Pennies for Bibles

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center (715) 833-1153

Contributed by:

East Immanuel Lutheran Church, Amery, WI

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On October 6, 2002, the Sunday School of East Immanuel Lutheran Church, rural Amery, challenged the congregational family to a Pennies for Bibles Challenge. The challenge was printed in the church bulletin and announced at the worship service, that the beginning day was to be on Sunday, October 20. On that day, two-gallon glass jars, with money drop covers, were placed on the entry library table. One was labeled "Sunday School" while the other was labeled "Congregation." Each week the pennies were weighed and a report was given on the following Sunday as to which group was currently in the lead. During the third week of the friendly competition, two more jars had to be added to hold all of the pennies that were being collected. It proved to be a contest in which everyone could be involved.

Each weekly bulletin contained a short paragraph about the work of the American Bible Society, and of the great need for Bibles around the world. The mission of the American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can readily understand and afford.

At the close of the challenge on Bible Sunday (November 24), the East Immanuel Congregation had brought in 47 pounds of pennies, while the Sunday School had collected 57 pounds. With the help of a local bank, the pounds of pennies were converted into a dollar amount of $172.52 which was forwarded to the American Bible Society located in New York City. The winners of the Penny Challenge were the Sunday School students with $96.06, while the E.I. Congregation took second place with a total of $76.46.

Under a special program of the American Bible Society, a Bible costs only $4, so the Penny Challenge bought over 43 Bibles to be sent to those in need all over the world.

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