What is the goal of Song of Solomon Expeditions?
Our goal at Song of Solomon Expeditions is to help you experience Beloved Jesus Christ’s love for you, His Bride, as you and He are allegorically portrayed in the biblical vignette, Song of Solomon.
To accomplish this goal, we invite you to join a twelve week “expedition.” This is a group of ladies who meet together over Zoom or in person to explore Song of Solomon. We use as our resource, the book, The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon (2022 Selah Awards Finalist; Mt. Zion Ridge Press) by Diane Virginia (Cunio).
Tell me more about Song of Solomon. I’ve never really understood it.
We often neglect reading Song of Solomon even though it is a short, eight-chapter play. The reason is simple. If you’re like most of us, we take it literally rather than approaching it as an allegory. However, our perspective shifts as soon as we realize Song of Solomon is an allegory. Only then can we can discern the spiritual meaning of the play.
The main actors are: “Beloved Solomon” and “Love.” These represent Jesus Christ, and you, His Bride. That’s right–you are written about in this biblical play. Your Bridegroom Jesus wants you to personalize this love letter. He longs for you to receive His divine kiss of peace. So, as you explore the depths of this book, make it personal. Song of Solomon is for you personally!
When we view Song of Solomon as an allegory, we discern many prototypes of Jesus Christ within the vignette. These have New Testament parallels, such as:
- Our Beloved Jesus gives us access into the spiritual Holy of Holies, through prayer (Song 1:4; Matthew 27:51).
- We partake of the Communion elements that our Bridegroom Jesus gives us. This is the wedding cup (Song 1:2, 2:5: Luke 22:15).
- Our Bridegroom wears the sacrificial ointments of myrrh and frankincense (S0ng 5:14; Matthew 2:11, Luke 23:55-56).
- Our Beloved Jesus’ hands are pierced, and gem-set (Song 5:24; Mark 15:24).
- Our Bridegroom’s return is imminent (Song 8:14; Revelation 22:20).
Song of Solomon is in the center of our Bibles. Perhaps this is because Jesus Christ wants us to notice the supreme value this divine love letter has. There are spiritual dimensions of His love that He is waiting for you to discover.
A Song Waiting for a Melody
The vignette, Song of Solomon, is a song. Although we don’t have the music anymore, we do have the words. Thus, we can still dive deep into its truths. Our Bridegroom has preserved the words to this song for us. Why? It is because Song of Solomon is His gift to you, His cherished Bride.
A great way to enter in, spiritually, is to create a melody and sing the vignette to your Bridegroom Jesus Christ.
How did Song of Solomon end up in our Bibles?
Rabbi Akiba wrote about Song of Solomon long ago. He said, “The whole world attained its supreme value only on the day when the Song of Songs was given to Israel.” This divine love letter has also been given to every true believer in Jesus Christ. Rabbi Akiba argued for Song of Solomon’s inclusion in the cannons of Scripture, at the Council of Jamnia, 90 A.D.. Because of this, we have this beautiful vignette tucked into the pages of our Bibles.
What else will I discover?
These are only a few facts you will learn during your expedition. However, what’s most important is for you to experience the divine love and peace of your Bridegroom. As you attend an expedition, expect this. In fact, we pray you will continue your journey, and tap into Song of Solomon’s spiritual depths for a lifetime.
What is your approach to the biblical vignette, Song of Solomon?
We take great strides to honor the holiness of this sacred text. Therefore, we do not approach this as sexual in any way as that leads to unbiblical conclusions. We only view the vignette as an allegory. As aforementioned, this is the only way we can understand the true spiritual meaning of the vignette. This perspective is crucial.
What Bible study resource does SSE use?
The Bible study we read from is The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon (2022 Selah Awards Finalist; Mt. Zion Ridge Press) by Diane Virginia (Cunio). This book is available from a number of distributors. These include: Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, Walmart, Mt. Zion Ridge Press, and many other book distributors.
You’ll want to pick up a copy of The Kiss of Peace prior to joining an expedition.
Which version of the Bible does the ministry quote from?
We primarily use the New King James Version, and we occasionally compare verses to other translations. As a participant, you may read from whatever version of the Bible you feel comfortable using. The Kiss of Peace has the New King James in it. Therefore, you will be able to read the verses there.
JOIN AN EXPEDITION
I’d like to join an expedition. How do I go about that?
If you are interested in joining an expedition, please visit the contact bar. Or, visit our Facebook page, ExploringSongofSolomonastheBrideofChrist and contact us there. We can inform you of the upcoming expeditions, and connect you with a certified Expedition Leader.
Many ladies even choose to retake an expedition. This is because they gain so much peace from participating. They truly identify themselves as the Bride of Christ, “Love,” whom Beloved Jesus loves. Our most common response from ladies who take an expedition is that they are “life changing,” “deep,” and that they will never be the same.
We are currently building a team of certified Expedition Leaders to volunteer their time to lead expeditions.
