Philippians 4:6 is the “2019 Verse of the Year,” as determined by YouVersion. Users of the popular Bible app engaged with that Bible verse—by bookmarking it, highlighting it, and sharing it—more than any other.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
YouVersion also reported increased use of the app during 2019, including 5.6 billion chapters listened to, 35.6 billion chapters read, and 478 million verses shared.
Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster’s “word of the year” is they. Searches of that term rose 313 percent during 2019, and the definition of they as a nonbinary pronoun was added to the dictionary in September. Here’s that definition of they: “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”
(It might also be helpful to provide a definition of nonbinary: “relating to or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that is neither entirely male nor entirely female.”)
_ _ _
Compiled by Jim Nieman and Chris Moon
Milligan is in the process of changing its name to Milligan University, buoyed by its absorption four years ago of Emmanuel Christian Seminary. The name officially changes in January.
“It has been phenomenally successful for the institution,” Milligan president Bill Greer told the paper.
The story also touched on Milligan changing its alcohol policy in August to allow students 21 and older to drink alcohol off-campus. And the story noted Milligan continues to adhere to its long-held position on human sexuality that affirms marriage is between one man and one woman.
_ _ _
For the fifth year, The Crossing in Las Vegas hosted its “50 Christmases” event that connects prison inmates with their families at Christmas. The church set up individual living room areas, each one including a Christmas tree, so that inmates could gather with their families. Church members donated bikes, toys, and gift cards for children in each family, according to Radio Ink.
_ _ _
Antioch Christian Church in Marion, Iowa, opened a new campus this week with a pair of Christmas Eve services in Oelwein, Iowa.
The Oelwein campus pastor is Adam Graunke, a graduate of Ozark Christian College and Cincinnati Christian University.
The new campus opened about six months after the death of ACC’s senior pastor John Seitz Sr., who died June 20 after serving the church for 20 years. Greg Johnson is ACC’s interim pastor.
_ _ _
The 2020 K.T. Norris Lectureship sponsored by Maritime Christian College in Charlottetown, P. E. I., Canada, will take place March 10-13 at Sherwood Christian Church. The lectureship will feature Dr. Les Hardin of Johnson University Florida. The theme will be “Prayer, Parables, and Power: Spiritual Vitality in Biblical Thought.” No registration is required; a free will offering will be collected. For more information, go to mccpei.com or call (902) 628-8887. (Look for more information about Kenneth T. Norris in tomorrow’s “Throwback Thursday” online feature.)
_ _ _
A survey by e2: effective elders and the Center for Church Leadership asked hundreds of elders, “On a scale of 0-10, how fulfilled do you feel in your role as an elder?” Gary Johnson, executive director of e2, wrote, “Regretfully, the response was only 5.4. . . . What would have to change in our roles as elders in 2020 for us to experience greater fulfillment?” In addition to offering e2’s services in this regard, Johnson suggested, “One possible way to experience greater satisfaction as an elder is through more fervent prayer.” Former Christian Standard editor Mark A. Taylor recently wrote about improving your prayer life for e2.
_ _ _
Dr. Frank Dicken has been named vice president of academics at Lincoln (Ill.) Christian University. He will assume his new role Jan. 1. Dicken has served as associate professor of New Testament since 2013.
_ _ _
Thousands of people participated in the “Big Give” event. At each site, all ages gathered around stations to combine rice, beans, and other healthy ingredients to create nutritious, shelf-stable meals that were loaded onto a shipping container bound for Haiti.
At the end of the day, volunteers had packaged more than 475,000 meals. Go to lifeline.org/packmeals to learn how to host such an event.
_ _ _
Send news to [email protected]