I have never participated in a non-denominational Bible study before and was anxious when I got there!
I work in the Vocations department of Glenmary Home Missioners. We took a trip to East Tennessee to visit our missions there.
Fr. Steve Pawelk leads a Bible study, which includes at least 15 people of different denominations gathered together to reflect on Scripture. Our group of 8 people dropped in to participate and observe.
The group took turns reading from passages and then periodically stopping to discuss what they had just read. They work from a structured Bible study course book.
|Visitors Mike Cain and Julie Gerver deep in thought.|
Maybe reading some apologetics books throughout my formation gave me the impression that we have to be armed, ready and prepared--which is true. In a good sense, we have to have an understanding of our faith and be ready to explain that to others. However, my impression from reading those kinds of books is that we have to ‘get ready for battle’-- to fight the attacks that are coming and be ready to fight back.
I observed a great way to interact and share our faith: You meet the person as they are. It is like you are saying, I care about you--I'm nottrying to force anything on you, I care about you as you are. And that’s really cool. That helped me--first, to see that it is possible to get together and have positive interactions with people from different traditions. And second, to see that it is about loving each other as human beings, and the rest will follow.
Afterwards, I was in the parking lot, talking to people as they were leaving, and it was just very friendly. People were saying, it was so good to meet you, that kind of thing. It was just human beings coming together and sharing what’s important to them.
|Fr. Steve Pawelk gives an explanation.|