National Bible Week theme calls for unity and national transformation
MANILA, Philippines — With the successive natural and man-made calamities and other local and global challenges, the National Bible Week (NBW) celebration is a unique and timely opportunity for Filipinos to uphold this year’s National Bible Week theme: “God’s Word: Foundation for Unity and Transformation.”
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation nos. 44 and 1067, the nation celebrates the annual National Bible Week. This year’s celebration will be on January 24-30, 2005. With all the sad events that happened in the last days of 2004 that forced people from different nations to unite, this year’s theme, “God’s Word: Foundation for Unity and Transformation” is timely and appropriate. The theme is based on the Scripture references, Micah 4:3-4; Romans 12:1-2, 4-5.
For this year’s event, the Philippine Bible Society (PBS), the agency mandated by the two presidential proclamations to spearhead the Bible Week celebrations has coordinated with churches from both the Protestant and Catholic sectors, and government and private agencies. Various activities aimed at creating awareness on the Bible Week celebrations and promoting the Scriptures as a vital tool for national transformation were lined up, including motorcades, tracts distribution in key cities, Bible reading during flagraising ceremonies, and Bible presentation to public libraries. Some local governments such as Quezon City, Pasay City, Marikina, and Davao City, have also passed resolutions or ordinances supporting the National Bible Week celebration in their areas. In Quezon City, running priest, Father Robert Reyes will lead Takbo Para sa Biblia” on January 24.
PBS has also produced a colorful poster marking the National Bible Week celebration and theme. PBS is also distributing a National Bible Week Primer which includes a sermon outline prepared by Dr. Daniel C. Arichea, Jr., former Bishop of the United Methodist Church – Baguio Episcopal Area, suggested activities in celebrating National Bible Week, and quotes from famous people regarding the Bible. For the event, PBS has also produced, “Why Read This Book?” a one-page flier containing basic information about the Bible.
The yearly celebration of National Bible Week and National Bible Sunday was started after former President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1923 on October 27, 1979 in recognition of the Bible “as an excellent source of principles for the development of moral and personal discipline”. The celebration every last week of January became official when President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation no. 44 in 1986. This proclamation was followed up by President Fidel V. Ramos’ PP 1067 which recognized that “national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible in molding the spiritual, moral, and social fiber of our citizenry”.