Begin 2021 with the Gospel of Mark! The Good Book Club returns to read the earliest and shortest of the four gospels, starting Friday, January 1, 2021, through Shrove Tuesday, February 16.
Mark opens with words from the prophet Isaiah: “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,” and indeed the gospel itself serves as a messenger for the life and ministry of Jesus. Written around 65-75 CE, Mark proclaims the good news that Jesus is the messiah and Son of God.
We’re excited for this journey through Mark. Make plans now to join Forward Movement and partner organizations from across the Episcopal Church to encounter the risen Lord through the Gospel of Mark.
Follow the Gospel of Mark with reflections from noted leaders from around the world. If you’d like to enrich your Good Book Club experience by reading A Journey with Mark, we encourage you to order now.
Does your organization want to partner with the Good Book Club? Contact Richelle Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current partners include the The Episcopal Church, United Thank Offering, The Living Church, ChurchNext, RenewalWorks, Episcopal Relief & Development, Episcopal Church Foundation, Missional Voices, Forma, Grow Christians, Building Faith, Episcopal Camps & Conference Centers, Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, Invite Welcome Connect, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Montreal Diocesan Theological College.
What is the Good Book Club?
The Good Book Club is an invitation to all Episcopalians to join in reading the Gospel of Mark during Epiphany 2021. Episcopalians will read a section every day 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 Mark. 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 Mark 2021. 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 Mark 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.