Please pray with us. We are trusting God to meet the following goals:
- Short-term: We’ve asked the LORD to provide two Spirit-directed, Spirit-led Expedition Leaders per state.
- Long-term: To expand this leader base, to spread the message of Jesus’ divine kiss of peace to every state in the USA, and beyond.
- Goal: At some point, we would like to add men, and couples as Expedition Leaders.
As you attend an expedition, please pray to discern if God is leading you to become one of these Expedition Leader we are asking God to provide. If you feel God’s nudge, please let your Expedition Leader know of your desire. She will inform the directors, and will help you discern God’s will in this matter. Or, contact one of the Advisors listed below (via the Contact Bar on this page).
BECOME AN EXPEDITION LEADER
What are the requirements for becoming an Expedition Leader?
Every Expedition Leader starts out as a participant. She attends an expedition led by one of her peers, and she misses no more than two classes. She then may request a recommendation from her Expedition Leader. If she receives one, this qualifies her to attend SSE Leader Training taught by the Directors. She must then remain in right standing with the Director/Advisor team.
Each Expedition Leader commits to leading one (or more) expedition(s) per calendar year. The Directors try to space out these classes, so you’ll need to decide with them which month you will offer your expedition. You’ll also want to decide if your expeditions will be online or in person.
Help us reach our goal by serving Song of Solomon Expeditions. We are touching ladies’ lives with the divine kiss of peace our Bridegroom Jesus Christ is so willing to impart.
MEET OUR EXPEDITION LEADERS
Which ladies comprise the Expedition Leader team?
The following ladies comprise our current team of certified Expedition Leaders:
Arizona: Terry Howe
North Carolina: Jesse Creason, Glenda Shouse, Judy Taylor
Pray with us that God will send more laborers to this budding team, so we can reach the ripe harvest fields of the USA and beyond.
BECOME AN SSE WRITER
What are the requirements for joining the writer’s team?
We are currently building a team of talented writers to contribute devotions to this website.
If you are interested in submitting a devotion, visit the contact bar. We will send you the Submission Guidelines. Not all devotions will be published, but we are willing to review your submission for potential publication. These are not for pay.
Which ladies comprise the writer’s team?
Our current writer team consists of the following ladies:
Glenda Shouse, Diane Virginia (Cunio)
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP
To find our Facebook group, which is interactive, and filled with interesting content, please go to ExploringSongofSolomonastheBrideofChrist . You can follow the ministry here, and connect with likeminded Brides of Christ.
Carolyn Clark Graham, Advisor
Carolyn Graham serves Song of Solomon Expeditions ministry as a Prayer Warrior, encourager, and Advisor.
She learned about Song of Solomon Expeditions when she was doing research for a teaching on the Shulamite Woman for the Women’s Ministry of her church. Glenda Shouse was in the Bible Study with Carolyn and she knew just the book that was needed. She gifted Carolyn with a copy of The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon. The teaching was a success and she joined an expedition led by Judy Taylor. Carolyn became very sick the week the expedition began. She found that God used the study to bring her through the illness and to a more intimate relationship with her Beloved Jesus Christ.
Carolyn and her husband, Jim, have been married for 50 years. For 12 of those years, Jim was an Assisting Pastor. They are active in a new church start, called The Way. It is an Elder led church where Jim is an Elder and Carolyn is a Women’s Ministry leader. Together, they lead Home Fellowship groups, teaching Experiencing God and other studies.
Carolyn is a retired Cardiac Nurse of 44 years. She has a daughter, twin sons and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and cruising with Jim. She and her husband reside in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina.
Jim Graham, Advisor
Jim Graham serves Song of Solomon Expeditions ministry as a Prayer Warrior and Advisor.
He inadvertently got involved in the ministry after he and his wife downsized to a small house. Being retired from his associate pastoral position, while his wife Carolyn was participating in a Song of Solomon expedition, Jim was never out of earshot. Therefore, he vicariously tagged along. God providentially used this to motivate him to enthusiastically receive the message in Song of Solomon rather than casually dismissing it, (though it doesn’t stop him from teasing a good friend, who considers it his favorite book).
Jim is highly intelligent, and he loves to learn. He started kindergarten at three years old. He attended ten colleges from 1972 to 2008. He majored in many subjects, including Chemistry, Business Administration, and Accounting, before earning a bachelor’s degree in Earth Science at the University of North Carolina. Upon graduating, Jim continued studying, completing 130+ graduate hours, earning part of an MBA, and most of an MAT. He continued studying, earning a Master of Divinity from Gardner-Webb University in 2000.
Jim met Carolyn Clark in October 1972 as a freshman at the Citadel while she was studying nursing. Ten months later, Jim married his bride, and their journey as ‘one’ began August 26, 1973. He and his wife had three children, one girl and twin boys. Jim thought it was providence that their daughter, Merritt, was born on 7/7/77. He felt it was a sign that God always gives exceedingly more than we ask Him for, when not one, but twin sons Jimmy and Steve, were born.
