We’re going to spend an entire year reading the gospel of Mark. You read that right. An entire year.
We surveyed our congregation’s knowledge of the Bible. And what we uncovered was shocking: the majority of participants in that survey told us that the Bible didn’t influence their daily lives. What’s more, nearly 70% of them said they read the Bible outside of worship less than once a month, with 60% answering “rarely.”
We knew that people relied on the church as their primary source of biblical knowledge. But we had no idea how much they relied on us.
And the truth is that we’ve been dropping the ball. We’ve long thought a different Bible story every week with a cursory review during the sermon was enough. It isn’t.
So, we’re going to fix that. Starting with Mark.
[THERE IS STILL MORE LIGHT AND TRUTH TO BREAK FORTH FROM GOD'S HOLY WORD.]
It all begins July 9th when we crack open the Bible to the first chapter of THE GOSPEL OF Mark. For the next fifty-one weeks, we’ll take it verse by verse as we witness the story of Jesus unfold before us.
Each week, we’ll post the previous week’s scripture, sermon (IN BOTH WRITTEN AND AUDIO FORMATS) and any other content that might open our understanding of the Scriptures more deeply. You can even get it in your inbox! Just sign up below for weekly emails with all the content right at your fingertips.
Will we go through Mark sequentially?
Exactly how long is this?
Fifty-one weeks. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. It’ll fly by!
The Year of Mark begins on July 9th, 2017 until June 18, 2018.
Will there be any breaks?
This is so cool. Can my church do this too?!
THE YEAR OF MARK BEGINS
WESTFIELD’S KICKOFF SPECTACULAR
TAKE A BREAK TO PONDER THE LIGHT THAT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS
[ JAN 7 ]
BACK TO MARK!
[ APR 1 ]
CHRIST IS RISEN, INDEED! (ACCORDING TO LUKE!)
[ JUN 24 ]
THE YEAR OF MARK COMES TO A CLOSE
[ THE YEAR
TWO WAYS ]
[ 1 ]
COME TO CHURCH!
HEAR IT IN REALTIME
SUNDAYS AT 10 AM.
[ 2 ]
IN YOUR INBOX!
GET THE PREVIOUS WEEK’S
CONTENT IN YOUR INBOX
[ I WANT IN. ]
[ The Gospel of Mark]
Why the gospel of Mark? Well, if we’re being honest, it was the shortest.
Here’s the thing: our goal is to establish a baseline Biblical literacy in our congregation. That is, we want our folks to gain a deeper sense God’s story as it is revealed in holy Scripture. But that’s not easy.
You see, Anytime we take a single book or chapter or verse out of the Bible, out of its historic and literary context, there’s a greater potential for us screw it up–to miss the point. So instead of cobbling together our own version of events, we decided to take a self-contained gospel. And in an effort to make it the most accessible, we picked one that was shorter (read: easier to digest in a reasonable period of time).
by choosing mark, we felt we’d be able to give our congregation that is hungering for a deeper understanding and more meaningful grasp of the Bible just what they were looking for.
[Mark at a glance]
The Year of Mark is a project of Westfield United Church of Christ and their minister, the Rev. Jonathan Chapman. Westfield is a progressive and historic congregation in the heart of Connecticut’s quiet corner that is committed to providing authentic worship opportunities alongside intentional spiritual development. We strive to live out our faith in the world through service, prayer and extravagant welcome.
Our goal is to welcome everyone, everyone, everyone. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. Always, we try.
The Rev. Jonathan Chapman,
Pastor and Teacher
The Rev. Jonathan Chapman graduated from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in May 2010. At Candler, he was active with the Office of Worship, and was awarded the Hoyt Hickman Award for Outstanding Liturgical Scholarship. Jonathan is a 2007 Congregational Fellow and 2006 Undergraduate Fellow with The Fund for Theological Education.
He graduated from Elon University in 2007 with a degree in Religious Studies. At Elon, Jonathan worked extensively with the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and with The Pendulum, Elon’s student newspaper. He was selected as a Leadership Fellow and studied in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the Spring of 2006. Jonathan was awarded the W. L. Monroe Christian Education and Personality Award in the 2007. While at Elon he joined Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ, the congregation in which he was ordained.
Jonathan joined Westfield in October of 2012 and was officially installed as Pastor and Teacher in May of 2013.
He was selected to be a part of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative, a program sponsored by the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ that works with young clergy committed to parish ministry through a decade-long relationship. He has a passion for visual worship (a topic he blogs regularly about at revjonchapman.com) and married his husband, Greg, in December of 2014 at Westfield.
[ Jesus said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature.]
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