Horizons Bible Study

2nd Thursdays, 12 noon in the Ark Annex (inside the Ark Room)

Come and study God’s word as we explore the bible together. The Horizons bible study is open to both men and women and childcare is available upon request.

Contact: us at sjoffice@stjohnsberkeley.org or call (510) 845-6830

2015 – 2016 Horizons Bible Study watercvrsml

Come to the Waters
by Judy Record Fletcher and
 Larissa Kwong Abazia 

In this study, we consider the waters of chaos in Genesis, and the River of Life in the last chapter of Revelation, where chaos is no more. Water plays a central role in the stories of creation, the delivery of God’s people (through the parting of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan River), judgment of a people weak in faith, and the adoption of the people of God through baptism. Sometimes there is too much waer (think Noah) and sometimes there is too little water (think drought in the desert). Together, we will explore some of the Bible’s 800 references to water.

2014 – 2015 Horizons Bible Study

Reconciling Paul:  A Contemporary Study of 2 Corinthians
by Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty – Presbyterian Church USA

2corinthianscvrsmlPaul’s writings are some of the most influential in Christianity. Revisiting the struggles Paul faced and the authenticity and integrity of his theology is an essential task for churches today in the midst of great change.

Paul, like us, wrestled with and questioned his faith as he tried to live as authentically as possible in an ancient world that, like ours, was also in the midst of great change. What can we learn from visiting 2 Corinthians and considering Paul’s theology and ideas as they relate to the context of our time?

Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty invites us all to read Paul’s letter afresh in light of today’s issues. Concepts of shared partnership, power in weakness, healing, reconciliation, love, and a new apostolate all figure prominently in her reading of Paul.


2013–2014 Horizons Bible Study

photo(1)An Abiding Hope: The Presence of God in Exodus and Deuteronomy
by Janice Catron – Presbyterian Church USA

The books of Exodus and Deuteronomy invite us to remember that the central actor in human experience— in our own lives and in the experiences described in Exodus and Deuteronomy—is God. Our God is one who redeems, who brings liberty and fulfillment even when we do not deserve it, when we cannot redeem ourselves. We have the assurance of God’s abiding presence as individuals and as a community of faith. This presence helps us see that God’s redemption is more than a “saving from” harsh circumstances; it also is a “saving to” the fullness of life God intends for humanity.
Janice Catron invites us to explore Exodus and Deuteronomy with her and see together the promise of what our relationship with God can be and the realities of what that relationship often becomes. It is God our Redeemer who, by grace, gives us the power to help ourselves and others live into the fullness God intends for us, and to move forward as people who have been set free.

Women in the Bible Special Event: July 11th
In honor of the blockbuster San Francisco opera, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, we will spend this summer meeting studying various ideas about this important Biblical woman: Did she marry Jesus? Was she originally a prostitute? Did she influence the apostles and Jesus in turning their ideas from a rigid philosophy of anger towards Rome to a concept of love and concern for others? Was Peter’s hostility responsible for Mary Magdalene’s lack of stature as Christianity struggled for survival in the first centuries after Jesus’ death? Bring your Bible and your lunch on Thursday, July 11, from 12 noon to 2 pm: – Marietta Harvey

2012- 2013: The Beatitudes as found in Matthew 5:3-12:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

In addition, we are writing a “confession” relating to the Accra Confession of 2004.  Will this new confession be part of our study in the Presbyterian Church? Next year we will study “Dispatches to God’s Household: The General Epistles.” The six books of the New Testament that will be explored are 1 & 2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. These books teach us what it means to live in community, and what it means to belong to the household of God.