As a parish leader, you get questions all the time about God's word. You don't have to be a Scripture scholar to answer questions about the Bible. With Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry, you will be able to confidently reply to the inquiries about the Bible you are likely to hear.
This book will help you dispel common myths about the Bible, understand how the Bible inspires church teaching, and enable you to interpret Scripture in a fully Catholic way. Each chapter includes "ministry spotlights"-specific examples of situations you have faced or are likely to, with possible solutions you can use right now.
Scripture in the Parish is not so much a book about the Bible, but about the ways the Bible is used in the life of the church today. This is the perfect guide for catechists, RCIA team members, liturgical ministers, prayer group leaders, and anyone who has a leadership role in the parish.
Mary Elizabeth Sperry holds a master's degree in liturgical studies from the Catholic University of America. She has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 1994, in the Secretariat for the Liturgy, USCCB Publishing, and the Department of Communications. She is the author of Bible Top Tens and Ten: How the Commandments Can Change Your Life (both 2012). Her articles have appeared in The Liguorian, Emmanuel, Today's Parish Minister, and other publications. She has been interviewed about the Bible on National Public Radio, CBS Radio, NBC News, the Drew Mariani Show, and Seize the Day.
Intentionally brief, as the writer herself notes, this work on the Bible and its foundation for ministry is a must-read. The text not only shows the vitality of God's word for one's service in the Church, but also offers a guide for individual spiritual enrichment. Our faith story is rooted in Scripture, as is our mission. Scripture in the Parish serves to make those connections, while providing practical ways for us to guide and lead others.
Very Reverend Andrew Small, OMI, STD, National Director, Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States
Why don't more Catholics read the Bible? Maybe because they often haven't been invited to. Or they've been told that it's "too hard" to understand. In this lovely new book, which will be of great use to parishioners and those who work in parishes, Mary Sperry helps us understand the Living Word of God. With clear prose and simple examples, she invites us into the most important story ever told: the story of God's love for God's people.
James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
This book is a fine example of the intersection of two theological disciplines: biblical theology and ethics. It will find ready audiences in ministry formation programs as well as parish study groups.
The Bible Today
Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry offers a small but sumptuous meal that will nourish people with various appetites. The appetizer dispels common myths in a clear and concise fashion. The main course feeds the reader with what the Church believes about the Bible, its important place in Catholic liturgy and prayer, and nutrients for preachers and catechists. The bonus course offers tools for interpreting the Word with the Church. All who seek a relationship with Christ through the Catholic Church or who have a ministerial role within the Church will find rich fare in this small but powerful resource.
Paul H. Colloton, OSFS, DMin, Director of Continuing Education for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians
I will gladly recommend this compact, practical volume to catechists, those in programs of formation for ministry, and those already involved in Scripture study groups. It provides easily digestible ingredients that taken together will help ministers serve an appetizing dish to those who want to feast at the table of God's Word but sometimes feel intimidated by what seems to be a large menu. Clear writing style, useful and relevant information about the purpose, content, and interpretation of the Bible, and suggested ways to address the questions or needs of various groups (RCIA teams and participants, youth, catechists, homilists, baptized adults, music ministers, etc.) make for an extremely useful guide.
Catherine Upchurch, Director, Little Rock Scripture Study
With Sperry's book you'll be able to dispel common myths that you're confronted with and reply confidently to questions when you're asked about the Bible.
A more biblically literate Catholic Church means a more vibrant Catholic community in the midst of the world. Mary Sperry does a tremendous job making the sacred Scriptures more accessible. A deeper appreciation for the Word of God will help bring about a deeper renewal in the Church today, in particular, Biblical prayer (lectio divina), leads to a more intimate relationship with the Risen Christ. This book will be a great resource for both parish ministers and the ministries entrusted to their care, as well as any person desiring to become more biblically literate.'
Msgr. David L. Toups, STD, Rector of St. Vincent dePaul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida
Readers of this book will be able to expand their understanding of the Bible and are provided the language to easily answer questions that may come up in a variety of parish settings. It encourages the reader not to stop with this book and explains how to select a Bible commentary, the reason to have more than one translation of the Bible on hand, and other resources for improving biblical literacy.
Deeply rooted in the magisterial documents of the Church, Mary Sperry has provided a superb primer to understanding the importance of the Bible in the Church. She reminds us that scripture should never be an 'add on' or 'extra element' to anything that the Church does, particularly at the parish level, but rather, the Bible must be an integral part of parish life. Most helpful are the 'Ministry Spotlight' sections, which provide useful tips for those engaged in the various parish ministries. So, pick this book up, read it, and when you are finished, use what you have learned to bring scripture to the heart of your local parish.
Timothy McCormick, Author of the Catholic Bibles Blog and Instructor for the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan