GREENWICH, Connecticut (CNS) – Women participating in the Walking with Purpose Bible study program in Catholic parishes across the country said the classes had a positive impact on their attitudes and lifestyle, in addition to being a source of inspiration and a tool to bring them closer to God.
They cited increased patience, reduced stress and better relationships with family and friends as benefits of the program, according to the results of a survey conducted by Walking with Purpose, a Greenwich-based nonprofit.
When asked how their involvement in Bible study impacted their lives, 91% of women said they were somewhat or significantly able to cope with stress better, and 94% said they were a little or a lot more patient with others.
âThe Walk with a Purpose Bible study taught me that God wants me to live a joyful life, to live strong, to not be stressed,â one respondent said. âIt had a huge impact on my personal life; I am a happier, more grateful person and can keep the stresses of my life in perspective.
Another commented that âthe friendships and bonds created between the women in our community are directly attributable to Walking with Purpose,â while another wrote: âI now value family and friends more than ever. “
Ninety percent of those surveyed said their relationships with family members improved through group Bible study; 93% said friendships have grown or improved.
Walking with Purpose was founded in 2002 by Lisa Brenninkmeyer. A convert to Catholicism, she “saw a lack of fresh and relevant Bible studies that could appeal to young mothers and took it upon herself to create one with the support of her Maryland ward,” according to a press release.
In the past year alone, the organization has helped more than 35,000 women âdeepen their relationship with Jesus Christ,â he said.
Brenninkmeyer said, âI have spoken with countless women in dozens of parishes over the years, and it always warms my heart to hear how their lives are transformed by Walking with Purpose, in so many ways. When you put Christ first in your life, the rest falls into place.
âThis is the 10th year that we are interviewing participants in our Church Walking with Purpose programs,â said Julie Ricciardi, CEO of the organization. âYear after year, we see evidence that the overall happiness of women tends to increase as a result of group Bible study with their sisters in Christ.
The survey included 7,880 women who participated anonymously through SurveyMonkey during a period from March to April. There was a 41 percent response rate.