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Church to focus on ‘The Story’

Church to focus on ‘The Story’

Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:00 pm

The Messenger, January 3, 2013
“The Bible is central to our faith,” says the Rev. Ron Gray of First Church of God in Union City, “but many people are intimidated by its scope and size. ‘The Story’ gives us a way to journey from Genesis to Revelation together in 31 weeks so everyone understands God’s story and how their story intersects with it.”
The Bible is the best-selling book in history, but how many people in Union City are actually reading it? A Gallup survey reports the average American household has four Bibles. However, research by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) found that only 16 percent of Americans read the Bible every day.
First Church of God is hoping to reverse this trend, starting with its own congregation. Gray believes “The Story,” a Zondervan best-seller, is the right tool to increase biblical literacy, helping readers understand God’s story from Genesis to Revelation and how their own stories intersect with God’s.  
Consisting of 31 chapters of carefully-selected scriptures sequenced in chronological order, “The Story” presents the word of God in an engaging format, reading like a novel.
“I want the people in my congregation, as well as the city of Union City, to realize the incredible love God has for them and how their story is found in His story,” said Gray.
The Story Church Campaign is a unique program providing up to 31 weeks of curriculum for children, teen and adult Sunday school and up to 31 weeks of corresponding sermons. When accompanied by reading through the five age-related books — “The Story,” “The Story: Teen Edition,” “The Story for Kids,” “The Story for Children” and “The Story for Little Ones” — the entire church can be literally on the same page for 31 weeks. First Church of God plans to begin the experience Sunday.
With thousands of participating churches nationwide, The Story is becoming a movement that is bringing wide-ranging benefits to local churches. Many have reported increased community outreach, increased biblical literacy, congregational growth and a greater understanding of how God’s story reveals the reasons for the things that happen in man’s story.
First Church of God is inviting the community to experience “The Story.” Sunday services start at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:30 for praise and worship.
For more information about the church, visit: www.fcogunioncity.com
For more information about the new study, visit www.thestory.com.  
Zondervan is the world’s leading Christian publisher of books whose authors are noted for their excellence in the craft of writing as well as their worthy contribution to the ongoing global evangelical conversation. The works published by Zondervan not only confirm readers’ faith and understanding, they also challenge and stretch readers’ thinking. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general, ministry and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices and has been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan publishes bestselling books, audio, video, curriculum, software and digital products in such categories as biblical languages and studies, biography, business, contemporary issues, counseling, cultural, devotional, evangelism, family, fiction, history, inspiration, leadership, ministry, pastoral, personal development, prayer, philosophy, reference, relationships, textbooks, theology, youth and more.
Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online and by Zondervan ChurchSource and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries.
Readers may visit Zondervan Books on the Internet at www.zondervan.com/books.

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