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January 12 Post

12Jan

When I was a little kid, we got invited to a kid’s camp on Wednesday night at a local church. It was exciting and mysterious to visit someone’s church besides our own. We got to memorize Bible verses, which I loved. It was such a great game, like playing the match game with a deck of cards. “How much can I remember?” There were prizes, and snacks, and worship for a zillion of us grade school kids, who’s parents no doubt assumed we were protected and safe and learning something important. We were.

 I still love the Bible. The verses I memorized then and remember now, sustain me in times of trouble. When my mind wrangles over some nagging problem, the familiar verses wash over me like water from a crystal spring, soothing the ragged edges of my concern.

 In this year of Pilgrimage, a spiritual journey to a sacred place, a fresh exploration of the sacred word seems a worthy place to start. So, here’s the deal. If you suspect there could be more joy and less anxiety in your life, come along for a year of readings that will take you through the sacred texts of the Bible, sixty-six books of history, law, poetry, private letters and good news. As our church walks through the Bible in a year, I invite you to join us here at the beginning. We’re steppin’ out to a new place, reading an Old Testament, Psalm and New Testament lesson every day.

 Don’t worry if you have to skip a day, you can catch up as long as you keep showing up for your engagement with God. On those days when you’re truly pressed for time, or you’re sick or whatever, just read the Psalm of the day.

 Welcome to “The Bible in a Year”. Many of us wish we knew the Bible better, and many of us want to read the whole thing for ourselves. Yet when we start at the beginning and read chronologically, most of us fall asleep somewhere in Leviticus and give up the endeavor.

 Therefore, several guides have been developed with assigned daily readings each day: Old Testament, Psalm and a New Testament reading.

God loves it when we dive into the word, but there isn’t a test at the end. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself some grace. Some of these ancient texts will be difficult. Others will comfort, inspire or delight.

 May God strengthen your faith and increase understanding as you set out on this Pilgrimage into the Word.

 Week 1:

 Prayer: Here we go, God. We’ve wandered off trail a good bit, like cats after a butterfly. Draw us back to the way you would have us go, that we might enjoy the bounty of your joy. Amen

 God’s grace, mercy and peace,

 

Dr. Anna V. Copeland

Senior Minister, The Community Church of Vero Beach

 

 

Posted by Rev. Dr. Anna. V. Copeland

The Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland comes to us from three large churches where she served as Senior Minister for nearly three decades: in Colorado, the Chicago area, just north of Boston in York, Maine, and most recently as Pastor in Residence in San Miguel, Mexico. Dr. Copeland graduated with a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. Through worship, teaching and writing, she seeks to equip people of faith to think theologically about the world in which we live, to follow the Way of Jesus, and to share God's grace, mercy and peace with all God's people.

Together with her husband Dr. Ellis Copeland, Anna Copeland founded The Copeland Institute of northwest Boulder County in Colorado, a retreat center for deep faith work. She also has served as Trustee for The Chicago Theological Seminary, adjunct faculty for the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and as a Trustee for The Fund for Theological Education out of Atlanta.

Dr. Copeland has led international mission trips to Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Cuba, and faith journeys to Israel, Turkey and Greece. Avocations for Anna Copeland include wilderness adventures such as a women's' trek in the Arctic Circle, mountain climbing, skiing and kayaking. And she enjoys experiencing exceptional food and conversation that celebrate the feast of friendship and the feast of life.

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