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Time to dust off your Bible for 2011’s Big Read
People across Great Britain are getting ready to take a fresh look at the Gospel of Matthew during Lent with the Big Read.
The Big Read is part of the Big Bible project, an online digital community that promotes regular Bible reading and engagement with contemporary culture. After the success of last year’s Big Read, which was based in the North East, this year’s project is bigger and better as it aims for a wider outreach.
This year the project takes full advantage of social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, as well as adding multimedia resources available through the Big Bible blog, with a blend of physical and digital materials. The latest statistics show that the website has more than doubled its visitors between November 2010 and February 2011*.
The Project is launching this year’s Big Read with Tom Wright's Lent for Everyone: Matthew. As well as using the book, house groups will be able to take advantage of free online study materials from a range of contributors, including week-by-week group resources, videos and audio reflections, and a challenge to carry that learning through the week. The Big Bible website also allows people to discuss the text with people all over the world, from a range of different perspectives.
Bex Lewis, Big Bible Project Manager: “People become really comfortable in their own house groups, staying in the same one for years. The Big Read offers another layer of conversation in the online forums, where they can engage with others and where thinking can be challenged.”
Revd Dr Peter Phillips, CODEC: “Researchers at Durham University have found that although three quarters of the population own at least one Bible, only one fifth of people commit to reading it week by week. BigBible offers a great opportunity to dust off your bible, share with your friends and neighbours and learn more about what God wants for your life.”
Scripture Union's vision is for every Christian to be engaging enthusiastically with the Bible and growing in their faith. To this end, and with the next generation very much in mind, Scripture Union launched a major new ministry resource on New Year's Day: WordLive - a website offering access to a wide range of creative approaches to God's Word.
It's free of charge, intuitive and simple to use - and it works like this . . .
Every time users log on to WordLive, they'll be prompted to pray and explore the Bible in a variety of ways. They can:
- Hear the Bible passage read.
- Listen to a WordLive podcast or download it to an MP3 player.
- Watch a video clip.
- Listen to a worship song.
- Dig deeper into further Bible study.
- Search on a theme or Bible passage.
- Dip into creative prayer suggestions . . . and explore a host of other activities.
Users can sign up to receive a daily WordLive email, or access WordLive through a mobile phone. WordLive is updated every day with new notes, images, videos and audio, and it also boasts an extensive searchable archive of material. However you choose to use it, WordLive will bring God's Word to you, whatever your need, whenever you want, wherever you go.
SU want to offer WordLive to as many people as possible, so it will be available free, although SU is inviting donations towards its upkeep and continual development.
SU believe WordLive is an innovative ministry, a creative way to get all God's people into his Word, and a fresh opportunity for mission. It engages with today's mobile generations, who live a lot of their lives online. It's ideal for regular personal use and can also be used for groups.
This link wordlive.scriptureunion.org.uk/wordlive leads you to a short presentation about WordLive, which will give you a brief introduction to the resource. Better still please do try WordLive for yourself www.wordlive.org.uk
A word in your ear… Methodist Church launches audio Bible study
A Word in Time, the online Bible study for daily life, was launched at the beginning of September and has been hugely successful, with around 300 visitors to the site every day.
But now the team have decided to make the studies even more accessible. An audio file of each day’s Bible study, and a bigger file with all of the studies for each week can easily be downloaded onto a computer or mp3 player, so that users can listen at a time convenient to them.
Alison Pollard, Web Writer and Researcher and the new voice of A Word in Time says; ‘People find it increasingly difficult to make time to read and reflect on the Bible in today’s busy world. A Word in Time made it easier by giving people access to a Bible study on the internet. Now we’ve taken it to the next level and you can catch up with your daily Bible study at a time most convenient to you - whether you’re cooking dinner, doing your weekly shop or on the daily commute to work.’
A Word in Time features a daily Bible reading, background and an explanation of the text, reflections and questions to ponder from that week’s contributor. It follows the readings in the Methodist Prayer Handbook bringing the 40,000 readers of the handbook together with online disciples in their search for daily spirituality.
Each audio file is available in two formats - a high quality version for those using broadband internet connections and a lower-quality file for those using a dial-up connection. The audio files for past Bible studies are available online in the Word in Time archives.
The audio Bible studies are also ideal for sharing with those who otherwise might not have access to daily Bible notes, perhaps because of a disability or simply not having access to the internet.
A Word in Time is voiced by Alison Pollard and Stephen Lambert.
A Word in Time - the online bible study for daily life
As daily life gets more and more hectic, many find it difficult to make time for the spiritual side of life. Now they can simply log on to www.methodist.org.uk/bible from wherever they happen to be and access A Word in Time, the Methodist Church’s online daily Bible study.
Launched on Sunday September 2 as part of the new-look Methodist website, A Word in Time features a daily Bible reading, background on the text, reflections and questions to ponder from that week’s contributor. It follows the readings in the Methodist Prayer Handbook, All things in Christ, bringing the 40,000 readers of the handbook together with online disciples in their search for daily spirituality. Sundays will be extra special, with a blog attached to the commentary, enabling users to post their own comments and thoughts on the featured passage.
Alison Pollard, Web Writer, says; “The Bible is a central part of our faith, but with our hectic 21st century lifestyles, it’s often easy to neglect this essential part of our Christianity. With this exciting new online feature, we are trying to encourage the reader to apply the Bible to their own life and the social and political context in which they live.”
Each week, a different writer will offer their thoughts and reflections on a different passage of the Bible, with fifty-two contributors in total, from a wide range of social and academic backgrounds.
The Family Friendly Churches has committed itself to providing each week a video built around one of the lectionary readings for the following Sunday. These, at present, can be downloaded and used for absolutely no charge. Do try them at:
The Family Friendly Churches Trust also provides:
Training on IT and the use of multi-media presentations in Churches: http://www.familyfriendlychurches.org.uk/NewSite