The book of Esther is one of the latest writings of the Old Testament, perhaps written to inspire Jews who had been scattered in the diaspora. The narrative takes place in the court of the King of Persia, King Ahasuerus. Some think that it was written to explain and establish the Jewish festival of Purim.

This three session-study is brought to us by Kay Ward, a bishop of the Moravian Church who lives at Marquardt Manor, a Moravian retirement community in Watertown, Wisconsin. She continues to serve in ministry as a pastor to pastors and intercessor for the church. Before retiring from the staff of Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, she served in team ministry with her husband, Aden. Kay was the first woman to be elected a bishop in the 541 years of the Moravian Church (the Unitas Fratrum).

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Session descriptions:

Session one: For such a time as this: Esther the queen—Voices in the king’s court
Session one sets the scene for the story of Esther and her adopted father, Mordecai. Esther and Mordecai are Jews living under the rule of the Persian king, King Ahasuerus. When Esther becomes the queen, her faith is tested.

Session two: For such a time as this: Esther saves the Jews—Finding our voices
In session two we’ll learn how, when the Jews are threatened, Esther uses her strong faith and the love of her people to embolden her to act. Through some clever schemes, intelligence and a realistic assessment of her situation, Esther is able to save her people.

Session three: For such a time as this: Remembering Esther: Using our voices
In session three, we’ll examine the last chapters of the book of Esther, which are full of hope for the future for the Jews. As women of faith, full of love for God and others, we will consider ways to find and use our voices in our present circumstances—“for such a time as this.”

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