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Bible-reading programs in vogue

(Sacramento Bee) In their quest to read the Bible cover to cover in three months’ time, 84 people at St. John’s Lutheran Church in midtown Sacramento have pored over about a quarter of the Bible so far. It’s been an eye-opener: The violence – the sheer level of bloodshed in the Old Testament – has taken many of them by surprise.

“Your Sunday school teachers didn’t tell you about that,” associate pastor Leslie Welton said to a recent class of almost two dozen people.

They were gathered in a church meeting room at noon on a bright spring Friday for one of the church’s weekly “Bible in 90 Days” sessions. The classes, which began in mid-March, have offered the group fresh perspective on the Scriptures during Lent, the traditional 40-day period of reflection and sacrifice leading up to the celebration of Easter. The Friday classes skew older, with a lot of retirees in the group, but program participants range in age from 11 to 98. Another class has been meeting on Sunday evenings.