2015 Conference: Text in Context (in Texas!)
In 2015, we welcomed over 75 young clergy women from around the world to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX, for a time of learning, fellowship, worship and connection. We were also very pleased to offer on-site childcare for the third year running.
Our time was led by Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer is Associate Professor of New Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is the author of First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James (Continuum, 2007) and of the 2010 Horizons Magazine Bible study, Confessing the Beatitudes (Presbyterian Women, Inc., 2011).
During our time together Dr. Aymer lead us on a two-day journey into contextual bible study. As we discovered, using the Bible in context can be a powerful tool to keep in your YCW toolbox. Not only can contextual bible study assist in community discernment, it opens scripture from the inside out, allowing the Spirit to speak to your unique time, place, and needs.
Most bible studies begin with scripture first. In contextual bible study, the process begins first with the question for discernment. Through group dialogue, biblical passages are then discerned. The role of the facilitator (be it the pastor or other person in charge) is to then research and exegete Scripture. The facilitator is not the “bringer of answers,” but rather, the “bringer of questions.”