The reading marathon of the Bible was started June 26, and the plan was to continue until volunteers finished the book — probably sometime on Sunday or Monday — but instead the marathon was cut short. “We were not getting any readers at all,” Kellie Evens, Pottawattamie County captain, said. “It was ending up — it was my church and a couple from Epworth (United Methodist). The idea is to reach people and to bring them into the reading, and they’re not showing up.” According to Evens, the event will likely be rescheduled for September.
The idea was to gather people who would read a 30-minute or more segment of the Bible, but people didn’t show up. There weren’t enough volunteers and Evens and her co-captain couldn’t finish the marathon alone. They were even able to reach a few people during the effort, Evens said, but it obviously wasn’t enough. A boy walking through the park stopped and read for a while, and they gave water, food and money to homeless individuals who asked for help.
The Iowa 99 County Bible Reading Marathon was endorsed last year by Governor Terry Branstad, who bizarrely encouraged all Iowans to “read through the Bible on a daily basis each year until the Lord comes.” This year, several factors contributed to the lack of participants. The date was nailed down a little late, and Evens was not able to contact all of the local churches, she said. In addition, it was a different time than last year’s marathon, and many people had special plans for the holiday weekend.
Those wanting to participate were asked to bring a Bible and a lawn chair and local volunteers would meet them with a portion of the Bible to read aloud on their own in the park. There was no need to sign up or reserve a time slot, as was requested last year. All ages were invited to participate; including adults, children, senior citizens and students as well as all denominations. Maybe people just didn’t have enough lawn chairs or enough holy books, because the gathering failed.
Kellie Evens is persistent in the intention to maintain this marathon and she said: “I’m going to reach out to all the churches. If we get enough people, we might just start fresh in September.”
Photo Credits: The Standard