For those of you who have been kind enough to hang out with me at The Kitchen Mission, you know a ministry that is near and dear to my heart is Lamplighters Bible Study. I’ve been part of Lamplighters for over a decade, studying, learning and growing in faith one verse of Scripture at a time. But, it didn’t start out that way.
I remember my first Bible study. My brother, a pastor, offered to teach a small group of women in my home. We met a dozen times or so and at the end of each lesson, all I wanted was more. More stories, more application, more Jesus. When our study group was over, my brother encouraged each of us to find a permanent study in a church to continue our journey. I wanted to learn more, but a Bible study at church wasn’t really what I had in mind. Weren’t Bible studies for churchy women? Plus, I didn’t know anyone at our church – Covenant Presbyterian. Well, maybe I knew a few people, but not well enough to show up and be part of a group.
Soon after our small Bible study ended, I read about Lamplighters in the church bulletin one Sunday morning. Broken and discouraged, struggling to get pregnant, I thought maybe a small group of women might be a safe place to share my hurt. I signed up for a summer study. Truthfully, I don’t remember what we studied that summer. But, I remember my leader and how she poured herself out each week to love on each of us in her group. I remember the struggles each women shared and how in a most precious way, through Scripture and prayer, we nurtured and loved each other. I longed to be part of this study in the fall, but I was still working full-time and couldn’t take time off from work to join a Wednesday morning study.
In March of 2000, Husband and I welcomed our first Little into the world. A miracle baby, really. I quit working to stay home with our son and when fall rolled around I was eager to join Lamplighters. The study was Genesis and with the blessing of free-childcare offered by Covenant, I attended Bible study weekly. I sat as close to the front as I could in Eaton Hall, nestled right up there with the grey-haired, church women. Like a sponge, I absorbed every drop of the living water being pour out before me.
That was twelve years ago, and I still feel the same way every Wednesday morning at Lamplighters. Only now I sit in the back of the room in the control booth of the newish Fellowship and Education Building where I try not to mess up the technology I’m woefully under qualified to administer. And, while I’m not officially a grey-haired woman (thanks to color from a squeeze bottle), I’m certainly aging.
Why am I telling you all this?
It’s a very long-winded invitation. One I extend about this time every year.
On September 5th, we’ll open up the beginning of God’s story with our study Genesis: Tell Me the Story. While this is the same book of the Bible I started with 12 years ago, I promise this is not the same study. In fact, we are stepping out in faith and stretching ourselves — telling our own stories as we journey through the narrative of Genesis.
You can find out everything you need to know about the study on the Lamplighters website. There are numerous dates and times for small group meetings. Several of you have asked about a joining a virtual Lamplighters group — talk about breaking the mold for a group of grey-haired women! But, if there is enough interest, why not? When you register online for Lamplighters, indicate you are interested in joining an online or virtual group and the Lamplighters Administrator (ahem, yours truly) will contact you with more information.
As part of our study, each week I will be sharing my own stories, right here at The Kitchen Mission. Prompted by the weekly Scripture and led by the Holy Spirit, I will share as we go and invite you to do the same. Each week after doing the inductive portion of the study– the lessons are available online— I’ll set my timer for 20 minutes and write the story on my heart.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit right now, right here, that I’m a bit nervous to share my stories. Especially since I have no idea what– not to mention when– I’ll write each week! But, isn’t that what we are called to do? Stories weren’t meant to stay tucked away in secret journals (ok, maybe some were!) We were created to live in community, to do life together and that means sharing the stories the Author is writing, perfecting and editing in our lives.
Come join the story with me, friends. Not mine, or yours, but His.