Sage Bible Studies
About these studies. We prepared this series of Bible studies in the early 1990's to provide an introduction to environmental issues for church home groups. The studies reflect our own exploration of the issues, and our evangelical background. As a starting point we take the beliefs shared by most Christians, namely that God is the Creator of the universe, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save humanity through His death and resurrection, and that He gives His Holy Spirit to those who give their lives to Him. The Bible is God's inspired word to His people.
We have now decided to increase the availability of the studies by making them available on the internet. Please feel free to copy them, but Sage retains copyright. We also have the studies available in a small booklet, which we will post to anyone interested for one pound including post and packing. Go to Contact Us
Some time after the production of the first set of six Bible Studies Margot Hodson and Clare Newgass produced a seventh Study 7: THE COMMUNITY
which we have recently rediscovered and reproduce here.
How to use the studies. These Bible studies are designed primarily for use by small groups, although we hope individuals may also take advantage of them. What follows is some guidance for the person leading a group study which the individual user may also find helpful. The Bible Study leader should work through the whole study in advance of the group meeting.
Starting. To get your group into the right frame of mind, you might like to find a suitable picture which touches on the theme of the study. Ask everyone to look at it for a minute or so, and then encourage people to express their reactions to it. It doesn't matter if people say things which are off the subject, the point is to get them thinking. Here are some suggestions for the kinds of picture you could use in this way: Study 1, A wilderness scene; Study 2, A house and well-tended garden; Study 3, A seabird covered in oil from a slick; Study 4: The Stock Exchange in full swing; Study 5, A busy shopping street; Study 6, A city church surrounded by skyscrapers.
Introduction. This explains the main aims of the study. This can be read out to the group, or you can put it into your own words.
Read. Ask someone to read the passage. All Bible quotations in the studies are from the New International Version, but any version can be used. Indeed, it may be useful to have a few different versions within the group.
Discuss. You should be flexible as to how closely you stick to the questions provided. There is no point in keeping rigidly to a question which completely baffles the group. On the other hand, it would probably not be very useful for the discussion to be so free as to wander off the subject entirely. Inevitably, much will depend on the sort of style that your group is used to, and on your own judgement.
A few songs are suggested which tie in with the subject of the study and are reasonably well known. We have also included some from J.L. Bell. There is One Among Us. Wild Goose Publications
, Glasgow, 1998
Most of the prayers are from the Iona Community
, who use creation themes, with a strong emphasis on peace and justice, in their regular services. Use these prayers as a spur to the group's own prayer about what they have learnt in the study.
Further information. If you wish to look more deeply into the issues raised in these studies, the resources listed below would provide a good starting point.
A Rocha have produced a number of packs for Conservation Sunday.
Berry R.J. Ed. The care of creation. Focusing concern and action. Inter-Varsity Press, 2000.
Deane-Drummond, C. A handbook in theology and ecology. SCM Press Ltd. 1996.
Goring Stewart R. Environmental Stewardship. Global Issues Bible Studies. Inter-Varsity Press, 1990.
Cooper T. Green Christianity. Hodder & Stoughton, 1990.
Harris, P. Under the bright wings. Hodder & Stoughton, 1993.
Park C. Caring For Creation. Marshall Pickering, 1991.
Prance, G. The Earth under threat. A Christian perspective. Wild Goose Publications, 1996.
Stott J. The birds our teachers. Candle Books, 1999