Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.

Encounter Hope in Summer Course on Revelation - Women's Bible Study Explores the Book of Revelation

by Linda Morningstar

Drawing by Martha Kelly, artist-in-residence at
Idlewild Presbyterian Church

Come explore the hope offered in the Book of Revelation, during the 2010 Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study, “Journeys Through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today,” August 16-18 on the seminary campus.

Led by Louise Lawson Johnson, an ordained Presbyterian pastor, the course is designed for those who will be teaching this study in their women’s circles, but it is open to anyone interested in this topic.

We tend to shy away from the Book of Revelation, because we don’t understand the genre or because of confusing ways it has been interpreted over time. I find it heartening that the author of this study presents Revelation as a book of hope-filled vision.  She has written this study to help us discover more about God and God’s great love for the whole world – especially when encountered during challenging and difficult times.

The study, published by Horizons, was written by New Testament scholar Barbara Rossing. Louise Lawson Johnson, who will teach the course at Columbia Seminary, wrote the “Suggestions for Leaders” that accompany each chapter of the study.

Participants will make personal connections with the themes and receive practical ideas for teaching this series. The course content and exercises will help us to engage the Book of Revelation fittingly and faithfully.

It can be helpful, for example, to understand why this book was written. One purpose Rossing identifies in the Book of Revelation was to prod Christians in congregational communities to wake up, repent, and act faithfully and justly – despite the bleak situation caused by Roman rule.

Another aim was to encourage believers to have hope in God’s future and to see that future breaking into the present. The writer of Revelation also wanted to offer an urgent warning that God will judge evil, injustice, inaction, and worship of false gods. Further, Revelation was written to inspire and encourage Christians to become witnesses to God’s way of life, through Jesus Christ. And finally, the Book of Revelation was written to address the question,“Who is the true God?”

We will look at passages in the Old Testament referenced in Revelation. We’ll look at some of the 15 hymns found in Revelation, and we’ll hear or sing present-day hymns that draw on Revelation; for example, Crown Him with Many Crowns and O Holy City, Seen of John.

The class meets 9:00-3:00 Monday through Wednesday. A few guest rooms are available for housing on campus.

NOTE: This workshop is the only PW Bible Study leader training course offered this summer by Columbia Seminary – so sign up soon!  The deadline to register is August 2.

For details and to register for this event, click here.

To register for housing, click here.

Questions about registration? Click here to contact Registrar Angela Wyatt. Or, call 404-687-4587. Questions about the event itself? Click here to contact Linda Morningstar. Or, call 404-687-4636.

Note:  The art accompanying the 2010 women’s Bible study on the Book of Revelation is by Martha Kelly, a lifelong Presbyterian from Memphis, TN. Kelly shows her paintings in galleries throughout the southeast United States. An artist-in-residence at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Kelly began creating biblically-based woodcuts and ink drawings for use on Sunday bulletin covers. Her  liturgical designs and landscapes are available for viewing or for purchase here.