Judy Keen

Overall I can say without hesitation that it has been a wonderful study for us all!!  Testimonies spoke to the value of this experience during our Easter Sunday sermons. For us personally, we have been touched and are so grateful for the work God did through this study and our small group experience.  Our group is one of the ones that plans to continue!

Judy Keen

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

At St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Deland, 13 small groups met during Lent, 2015, and used The Crucified Life for their study. About 135 members participated. So far we have received feedback from 8 of the 13 groups. Currently I know of 4 of these groups that plan to continue The Christian Life Trilogy, using The Resurrected Life. Two of the groups are planning to continue, but using a different resource. One group wants to wait until next Lent to use The Resurrected Life.
The following were responses to the question asked of our leaders, “What would you say has been the most important value your group received from this experience?”

  • Everyone loved the series and got a great deal out of it. Most felt that they saw the crucifixion in a different way with a deeper understanding. Words like thirst took on a new meaning.
  • All enjoyed getting to know each other and getting closer each week.
  • All were blessed through the series
  • Being comfortable with one another, building trust
  • To come together and share. (We all thought the material was excellent.)
  • The excellent core content has guided our conversation and created the environment for our group members to grow individually and as a group.
  • Getting to know each other and accepting each other in whatever situation we are in at this time.
  • We all learned the importance of really listening to each other. Some members of our group don’t have other Christian friends to talk to.
  • Making connections, community building, and sharing spiritual experiences
  • There has been remarkable growth in the group.

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Janice Miller

I want to give a brief witness to the amazing beginning our Ladies Bible Study group experienced this morning as we shared Session One together. The women in our group, as you may have heard, have really bonded together as we have shared the Word over this past couple of years, and we always have a great time together…hence the name “Beloved Bible Bunch”.  But I don’t think any of us were prepared for the blessing the Holy Spirit poured out upon us this morning.  Three new ladies have joined us for The Crucified Life series, and they obviously immediately felt welcome because they quickly joined in the discussion as we shared our thoughts on the question as to why it is often difficult to forgive.  Soon there was deep sharing, some with desperate need for God’s help and healing grace.  At the end, we had a time of laying on of hands and prayer together.  The power of God’s presence was palpable and  tears flowed.  We had a sense that the ones with deep needs were “sent” to experience the love of Christ in our midst.

I am truly awed…..and joy bubbles up as I anticipate the continued sessions.  Thank you so much for being faithful to God’s call to develop these studies.

Yours in our Lord,
Janice

Janice Miller

I want to give a brief witness to the amazing beginning our Ladies Bible Study group experienced this morning as we shared Session One together. The women in our group, as you may have heard, have really bonded together as we have shared the Word over this past couple of years, and we always have a great time together…hence the name “Beloved Bible Bunch”.  But I don’t think any of us were prepared for the blessing the Holy Spirit poured out upon us this morning.  Three new ladies have joined us for The Crucified Life series, and they obviously immediately felt welcome because they quickly joined in the discussion as we shared our thoughts on the question as to why it is often difficult to forgive.  Soon there was deep sharing, some with desperate need for God’s help and healing grace.  At the end, we had a time of laying on of hands and prayer together.  The power of God’s presence was palpable and  tears flowed.  We had a sense that the ones with deep needs were “sent” to experience the love of Christ in our midst.

I am truly awed…..and joy bubbles up as I anticipate the continued sessions.  Thank you so much for being faithful to God’s call to develop these studies.

Yours in our Lord,
Janice

Sarah Bronos

I had one group start early because they wanted to start back up meeting after the Christmas break and didn’t want to start the study on Hebrews they were going to do and stop in the middle and change gears. I hear very, very positive feedback about this study. They love the content and the design of the class time. Having them start early has actually given momentum to try and get some more groups going.

Sarah Bronos

Christopher Brathwaite

The authenticity of The Crucified Life is beyond measure. I believe we at St. Marks are getting more from the program than Fr. Charlie expected.  By listening to a member from each group each Sunday as he/she reflects in the Homily/Sermon we have opened a new door to the church. The two homilist reflecting on “Forgiveness” and “Salvation” were right on spot: lay leadership is not just for non-clergy work, but for fresh and new insight from the village, the community, the supermarket, the drug store, the gas station, and from the kitchen table at home. Theology cannot be written once and for all. What the clergy learn in seminary is foundational and sound, but we sometimes forget the neighborhood: we forget that Theology must be expressed in cultural, timely, and contextual terms, understanding that God meets us where we are with a message for the people, where we are; A message undergirded by genuine care, love, faith, and God’s peace. What I am writing is what I have heard and it is melting my heart with joy: these people are sharp: I cannot speak for this Diocese, but St. Mark’s is already better off because of this series: (lay leaders have something to say). May God continue to guide us as we do the unusual (in the Episcopal Church) to build up the kingdom of God.

Christopher Brathwaite

Russ Philbrick

Dear Fr. Charlie,

Last week we finished “The Crucified Life” in our study group and are now beginning “The Resurrected Life.”  We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the study.  Probably the best we have ever done.  The devotional readings were truly anointed.  Thank you for serving God in preparing these studies, many are being blessed by them.

Yours in Christ,

Russ & Candy Philbrick
Ascension – Orlando

Kay Ruhle

They have loved your books and the devotionals have really hit their mark. You have done an excellent job on the books and the DVD? I’m sure you are most gratified with the response you have received from one and all!

Kay Ruhle

Pete Grigas

Dear Father Holt,

My wife, Carol, and I have been participating in a small group session during Lent using your “Crucified Life” series as our basis for discussion. We are members of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Deland and I have recently become a member of the Vestry. We have both found this series to be quite wonderful, thoughtful, and challenging – to the point that our group is planning to continue in religious discussions after we have finished this series. See what you’ve started?!!
Bless you, Father,

Pete Grigas