BIG NEWS! The Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association Is Going National!
That’s right! At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the P.S.S.S.A., it was decided to make several big changes in the organization. First of all, we will soon begin to reach out to churches all across America through E-mail and a brand new website. And second, we will soon begin to make a slight change in the focus of the organization. We will continue to place a high emphasis on the importance of Sunday school, but we realize that today Sunday school is just one of many different forms of Bible study that are available. Therefore, our new emphasis will be more on Bible study in all of its forms. In fact, our new website, which will be up and running early in 2021, will be labeled as “BibleStudyAmerica.org.” Even after the new website is available, our current website (the one you are now viewing) will continue to be available.
Through these new efforts, we will be able to offer churches and Christian education workers all across the country a wide variety of helps and services. We will be able to offer online teacher training, an increased selection of Sunday school and Bible study promotional items, downloadable promotional materials, our own online Bible study course materials and much more.
Why Is The P.S.S.S.A. Heading In A New Direction?
Rodney Pry, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association, wrote the following article for the Association’s newsletter, “The Herald,” to explain the changes that are being made in the organization:
“A friend recently told me of an article that he read. The article said that it is estimated that even when everything totally returns to normal following the coronavirus pandemic, an estimated 30 to 35% of the people who previously attended worship and Sunday school will not come back. Why? There are a variety of reasons: First, many people will have simply gotten out of the habit. Second, even when things appear to be back to normal, there will be people who will still be reluctant to go back to meeting with large groups in places like churches. Third, there are people who are experiencing major faith doubts. They wonder why God didn’t put an end to the coronavirus sooner. And fourth, (and this applies to Sunday school) far too many churches were having major problems with their Sunday schools even before the start of the pandemic and the many months with little or no Sunday school activity pretty much spelled the end of their Sunday school programs.”
“In addition, the pandemic has also severely affected us here at the Sunday School Association. We have not been able to hold our annual State Sunday School Convention, our Summer Training Event at Shady Maple or any Local Training Workshops since last winter. In addition, financial giving from both individuals and churches are down considerably.”
“Looking at the general state of Sunday school and the Sunday School Association, we had to ask, ‘Will either Sunday school or the Sunday School Association ever be the same?’ And, quite frankly, I don’t think they will…unless we all make some major changes.”
“Here at the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association, we are not going to be content to rest on past successes or hope that things will be the same or better once everything return to normal (if that ever occurs). We have decided to try to expand our work and outreach. First, we are going to expand our area of work beyond just Sunday school as we try to help churches and Christian education workers with all areas of Bible study. Christian education is about trying to help persons of all ages learn about Jesus Christ, the Bible and God’s will for each person’s life. Sunday school is just one of the many forms of Bible study that can be used by churches and individuals today. It will be our aim to try to help churches see the importance of getting all of their members involved in some form of Bible study…Sunday school or something else.”
“Second, we are going to begin to reach out to churches all across America through E-mail and a second website. Why? Because the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association is the last of the full-time Sunday school-promoting organizations in existence in the U.S. today. There are other small Sunday school association groups, but we are the only one with a full-time paid staff and a year-round program of services. And we feel that we can help promote Sunday school and other forms of Bible study in ways that will help churches see the importance of creating additional Bible study programs.”
“And, as early as February of 2021, we will be creating live, online “webinar” training workshops that will be available to churches and teachers across the nation. Keep watching for more information coming soon.”
“In the meantime, please be in prayer for the P.S.S.S.A. and our new efforts of outreach and ministry. I hope that you will also partner with us as a financial supporter of these new ministry efforts. Thank you and God bless you!”