When I run into a “Bible Thumper,” I usually put up my defenses, but try hard to bridle my tongue.
You know, the type – consumed by a love affair with the Bible, usually the King James Version, sometimes looking for a fight.
These are Christians who have an inordinate concern about my soul and are quick to point out that what I really need is “to be born again,” especially after I tell them I’m a Presbyterian.
(At my age, the “new birth” thing is a tempting suggestion!)
Often, what I really need is a listening ear, a smiling face, an assurance from that special book that even though I may have forgotten temporarily, God is still in control and never far from any of God’s people.
Actually, I have some firsthand experience with Bible thumping. In high school, I had a sojourn with an ultra-conservative pastor who taught me Revelation 101 and all the scary details about the Rapture, the Tribulation and Hell Fire. However, my Scofield Reference Bible with significant passages underlined and notes in the margins, got lost in the shuffle somewhere along the way.
This, by the way, is a part of my life I value for it has added mightily to my theological education and has given me a more open heart to Christians of all shapes and sizes who are fellow travelers in this life.
Bring your bible
Reading the newsletter from Durham’s Trinity United Methodist Church recently, I noted that Pastor Susanne Priddy wrote a letter to her congregation in January suggesting that members make New Year’s resolutions to bring their Bibles to the 11 o’clock worship service every Sunday in the coming year.
The idea set me to wondering. Why would this pastor suggest that bringing Bibles become an ongoing practice?
I have noticed that some Baptists use personal Bibles in worship. One large congregation in this area actually does a line by line study of the Scripture during the 11 a.m. worship service. So turning up without one’s Bible would be like going to the Book Club meeting without the book under discussion.
My Presbyterian Church probably would never consider this, however, because the Bible and the hymnal are always in the pew rack.
Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting this as a practice, nor am I nixing anybody’s practice in worship, only wondering.
A quote fro, Priddy’s letter:
“I have noticed that a few of you often make some notes during the sermon. I used to do the same thing and I would write in a little tiny notebook and also on the pages of my Bible.
“If you don’t want to write in your Bible, that’s fine. Not everybody is a note-taker and writing in the Bible is a personal preference. Still, following along in our own Bible while the Scriptures are being read is sure to emphasize our listening and further illumine the Word. You’re invited to bring your Bible to church … every week. I hope you will.”
‘Locked in Solidarity’
Congregations, organizations and individuals in Durham will participate in “Locked in Solidarity,” a prayer vigil in response to mass incarceration.
The vigil is intended to raise awareness about the impact of the War on Drugs, “three strikes you’re out” laws, solitary confinement, the immigration system, racial profiling and other issues.
Persons who were formerly incarcerated will speak.
The vigil at Nehemiah Christian Center, 514 N. Mangum St., Durham, from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, is part of a national initiative sponsored by the Christian Community Development Association.
Following the event, participants are invited to march to the Durham County Detention Facility to hold a candlelight vigil in front of the jail.
The Ambassadors Big Band will provide perform for “Valentine’s Dance and Chocolates,” from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in the fellowship hall at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Proceeds will benefit the church’s music program.
Tickets are $15 per person, in advance, or $20 at the door. Advance tickets may be reserved by call 910- 942-3540.
The Ambassadors is a 17-piece Swing-era big band, specializing in ballads, jump tunes and Latin dance numbers. Shelly McVicker is band vocalist and Raleigh Mann is the announcer.
UNC’s Consort of Viols, directed by Professor Brent Wissick, will offer a recital of music from the English Renaissance played on period instruments at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough.
The event is part of the church’s Faith and the Arts Series that began in 2010.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Reservations available by calling the church office, 919-732-9308.
Crop Walk materials
Team captains for the Durham CROP Hunger Walk can pick up promotional materials at two walk-in events: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, or 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Soul Cafe, located at Duke Memorial United Methodist, 504 W. Chapel Hill St.
Event veterans will be there to answer questions and to share tips on best practices and successful recruitment strategies. The 2017 Walk T-shirts will be available for team captains to pick up. A donation of $3 per shirt is requested.
Step-off for the city’s 43rd CROP Walk is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2, from the quad in front of Duke Chapel.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, One World Market, Durham’s only Fair Trade store located in the Ninth Street district, will hold a chocolate tasting Saturday, Feb. 11.
Tasters will be 20 flavors. And since coffee is perfect with chocolate, samples of a new line of coffee is on the tasting list as well. One taster will win free chocolate for a year.