Covering the Whole Bible
Jeff has a Five-Point Plan for leading Catholics into the word of God, for creating tools for Catholic Scripture Study unavailable anywhere else in the world, and for making these studies and tools available in every parish. To do this, he aims to do the following:
1) Develop Bible Studies covering the whole Bible in union with the living Tradition of the Church.
First and most obviously, we must continue what we have already begun: creating the best Catholic bible study materials in the world. To that end, we are busily moving forward with new studies. Next up after we complete our world-class study of Romans is a brand new study of Genesis by Gayle Somers and Sara Christmyer. This 20-part study of one of the most important books of the Old Testament will take us through an examination of the basics of the human condition, as well as the roots of God's work in redeeming the world, roots that will eventually bear fruit in the coming of Jesus Christ.
After this study, we will do the next logical thing: study Exodus, the book after Genesis and the dramatic account of the central event in Israel's history their liberation from Pharaoh. This 20-part study, written by Jeff Cavins and Mark Shea, will be out in mid-2002.
We will continue to work our way through the major books of the Bible (Relax! No 20-part studies of the thirteen verses of 2 John) until we have studies available on the length and breadth of Scripture. In addition, of course, we will continue releasing our previous studies. The first of these is already back up on the web: our exciting and timely study of Revelation. And, as ever, these studies are absolutely free!
Working at the Parish Level
2) Develop a system for establishing studies at the parish level.
Parish life is where it's at, and it should be even more of a central element in the lives of average Catholics. The overwhelming number of people who use Catholic Scripture Study don't work on it at their computers. Being real people with real lives, you folks do the sensible thing: you print the studies out, take them to your parish or small group meeting, and devour them there.
We want to help facilitate this process by working with dioceses around the U.S. (and eventually, the world) to familiarize them with the studies and make the studies readily available to everybody in the parish. For information on how you can start a Catholic Scripture Study study group in your area, contact our Catholic Scripture Study coordinator Gail Buckley.
3) Develop leadership training to lead studies.
We believe these studies bring out the best in people and inspire them to share the Word of God with others as we ourselves have been inspired. To help make that happen, we want to train people who can lead studies for larger groups. We also want to give these people the tools to prepare other individuals within their groups to go out and begin groups of their own. Jeff has already begun meeting with bishops and preparing training materials to realize these goals.
4) Hold regional conferences for the purpose of advancing biblical studies and leadership training.
Fires grow when you put a lot of wood in one place. We want to bring members of Catholic Scripture Study together in regional conferences so that we can worship God together, share ideas and insights from our own small group experiences, and benefit from the teaching of some of the best minds in Catholic Scripture study today.
To that end, one of our goals is to sponsor regional conferences throughout the U.S. which will provide workshops, resources, networking and other tools for helping Catholic Scripture Study groups grow not only in size and number but, most importantly, in the knowledge of Scripture and obedience to Christ.
5) Create collateral services like thematic studies, character studies, and children and family products.
Finally, we want to branch out into other kinds of Scripture study. In addition to studies of particular books, we want to produce studies of particular themes in Scripture and answer some of the pressing questions of the day concerning, say, the Catholic view of war, or parenting, or ecumenism, or how to raise a family.
In addition, we hope to focus on some of the great characters in Scripture such as David, Abraham, Peter, Mary, and Moses. We also want to make the Scriptures available at a level children can readily understand and profit from with various materials geared to the small set such as coloring books, children's biblical devotionals, and other fun stuff.
We Need Your Monthly Support
Ambitious? Heck yes! Impossible? Heck no! We've already begun and the proof is seen in the Catholic Scripture Study materials which you yourselves know to be of the highest quality better than we do! We won't, of course, be able to do it in a day. But we can do it with your help. Here's how:
I'm asking you to sign up for our Monthly Donor Program for a one year period to the tune of at least $15-25 dollars a month less than a cup of coffee a day. Our goal is to have 1,000 monthly donors by December 31, 2001. I'm happy to report we already have 266 people signed up. But I'm asking you to help make that number grow as soon as you can.
Catholic Scripture Study has proven its ability to deliver top-flight Catholic Bible studies that both challenge and inspire. With the generosity of those who contributed to our initial donor drive in July, we were able to carry on the work that we began under the auspices of e3mil and now continue on Catholic Exchange. Catholic Exchange runs an extremely tight ship (I am one of only four full-time employees remaining here), but still produces not only one of the best Bible studies in the world, but an outstanding daily portal, free websites for any Catholic parish in the U.S., and lots of valuable resources for your Catholic faith. Indeed, one Catholic leader has remarked that it is astonishing what we are able to accomplish on our extremely limited budget. We couldn’t do it without the Holy Spirit and your financial support.
So our next major goal on the road to long-term viability is this: establish a stable, reliable, Monthly Donor Base. If we don't, we will be forced to curtail or discontinue our free online Bible study. Now is the time to vote for Catholic Scripture Study with your support.
If we do, we’ll be here for the long haul, providing not only the best Catholic Bible study in the world, but our other vital services as well. And this goal is highly achievable if you will act and act today to make it happen!
So, please: if our work on Catholic Scripture Study has helped strengthen your faith, if the studies have deepened your love for and understanding of Holy Scripture, if they've helped you in your daily evangelization and apologetics efforts at the office or with friends or if they’ve just served to reinforce your relationships and family ties, now's the time to make sure that this resource will be here in the future!
If Catholic Scripture Study has been a blessing to you in any way, please make a commitment right now to help us continue this important work. Would you like to keep receiving new Bible studies? Your answer is just a click away. Go here and become a Monthly Donor to Catholic Exchange.
Many thanks in advance for whatever you can do to help in this work!
P.S. Again, we're only asking you to sign up for a contribution of $15-25 dollars per month for a one-year period. Many of our users are college students and Catholics in poor countries who cannot afford to support us financially. Please help cover the cost of nourishing these brothers and sisters in the faith! You will be repaid ten-fold for your generosity. May the peace of Christ be yours in abundance!