The God Who Speaks: Ideas for parishes

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The Bible in your pocket

Pope Francis says everyone should carry a Bible in their pocket, and read it on the bus or at any time in the day. A short phrase or single sentence can transform our hearts and minds if we reflect on it in a quiet moment.
Buy a pocket Bible or download a Bible app and start this today.

Set up small groups in your parish

Bible study – prepare for the Sunday readings ahead of time so that they make more sense when you listen to them in Mass.

Bible Book club – read a part or a whole book of the Bible in a regular group and explore what the Scriptures mean to you in a fun and friendly environment.

Bible and art – look at traditional and modern art that portrays Bible stories and characters and discover a different way of engaging with the Scriptures through art.

Bible and art classes/art competition – set up art classes for both children and adults. Read a Bible text and then make something creative from any of the words/phrases that inspire you. It’s a great and colourful way to make the Scriptures come alive!
Run a friendly competition in your local school or parish and celebrate the creativity of your community in a dynamic way.

Bible and prayer – set up a regular group for praying with the Bible and use different texts and books of the Bible to focus on different themes for praying.

Try out Lectio Divina and Ignatian Prayer or look to some of the other great monastic spiritualties for sharing the Scriptures in your prayer times.

The Bible and the environment – create a Scripture garden in your school or parish and think about the plants and herbs mentioned in the Bible, or take a theme e.g. social justice and create a focal point for raising awareness of this theme?

The Bible and music – do you have a choir or singing group which could focus on Scriptural hymns and songs for a season, and then get together and hold a concert or music event where your community can listen to your songs and join in?

The Bible and food – hold picnics in the summer or any time lunches or suppers with Bible-inspired themes? Celebrate our diversity of foods and cultures and combine it with a music/art event to create a festival feel in your parish hall or Scripture garden.

Bible vigil for those being persecuted - hold a dedicated Bible-vigil for Catholics around the world who are being persecuted for reading the Bible. Raise awareness of this issue through your local parish and reflect on what other action you can take.

Matthew’s Gospel – get to know our Lectionary Gospel writer better by creating a monthly Matthew-discussion group. Read up on who Matthew was and then take a chapter each session to follow his journey throughout the year.

Bible and saints – every Catholic saint was inspired by their reading of the Bible to live a life serving God. So why not choose a saint and read their life and some of their writings to see how they can inspire you in your own relationship with God.

Bible and church pilgrimage – ever wondered which Bible stories the stained glass windows in your church represent, or enjoy walking around sacred sites? Create a mini Scripture and Prayer pilgrimage between key churches and places in your local area and read different Bible passages as you walk, stop, pray and reflect.

Further information on ‘The God Who Speaks’ Year of the Word and ideas for your parish are available here.