Almost ten years ago, my husband attended a small class at our parish, St. Vincent de Paul in Colorado, where a new video program was being launched—The Great Adventure Bible study. There were only a few in the class … but Joe loved it. He grew up in a very Catholic home but had never studied the Bible at all. I stayed home, watched our little kids and anxiously waited for him to come home each week and tell me all that he learned. He got the bug and wanted to share the program and all he had learned. He deep down knew that our friends would love it and it needed to be shared with families around us.
We brainstormed ways that we could get a group started that would include both husband and wife but also logistically would be easy since we all had small children. I grew up in the Protestant tradition and had watched my parents meet for study and fellowship weekly with their peers.
From all of this came the idea of Bibles and BBQ—we asked several of our friends (and their friends) if they would be interested in trying the four week program over the summer. We hosted the meetings in each of our homes … the host would grill/cook the main course and everyone else would bring a dish to share. While the parents would eat and study inside, all of the kids would eat and play outside with a babysitter. After the adults’ discussion was done, we would join the kids for dessert and a time of fellowship. It worked great and we decided to keep going on Sunday nights throughout the school year with the twenty four week study.
Building a Community
We had eight families (and eventually twenty-seven kids) that studied together for the next six years—we went through the original Great Adventure series, Matthew, Acts, Revelation and some parenting and prayer studies. Our parish priest would often join us for dinner and discussion. We valued each other’s friendships and watched each of our families (adults and kids) grow. Although we no longer meet, we see each other at school, church and various community events.
I think each family would tell you that our meetings were a blessing and a time of huge growth! Although our kids do not see each other daily, they truly think of these families and their children as their close friends. Today, we are all doing different things to continue our studying and growth—several of the dads still meet regularly as part of a men’s group and the moms have branched out to study in different groups. Most of the kids are still at Catholic schools in town or away at college. We often see these families in larger groups on feast days and talk of getting together for a little “reunion.”
Our meetings were a blessing and a time of huge growth!
Once again, we thank Jeff Cavins and our own parish for being supportive of our un-traditional group. Joe and I personally credit the Bible studies and the group experience with giving our faith the jump start we needed. We continue to apply what we have learned. The Great Adventure lives up to its name—it is a great program, a blessing, and we are thankful for the opportunity to be part of it (Tweet this).
This blog post was provided by Joe and Katie Staib.