By Stan Counsell | PREVIEW Columnist
Calling all ladies, young and young at heart: Did you know that there is a longstanding evangelical/born-again Bible study waiting for you? And, the attendees come from all the Christian churches around town. The Countywide Women’s Bible Study has prospered, by the Lord’s hand, for nearly 50 years right here in God’s country, Pagosa Springs.
The word “eureka” became synonymous with the California Gold Rush that lasted from 1848 to 1855. Eureka is a Greek word meaning “I have found it!” It was an expression of triumph of an important discovery. Gold was pretty much the currency of the world dating back thousands of years.
With the discovery of gold, unnumbered thousands of Americans rushed westward, enduring vast and dangerous hardships for the potential glory of wealth that gold could provide. It is documented that two brothers, in a space of a year, mined over $1,500,000 in gold.
But, the gold rush had its dark side, too. Many seeking wealth died in harsh environments: weather, location, thirst, murder, disease and slow/painful starvation. Overall, most women were shamefully, and deliberately, excluded from possible wealth. And, the Indigenous Californians grievously suffered from this greed, too. They also became the victims of disease, eviction from their lands, starvation and even horrifying mass genocide. In the rush to gain something of profound importance, many men, the few women and Indigenous peoples became shameful collateral damage.
But, the call of “eureka” from these Bible study ladies, has no dark side. There isn’t any exclusion of anyone or harsh conditions to endure. The ladies discover gold with each study (Psalm 12:6; 19:7-10). They are currently “mining” the Gospel of John and discovering a wealth of precious truths just below the surface of their biblical pages. This popular gathering is not at all a lecture-driven study but a place with rich laughter, feedback and insightful questions by all.
The teacher-facilitator, going on some 10-years now, is ‘Bert (Roberta) Counsell. She holds an active ordination as an evangelical women’s minister having served in churches in California and Colorado. She and her husband have made Pagosa Springs their home for 17 years.
Counsell is also a former chaplain with the American Red Cross, U.S. Border Patrol and the first Christian operated AIDS hospice in San Diego, Calif. She is also a worship composer and women’s counselor.
She has been married 38 years to her soulmate, a retired evangelical pastor, chaplain and counselor. Her passion is the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through teaching deep but easy-to-understand biblical topics and doctrines with an extensive knowledge of theology, biblical languages and cultures.
The Countywide Women’s Bible Study has an open door for all believers and seekers. It meets every Tuesday morning from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall of Grace in Pagosa. The address is 1044 Park Ave., across from the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Recreation Center. Come join these precious ladies; there’s gold to be discovered just for you.
The study is always without charge and comfortable/casual attire is the norm. Just bring your desire to know more of God’s Word, your personality and favorite Bible.
For more information, please call (970) 264-9931.