National Update Fall 2014
Ten volunteers cycled for seven days from Daytona Beach to Miami to raise money and awareness for American Bible Society’s She’s My Sister™ Bible-based trauma healing program.
Cyclists Raise Awareness for Trauma Survivors
Ten volunteers cycled for seven days from Daytona Beach to Miami to raise money and awareness for American Bible Society’s She’s My SisterTM Bible-based trauma healing program. She’s My Sister equips churches in the Great Lakes region of Africa with Scripture resources and training in trauma healing, helping victims broken by war and violence.
“We were honored to be back on this bike tour for a fourth year to carry the stories of these courageous individuals and to share with churches in America just how effective this Bible ministry has been in bringing so many churches in Africa together in service,” says program coordinator Amanda Olsavsky Hu.
Cyclists worked with seven churches and gave seven presentations explaining how the program uses Scripture to provide hope and restoration to women, children and men with spiritual and emotional wounds.
State of the Bible 2014
Americans are equally split regarding their feelings toward the Bible. According to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey, 19 percent said they were skeptical of the Bible, while 19 percent said they were engaged with God’s Word.
The number of Bible skeptics is up from 10 percent in 2011. This trend is even more pronounced among the Millennial generation, who range in age from 18 to 29 and are more likely than adults to never read the Bible (39 percent compared to 26 percent of adults).
Respondents cited busyness as the primary reason they don’t engage with the Bible, revealing the ever-declining confidence that people have in Scripture and its ability to compete with the challenges of their lives.
Although print is still the primary format for Bible engagement (84 percent), unprecedented numbers of people are using digital tools to read the Bible (now 44 percent). “Despite the changing Bible landscape, God’s Word is still a significant influence on American culture and society. And we are praying that those who are most engaged will join us in advocating for the Bible’s power to change lives across our nation,” says Geoffrey Morin, American Bible Society’s chief communication officer.
Now Is The Time Initiative Spurs Scripture Engagement
In October, American Bible Society, in collaboration with New York City Leadership Center (NYCLC) and Concerts of Prayer Greater New York (COPGNY), will launch “Now is the Time: Luke” at Movement Day in New York City. Movement Day brings together Christian leaders from the nation’s largest cities to address challenges facing urban areas. In its fourth year, the “Now is the Time” initiative provides church leaders with tools to help grow community Scripture engagement.
The previous “Now is the Time” effort, which focused on the book of Acts, garnered 1,200 church and 110,000 individual participants. American Bible Society cohosted the spiritual disciplines track of “Now is the Time: Acts” with COPGNY and Louis Palau Association for nearly 150 church leaders, representing 80 cities.
Check out resources from Now is the Time: Acts at NowActs.org.
Bible-Based Trauma Healing Launches at Home
American Bible Society launched a new program, Healing the Wounds of Trauma USA, to equip church and community leaders to provide Bible-based care for people experiencing intense fear, horror or hopelessness following a crisis in their lives.
“There’s a huge need for trauma healing right here in the USA—and sometimes we are afraid to talk about it,” says Patricia Walker, senior program manager. “Many churches and faith-based organizations, especially those in our cities, want to help individuals and families struggling with suffering and its aftermath, but they lack resources that are both biblically based and informed by best mental health practices.”
Working together, American Bible Society’s Church Engagement team and the Trauma Healing Institute adapted the trauma healing program to focus on critical issues in the United States, including domestic violence, dislocation, poverty, sex trafficking, suicide, child abduction and gang/urban violence.
To learn more, visit TraumaHealingInstitute.org.
Honoring Hispanic Champions of the Bible
Multi-Language Ministries—an outreach of American Bible Society—recognized three Hispanic leaders and champions of the Bible at an event hosted at American Bible Society’s headquarters in New York City. Honored for making a difference through their commitment to God’s Word were Mariano Rivera, legendary New York Yankees pitcher; Pablo Perez, a Catholic activist; and The Most Reverend Octavio Cisneros, auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Each leader shared the importance of the Bible in his own life, including Rivera, who said that as a youth in Panama, he was headed down the wrong path—until he was introduced to God’s Word by his cousin and his girlfriend, Clara, who is now his wife.
Bishop Cisneros, an active supporter of many Christian and Latino causes, said, “The Word of God is joy. … It is a joy that is missionary—the Word that brings us out of ourselves and to others.”
To read more about these inspiring leaders, visit ABS.us/HispanicLeaders.
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