Manuscript Bible Studies

Marked-up Bible manuscripts are an InterVarsity hallmark. Digging deep into biblical texts and sharing discoveries in vigorous discussions remains a treasured memory for many InterVarsity alumni. Some are now seizing the opportunity to experience manuscript study again, long after leaving campus behind. Manuscript Bible studies are becoming one of the featured activities at alumni gatherings.

More than sixty graduates of Cal Poly, University of California-Riverside and University of California-Irvine gathered at Campus by the Sea on Catalina Island over the Labor Day holiday weekend. In addition to the manuscript Bible study and free time to catch up with old friends, conferees enjoyed a briefing on the current InterVarsity activities at their alma maters.

“The best part has been reconnecting with friends, people you haven’t seen in years, and finding out where they are in their lives and what God has done with them,” said Valerie Colacchia, a Cal Poly alumnus. “It’s being able to remember what your dreams were 15 years ago and how God is faithful. Now you’re going through totally different things, things you couldn’t comprehend then, but God is still faithful and you can see the path he’s brought you on.”

“They may have kids, they may have a job, but they’re still the same people,” said Jim Turner, another Cal Poly alumnus. “It was wonderful to come back and remember all of God’s faithfulness to us over the past 12 years,” added Barbara Cady, a UC Riverside graduate.

Several attendees offered to help develop a website so that InterVarsity alumni can keep in better contact with each other. “They expressed gratitude to us for organizing the weekend,” said western cluster alumni development director Rob Knight. Rob is already working with Southern California staff members to plan next year’s Labor Day weekend at Campus by the Sea.

On Saturday, October 8, another group of alumni and friends of InterVarsity from Colorado and Wyoming gathered among the golden Aspens at Bear Trap Ranch. “We did a manuscript study of Paul’s first missionary journey,” said assistant area director Megan Murdock. “One student shared a testimony about her call to campus ministry and another student shared about a summer mission to the Navajo reservation. We also brought in a ‘blast from the past’ and had former Regional Director Gene Thomas share about the beginning of the ministry in this region. There was laughter, stories, and a lot of joy in studying Scripture the InterVarsity way.”

About 20 Oregon-area alumni responded to an invitation to a manuscript Bible study in Portland on September 24th. Regional Director Kim Porter was surprised to see former InterVarsity Canada president Jim Berney and his wife Marge walk in the door. Unbeknownst to her, the Berneys had recently relocated to Portland. Jim Berney became West Coast Regional Director in 1968, succeeding Paul Byer, who then finalized work on the Mark Manuscript Study. “Older alums who knew Jim were thrilled to have an opportunity to spend the morning with he and Marge,” Kim reported. “A group of alumni have decided to continue meeting once a month for a manuscript study. This event reminded them again how much they love to study scripture with the in-depth manuscript method.”

Mission Network News story