NEW YORK — Odyssey Impact, a leading faith-based social impact organization and Peabody award winning documentary outfit, is combing it’s skills to help faith leaders and congregations beat the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free access to their video and biblical commentary resource “ON Scripture® – The Bible.”
With people left feeling isolated and separated from their faith community who they would usually turn to in times of crisis, there’s a great need for faith leaders to find new and safe ways to re-connect people around a shared experience. This online resource brings people together around Scripture and follows the Revised Common Lectionary to provide high-quality short videos, commentaries from leading biblical scholars and small group questions that everyone can follow online.
The collection of compelling videos, extraordinary commentaries and accompanying materials follow the current Lectionary cycle, but also include several themed off-Lectionary resources giving ministers and congregations greater flexibility. The resource is particularly useful in these challenging times, with clergy and congregations incorporating On Scripture-The Bible into their virtual worship services and virtual Bible study groups during a time when social distancing is required, yet a sense of community is yearned for.
Odyssey Impact’s CEO Nick Stuart said “We have never faced a crisis like this, where the healing powers of faith through shared community are denied to us by the need for social distancing. We have six years of experience of bringing the insights of Scripture alive through video and biblical commentary that can be watched online and enjoyed together as a shared experience, so our calling as a Not for Profit organization to be here for the faith communities of America meant that making On Scripture -The Bible available to ministers and congregations free of charge was the right thing to do.”
Originally produced from 2011-2017 with the support of generous grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. and The Henry Luce Foundation, ON Scripture® – The Bible has been used by clergy and congregations to explore our world through Scripture together, as well as to encourage Bible study groups to engage by reading Scripture, watching short mini-documentaries, and prompting meaningful conversation. Technological innovations like Zoom, Skype and Facetime have enabled the possibility for faith communities to continue engaging in these activities together.
“ON Scripture” will continue to encourage Biblical reflection and spiritual growth for those who seek it. Odyssey Impact has made these resources available online at odyssey-impact.org/on-scripture/.
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About Odyssey Impact
Odyssey Impact drives social change through innovative storytelling and media, connecting faith and secular communities. Founded in 1987 as the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Odyssey Impact is an interfaith 501c3 that harnesses the goodwill of faith based and secular organizations to build awareness, change attitudes and catalyze actions for social change through award-winning films, powerful stories, impact campaigns and coalitions of change makers. Odyssey Impact has partnered on campaigns with organizations like Prison Fellowship, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, Google, Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth, The Vera Institute of Justice, ACLU, NAACP,, WISDOM, Healing Communities USA and more.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis. The Endowment was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly, Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with our founders’ wishes, we support the causes of community development, education and religion. We afford special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that strengthen financial self-sufficiency in the charitable sector. We fund significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, though we maintain a special commitment to our founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.
About The Henry Luce Foundation
For more than 80 years, the Henry Luce Foundation has invested in knowledge makers and ensured that their work informs public discussion. This commitment to public knowledge derives from our founder: Henry R. Luce created Time magazine to disseminate the most important news, ideas, analysis, and criticism to a mass audience. Today, the Luce Foundation carries on this work by supporting projects at universities, policy institutes, media organizations, and museums, among many others. What these organizations have in common is a commitment to putting knowledge in the hands of the individuals and communities that need access to it. Hundreds of organizations have received more than 5800 grants totaling more than $1 billion since the Foundation’s establishment in 1936. Over that long history, the Foundation played critical roles in strengthening the field of Asian studies, encouraging interfaith dialogue, raising the visibility of American art in museums and in universities, and increasing participation by women in STEM research and teaching. We look forward to continuing our support of long-time areas of focus and to identifying new opportunities to strengthen public knowledge and understanding.
Michelle Huff Elliott