Tradition continues

Anglican Church Warden Peter Clarke

Richard Froese
South Peace News

An Easter tradition that started in High Prairie about 20 years ago was celebrated worldwide for the second year.
People in the Peace region and around the world joined the Holy Week Bible Reading Marathon online from April 10-14.
Readers were welcomed to read the Bible aloud in one-hour blocks on Zoom in the 100-hour marathon organized by the Anglican Diocese of Athabasca.
“More than 60 people from around the world chose to read,” says organizer Warden Peter Clarke, of St. Mark’s Anglican Church and Canon of the Diocese.
“Readers came from Florida, Germany, Mozambique, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and all across Canada.”
Participants were members of congregations, priests, ministers, bishops, archbishops and others.
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Rev. Dr. Linda Nichols, read from Saskatchewan where she was visiting, he says.
Athabasca Bishop David Greenwood and Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of the Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard- McLennan also read.
“Everyone expressed joy and thankfulness about being able to be part of this Bible reading,” Clarke says.
“One lady from Toronto joined in to read as none of the churches in her area did anything like it. A church she previously attended had done such a thing and she missed it.”
He says the Bible was read in the languages of English, French, Portuguese, Shona and Tagalog.
“The Bible was read in at least seven different versions: the King James, the New Revised Standard Version, the Indigenous Bible, The Message, as well as various others, including one person reading from a phone app that I helped develop for the Archdiocese of Athabasca,” Clarke says.
People from all denominations were invited to read the Bible in one-hour segments.
After the marathon was cancelled in 2020 when churches were closed in March by the COVID-19 restrictions, the event returned last year online on the world stage.
More than 100 people from around the world signed up to read last year, says Clarke, who initiated the Bible reading week in the local parish.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions started, the program was held in the High Prairie church as various people from other local churches and the community read.
Clarke and the Anglican Diocese of Athabasca look forward to continue and grow the tradition in 2023.

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