Jim’s work experience is more varied than his education. He has worked at twenty+ jobs. He worked as a Police Officer in Charleston, SC. Then was an Inventory Control Manager for a steel trading firm, a Sales Engineer for Darrion, Co., a District Scout Executive with the BSA. He had multiple entrepreneurial adventures, and was a tech support operative, using DOS, Excel, Word for Microsoft, and other computer languages.
This Millennium, Jim has worked in only six positions, including a year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Spartanburg Regional Hospital, teaching Middle School Science and Math to the behaviorally challenged, and serving as an Assisting Pastor in a church in Kernersville, NC.
Currently, Jim is an Elder at The Way Church, participating in two fellowship groups: Experiencing God, and the men’s prayer group. He is part of the men’s Wild at Heart ministry, offering boot camps. He also does a syndicated Masculine Journey Radio broadcast.
He loves people and cruising. His favorite cruise was a 50th Anniversary trip, where he was able to spend time with the love of his life, Carolyn, and all of his children and grandsons.
Terry Howe, Advisor
Terry Howe serves Song of Solomon Expeditions as an Expedition Leader, Prayer Warrior, and Advisor.
She has served as the assistant leader of Celebrate Recovery. She has served for over twenty-five years as a deliverance minister for Perry County Fellowship Ministry of Reconciliation and Deliverance. She is a teacher and conference planner for Journey Church Women’s Ministry. Terry is an intercessor for many organizations, including State Representative Mary Bently’s Prayer Team.
She has a two-year associate’s degree in Theology from Life Christian University, Osage Beach, MO.
Terry’s hobbies include gardening, acrylic and oil painting, sketching, and cooking. She has two sons, seven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. She lives in central Arkansas.
Glenda Shouse, Director
Glenda Shouse serves Song of Solomon Expeditions as a Prayer Warrior, Expedition Leader, and Director.
She has read every version of The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon from its conception as Diane was penning the book. Glenda has given advice for many years, sharing her biblical insight into this topic. Her support of Song of Solomon Expeditions is astounding, and she is a key player in moving this ministry forward.
Glenda is a Bible study and devotion writer for Song of Solomon Expeditions, and VineWords: Devotions and More. She is a contributing author to the devotional series, Love-Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships, Volumes One, Two, and Three (VineWords Publishing).
Her prayer shawl ministry, Three-Strand Cord, focuses on imparting hope to ladies going through difficult times. Glenda gives each recipient a hand-crocheted or knitted prayer shawl. When possible, she delivers these shawls personally and prays for each individual.
Those who know Glenda well are aware of her gifting as a prayer warrior. She is a powerhouse of prayer because of her close relationship with Jesus Christ.
Glenda is published at Answers2Prayer, Christian Devotions Ministries, PresbyCan, The Upper Room, and other ministries.
In her spare time, Glenda enjoys her role as “Grammy” to her two grandsons. Her hobbies include reading, crocheting, and knitting.
Diane Virginia, Founder/Executive Director
Diane Virginia (Cunio) is the Founder/Executive Director of Song of Solomon Expeditions. She is the author of The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon (2022 Selah Awards Finalist; Mt. Zion Ridge Press), the Bible study book used in all of the Song of Solomon Expedition Bible study groups.
She has developed the concept of motion-activated musical prayer gardens. These are themed around the hill and six mountains mentioned in Song of Solomon where Jesus Christ communes with His Bride, helping her to tap into increasing dimensions of His glory. When used in the church or ministry setting, these prayer gardens enhance the congregant’s worship experience.
Diane is the Founder/Executive Director of VineWords: Devotions and More, an online devotion site of collaborating contributors. She is the Founder/ Executive Director of VineWords Publishing. She is a co-editor and contributing author to the devotional series, Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a major in Natural Resources from The University of the South, Sewanee, TN. Diane graduated as a Gownsman. She completed a two-year biblical studies program at Harvest Bible Institute, Winston-Salem, NC, graduating with a 3.91 GPA.
She is published at Answers2Prayer, Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Devotions Ministries, Faith Beyond Fear, Inspire a Fire, Pentecostal Publishing House, PresbyCan Daily Devotionals, The Secret Place, VineWords: Devotions and More, Song of Solomon Expeditions, and other ministries.
Her hobbies include cooking, homesteading, writing, reading and making Scripture-inspired jewelry for clients. She and her husband, Phil, have two grown children.
To schedule Diane as a speaker, please visit the contact bar.
Phil Cunio, Executive Director
Phil Cunio serves Song of Solomon Expeditions by vision casting, maintaining the website, and other activities.
He has the technical knowledge to assist ministries in setting up their motion-activated musical prayer gardens. Therefore, Phil tailors these discussions to the needs of each individual ministry, accompanying Diane when she speaks.
Phil has spent over forty-five years in the computer industry. He directs teams in system administration.
His hobbies include showing his mustang, which he restored from the ground up, going to car shows, reading, and homesteading.
To schedule a consultation regarding designing your motion-activated prayer garden for your ministry, please visit the contact bar.