On Saturday, January 20, Susquehanna Grace Community Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Wrightsville, Pa., will be hosting their second “Walk Thru The Bible” event – Old Testament, or “otLive.” Last year, in January 2017, the church held Walk Thru The Bible’s all-day New Testament event.
Susquehanna Grace Community Church has always aimed to be a church that welcomes believers and unblievers – for a chance to teach them the truth of God’s Word.
“Pastor Lonnie Skiles introduced these workshops and events to our church,” shares Nancy Matarese, the communications coordinator at Susquehanna Grace Community Church. “His vision was to give a wide range of opportunities to our members to bring people to church (he called them “bringer events”) and to position our church in the community as a teaching church.”
And that vision is being carried on now, after Pastor Lonnie’s recent retirement, as these events are bringing many to the church. Last year, the New Testament event was a huge success. The church’s regular attendance is usually around 100 – but 159 people showed up for the seminar.
Not only has Susquehanna hosted Walk Thru The Bible events; they’ve hosted many events over the last few years – too many to name.
“We held a Share Your Faith workshop from Evangelism Explosion in April of 2015, and we also held a teaching on Genesis and Creationism titled ‘Does Genesis Really Matter?’ in August of 2017,” says Matarese. “This was a four-Sunday teaching by a local Christian school science teacher focusing on creation vs. evolution. This event was also a huge success and drew many from neighboring churches for the entire four-week series.”
The church also had a “Living Last Supper” presentation in which 13 men from the church recreated Leonardo DaVinci’s famous “Last Supper” painting, each giving a monologue about their time with Jesus as disciples.
For the church, these programs aim for much more than just bringing people in. Matarese says that they love these events because they create opportunities for “a deeper knowledge of the Bible, a simple way to share one’s faith, encouragement to memorize Scripture, understanding current events and topics, or just enjoying great spiritual music and moving testimonies.”
This year, the church is holding a half-day event, giving attendees the chance to delve into the Old Testament and look at the Bible in a way they never have before.
Dr. Roger Petersen, the longest teaching instructor for Walk Thru and the teacher for this year’s event at Susquehanna, shares the importance of events like this.
“Biblical literacy is not going up – it’s going down,” Petersen says. “With the event, we’re trying to give attendees a big picture. If you tell them the whole story at once, people get a chance to understand. It gives them a framework to plug those smaller stories into. Many parts of the Old Testament look forward to Jesus in many ways – it is important to setting the stage for the New Testament.”
Now, instead of only being familiar with the commonly-told stories like David and Goliath, Noah’s ark, and Adam and Eve, believers and unbelievers alike get a chance to see how all these stories fit together.
“Our goal for this event,” says Matarese, “is for people to have a deeper and richer understanding of the Bible, of God, and how they fit into God’s picture.”
As all of the events held at Susquehanna Grace Community Church have been successful. Everyone is hopeful that this event will be no different, and that Susquehanna will be used by God to reach and teach more people in His name.
As the event draws near, pray for the success of this event, and email Nancy to encourage her and the church. To register to attend, click here. Anyone is welcome!
For more information about Walk Thru The Bible, click here, or visit their website.
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.