St. John’s Bible brings community together

The November topic for Keep on Learning is on the St. John's Bible, how it was created and its importance. —Dan Haack/TRUMPET
The November topic for Keep on Learning is on the St. John’s Bible, how it was created and its importance. —Dan Haack/TRUMPET

The November Keep on Learning sessions are focusing on the St. John’s Bible and will lead straight into Christmas with Wartburg, Gail Sexton, coordinator of church relations and faith community outreach, said.

Keep on Learning is a series of classes offered at Wartburg for community members to learn more about a specific topic. The St. John’s Bible was chosen as a topic after a group of Wartburg professors visited St. John’s University in Minnesota, Sexton said.

“We created a task force, a variety of faculty and staff, to see how we are going to utilize the St. John’s Bible,” Sexton said.

At the beginning of this year, all seven volumes of the St. John’s Bible were on display at Wartburg for six weeks. Over 1,000 people came to see the exhibit, Sexton said.

“At the end of the six weeks, five were returned and we were able to keep two for the rest of the calendar year,” Sexton said.

The St. John’s Bible has been utilized in many ways, Sexton said. She said presentations have been given at preschools, after-school programs, confirmation groups, adult Bible studies and more. Sexton said the next step is to find more ways to incorporate the St. John’s Bible.

“We were thinking, ‘what are some various ways to share this with our community?’” Sexton said. “So we wondered ‘Can we combine our presentations that we give to visitors, and the Phil. and Lit. sessions we previously had, and Christmas with Wartburg to make a Keep on Learning?’”

The proposal for the Keep on Learning idea was sent to the alumni office and then approved, Sexton said.

The first session was on Nov. 6 and brought 93 people to campus to learn more about the Bible.

“The response was overwhelming. A lot of people were ones who have been here before and have seen it and just wanted to learn more,” Sexton said.

Dr. Eldon B. Swanson is a community member who is very excited about the St. John’s Bible.

“When they had first brought the Bible here to Wartburg, we—my wife and I—had first found out through church and we had spent the better half of an afternoon at the presentation,” Swanson said.

Swanson said he plans on attending all of the Keep on Learning sessions to learn as much as he can about the Bible.

“I’m really interested in the last week where they will do the ‘Visio Divine,’” Swanson said. “I think this whole thing is incredible. I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.”

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