Yesterday was both the feast of the conversion of St. Paul and the conclusion of the week - an octave, really - of prayer for Christian unity. Did you miss it again this year? Me, too. Well, almost. I guess I'd observed the octave unintentionally.
I thought I could take on an evening Bible study if it met every other week. I found one beginning this past week on the first few chapters of Romans.
It's been three years since I've attended a Bible study at this C&MA church in Plainsboro. In that brief time, I've noticed that my observation skills have deteriorated. I miss obvious things in the text that others point out. I find myself muttering, "How did I overlook that?!" I may benefit from practicing the technique again. Back to basics.
The initial session was Tuesday evening. We got acquainted, received the schedule and worked through Scripture's storyline from Genesis until Romans. I did not know anyone, I guess because I'd always attended in the daytime. Many of them knew each other from the fall study of Hebrews. The Precept workbook is "sold separately." I ordered myself the Romans Part I workbook earlier that day. A woman who switched to another class after receiving it left her copy free for anyone. No one expressed an interest so I took it and cancelled the online order. The workbook references another book that I'd received years back for nothing as well.
Then, of course, Thursday was CBS at the Bible / Baptist church in Allenwood. Before the morning program began, I overheard two women discussing how Fr. Bausch1 weathered Superstorm Sandy. The one, Ouida, had been in my core group two years ago but her attendance was irregular because her ex-spouse, living in Texas, was dying and she went down to care for him. At the time I thought she might be Catholic but saw so little of her that I couldn't form a clear impression. The other woman, in reminiscing about Fr. Bausch, made it clear to Ouida - as ex-Catholics are compelled to - that she was raised Catholic, etc., etc., etc.
So, I felt that I did my part this past week in praying and studying the Bible with other Christians. But the week's activities weren't all that unusual for me.
1 People who know Fr. William Bausch personally, love him. Those who have read his books, don't. I neither know him nor have I read his books.