Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 17, 2000
Bible read as folks sit back and listen
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
The Rev. Bruce Kemp wants people to take the Bible seriously.
He doesn't want to hear the "I have no time" excuse people give for not reading the Bible.
"There's the Bible on tape, people could pop it into their car (stereo) on the way to work," Kemp said.
And then there was Proclamation 2000, a week-long reading of the Bible by local politicians, various Church leaders and community members.
All people had to do was show up at North Edmonton Christian Fellowship, sit back and listen.
"This is a witness to the community that the Bible is important to us and we want to publicly proclaim it," Kemp said.
The event, hosted by the Canadian Bible Society, welcomed Mayor Bill Smith and MLA Bill Bonner. Kemp, the society's district director, said more than 300 people were slated to read between April 5-14.
"A lot of people don't get a chance to go up and read the Bible in front of others," he said. "This was the first time for them. It gives them a chance to really listen to the words they're reading."
Readings began as early as 7 a.m. and lasted until 9 p.m. with 15-minute breaks each hour.
"We cover about two to three books a day," Kemp said.
Besides English, some readings were done in other languages including Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Naori and Nepali.
The event was a comfortable setting for non-Christians or non-practising Christians to come and hear the word of God, said Kemp.
"It's an open atmosphere. People come and go as they please. They can come and listen and no one will come up to them and preach about anything. To some people, a church is a really threatening place. Something like this opens it up to everyone."
Although it was established in Montreal five years ago, this was the first time the event was held in Edmonton. The event coincided with other Proclamation 2000 events across Canada. Kemp hopes to turn it into an annual event.
Emily Farr doesn't remember the last time she heard a reading from the Bible.
"I don't go to church anymore and I don't read it at home," said the mother of two who was baptized Catholic. "I remember hearing stories as a kid about all the parables, but I haven't read any of it first hand in years.
"It's actually kind of nice to sit back and have someone read to you. And it's even better that it's a book like this."
Her friend Moira Dennis agreed.
"How often do adults get to be read to?" Dennis said. "I attend church every Sunday, but to hear (the readings) in such an informal setting is really different. It's a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon."