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Next group of writers trained for Gather ’Round curriculum


Writers and trainers at Gather ’Round Writers Conference. Front (left to right) – Anna Speicher, Sarah Bixler, Brandy Fix Liepelt, Eleanor Snyder;  Middle – Jan Fischer Bachman, Rose Stutzman, Donna Shenk Sensenig, Wendy McFadden, Michelle Stoesz; Back - Frank Ramirez, Amy Gingerich, Aimee Reid, Rebecca Seiling, Sherah-Leigh Gerber

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Gather ’Round writers participate in the retelling of the story of the fall of Jerusalem as part of their study of the Bible texts for Fall 2009.

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April 8, 2008
- Anna Speicher

ELGIN, Illinois — A new group of writers has completed a week of training and has begun writing for the 2009-2010 year of the Gather ’Round curriculum. These Christian education materials are published for the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Church USA, and are also used by congregations in at least half a dozen other denominations.

The writers for the fourth year of Gather ’Round are Donna Shenk-Sensenig, Goshen, Ind.; Michelle Stoesz, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Jan Fischer Bachman, Kombo, The Gambia, and Dulles, Va.; Frank Ramirez, Everett, Pa.; Sarah Ann Bixler, Harrisonburg, Va.; Sherah-Leigh Gerber, Harrisonburg, Va.; and Brandy Liepelt, Sterling, Va. Each is writing fall, winter, and spring sessions for one age level of the curriculum. Several are writing for the summer quarter as well.

At the writers’ conference, held at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., writers spent significant time exploring the texts for the fall 2009 quarter, using Bible insight essays written by Old Testament scholar Derek Suderman, of Waterloo, Ontario. The background essays for winter and spring are written by Sue C. Steiner, also of Waterloo, and essays for summer will be written by Christina Bucher, of Elizabethtown, Pa.

The Gather ’Round curriculum uses the same scripture texts for all age levels, making it possible to expand learning outside the Sunday school hour. The Bible essays, which appear in the teacher’s guides for all groups, help leaders grow in their own personal understanding of the Bible story. The essays are also included in the Parent/Caregiver resource, Connect, which means that many adults in a congregation are studying the story in depth at the same time.

Gather ’Round: Hearing and Sharing God’s Good News is a project of Mennonite Publishing Network, the publishing agency of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, and Brethren Press, publisher for the Church of the Brethren.