Church communities across Canada were led deeper into the Gospel of Luke this past Lent thanks to a Bible study curriculum from Montreal Dio.
Luke forms the basis of the Sunday readings in many churches this year. Dio taught a non-credit online course last fall that attracted 80 students from dioceses across the country. In February, the college held a follow-up event: a one-day training session that prepared lay people to lead a Bible study on Luke in their own congregations. The training session included an introduction to the key themes of the gospel, reflection on how to lead Bible study, and an overview of a Bible study curriculum prepared by college faculty.
Yvonne Wakeland led a Lent Bible study group at All Saints in Dorval, Quebec. She reported that one member of her group commented afterwards that “The study was very beneficial to me. The questions provided in the curriculum for discussion were of enormous help and provoked much lively and agreeable dialogue.” Another member said, “This study has helped our growth, education, and formation to have a guide for directed discussion around some of the themes in the Gospel. The curriculum provided the opportunity to spend some time on one small chunk and look at that bit from different view points, relating to the times, then to our present-day society, our own lives and experiences, and finally, what is the relevance to each of us personally in terms of our relationship with God and the Kingdom.”
The Rev. Claire Miller of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario adapted the curriculum to use it with her regular mid-week Bible study group. She reported that the curriculum was very helpful and that she “found that each of the sessions contained new information for me that was interesting and insightful.”
Diane Wood, a member of the French service at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, also translated parts of the curriculum and adapted it for us with their regular study group known as Pain, partage et prière. She reported that the background in Luke gives the group “a nice grounding in context and themes of the gospel.”
Shirley Newell led a study group at St. Matthias in Westmount, Quebec. She reported afterwards that while she had participated in many studies, this was the first one she had ever led and was grateful for the confidence the training provided. “We certainly had rousing discussions, never dull,” she said about her group. “I would like do more of these studies in this congregation.”
Montreal Dio is committed to inspiring more “rousing discussions” about Scripture in the church. Faculty members are currently making plans for our next online offerings in the next academic year, which will include a course focused on the Gospel of Matthew.