The book of Ruth is focus for ACC Bible studies

[Anglican Communion News Service] When members of the Anglican Consultative Council meet in Lusaka next month for its 16th meeting (ACC-16), they will discuss – in the context of intentional discipleship – issues ranging from gender justice, refugees and migration, the environment and reconciliation; and they will do so against a backdrop of prayer, Bible study and worship.

And members of the Anglican Communion throughout the world are being invited to join with them as they explore the Book of Ruth in a series of daily Bible studies.

The Bible studies have been prepared by a group of biblical scholars that met 16 times via Skype in 2014 and 2015, specifically written with ACC-16 in mind. They are also part of the Bible in the Life of the Church initiative which aims to encourage the Anglican Communion to read the Bible together across the different contexts in which Anglicans are called to witness and minister.

“ACC-16 will be engaging with Bible studies on Ruth that have come from the Communion’s Bible in the Life of the Church project,” Stephen Lyon, the initiative’s coordinator, said. “The aim is to encourage a deeper engagement with Scripture.

“Written by an international group of biblical scholars, who met over 16 times via Skype and undertook the studies themselves over these meetings, they invite a deep encounter with such rich characters as Ruth, Naomi and Boaz.

“Their story can help us in our Christian journey as Anglicans from all over the Communion.”

In the introduction to the Bible study, the authors say: “We have made the Bible studies as accessible as possible, using a series of questions in each case as the basic format of the Bible study. . .

“Through the questions we invite you to engage with the biblical text and your context. Each question is designed to take you deeper into the biblical text or deeper into the engagement between the biblical text and your context.”

The Bible studies were prepared by Ellen Davis, Duke University Divinity School, North Carolina, USA; Femi Adeleya, director of church partnerships, World Vision International, Ghana; Cath Duce, St. Stephen, Westminster, UK; John Goldingay, School of Theology of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, USA; Esther Mombo, Faculty of Theology, St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya; Gerald West, School of Theology, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Chris Wright, Langham Partnership, London, U.K.; and Stephen Lyon.

The Bible study books include a dramatized reading of the book of Ruth by Ellen Davis and a series of woodcuts illustrating the story by Margaret Adams Parker. Both were first used in the book “Who Are You My Daughter? – Reading Ruth Through Image and Text”.

Anglicans around the world are invited to study the book of Ruth either at the same time as the ACC or at another time. The ACC Bible study books can be downloaded (pdf) from the ACC-16 webpage in English, French and Spanish. The daily Bible studies will be published on ACNS from April 8 to 19.

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