National Bible Week Celebration Extended, Expanded!
Not just one, but four! Not just seven but 31! Thats as far as the mathematics of celebrating the National Bible Week goes. Starting this year, the single-week celebration honoring the Bible will be extended to four weeks. Thats a total of 31 days to officially focus on and give attention to Gods Word.
Through separate resolutions, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) have declared January as National Bible Month. This effectively extends and expands the scope of the yearly commemoration that for 2008 carries the theme Gods Word: Source of Justice, Reconciliation and Peace.
Much has transpired in the 26 years since former President Ferdinand Marcos declared through Presidential Proclamation No. 2242 that a whole week in November 1982 be set aside to celebrate Gods Word. In 1986, President Corazon Aquino amended the order via PP 44, moving the celebration to the last week of January of every year. In the subsequent administration of President Fidel Ramos, he issued an edict superseding this law Proclamation 1067 — which cited the Bible as an excellent source of life-giving principles to develop a values-oriented, morally strong and socially responsible citizenry. Thus, it should be given fitting attention and importance by all sectors of society, not just the church.
Since then, the Philippine Bible Society in cooperation with multi-sectoral organizations has led the annual event. This year, fueled by the NCCP and the PCEC resolutions, PBS is preparing for not just a longer celebration but one that is more national in reach though more localized in participation as more and more groups are staging their own celebrations. Bible Society data show that some 30 towns, cities, municipalities and barangays all over the country have issued resolutions institutionalizing their NBW celebration while over 100 schools, churches, NGOs and LGUs have documented participation.
Highlights of National Bible Month 2008 include: airing of biblical passages on nationwide radio and TV; joint breakfast fellowship with the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation; fundraising concert for bibles for the military and police; bible caravan; translation seminars, bible quizzes, bible presentations to government officials, enthronement ceremonies, parades and motorcades. Special discounts can also be availed from PBS Bible Houses and participating bookstores nationwide to encourage Filipinos to own a personal copy and gift each other with bibles.
For information on how to participate in these activities or stage your own Bible Month celebrations, visit the Philippine Bible Society 890 UN Avenue, Manila or call 524-5337, 524-4532 locals 153, 156 or 157.