By RENEE WEBB
A new book study organized by the Magnificat Ministry in the Diocese of Sioux City will explore the lives of women from the Gospels and help readers reflect on “Who Does He Say You Are.”
According to Julie Storr, coordinator of the Magnificat Northwest Iowa Chapter – Mary Undoer of Knots, Be Still Bible Study will begin May 27 and continue through mid-August. Centered on the book, “Who Does He Say You Are,” the study will wrap-up on Aug. 13 with a gathering in Lake City with author Colleen Campbell Mitchell.
“A couple of us on the Magnificat team had read this book and we were deeply moved and affected by the love and kindness that Jesus showed these women in the Gospels – how that one encounter changed their lives,” Storr noted. “We also knew that as we were going through all of the changes in our parishes and clusters that studying this topic together would be a great way to form some community.”
Organizers note one of the benefits of this study format is its adaptability. Participants can form small groups in their own parish or neighborhood, complete the study on their own or even partake in dialogue via a private Facebook group set up for the study.
“We do have some communities in our diocese where there are some large groups gathering, but it’s really up to each person who is reading the book. If they want to have some friends join them, that’s wonderful,” said Storr.
In Lake City, one of the parishes where she serves, they have scheduled five Wednesdays during the summer to gather and discuss who they have been reading about and how it has changed them personally.
Storr said a member of the Magnificat team would be available to come out to join in the discussion of a local study group.
The book focuses on 12 women of the Gospel. The story of each woman is shared, coupled with reflection questions to allow participants to see how they are like these women.
“Then there is a prayer where you can ponder ways of asking God to come into your life to help you see who you are to him,” she said.
As women read the book, Storr anticipates they will be surprised by what God reveals when time is taken to reflect and study.
“It is a magnificent thing to come into the view of how much God really loves us,” said Storr, who finds it a blessing they will end the book club with a gathering featuring the author. “She will share more of her story and be open to answering questions about the women we studied.”
The closing event is sponsored by the Magnificat chapter along with the Office of Evangelization for the Diocese of Sioux City.
While discussion in the study may include Catholic elements or ties to sacraments, Storr said this book would also be ideal for those who want to gather with their Protestant friends.
“Because it’s really about Scripture and the gift God gives us each as being women in the Kingdom of God,” she said.
If you are interested in joining in the private Facebook discussion, contact Storr at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information at the blog undoerofknots.blogspot.com.
Books are available at Special Moments in Carroll, Trinity Heights’ Marian Center in Sioux City, online at Amazon https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3999025 (an affiliate link for the Magnificat chapter) or through the publisher Franciscan Media https://shop.franciscanmedia.org. (While the study begins on May 27 – you can catch up if you don’t have your book at that time.)