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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) As the Slovak Zion Synod, we are inviting you to join us and others within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the celebration of our first language of faith, the Bible.

The purpose of the Book of Faith initiative is to increase biblical literacy for the sake of the world while encouraging people of all ages to dig deeper into our book of faith, the Bible.

For many of us, the encounter with Scripture is limited to the excerpts that are read on Sunday morning. Many of us—and many of our neighbors—are biblically illiterate, unsure of how to engage Scripture. Many of us are unaware of the rich Lutheran insights that have been helpful in understanding the many ways that God engages us through the Bible. The challenge of Book of Faith is to address these realities directly and to experience more fully the power of the Word.

The Book of Faith initiative was born when the 2005 North Carolina Synod Assembly endorsed a memorial from the Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dallas, NC asking that the ELCA encourage the development of an “ongoing effort to address issues surrounding the authority of Scripture.” This memorial inspired the ELCA Church Council to present a resolution to the 2007 Churchwide Assembly that called upon the ELCA as a whole to engage in an initiative that provides for a more profound appreciation of Lutheran principles and approaches for the use of Scripture. The 2013 Churchwide Assembly approved an action committing the ELCA to continuing and renewing the Book of Faith initiative.

The Slovak Zion Synod is a Book of Faith Synod, and has been actively promoting this effort through regular dialogue with initiative leaders, promotion and interpretation of the Book of Faith resource family, and promoting new resources as well. Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the ELCA, has been hard at work over the past nine months reenergizing the Book of Faith resources, with newer streamlined webpages that support each product and how the products fit together, launching new resources such as the Bread of the Day devotional, and The Mission Table. The Mission Table, for example, is identified in the Book of Faith family through its grounding of missional leadership in gathering congregations around key biblical narratives.

You are encouraged to become a Book of Faith Congregation. Celebrate our first language of faith, the Bible, by encouraging congregational activities that get people more acquainted with the Scriptures, have a Book of Faith Sunday in your congregation, or start a new Bible study. Share your experience or idea with others in our synod —we’d like to hear from you! Learn more about the Book of Faith Initiative from our webpage or check out the Resource Library here.