Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The Protestant Women of the Chapel are staying connected through the time of COVID-19, permanent change-of-station moves and the busy summer months with a virtual summer book club throughout the month of July. The book club will culminate Aug. 4 with a meeting via video-teleconference to discuss the book.
“Normally, we do a short series where we’ll have either three weeks connected or three different speakers who do a workshop or mini Bible study … but (this year), it just didn’t seem like a good fit,” said Rachel Ernest, PWOC vice president of spiritual life. “Instead, we were trying to brainstorm what would work. We knew that our ladies wanted to be involved, wanted to be connected, and needed to fill their spiritual cup.”
Part of the discussion brought up the idea of choosing a “non-traditional” Bible study book, Ernest said, which led to board members selecting “What If It’s True? A Storyteller’s Journey with Jesus” by Charles Martin.
“It’s a good mix. It has got scripture, it has got a storytelling element to it, and then it has got a little bit of the author’s personal experiences and how his relationship with God and scripture impacted his life,” Ernest said. “The general premise of the book is how should your relationship with God and understanding that the Bible is truth really impact your life. What if it’s true? It should make a difference.”
To keep readers engaged throughout July, every Friday a discussion question is posted on the PWOC Fort Leavenworth Facebook page.
“It keeps everyone on track,” Ernest said.
Ernest said the overall hope for the book club is to keep PWOC members connected.
“I know over the summer everybody has lots of things going on with moving and family commitments and dealing with this pandemic and what they are saying is the new normal,” Ernest said. “I’d like to give ladies a chance to get reconnected with our body, get to know our ladies, get excited for kick-off and, at the same time, help them make spiritual time for themselves a priority.
“God is the one who fills our cup, so if we aren’t making time for that, then we’re going to run empty,” she said.
Though there are still pages yet to be read and discussion questions yet to be answered, PWOC members have had positive reactions to the book so far.
“Right from the introduction, I was caught up in the reading. The concept that first got me is: ‘What if every single word of this story in the Bible is absolutely true and I can trust it?’” explained Judy Green, PWOC member. “This next statement is where I’m living right now: ‘What if what (Jesus) says is more true than my circumstances; than what my eyes see and my ears hear?’ In my own devotional life, I have been seeing this concept a lot.
“I think if I can live this in my own life, I will not live in any fear of today and what is going on,” she said. “The other concept that resonates with me is that if you want to hear Jesus, he will speak to you. He tells us to seek him while he can be found, to come to him like little children, to call on him. …I can practically go page by page to tell you what good things this author has given us to think about.”
Jodi Billquist, PWOC president, said she has found the book fascinating.
“It put Biblical truth into a perspective I had not previously considered and sheds light on things in a way that relates modern thoughts, ideas and ways of life with God’s word, proving his word is still true and relevant,” Billquist said. “It’s our hope and prayer that the title of this book entices those who may be searching for answers to some of life’s hard questions during this pandemic, to get to know Jesus and be drawn to see more of him as we all walk through this challenging time together, but socially distanced.”
The link to the Aug. 4 virtual book discussion will be available on the PWOC Fort Leavenworth Facebook page and in the PWOC newsletter.
To register for the discussion, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pcO-gqTIsEtxu-CiCFP5XWTTsyTiFqh_e.
“If ladies haven’t read the book, jump into the meeting anyway,” Ernest said. “A lot of the board is going to jump on and that way you can just get to know us and what we’re about.”