The Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has just published a new Bible study resource on God’s radical love and welcome. The resource, Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical Texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater by David R. Weiss, is available to download without cost. This Bible study for use in your congregation is dedicated to Dr. Michael Adee, the former Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians.
Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D.
in honor and celebration of his 13 years as
Executive Director and National Field Organizer
for More Light Presbyterians, for helping break down barriers
to full inclusion within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
and for his role in helping found and shepherd the
ever-growing Multi-Faith Welcoming Movement.
Commenting about the dedication, IWR and Faith Work Director Rev. Rebecca Voelkel writes, “Michael Adee has been the embodiment of gracious hospitality to those who have been marginalized and fiercely passionate in his ministry to dismantle the walls that divide us. He literally hugs and loves on all with whom he ministers. My life and ministry are wiser and better because of his friendship and I know the world is a more faithful place because he is in it. To have a resource dedicated to helping the Christian community engage Scripture in order to welcome all is a perfect tribute to who and how Michael moves in the world.”
In each session, people are invited to think about what groups today have been made to feel that they are not welcome
“Many persons today find themselves rendered invisible, kept at the edges — or altogether outside — our faith communities: people of color, immigrants, LGBT people, those struggling with poverty, those with special needs and more. If you could say anything to our churches in the 21st century as we wrestle with whether or how to welcome persons who seem so ‘other’ to us today, what would you say?” says David R. Weiss, author of the Bible study series.
Hearts Unbound, Engaging Biblical Texts of God’s Radical Love Through Reader’s Theater, explores 10 of those inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came and some of the insights to be gained.
“Hearts Unbound helps you fall in love again with the Bible’s power, wisdom and beauty,” says Voelkel. “Here are the scriptures about Ruth and Jesus and other important figures, presented in ways that invite you in, unbind your heart and remind you why you love the Christian tradition.”
Designed to be used as a small-group Bible study, Hearts Unbound uses the format of reader’s theater.
“All you need are six to eight people around a table, reading the script, having fun, all the while learning a great deal in the process,” she says.
Download Hearts Unbound:
- HIDDEN IN THE KING’S BLOOD: A Faithful Outsider Brought In – The Book of Ruth (pdf)
- MUCH MORE THAN A BIG FISH TALE: God’s Reluctant Prophet to the Unchosen – The Book of Jonah (pdf)
- HEALING – ON GOD’S TIME: Jesus and the Sabbath – Mark 2:23–3:6 / Luke 13:10–17 (pdf)
- CRUMBS FOR DOGS: Jesus’ Encounter with the Canaanite Woman – Matthew 15:21–28 (pdf)
- SAYING THE S-WORD: The Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25–37 (pdf)
- BESIDES THOSE ALREADY GATHERED: Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch – Acts 8:26–39 (pdf)
- BLANKETED BY SURPRISE: Peter and Cornelius – Acts 10:1–48 (pdf)
- SIGNS AND WONDERS: The Gentiles and the Council of Jerusalem – Acts 15:1–33 (pdf)
- GRACE AT THE TABLE AND BEYOND: Paul’s Argument for Extravagant Welcome – The Book of Galations (pdf)
- SODOMY MEANS INHOSPITALITY: The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19:1–25 (pdf)