Bible study organization invites community to share in lessons


October 06, 1997|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MENTION THE letters CBS to most people and the first thing that comes to mind is the television network. But a growing number of Carroll County residents are learning that CBS also stands for Community Bible Study.

Each Wednesday morning, more than 150 people from 58 local churches gather at Westminster Baptist Church to take an in-depth look at the Scriptures.

"This [Bible study] breaks down racial and denominational barriers," said Julia Landrum, teaching director. "The lessons are created and the commentaries are written by diverse denominations and personalities."

Part of an international organization, the Wednesday morning CBS is one of seven similar groups in Maryland. This group has grown so fast since it started in Westminster five years ago that a satellite group of about 30 men and women meet Thursday nights.

Children's preschool classes, with a curriculum linked to the adults' weekly lessons, have a waiting list.

Yes, lessons. Before each meeting, participants search the Bible for answers to questions about specific Scriptures. CBS opens with songs and personal testimony.

Then the group divides into smaller groups of 15 people who meet with leaders to discuss the lesson they've prepared. After a 55-minute small-group session, the whole group gathers again for a brief lecture by Landrum.

"The word has gotten out. This is not just about chit-chat and being together," Landrum said. "This approach provides the discipline of having to write something down, rather than just rolling it around in their heads. Once people have done the lesson, their hearts are ready and they can see how God's word applies specifically to them."

"It is a great opportunity to study the Bible," said Amy Bradley, an Eldersburg resident who joined CBS this fall. "It's an intense study. From September to May, we are looking only at Romans. But this gives me the opportunity to grow as a Christian. It's also a great form of community outreach."

CBS meets from 9: 15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m. every Wednesday, unless Carroll County schools are closed or open late. Participants pay a $15 registration fee if they can afford to, plus a weekly offering to cover materials.

Information: Landrum at 410-239-3153 or Connie Rayman at 410-374-4642.

First novel for Minnich

He has written thousands of columns, publishing many of them in "Tomato Seed Wars," and has written "Towns and Villages of Carroll County," but Westminster writer Dean Minnich says nothing matched the feeling of finishing the first draft of his first novel "Angel Summer."

"It was so emotional, I wept," Minnich said. "To know that it worked, that it was done, and that I had done what I wanted to do.

"The book is the story of a young boy's struggle to hold his family together. It takes the nostalgia of another time and addresses the issues of today," Minnich said.

"I've heard it described as a woman's book," Minnich added. "Well, in one friend's book I wrote: 'This is my story, but I'm not in it. This is not your story, but if you find yourself in it, it works.' "

Released Sept. 1, "Angel Summer" has a waiting list at Westminster branch library. It is available at local independent bookstores.

"There are a lot of people who are excited about the novel," said Tim Bryson, owner of Locust Books. "His fans enjoy his humor and his appreciation for the ironies in life."

Holiday wreath sale

Inspired by a successful first year, Westminster High School Class of 1999 Parent Booster Club is having another holiday wreath sale.

"Pulling in between $600 and $700, the wreath sale was our biggest fund-raiser," said Betty Shaw, booster club member. "The 20-inch wreaths are a perfect size for the front door. I put one above the mantel because they smell so good and the needles don't drop off."

Money from the sale will be contributed to the junior class' after-prom party.

The wreaths are $15 each, and orders are due by Oct. 24.

Information: Shaw, 410-876-0247 or Joannie Larson 410-848-8658.

Norman Rockwell's county

Norman Rockwell would have loved the bus stop in my neighborhood. More than 25 children chat and wrestle before Bus 30 or Bus 81 rolls around the corner.

The first sight of yellow sends the children scrambling into line. Mothers often stand beside them, checking one more time for clean faces and nabbing a kiss.

That's the picture Norman Rockwell would have painted: that string of moms bending over to kiss their children good-bye and the children's sometimes satisfied, often grimacing faces.

Parents mingle after the buses leave and often see each other again at a Kiwanis Club meeting, in the school or at church.

Ah, yes -- the satisfaction of being part of a county that is filled with strong communities.

As the new correspondent for central Carroll County, I look forward to sharing your community news. That good news -- whether it is a local celebration, a fund-raiser, a school or a church event with a special twist -- contributes to the sense of community pride.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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