After the Junior High Retreat to Mt. Lebanon earlier this school year, Eighth Graders Kara Lehew and Caroline Jones started a Bible study for the Junior High girls.
Both new to the school this year, Lehew and Jones decided something needed to be done to get the new and returning girls to develop deeper relationships.
“Everyone felt like they were on a spiritual high that week… [We] felt like we had this connection with each other and God, and we wanted to know ‘What can we do to bring that back to school?’” said Lehew.
Speaker Josh Procter encouraged the Jr. High students at the retreat to grow closer together, and these two took that seriously.
Lehew then went to Jones and proposed the junior high girls Bible study. Her goal was to transform the connection they’d all had at the retreat into truly meaningful friendships. Jones was happy to join Lehew in this.
After speaking with Jones, Lehew sought out Dean of Academics, Susan Crosier. Mrs. Crosier was thrilled about the idea and immediately agreed to help out.
“Kara Lehew and Caroline Jones came to me wanting to start the Bible study and we decided to extend it to all 7th and 8th grade girls. They have all shown an interest in it,” said Mrs. Crosier, of the group, now numbering over 20 students.
A few days before each session, Lehew and Jones get together outside of school and plan the devotional for the upcoming meeting.
“First I pray, then we read [the chapter] we are doing, then Kara and I get together and go over it,” said Jones.
They bring their Bibles and journals and together develop a general outline of what they’re going to talk about at each meeting. If either one of them has done a personal devotional during the week that they feel inclined to share, they make sure to include that as well.
This year the group leaders decided to study Esther. Why did they pick this book specifically?
“She [Esther] is a good role model and we should be brave like she was,” said Jones.
“It was a book we were more familiar with because I had been studying it,” said Lehew. “We felt like it really applied to us as girls. She was a great leader and Godly example of a woman in the Bible. We thought it’d be fun to study that [Esther] with other girls,” said Lehew.
Abigail Piotrowski, a 7th grader in the Junior High Girls Bible Study, offered to bring brownies to enjoy during the meetings. She did not disappoint. The girls praise Jesus and enjoy brownies every time!
Lehew and Jones open the meeting in prayer, taking prayer requests from anyone who wants to share. After the prayer, one or two of the girls read the chapter assigned to that session.
Throughout the scripture reading, Kara, Caroline, and even Mrs. Crosier will add their thoughts, interpretations, and apply the verses to their lives. All the girls are encouraged to share as well; they are free to share anything in their hearts.
Concluding the meeting in prayer is important to the girls. They want to make sure to keep God at the heart of the group.
“I like it [the Bible study] because we get to share Christ together and learn more about God,” said 8th Grader Danielle Acala. “I feel like it has bonded the 7th and 8th grade together instead of having a division between all of the girls, we are now like one unit.”
Adults are noticing a positive atmosphere here.
“I appreciate all these girls and I just hope they continue to live in the Lord,” said Crosier.
Over the Christmas break, Kara planned a service project to serve in the Christmas store at Mission Arlington. Multiple girls from the bible study, as well as few tag-alongs, went and dedicated a couple hours of their time to help parents shop for their kids in the store. They had a blast serving.
“We’d love to do another service project…maybe help with Samaritan’s Purse,” said Lehew.
The club always aims to meet twice a month during ROAR period. They try to schedule the study around other club meetings the Junior High girls participate in so everyone has the chance to go.
“We plan on continuing the Bible study this semester and exploring topics together that apply to our group,” said Lehew.
Next year, as freshmen, the girls plan to completely transform the Bible study into a high school girl’s bible study.