During August 2022, we took steps to more fully understand your engagement with The Saint John’s Bible to help us continue our mission to ignite the spiritual imagination of people around the world.
We asked friends and Stewards to share thoughts and ideas about the Heritage Program through a short survey.
Below is a summary of the findings. Overall, it was very affirming not only of our efforts, but of the ways in which more and more people are fully engaging the depth and beauty of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition.
92% of you read our articles “Often” or “Sometimes”
97% find what you are looking for in our articles
76% found our Lenten devotions “Inspiring”
90% think one article per month is “Just Right”
Bringing The Saint John’s Bible to life
Here are a few of the “most creative ways you or your institution are bringing The Saint John’s Bible to life:”
1. I’m just trying to implement the new ideas I read about each month! I’ve issued a new call for musical compositions inspired by specific illuminations, and on October 10, we’ll host a CD launch party for a new collection of original jazz music inspired by TSJB illuminations. When the combo is playing those, we’ll project the images on a screen in the recital hall.
2. To support, and enhance resilience among healthcare workers, members of the Mission Integration Department are using a mobile health vehicle one time a week to offer resources to staff at outlying clinic locations.
Part of the spiritual resource is a volume of TSJB which can be touched, looked at, pondered. Nurses and others would never have time otherwise for this kind of interaction with the Living Word of God.
3. The McGrath Institute for Church Life designed a free, six-unit online series, providing an overview of illuminated manuscripts and the creation of The Saint John’s Bible in general, then unpacking the theological language of five illuminations. The series also included videos providing a scriptural exegesis of the passages depicted in the illuminations, as well as guided experiences of Lectio and Visio Divina. The first time we offered this series, we had nearly 1,500 participants from around the world. We are currently working to reframe the series as a resource for mystagogy, which is a time of formation that parish ministers often struggle to implement. We are hopeful that the beautiful art of The Saint John’s Bible will help the newly initiated—as well as their fellow long-time parishioners—dive more deeply into the mysteries of faith.
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Here are a few of the stories “where you saw The Saint John’s Bible inspire people around you:”
1. The first time my husband and I saw The Saint John’s Bible was at the New Mexico History Museum. We had never seen anything like it, and many people that were visiting with us were awestruck as well. The exhibit was extended because there was such interest, and it inspired us to gift the Heritage Edition to the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque.
2. I gave a homily on the image of the Raising of Lazarus, showing how the image relates to the other images in the Gospel. The depth of the image was the object of the sermon that brought the congregation to realize that Jesus is calling them to new life if they will accept it. Many people told me that it was a completely new way of understanding the story of Lazarus and that it made them see Jesus’ call to them in a new way.
3. I gave a homily on the image of the Raising of Lazarus, showing how the image relates to the other images in the Gospel. The depth of the image was the object of the sermon that brought the congregation to realize that Jesus is calling them to new life if they will accept it. Many people told me that it was a completely new way of understanding the story of Lazarus and that it made them see Jesus’ call to them in a new way.
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Here are a few of the “new ideas” you had for us:
1. Internet availability opens many doors. To those who don’t have this option, a colorful pamphlet could introduce them to this gem.
2. A wall calendar, with each month featuring a different illustration from TSJB, including a related Biblical verse in English and Spanish (or multiple other languages). It would aid in the international appeal.
3. I think that gathering the stewards of Heritage sets periodically would be a great start for sharing ideas and networking.
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Welcome to the Heritage Program Family!
Since our annual update in July, we have had SEVEN new acquisitions, including one Apostle’s Edition.
Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, Texas was gifted a Heritage Edition, which it has graciously elected to share with two neighboring churches. The enthusiasm around the arrival of their 7 volumes was palpable at their “Uncrating Party” held on Friday, September 2.
The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, Texas will be the 8th Heritage Edition that finds its home in the Lone Star State! This was the third such gift from the same family foundation based in Dallas—remarkable benefactors who intend to continue gifting the beauty and significance of the Heritage Edition.
Also among these new Stewards are two private families. One family will be sharing their Bible in multiple ministry settings including a retreat center, an international mission organization, and their local church. The other private acquisition will retain the books in their personal fine art collection to be shared among book collectors and binders.