LOUISVILLE — For more than 100 years, the Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study has provided Presbyterians with information about and connections to the church’s work in the world.
And that tradition continues this year, with the publication of the 2010 edition. Now available for purchase, the book was also distributed at the recent World Mission Celebration in Cincinnati.
The book dedicates one page to every day of the year. Each page focuses on a specific theme. Whether a page is about a presbytery or synod, a country in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) is involved or a Minute for Mission, they all serve to unite Presbyterians.
“It’s Presbyterian mission history as it happens,” said Billie Healy, editor of the yearbook. “It’s a way to get in touch with the breadth of Presbyterian mission.”
The theme of the 2010 book is based on John 7:38 — “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living waters.” This is also the theme of the 219th General Assembly, which will be held in 2010.
Every year, all 173 presbyteries and 16 synods are included in the book. The highlighted countries are selected by area coordinators, Healy said. Each book comprises the work of about 350 writers.
Every page also includes the daily lectionary reading, a prayer and the names of people related to the theme of the page.
Having all of this information all in one place allows for easy access, Healy said. The information is also available online and through e-mail subscriptions.
Although some people have told her they worry about missing something because the book is so full of information, Healy encourages people to see it as a workbook.
“You make it what you want it to be,” she said.
She has heard stories about readers using the book in ways that are meaningful to them. One woman writes to everyone named in the book. One couple reads the day’s entry together over breakfast every morning.
Other people have become inspired about mission while reading the book. They’ve shared their stories of inspiration and have gotten involved themselves, Healy said.
“It’s not meant to stay in the book. It’s meant to be passed on,” she said.
Working on the yearbook is a gift, Healy said. She has been working on the book since the 2002 edition and has been editing it since the 2006 edition.
“It’s an incredible privilege and a sacred responsibility to be able to share these stories,” she said. “It’s meant to inspire community and to lift each other up, not only to God, because God knows about it, but to say, ‘Today is your day.’”
To order the yearbook, click here. One to nine copies are $9.25 each plus shipping. Ten to 23 copies are $8 each plus shipping.