Today marks the debut of our 2006 Read Through the Bible Campaign on the Religion page of The Edmond Sun.

I’ve tried to make things as easy as possible by printing the daily scripture reading list along with the weekly religious column. So clip the list, use it as a bookmark in your Bible, and you’re all set, even if you don’t have one of those fancy one-year Bibles.

The readings begin Sunday. Next Friday you’ll get the new list of readings that will begin the following Sunday. There’s a couple of days of overlap there, but until I can convince the higher-ups to move the Religion page to Saturday or Sunday, it’s the best I can do.

As I’ve said before, if you don’t own a Bible but would like to participate in the daily readings, let me know. There are a number of churches in town who would love to give you a Bible for free.

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Made a stop at Wal-Mart at 33rd and Broadway Friday or Saturday looking for the best value in rechargeable AA batteries for my money (see related story in Sunday’s “Our Town.”) Given the recent concern over Wal-Mart adopting “Happy Holidays” as their slogan instead of “Merry Christmas” and with all the stories (truth or legend?) about employees being fired for saying “Merry Christmas,” I was surprised when a female voice came over the intercom wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

At first, I thought maybe Wal-Mart had done an about-face on the matter. But a few seconds later, the same voice started singing Ella Fitzgerald’s “The Christmas Song” over the intercom as well.

She sang slowly. She sang the whole thing.

It sounded at one point like someone else with an intercom button was trying to make her stop, so I’m guessing it was just a prank rather than a SuperCenter-sanctioned serenade. I would have preferred to hear “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” or “Santa Baby” since I don’t listen to radio much anymore and didn’t hear either this year.

But it’s sad to think that Wal-Mart’s probably looking for another stocker or cashier after the incident.

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Several years ago, fresh out of college and needing a job, I took an internship with The Christian Chronicle, an international monthly religious publication targeted primarily to members of the churches of Christ.

Besides writing news and feature stories for the paper, my job included spending two to three hours a day reading the church bulletins we’d receive by mail from hundreds of churches across the country.

And the best stories I wrote in my time there came from tidbits and nuggets of information gleaned from those bulletins.

There are about five dozen churches in Edmond, and The Sun only gets bulletins regularly from a handful of them. Help me change that. Ask your church secretary to add me to the mailing list. If your bulletin is available electronically, send me an e-mail making sure I know how to access it.

I want to know who in your church is celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, who’s turning 90 or 100, when your next potluck is, when the next mission trip or youth activity is. The more I know, the better I can do at covering the beat.

And as always, if you have story ideas, send me an e-mail.

To add The Sun to your bulletin mailing list, use this address: P.O. Box 2470, Edmond, 73083.

Have a happy new year!

(David Hartman may be reached via e-mail at dhartman@edmondsun.com.)

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