As we wait for the world to recover and continue reopening more and more, we are wanting to find ways forward that are responsible and safe. Marty’s speaking schedule has been entirely undone and we don’t know what that “re-entry” will look like yet. Marty is taking advantage of this time with his annual hunting trip this fall, and in the meantime we are attempting to make the most of what we can do.
Online Gatherings in Digital Spaces
We continue to experiment with digital spaces and we’ve had some success. Marty is scheduling regular Q&A livestreams on different platforms (Twitter was last month). Be looking for a livestream on Marty’s Instagram, currently scheduled for Sunday, September 20 at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET. October’s Q&A heads back to Twitter, and Facebook will be the place in November.
Outdoor Gatherings in Local Spaces
While the weather is still favorable, we want to take the opportunity to gather in a safe and distanced fashion outside. Marty is trying to meet new faces in the Cincinnati area. Having already scheduled a few personal gatherings, Marty is wanting to invite those who may be interested to local, socially-distanced meet-and-greets. Bring your own food, bring a mask, bring your no-contact high fives, and introduce yourself. The plan is to do an east Cincinnati gathering in September and a west Cincinnati gathering in October. (If you are in west Cincinnati and would be interested in this, would you reach out to Marty?) This month’s gathering is scheduled for Friday, September 25, 6:30–8:30 pm. We will meet at the Leming Shelter in Symmes Township Park (Loveland, OH).

Keep watching the News tab on our website for other announcements as we continue to create new resources and schedule Zoom calls specifically designed for group facilitators and others.
What’s Happening Around the Globe?
BEMA en Español

Greetings from Marietta, Georgia, USA. In January 2019, we began listening as a couple to the BEMA Podcast. This thought provoking material challenged our scriptural understanding and ignited spiritual conversation between us as a married couple. Like every new dimension of our journey with God, we longed to share it. We found others in our fellowship of churches who were listening, but our non-English-speaking Hispanic brothers and sisters could not. We learned, to our dismay, that there were no other groups working with the podcasts in Spanish. We felt we had no choice but to begin trying to figure out a way to present the material in Spanish.

One consideration was to translate the podcasts as recorded, which one brother did with of a number of the episodes. The end product, however, turned out to be a bit confusing due to the dialogue between Brent and Marty. We’ve settled on making a transcription of the material, which, although not word-for-word, presents the information as closely as possible. At times, we find ourselves having to do a little research in order to preserve the accuracy of the Hebrew word or phrase in its written form. Also, we aim to be sensitive to the fact that our audience is made up of people from different countries for whom a particular word may carry a different meaning. Certain humorous comments, for example, are modified or omitted (sorry, Marty!) so they aren’t “lost in translation.” Then, the show notes are recreated and translated since there is no easy way for the BEMA team to provide us with the original presentations. Please pray for us when we get to the Creating a Space diagram or the Hebrews infographic!

Because of how much is involved in putting together a podcast, progress is very slow. At first we were having discussion groups every other week. Lately we’ve fallen behind due to personal situations, but we are looking forward to getting back on track as the reception has been met with great enthusiasm, not to mention great food! During one of our sessions, an older woman who has studied the Bible for many years spotted a chiasm and exclaimed with widened eyes, “It’s right there!” In time we hope BEMA en Español can become a shared collaboration with others who are equally eager to get the message out to our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters.

Con amor en Cristo,
Alberto & Ana María Schirmer
Marty had a chance to meet the group in December.
Marty or Brent may be coming to your neck of the woods. (Maybe soon? Ugh.) Reach out via the contact button at the bottom of this email and see if there is some time you can meet up with them or attend the event. If more information is available, we will include it below.

SEPTEMBER 2–14: Marty on the Palouse for connections and some hunting
SEPTEMBER 20: Instagram Q&A (see above)
SEPTEMBER 25: East Cincinnati meet-and-greet (see above)

OCTOBER 8–25: Marty on the Palouse again (Brent is always here)
OCTOBER: Twitter Q&A
OCTOBER: West Cincinnati meet-and-greet

NOVEMBER 7–19: BEMA Israel (low contact)
NOVEMBER 19-22: Marty at ICOM
NOVEMBER: Facebook Q&A

DECEMBER: Marty visiting family in Idaho and Montana
Published by BEMA Discipleship, in partnership with Impact Campus Ministries.