At Bridgehouse Coffee, Christ comes before coffee.
This is why the coffeehouse, which has been open since March, hosts a non-traditional Bible study Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.
The Bible study, hosted by Pastor John Moore of Our Savior Lutheran Church, focuses on a literary interpretation of the Bible called “The Story.” The book tells the plot of the Bible as “one continuing story of God and His people.”
Bridgehouse Coffee manager Danae Peters hasn’t had the opportunity to attend a session where readers discuss the book with Moore, but has had the chance to read some of the book.
“What they’ve done with this book is they’ve taken The Bible and they’ve kind of put it in a novel form so it reads more like a novel than, say, your basic scripture,” she said.
The book isn’t broken up by the books of the Bible, and the margins of the pages aren’t littered with verses. Instead, it dons a large body font and a hardcover with thick pages. The story itself takes key points of the Bible and arranges them in chronological order.
“It makes it a little bit easier to read,” Peters said, “Especially maybe if somebody is not really familiar with it.”
Peters said the goal of “The Story” is to reach out to people who normally wouldn’t be interested in reading the Bible.
Megan Geffre, who has attended every session at Bridgehouse, said that “The Story” is an easy read for anyone, from scripture novices to experts.
“I like that it’s a very casual, non-judgmental atmosphere,” Geffre said. “It’s very low-key.”
Geffre enjoys contributing to the discussions about the book and listening to others’ points of view.
“Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t agree,” she said. “But that’s the beauty of interpretation. Everybody interprets the Bible differently and that’s why I think there are so many different denominations of religion.”
While Geffre enjoys the study sessions, she wishes more people in the community would attend.
“Right now, I’m the youngest person in the group,” Geffre said, “Not that that’s a bad thing, but I would just love to see younger people joining and getting in on something that’s so easy and carefree to just sit down and listen. It’s like ‘The Bible for Dummies.’”
Moore said that “The Story” uses the NIV translation of the Bible, which is easy to read and interpret. Even with the different format, Moore said that the essential message of the Bible isn’t lost.
“We had a guy in our congregation that was very resistant to the idea of ‘The Story,’” Moore said. “It’s been a very enriching time for him.”
Anyone is welcome to attend. Bridgehouse offers free copies of the books and has already given away three cases of the book. The coffeehouse also accepts donations, which they use to purchase more books for the public.
“You don’t even have to be Christian to come to this,” Moore said. “We just want people who are curious and willing to explore.”