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Verbum at the Religious Education Congress!

March 13-15, Anaheim Convention Center

The Religious Education Congress is the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world. The four-day event is held at the Anaheim Convention Center and is sponsored by the Los Angeles Office of Religious Education. Started in 1968 as an “institute” for religious education (CCD) teachers, the Religious Education Congress has grown to include people of all vocations and different faiths.

Verbum will have a strong presence at the Congress this year with two booths: one for English and the other for Spanish.

Come see us in booths 767 and 769! We’ll be featuring our new Spanish Products, Esencial and Esencial Bilingüe, and our $5 million high school curriculum giveaway.

Our own Juan Pablo Saju will be making two Spanish presentations:

1) Conocer a Jesús para ser eficaces en el liderazgo parroquial (4-57)
Saturday, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

2) La misión instrumento esencial del líder parroquial (8-56)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.-2:30.

We’re giving away an iPad, as well, so stop by and introduce yourself. We look forward to meeting you!

 

Verbum’s $5 Million High School Curriculum Giveaway!

This guest post was written by Robert Klesko, Catholic Educational Resources Product Manager.

Our mission at Verbum is to provide the best tools for the study of the Catholic faith, and we want to do something tangible to really reach out and help people.

Our latest effort is aimed at Catholic high schools. Last year, we began development on a high school theology curriculum, with courses and teaching resources based on the USCCB Curriculum Framework.

We want incoming freshman in schools with a 1-1 technology program to have the best in Catholic educational software for their faith formation.

We are confident our product will be a game-changer in Catholic education. And, we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is—$5 million dollars’ worth!

That’s right: we’re giving away up to $5 million of our high school curriculum.

All a school has to do is contact us for an application and, if accepted, pay a $2,500 fee for intensive faculty training. Pretty simple!

We genuinely care about Catholic education and we want young people using our software to gain a deeper understanding of their faith—so we’re giving it away!

Spread the word! Tell your friends! Post us on Facebook! Go to:

www.verbum.com/education for more and to www.verbum.com/education/5million for details about our grant program.

Spanish Libraries Are Here!

Verbum’s Spanish libraries are now available! We’ve created dozens of Spanish-language resources and bundled them into two brand-new libraries. With steep bundling discounts, these libraries are the most affordable way to get the best Catholic resources in Spanish!

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There are two libraries to choose from:

Verbum Esencial

Print value: $1,228.19

Your price: $144.95

Verbum Esencial includes over 100 Spanish-language resources. With Bibles, commentaries, Church documents, and more, this library is perfect for the Spanish speaker seeking to study the Faith.

Verbum Esencial Bilingüe

Print value: $4,351.88

Your price: $399.95

Verbum Esencial Bilingüe includes over 300 resources in both English and Spanish. With an expanded selection of Bibles, commentaries, and other multilingual resources, this library is ideal for those studying or shepherding in both Spanish and English.

For more information on Spanish resources from Verbum, be sure to subscribe to our Spanish-language email lists!

Lenten Moments

This post comes from the CSSI study, Lent: The Road to Redemption.

Get weekly “Lenten Moments” delivered to your inbox! Sign up at www.verbum.com/lent.

Fasting involves refraining for a time from the satisfaction of human needs, especially the needs for food and drink, as an expression of interior penance. This spiritual practice is a means of decreasing our selfishness while increasing our dependence upon God’s fatherly provision.

The only days on which Catholic adults (until the age of 60) are required to fast are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals, which, if added together, would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Snacks and meat are also prohibited on those days.

In fact, penance is an integral part of the Christian life. Fasting is a traditional, Biblically-based practice strongly encouraged by the Church (see Catechism, no. 1434). Further, all Catholics fast for at least one hour before receiving Our Lord, the “Bread of Life,” in Holy Communion.

Catholics in the United States are required to abstain from eating meat not only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, but also on all other Fridays during Lent. This explains all the Lenten “Soup and Stations Nights,” fish fries, and cheese enchilada sales!

