty from the Old Testament and fifty from the New Testament—the “essential 100”—E100 participants will not cover the entire content of the Bible, but they will gain a solid understanding of what the Bible is all about, and develop the habit of daily Bible reading. (Don’t have a book? Order it online at http://store.scriptureunionresources.com/the-essential-bible-book-e100/ or call the church office at 518-279-1403 and we’ll order one for you. The cost is $10.)
Second, E100 participants are gathering in small groups each week to discuss what we have read. The primary aim of these gatherings is simply to have fellowship around the Word of God. We are enjoying one another’s company as we talk about what we have read, using questions for group discussion in the back of the E100 book. (If you haven’t signed up for an E100 discussion group, look at the group options below and contact the discussion leader to let him or her know you are interested.)
Third, our Sunday worship services during the E100 Challenge are based on the scriptures that we have read that week. Our new Worship Planning Team is working hard to produce Sunday services that engage our hearts and minds with the scriptures we have read and encourage us to offer our lives to God in light of what He is revealing to us in His Word.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for what You are doing in the lives of the people of Hope UMC in the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. We pray for your presence and help as we read the scriptures day by day. Help us to hear Your voice and to grow in faith and discipleship. We pray for You to strengthen the bonds of love and fellowship among us as we gather in small groups to talk about what You are saying to us in Your Word. And we pray that as You open the scriptures to us, Your grace will lead us to worship You in spirit and in truth, so that we willingly delight to offer up our whole lives to You, a living sacrifice. We want to live as Your covenant people in the world; people whose words and deeds proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We pray in Jesus’ name.