A challenge that unites
The Rev. Marek Zabriskie believes everyone should read the Bible. And, he’s utilizing websites, social media, and all of today’s tools to bring the message of the ancient texts to a modern world through a new effort called The Bible Challenge.
Zabriskie is rector of St.Thomas Church Whitemarsh in Ft. Washington, Pa (Diocese of Pennsylvania) and the driving force behind the creation of The Bible Challenge. He shares that the first Bible Challenge started with a commitment of 178 (of 1300) parishioners along with 81 others from outside the parish – all ranging in age from 13 to 93 -- to read the entire Bible in a year.
Its success sparked the rapid growth of The Bible Challenge. “This has been so successful that we created The Center for Biblical Studies to promote The Bible Challenge across the country and around the world,” Zabriskie said.
Today, The Center for Biblical Studies has its own website www.thecenterforbiblicalstudies.org with a study guide and suggestions for reading the Bible, either individually or in a community.
On the website, each day a new Bible text is featured. The texts are derived from the Old and New Testaments as well as the Psalms.
For example, the text for September 15 is Genesis 1:26: “And God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon earth.”
Among the discussion questions to accompany the September 15 Bible passage are: “What does it mean to be created in the image of God? How can we know that God is like? Is our identity to be discovered in God’s identity?
Zabriskie sees a renewal of the Christian spirit through daily Bible reading. “We believe that this has enormous potential to revitalize the lives of Christians and churches throughout the world.” He said. “We hope to reach every Episcopal Church and reach dioceses and churches throughout the Anglican Communion.”
In another step to engage participants everywhere, conversation starters related to Bible texts and the Challenge will be regularly posted on social media, including facebook, by Zabriskie and by the Office of Communication of the Episcopal Church.
For more information contact Zabriskie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Center for Biblical Study: www.thecenterforbiblicalstudies.org
St Thomas Whitemarsh: http://stthomaswhitemarsh.org/
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org