For Meetings

Studying Exodus at the Start of Meetings

We have created four ways to study the Book of Exodus, as an individual, in meetings of parish and diocese, in adult forums, and at Diocesan-wide events such as conferences and convocations.  Studying Exodus for fifteen minutes at the start of staff, vestry, committee, and commission meetings will focus our work and help us see how the stories of our Christian communities reflect the larger story of God’s people.  It’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of church work, and to forget that we are replacing windows and balancing budgets because we’re stewards of God’s promise.  There’s no expectation that any given committee will be able to study the entire Book of Exodus before April, and we hope you’ll choose the part of the scripture that are most salient to the work of your meeting.  The Bible Study format given below should help you lead these short Bible studies.  For your convenience, you’ll also find a link to .pdf worksheets that you can simply print and bring to your meetings.  Finally, we know that the discussion questions we’re suggesting aren’t the only questions, and may not even be the best.  Therefore, we’re providing a form you can use to submit your own questions for the good of the whole diocese.

On this page you will find:
A format for short Bible studies to use at the start of meetings.
A form to suggest your own discussion questions.
Worksheets to print and use in meetings.

A format for short Bible studies to use at the start of meetings

Step One:
Choose a portion of Exodus to read.  Each worksheet linked to from this page contains several sections of scripture.  Choose one of them, or choose part of the Book of Exodus that specifically pertains to the work that your meeting is hoping to accomplish (for instance, the last few chapters of Exodus have to do with constructing the Tabernacle – these might be perfect for a buildings and grounds committee).

Step Two:
Choose one or more question to guide your group discussion.  Keep in mind that the more questions you use, the longer the discussion will take.  Questions are grouped into four categories that allow us to consider the moral, literal, allegorical, and eschatological sense of the scripture.  On the worksheets, questions that help us think about the moral sense of the scripture are prioritized.  Here are the questions:

Questions for exploring the moral sense of scripture (having to do with how we live our Christian lives):

  1. How does what you heard apply to you?
  2. How will what you’ve learned from this scripture affect your work together?

Questions for exploring the literal sense of scripture (having to do with the grand, sweeping story that’s told in scripture):

  1. What did you hear? Did anything surprise you?
  2. How does what I’m reading fit with the other parts of the story I’ve already read in Exodus and the whole of scripture (Old and New Testament)?

A question for exploring the allegorical sense of scripture (having to do with symbol and metaphor):

  1. What is the role of symbol and metaphor?  What is being repeated or echoed?

A question for exploring the eschatological sense of scripture (having to do with God’s plan for salvation):

  1. How does all this point to / reflect / fit into God’s overall plan of salvation?

Step Three:
Have someone in your group read the scripture out loud.  Then have some else read the question.  Invite each member of the group to spend a minute or two answering the question.

Step Four:
End with prayer.  Here’s a prayer you can use, or you can provide your own prayer:

God who brought humanity out of bondage and into freedom, help us to always remember that our welfare and continued freedom depends on our willingness to imitate your actions in the world – to bring others to freedom, to treat others with love, to seek justice and practice mercy, and to come to know more of ourselves by looking into the mirror that you hold up to us.  For you are the God who always provides for us and calls us into relationship with you and with each other again and again.

Suggest other discussion questions

Worksheets to print and use in meetings

Exodus 1 & 2 readings

Exodus 3 & 4 readings

Exodus 5:1 – 8:7 readings

Exodus 8:8-11:10 readings

Exodus 12:1-14:31

Exodus 15:1 – 17:7

Exodus 17:8-20:21

Exodus 20:22-23:19 readings

Exodus 23:20-27:21 readings

Exodus 28:1-31:18 readings

Exodus 32, 33, & 34 readings

Exodus 35, 36, & 37

Exodus 38, 39, & 40 readings (end)

This worksheet will be especially useful in the weeks before Easter:

Exodus 12 – 15 – Easter prep