May these and other Lenten observances of our own choosing bring home to us the Gospel truth that we do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Mt. 4:4).

Discuss fasting, the daily readings, and more in the Verbum Faithlife group!

Lenten Journey—How to Study in Community

This Lent, we will be growing in community by studying CSSI’s Lent: the Road to Redemption in the Verbum Faithlife group. If you don’t have Verbum installed on all your devices, you can download it for free on your iPhone, iPad, Android Device, Mac or PC.

I’m going to focus on using the desktop application to get the most out of your study this Lent.

Once you’ve bought the resource, and installed the software, you’re technically ready to begin. However, I strongly recommend that you also buy a Bible and the Catechism. Or get more for your money with the Catechism Collection or one of our Verbum Libraries.

Once you’ve gotten the books you want, join the Verbum group on Faithlife and connect to the reading plan. You can read more about navigating Faithlife here. Click over to the documents tab, and hover over the “Lent: the Road to Redemption Reading Plan” document. Then click: Actions > Connect.

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Now that you’re connected to the reading plan, your weekly reading assignment will show up in the sidebar of the Faithlife group, and in the sidebar of Verbum’s “Home Page” in the software. Let’s jump into the software and explore some more.

I’ve made each reading due at the end of the associated week of Lent, but I encourage you to pick a day each week that works best for you and do your reading much earlier—maybe even on the Sunday that provides each week’s readings. To jump into the readings, simply click on the current week of Lent under “Today’s Readings” in the sidebar. You may have to scroll down to see it.

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Initially, this just looks like a digital book, but there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

In the Visual Filters menu, make sure the checkbox next to “Verbum” under “Community Notes” is checked. This will ensure you can see what other people have posted in the resource. This option will not appear if there are no community notes in the open resource.

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You’ll want to make sure this option is checked in your Bible and Catechism, too. I’ve posted a few notes in the first sections of each resource so you can make sure they work. Look for my notes in the Lent Week 1 Introduction, Mark 1:15, and CCC 2191 – all referenced early in the study.

If you click on a note, you will see it open in a sidebar, and it’s easy to respond by clicking “reply,” and typing in the box. You can also affirm posts with a click. Try it out. Affirm or comment on my post on Mark 1:15.

If you want to post your own new note, simply highlight the section you’re commenting on, and right click. In the lower left, select “Add community note.”

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Now be wary here: the community notes panel defaults to sharing with “My Faithlife,” so you’ll want to be sure to select the “Verbum” group before typing your community note.

SetMyFaithlifetoVerbum1That’s the fundamental interaction with this study. As you read through the CSSI text and the associated Bible verses, share your thoughts or ask your questions, and respond to other people’s posts. As others read through, they will find your comments, and dialogue with you. This is why I encourage you to do the reading early in the week — your comments will be there for others to see, and there will be more time for richer discussion.

If you own the Catechism, you can read the “Catechism Connections” right in the software and continue the dialogue there.

Finally, we will be hosting larger discussions (less directly connected to the text) in the Discussions tab. We’ve already posted the first topic (if you didn’t know it was available, you may want to adjust your notification preferences).

Now go try it out.

  1. Join the group
  2. Buy the book
  3. Connect to the reading plan
  4. Respond to a community note
  5. Post your own note

And if you have any questions, share them in the Verbum group. We’ll all learn and grow together. See you in the discussion threads!

Using Faithlife This Lent

This guest post is by Alex Renn, Verbum Marketing and Operations Team Lead.

Today we’re going to look at Faithlife, Verbum’s social component.

This post will give you a basic understanding of how to use Faithlife. In a future video, we’ll take a deeper look at how to create and manage your own groups.

If you haven’t set up your profile yet, you’ll want to do so right away. Signing up for Faithlife only takes a few seconds, and if you already own and use Verbum, all you need is your account’s email address and password to get started.

