In the beginning was the Word…
Start 2020 with a renewed commitment to the Word of God. The Good Book Club returns for a third year with the Gospel of John. We’ll read the compelling account—inspired by “the disciple whom Jesus loved”—during the time from Epiphany through Shrove Tuesday.
Of course, we are familiar with the most famous verse of John 3:16, but our Good Book Club focus gives us an opportunity to read the extraordinary gospel from start to finish. We’ll hear stories only heard in John: Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding of Cana, encounters the woman at the well, and raises Lazarus from the dead.
The spiritual Gospel of John uses beautiful poetry: Jesus as the bread of life and as the vine. And it’s in John that we hear the great I AM statements.
We’re excited for this journey through John. Make plans now to join Forward Movement and more than a dozen partner organizations from across the Episcopal Church to encounter the risen Lord through the signs and wonders, the beauty and revelation of John’s Gospel.
Sign up to receive updates on the Gospel of John.
Does your organization want to partner with the Good Book Club? Contact Richelle Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current partners include the Episcopal Church Foundation, Forma, the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes), Virginia Theological Seminary, Building Faith, Invite Welcome Connect, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, United Thank Offering, Gathering of Leaders, Latino/Hispanic Ministries, and The Living Church.
What is the Good Book Club?
The Good Book Club is an invitation to all Episcopalians to join in reading the Gospel of John during Epiphany 2020. Episcopalians will read a section every day (except Sundays) through the Epiphany season. In surveys taken before and after the first Good Book Club project in 2018 (reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts), participants reported growth in their understanding of scripture and a deepening of their prayer life. Perhaps most significantly, the percentage of people who reported reading the Bible on a daily basis increased to 73 percent at the end of the first Good Book Club reading, from 45 percent when it began.
Already, individuals, congregations, and organizations have committed to being a part of the Good Book Club, and we hope you’ll join the journey too!
Why read the Bible?
People who read scripture with an open heart grow in faith through their encounter with the sacred stories of the Bible. We know this to be true in our personal experiences — and we have research to back it up. RenewalWorks, a Forward Movement research-based initiative, has data from nearly half a million participants that identify scripture engagement as a key catalyst for spiritual vitality in congregations and for individuals. In other words, if you want to grow and strengthen your faith, reading scripture is the perfect exercise.
Will there be other resources?
Yes! Much like the 2018 Lent-Easter Good Book Club, both Forward Movement and many partners from across the Episcopal Church will provide resources to support you on the journey through the Gospel of John. Good Book Club 2018 resources included podcasts, Bible study guides, books, blogs, videos, and more. We’re looking forward to inspiring and spiritual resources that will be carefully crafted for the Gospel of John 2020. Check back to see what wonderful resources will be offered for this initiative.
How much does it cost?
The Good Book Club is free. You can download the reading list and read the Gospel of John for no charge. Several resources created for this project will be free, while others will have a cost. You’ll pay only for the resources you wish to purchase.
What are the next steps?
You can sign up to receive updates. Please tell as many people as possible about this invitation to a transforming encounter with scripture!
How else can I support this work?
Most importantly, please pray for those committed to reading scripture and for the success of the Good Book Club, that it transforms lives and, indeed, our whole church. If you would like to financially support Forward Movement or one of the other partners that are creating free resources, please consider making a generous donation. You can donate to Forward Movement online, and many of the partners have donation pages on their websites.