“God bestowed upon us the divine gift of the living word through Christ Jesus and the task, a human mission mandate found in the written Bible,” said Keynote Speaker United Bible Societies General Secretary Michael Perreau during the 46th Annual Membership Meeting of the Philippine Bible Societies (PBS) on Saturday, April 16, 2011.
Perreau, in his message during the meeting, elaborated the word of God (Bible) as essential to Christians because it is “God’s revelation to us,” adding that each Christian must fulfill his/her task in bringing the Word into the world.
PBS Membership Meeting is annual event, acknowledging Bible advocates working to promote and teach the living Word among all Filipinos, especially those who have minimal access to it. It is also a time to fellowship with one another and to continually envision PBS’s “one Bible per family program” in the country.
More than 150 members from different sectors, churches, and organizations came to worship together, approve and suggest reports, and plan future activities of PBS in its mission among the Filipino people.
Antonio Atienza, who has been a member for more than 20 years, said he came to learn and help contribute to the Bible the ministry. Through flyers and frequent visits to the bookshop, Atienza was introduced to PBS and its advocacy, which made him apply as a member. He added it is important to the membership meeting so he would know the current situation, “especially on the (number of) production and distribution of the Bibles across the country.
PBS General Secretary Nora G. Lucero, in her report, said “By God’s grace and provision, we were able to distribute more than 1 million full Bibles… We expanded our special programs, making the Scriptures available to new and more varied audiences.”
Lucero added the opening of the first Bible Museum in the Philippines as one of the milestones. “We sought to engage audiences into studying the Word through non-traditional means, through multi-media presentations and the sought-after cosplay module, which enabled visitors to don costumes of Bible characters…”
gThe establishment of a Bible Museum is considered as an accomplishment of the Society in 2010…Looking at it fills one with admiration of its exquisite beauty, and awe by what it represents in terms of how it must have affected people’s lives…,” said Bishop Nathanael P. Lazaro, PBS president and chairman.
Other breakthroughs of PBS in 2010 include the i-Proclaim public Bible reading, the Roving Bible Museum in a mall, the Handwritten Bible, and more! Included also in the meeting is the election of six new members of the Board of Trustees. Elected are: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo (RCC Clergy), Bishop Nathanael P. Lazaro (NCCP Clergy), Former Chief Justice Reynato J. Puno (NCCP Lay), Dr. Rommel Linatoc (NCCP Lay), Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco (Independent Lay), and Mrs. Leonila T. Cruz (Independent Lay).
This year like no other, the Membership Meeting included a whole-afternoon workshop that helped members imbibe our roles as stewards of Creation. This was to further emphasize this year’s theme of Becoming One Nation in the Stewardship of Creation. Amongst the speakers were Dr. Daniel C. Arichea, Mrs. Lydia Robledo, Dr. Judea Millora and Mrs. Luz Sabas who talked on the Role of the Church in the Care of Creation, Habitat Conservation and Waste Management respectively.
God mandated human beings to let His word be heard among all nations. But how will everyone hear it “if we don’t tell them?” Perreau said, adding that Christians should reflect God every day because “we are an open Bible that they (people) read.”