This summer – as a whole community – we are going to read the whole Bible, from cover to cover in 90 days.
We say repeatedly that Scripture is the place where we ground our faith – our understanding of God and of the world. Reading the whole Bible will open us up to new insights, and give us a chance to grow deeper in our relationship with God.
We will begin reading together on May 27 (Memorial Day Weekend), and will read until the middle of August. Each of the Sundays in the Summer we will be talking about a portion of the texts that we just read during worship, reading a specific portion and applying it thematically to the rest of the section.
Our goal is to have as many people in our community as possible be a part of this powerful experience.
At the heart of this challenge are reading groups. Reading the Bible is powerful – adding in readings groups makes this truly transformative. You are strongly encouraged to make a commitment to a group for the summer. Remember – this is just for 90 days (12 weeks). Groups will meet after worship and structure themselves- some may meet weekly (in my opinion, the best option), others may meet every other week with an online check in. Questions and reflections will be provided, no matter the format the group uses.
Why reading groups?
Q: What if I can’t commit to a Reading Group, can I still participate?
Yes! I get time commitments and the need for flexibility. Discussion questions for the groups will be posted in the B90 section of our website and on our Facebook page. In addition, Pr. Eric will be preparing a short video each week to reflect on the sermon and look forward to the coming week’s reading. These will be posted alongside the discussion questions on both platforms.
Q: I don’t have time for that much reading!
The whole Bible seems like a lot. It is daunting. But the reality is we can do this – together – by giving just one hour each day. We may have to change our routines for the summer – watch a little less TV, be intentional about how we schedule our time for reading. But we can all find one hour a day. In a thin line Bible – one without study notes – this amounts to around just 12 pages a day.
Q: Why over the summer? We have vacation planned.
There is always something that gets in the way. We will all miss a week or two of our reading group because of vacations (I know I will, too). Every season has its challenges – school and activities in the Fall, holidays in the Winter, and Spring Break and sports in the Spring. Take your Bible with you on vacation: read it at the beach or on the plane.
Q: What if I get behind?
Let’s be honest: it will happen at some point. We will miss a day, or two, and have to catch up. Try not to skip any pages – the point is to read the whole Bible. Instead, set aside some extra time to catch up. I find that Sunday afternoons are a great time to do some extra reading.
Q: Really, every word? What about the genealogies?
Yes, the goal is to read every single word. One thing we will discover is that some parts of the Bible are more exciting than others. But we are going to read it all – because it is all a gift from God.
Q: What if I don’t understand it all?
Spoiler alert: You won’t. There will be parts that all of us struggle with at different points. That’s ok. Try not to get bogged down in the places that you find it harder to understand. Keep reading. Mark the page or the passage, and come back to it after this 90 day read through to wrestle with it a little more. Bring the passage to your reading group – see if others also struggled with it, and maybe together you can shed some light on it. Heck, talk to Pr. Eric, he’d be happy to help!
Q: Ok, I’m in. What Bible should I use?
Any Bible will work! We will provide a list of each day’s readings, so you can follow along with the verse numbers in any Bible. I recommend using a Bible that does not have study notes – when our Bible has study notes, we tend to spend time reading them as we try and gain a deeper understanding of the text. If our goal is to read from cover to cover, any study notes will slow us down. In worship we use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and there is some advantage to using the same translation we use in worship. But any translation will work, and it can actually be insightful in our reading groups to note how the different translations handle certain text.
Q: Where and how do I sign up?
Email, text, or call Pr. Eric.