October 3, 2014
Writing and publishing Adult Bible Study (ABS) is truly a team effort. As the editor, I get to be the coach. It takes at least 25* people to produce one year’s course of Bible studies!
Twelve writers for four student guides, four teachers guides, and 52 online articles are matched with writing assignments from the Committee on Uniform Series outlines. We have several criteria in mind. We match Scripture texts and themes with writers’ interest and expertise. We’re looking for writers with theological training (student guide), educators who understand curriculum development (teachers guide), and church leaders who are keen to interpreting Scripture in light of current events in the church and in the world (ABSOnline). We are also committed to maintain a balance of writers from Canada and the United States, people of color and white people, and women and men.
When the manuscripts are written, the rest of the team goes to work. We have a wonderful partnership with Mennonite translators in Mexico who prepare Estudios Bíblicos para Adultos (EBA), our Spanish translation of ABS. Our copy editors, designers, and proofreader prepare the manuscripts and proofs for publication. Other editors provide support for me, and the marketing and shipping folks make sure your church receives its orders.
Currently, MennoMedia is contracting writers for the 2016–17 and 2017–18 Bible studies. Student guides for 2016–17 are being written, as are teachers’ guides for 2015–16. EBA translation is in process for spring 2015. A free ABS Online article relating each Bible study to current events and occasional ABS Reproducible teaching aids are posted ten days ahead of the time. MennoMedia’s Rejoice! devotional magazine uses some of the Home Daily Bible Readings related to each week’s study.
Creating ABS is a labor of love. When I first started as editor, managing all the deadlines for each step in the publishing process used to make me dizzy! Our team works hard to write, edit, design, and distribute 13 Bible studies on top of whatever else Jesus calls us to do. It’s no small task, but it is a joy to see what God is doing through us.
—Sharon K. Williams
Editor, Adult Bible Study and Estudios Bíblicos para Adultos
*We wish we had time to construct a neater/graphically pleasing collage of all these writers, but we plead “it is no small task” and other jobs are pressing. Some writers/editors are also missing from this post, due to the blogging format not accepting certain formats of photos. We are so very grateful to all of them, for the marvelous work they do and the part they play on the team. — blog editor Melodie Davis