As we live into the unprecedented measures being taken to keep us healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are lamenting the need to stay away from our congregations and Bible study groups.
Although you may not be able to meet in person with your Bible study circle, you can continue to connect with one another and Gather. Use these helpful ideas to remain rooted in Bible study and to put your faith in action during this challenging time:
Phone a friend
Even when we may need to stay “socially distant” to care for our own health and that of neighbors near and far, we still need faithful support and care.
Can you reach out to a member of your Bible study group and make a plan to stay in touch? Perhaps you might make a standing appointment once a week or every few days to connect. Share what you’re going through, pray and complete a section of the Bible study by phone.
Stream your study
It is easier than you might think to lead Gather’s Bible study via the Internet. The ELCA has put together a handy resource to help you create a plan to stream your congregation’s activities with nothing more than an internet connection and a smartphone. Any of the tips in this guide could also be used for your Bible study.
Join us on Facebook
To help us keep connected with one another, Gather’s editors are leading sessions of Gather’s Bible study via Facebook. Visit Facebook.com/gathermagazine to watch the videos and join in conversation with Gather readers all over the world. Come be a part of this great experiment!
Invite someone new
Many people in our communities face increased stress and anxiety related to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. All of us now are coping with unprecedented isolation and uncertainty during this global pandemic. Those who participate in regular Bible study groups know the strength, comfort and challenge of nurturing our faith together, in community, while exploring God’s word. Maybe there’s someone who couldn’t make it to your physical Bible study before, or someone you know—even someone of a different generation—who may long to experience something familiar to you, but new to them: the comfort and challenge of a regular group study of God’s Word. Even if they’re not able or ready at this time, a genuine, caring invitation may be encouraging in a way that we’ll never know. You can also point them to Gather’s Facebook Bible study effort.
Perhaps the need to close schools, work remotely and otherwise change your usual routine has you overwhelmed and juggling more than you feel like you can handle. If engaging in Bible study right now feels overwhelming, we understand. Know that Gather’s editors and Women of the ELCA’s staff, board and network of women across the country are praying for you.
You can join us in prayer Tuesdays at noon from wherever you are. Learn more about this effort here.
Thank you for this support.
We have met in a local park the past 2 months for our Bible Study. Social distancing and wearing masks make us feel more safe. Seeing our church friends boosts our spirits, as well as studying together!
Wow, Betty! I love this idea! What a nice way to get together while ensure everyone stays healthy!
Our circles at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Largo, FL will be sharing our second Zoom meeting on Monday night. Our hope was that our sanctuary was opening in mid-July for services, so we’d thought we’d soon be back together in person. But Florida became a hot spot, so we’ve had to step out of our comfort zone and Zoom! We will be sharing Session 2 in Gather’s Just Love series next week. We’re upping our “techie” skills!
Great to hear it, Linda! Let us know how it goes!
We have always met on Tuesdays weekly with Gather as our base for study. Since our church started meeting with zoom, so also meet as always on Tuesdays. After some trouble getting started, we average 10 per week and up to 14. I am pleased so many are committed. We can see each other and hear each other which is so important now. We share how we are coping and pray for our church family and anyone else who has asked for prayer and then study lesson or articles for half an hour. We have great discussions and all share.
That’s wonderful to hear, Kathy! Thank you for sharing!
I did not receive my January 2023 copy of the Gather magazine and our bible study is on the 10th Any suggestions?
What do you mean by moderation? Is there a way to access the bible study on line in I am a subscriber?
I did NOT receive my January nor March copy of the Gather magazine. What shall I do?
Thanks for your comment, Lee Ann. You can call the Subscription center at 844-409-0576 to check on your subscription. Blessings, Beth