Nearly a thousand religious Bicentennial projects have been registered with the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration (ARBA). Spread out over the entire year, these endeavors range from production of a new hymnal, drama and musical presentations, and a conference on religious liberty to bell-ringing and large-scale outreach efforts. In addition to the officially recognized projects are many by individual churches and other religious groups in just about every city in the land. They all add up to a gigantic religious celebration of the nation’s first two hundred years.
The ARBA wants every bell in America rung on July 4 for two minutes at 2 RM. EDST (11 A.M. Pacific time) when the Liberty Bell will be rung in Philadelphia. The American Bible Society is promoting participation by churches in the bell-ringing observance. In conjunction with it, the ABS is distributing to churches and synagogues a copper-colored bell-shaped pamphlet containing verses from Isaiah 61 and bearing the title “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land.”
One group of evangelicals, most of them identified with the Key 73 witness of three years ago, was trying to arrange for a National Simultaneous Prayer observance at the conclusion of President Ford’s July 4 speech in Philadelphia. Details were still pending in mid-June.
Honor America chairman J. Willard Marriott, a Mormon who is in the hotel and restaurant business, called on Americans to set aside time for meditation during the July 4 weekend “in appreciation for the blessings and strengths of this great democracy, and for continued guidance as we begin the third century.” He also asked that everyone place a lighted candle or battery-powered light in his or her window during the nights of July ...1
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