Start by going to Faithlife.com and simply sign in or sign up.

If it’s your first time on Faithlife, you’ll be guided through some basic profile set-up. The more information you provide, the richer your experience will be.

Now that your account is set up, let’s join the Verbum group. You’ll see the option to “Join” in the upper right.

Now that you’re in a group, let’s take a look at group navigation. The tabs at the top of a group page allow you to move around while remaining in the same group.

Most tabs are self-explanatory, but I’d like to draw your attention to a few:

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News is the tab you’ll see most often: think of this as the group’s “wall.” Post whatever you want here and engage in discussions with others.

The Documents tab is where you’ll go to find the Lenten reading plan and other documents that group members have shared. From Verbum you can share notes documents, reading plans, prayer lists, and more.

The Community Notes tab is a big one! When you take community notes in the software, and select the Verbum group, this is where they will be displayed. Of course, they’ll also display in your resource within the software, so it may be easier to engage with them there. The advantage of viewing them in Faithlife is you can see all of them in one place, and participate from any device—even a public computer.

Finally, the Discussions tab is where we’ll be encouraging dialogue. Think of this as a mini-forum for specific topics that will garner lots of engagement. This will be where we host the Discussions each week for the Lenten Journey.

Now that you’re familiar with the tab menu, let’s take a look at the rest of the Faithlife environment. To the left is the primary navigation bar where you’ll find five main menu items.

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The first of these is the “My Faithlife” section. My Faithlife includes posts from all your other groups, as well as any posts shared to “My Faithlife” by people in your groups. It’s a more general space, and comments shared here are visible to a wider audience. Anyone who is in a group with you can see the content you share to My Faithlife.

Right under My Faithlife is the Notifications section. This lets you know whenever anyone does something interesting in your groups. Once you’ve selected this section, you can define what you think is interesting in the “Notifications settings” on the right.

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I recommend you set email notifications for receiving messages, new posts, and community notes in the Verbum group. You can hover to see an “edit per group settings” option if you’re in multiple groups and only want emails from the Verbum group.

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The Messages section is a simple and useful feature that allows you to see all the private messages sent between you and other Faithlife users.

The Calendar and Community Notes sections collate all of your Community Notes and events from the groups you’re in and let you see them all in the same place. These are especially helpful if you’re in multiple groups and want to make sure your events don’t overlap, or if you want to see the most recent community notes across all your groups.

Below the five main tabs are all of the groups you participate in. If you are in a lot of groups, there is a drop-down icon at the bottom of the column that allows you to view all of your groups on a separate page. Plus, you can pin groups within the sidebar for easy access. I recommend you pin the Verbum group, so that it always shows at the top of your groups list.

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That’s it! Join us in the Verbum group for our Lenten Journey and start getting even more out of your study!

What are people saying about Verbum 6?

Verbum 6 introductory pricing ends in less than a week. We’ve spent a lot of time explaining the new features and telling you how excited we are.

Now, with prices going up on February 2, we thought we’d let other people tell you about Verbum 6. Feel free to click the citation to read the full review.

“I’ll admit — at first I was skeptical of it. I’m not a scholar, and even though I’m in full-time lay ministry, so much of what I do is practice-based: I teach people how to pray, not how to read Greek or interpret difficult Bible passages. So I wasn’t sure how this professional-grade software could really be useful for someone like me. Well, six months later I use Verbum every day. I repeat: every day.”
Carl McColman

“I can’t tell you how stunned I was when I first opened and explored Verbum. Navigation was a breeze. The library was huge and everything read very well. My library was on my phone, tablet, and computer. I was able to customize my home-page with daily updates on content that was relevant to me. Citations and creating references in Verbum saved a ton of time. I’m still learning more and more.”
Shaun McAfee

“Verbum provides a treasure trove of insights both on Scripture and on countless other faith-building resources, including the Church Fathers, Church councils, and the great saints and doctors of the Church. I use Verbum constantly, I am convinced of its value, and I enthusiastically recommend it to others.”
Jimmy Akin

Read even more endorsements here, then go get Verbum!

