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Deepening ones faith
Statesboro Bible study group begins its fifth year
Bible study photo for Web
Emily Fennell holds up a book that will be used this year by the Statesboro Community Bible Study Group to look in depth at the Book of Genesis. Fennell held a meeting Wednesday at First Southern Bank for anyone interested in joining the group. - photo by JAMES HEALY/staff
    Emily Fennell has read and studied the Bible for most of her life. Yet ever since she helped start a Statesboro Bible study group five years ago, Fennell said she learns something new about scripture almost every week.
    “It's been a really neat thing to listen to people as they interpret scripture for themselves,” Fennell said. “I learn so much and I learn how to appreciate God's word even more.”
    Fennell held an information session Wednesday at First Southern Bank for anyone interested in joining the Statesboro Community Bible Study group. The group meets Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. inside the Primitive Baptist Church on Zetterower Ave.
    Fennel said the group is non-denominational and welcomes people of all faiths.
    “We don't discuss denominational differences during Bible study,” she said. “We recognize there are a diversity of beliefs, but when we come together for Bible study, we emphasize the unity of the body of Christ. We all have a common bond as Christians.”
    Community Bible Study actually is a national organization founded 35 years ago in Lubbock, Texas. Groups sprouted up all across the nation and five years ago a woman's group was founded in Statesboro by Johnnie Ellis and Denise Colgan.
    Fennell said a book of the Bible is selected each year and the group studies all the verses over a 30-week period. The group looked at Matthew last year and will thoroughly study and discuss the Book of Genesis beginning with the first meeting on Sept. 9 and lasting through the end of April.
    So far, 80 women have signed up for the 2009-2010 study group, Fennel said. She said a typical meeting begins with fellowship and then the members split into groups of no more than 15 to discuss the particular verse. Each group is led by a trained facilitator.
    “Homework is assigned each week,” Fennell said. “People answer questions and write down their thoughts about a verse or piece of scripture. Each person is asked to share her thoughts.”
    After about an hour of discussion, group leaders like Fennell then give a 20-minute or so lecture on the verse.
    “ I can't tell you how rewarding and spiritually uplifting each Bible study is,” Fennel said. “We have women who are very mature in their Christian faith and we have women who are forming their faith. We have women from varying ethnic and economic backgrounds. We welcome anyone who is interested in deepening their faith and their understanding and appreciation of the Bible.”
    The meetings begin Sept. 9 and are held each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There also is a children's group, so mothers or grandmothers can bring their non-school age children for their own study. There is a $25 yearly fee to join the group and members also are asked to donate $2 per week for the cost of the materials. The fee for the children's group is $10.
    If you would like more information about the group, call Beth Oldham at 764-7081.

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