There are some national treasures I still have not seen. I have yet to visit Mt. Rushmore, Hawaii, Yellowstone, Yosemite or Niagara Falls, just to name a few. I have, however, visited Muir Woods, the Outer Banks, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Okefenokee Swamp, the White House, the Bellagio (you know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure), the Catfish Museum in Belzoni, Mississippi (yep, it exists), and of course, Downtown Greenville.

One other treasure I’ve been privileged to experience is the St. John’s Bible. It is the first hand-scribed, illustrated Bible to be produced in over 500 years. The work was commissioned by St. John’s University in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and overseen by Donald Jackson, calligrapher to the Crown Office of the United Kingdom. His team of calligraphers and artists took over a decade to produce the 7 volume work of text and accompanying art. The original pages are kept in a vault at St. John’s but several beautifully bound and embossed Heritage Editions were produced (and may be purchased for the low, low price of $155,000!). One of these editions has been on loan to the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond (BTSR) for teaching and touring purposes. And…are you still with me…we’ve arranged for First Baptist Greenville to be one of the last stops on the tour.

On Saturday morning, August 1, from 9:30-1:00, Dr. Tracy Hartman – Professor of Preaching and Christian Scriptures at BTSR – will lead us in a prayerful viewing of the St. John’s Bible. I’ve experienced her presentation. Her reading of the text, interpretation of the art, and explanation of its production is inspiring. Both the Bible and her teaching are treasures you will not want to miss. This ‘Retreat with the St. John’s Bible’ will cost $25 and will include continental breakfast and lunch. Call the church and make your reservation today…and bring a friend.

—Jim