Time is Running Out!

February 2 is your last day to take advantage of special introductory pricing on a Verbum 6 library!

Whether you’re upgrading from Verbum 5 or purchasing your first library, you’ll save 15% or more on any Verbum 6 library. Our 15% off introductory sale stacks with other discounts—like dynamic pricing—so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible price on our newest libraries.

Find the library that’s right for you at Verbum.com/Compare.

If you haven’t seen all the new tools and resources in Verbum 6, here’s a taste:

  • Factbook: Get comprehensive information on people, places, topics, and more.
  • Treasury of Sacred Art: Browse over 800 paintings and illustrations from the Church’s rich artistic heritage.
  • Cultural Concepts: See how Scripture influenced—and was influenced by—ancient culture.
  • Interactive Media: Sort the Psalms by author and genre, convert biblical weights and measures, and gain insight into what you’re reading.
  • And more!

To see all the new features, check out Verbum.com/6.

If you’re still on the fence about Verbum 6, don’t worry! With special introductory pricing, budget-friendly payment plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s nothing standing between you and smarter Scripture study.

Don’t miss out on introductory pricing—get a Verbum 6 library today.

We Have a Winner!

After receiving over 3,000 entries in the Verbum Christmas Giveaway, we’ve randomly selected our winner. Howard Diehl is the happy recipient of an iPad mini and a Verbum 6 Scholar library!

Howard is doing missionary work with the “Communautés et Assemblées Evangéliques”—a non-Catholic Christian group operating in France. We asked him to share a few words about his work and how his plans to use Verbum. Read his story below:

 My name is Howard Diehl, and along with my wife Dona, we’ve been working with two English-speaking international churches in Grenoble, France since 2006.

I’ve served as an elder, a teaching pastor, and in many other capacities as well. Besides the English-speaking churches, Dona and I have a ministry with university students, especially Chinese students.

Currently I am working as a pastor, leading a team to replant one of the English-speaking churches here in Grenoble.

Winning the iPad and software is a welcome surprise.  A very important part of my preaching and teaching is finding the original context for the text at hand, especially the Greek and Hebrew texts.

I am also a great proponent of the Church Fathers’ significance for us today and the way their writings can inform our work in the culture of France. I find the first four centuries of the writings of the Church Fathers especially pertinent to our task here.

I look forward to having access to the multitude of tools that Verbum offers.

Thank you for this wonderful surprise! It is greatly appreciated and will be used with much joy!

A hearty congratulations to Howard, and many thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time—you’ll be the first to know about future Verbum giveaways and promotions! Stay tuned to the Verbum Blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

 

Verbum Visitors from Rome

Verbum was blessed to finish 2014 and begin 2015 with a week-long visit  from Fr. Devin Roza and Fr. Andrew Dalton. These priests are power users of the software, and are currently studying Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and Biblical Studies at the Holy Cross Biblical Institute, respectively. Some of you may recognize the name Fr. Devin Roza from the forums, where he eagerly helps new users and shares his own personal tips and tricks. Verbum recently published Fr. Roza’s book, Fulfilled in Christ: The Sacraments.

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During the week of December 29–January 1, they were quite busy. They met with lead developers and the president of Faithlife, Bob Pritchett. They spent considerable time with Deacon Kevin Bagley, Director of Verbum, and got to meet the whole Verbum team (I’m remiss for not having captured that moment). They were even willing to stay late one day to film some video endorsements, which will appear on the website in the next few months.

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We all had a blast, and I know we’ll be able to make the software even better because of their contributions. Thanks, Fathers!

Are you interested in meeting the Verbum team? You don’t have to be a power user to come see us. Check out our Contact page and see how you can “contact us” in person!

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