Scriptures & Study: A Look into PW Horizons Bible Study
Each year, Presbyterian Women publishes a nine-lesson Horizons Bible study which is used by women across the U.S. (and in several other countries). The studies often focus on a book of the Bible and/or a particular theme. Because the studies are thoroughly field-tested, they include questions for discussion and suggestions for leaders.
Typically, PW circles meet monthly and study one lesson each month from September to May. The studies are “all-inclusive packages,” so PW leaders can tailor the lessons to fit the timeframe and life experiences of the circle members.
I first attended a Horizons Bible Study class at CTS the year I agreed to lead all nine lessons. Having only taught Sunday School to children, I was a bit intimidated about leading adults! I was looking for guidance on how to teach the lessons, and to my surprise, I gained so much more. Currently, I am a part-time leader (our circle members rotate teaching each month), but I try to attend the class whenever possible because the advantages of attending are numerous.
I’d like to highlight a few of them below.
- Typically, the course is taught by the author, so students benefit from her passion, intention and faith.
- Studying the entire bible study within a few days enables students to get a better sense of the overall themes, and to appreciate how the lessons interconnect.
- Attending the class in August provides time to absorb the lesson content, ponder the parts, and formulate ideas for teaching the study in our churches during the year.
- We obtain ideas for moderating the lessons not only from the instructor, but also from other women in attendance. (Most women who attend live in the Southeastern U.S., but frequently students attend from elsewhere, including Alaska!)
- The collaboration among all students enriches our understanding of the study and better equips us to share teaching approaches at home.
- There is, of course, an intangible benefit of being on a seminary campus. The academic ambiance provides a sanctuary from “regular” life.
Past studies have concentrated on Esther, Who is the Christ?, Women in the Gospel of John, unnamed women in scripture, the liturgical calendar, perspectives on Genesis, hearing God’s call, journeying through Revelation, the Beatitudes, the presence of God, and more. One of my favorites was titled “Who is Jesus? What a Difference a Lens Makes.”
Analyzing selected passages from different gospels was an enlightening journey to appreciate the value of multiple perspectives, not just about Jesus, but about life in general. Another powerful study was “Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments.” Approaching the 10 commandments as a love letter from God which invites all of God’s people to willingly accept our responsibility to live in a community out of gratitude, instead of a list of do’s and don’ts was enlightening and reaffirming to discover.
Faith is a lifelong journey. These studies and classes foster both a deeper personal understanding of Biblical text and kinship with fellow travelers along the way.
To register for the 2022 bible study, click here.
Kelly Weirich, PW Horizons Participant and Teacher