2012–2013 Horizons Bible Study. Illustrations by Laura James
2012–2013 Horizons Bible Study
Suggestions for Leaders
The six books of the New Testament explored in this study—1 and 2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Jude—teach us what it means to live in community, what it means to belong to the household of God. A subset of New Testament letters known as the General Epistles, these letters were written to be shared and read aloud in early Christian communities.
During the time in which the authors of these letters lived, believers regarded one another as members of God’s family. Thus, a guiding and powerful metaphor in these epistles is the understanding of family—what it means in the world of the Roman Empire as contrasted with the more expansive idea of being a member of God’s household through the Holy Spirit. These letters were meant to inspire and comfort the faithful in first-century Asia Minor, and they continue to speak to us today as we grapple with how to live in community as disciples of Christ.
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Nancy Benson-Nicol is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has served as chaplain at University of the Ozarks for the past six years. Prior to that, Nancy servcd congregations in Arkansas and Michigan. A native of Pennsylvania, Nancy holds a bachelor of arts degree from Swarthmore College with majors in sociology, anthropoloy and religion. She holds a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. While at Harvard, Nancy served in The Memorial Church under the direction of the late Peter J. Gomes. Nancy was featured in the July 2004 issue of Presbyterians Today in "40 Under 40: Ones to Watch."
About the Suggestions for Leaders Author
Magdalena I. García is pastor of Ravenswood Presbyterian Church in Chicago, where she has served since 2003. She holds a master of divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has served as preacher, keynote speaker, and worship leader for national and regional church events. Of special note is her participation in the triennial Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women and the Encuentro conferences of Hispanic Latin Presbyterian Women.
About the Artist
Laura James has been working as a professional artist and illustrator for nearly twenty years. Laura is best known for her illustrations in The Book of the Gospels lectionary published in 2000 by Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago, Illinois. An award-winning edition of the four Gospels, the book is used worldwide by many Christian denominations. Ms. James is also an award-winning artist of secular works. She paints women, families, and scenes of everyday life; blending intricate patterns, text, vibrant colors, and sometimes surreal imagery into what she calls “art for the people.”
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