$100M Gift, State of the Bible, & Special Needs Ministry
Samford University has received the largest single donor gift ever received by an institution of higher education in Alabama – $100 million from the Marvin Mann estate. Nearly 40 percent of Generation Z believe Jesus was a human and sinned like other people when He lived on earth, the American Bible Society reveals in State of the Bible 2022. And in a First Person on Baptist Press, Sandra Peoples encourages church to prepare to welcome children with special needs to their Vacation Bible School this summer.
Samford University has received the largest single donor gift ever received by an institution of higher education in Alabama – $100 million from the Marvin Mann estate.
Samford President Beck Taylor made the announcement during a May 12 news conference from the steps of Centennial Walk in the center of campus.
“This is a historic day in the life of Samford University, the state of Alabama and for all the communities in which Samford calls home,” Taylor said. “We are humbled and overjoyed to be the beneficiaries of this transformational act of generosity. What an amazing day in the life of Samford University.”
Mann, an esteemed alumnus and benefactor of Samford, died March 19.
University officials estimate Mann’s gift will benefit more than 100 students each year.
Nearly 40 percent of Generation Z believe Jesus was a human and sinned like other people when He lived on earth, the American Bible Society reveals in State of the Bible 2022.
The perception among Gen Z, polling at 38 percent, was comparable to other age groups, including Generation X, 37 percent; and millennials and boomers, 35 percent. Only the elderly polled significantly lower in believing Jesus sinned, at 26 percent. The numbers based on age groups do not address whether those polled identify as Christian or non-Christian.
The findings are included in Chapter 2 of the 2022 report, in part focusing on how the Bible shapes ideas about spiritual things, specifically their perceptions of God, Jesus and Satan.
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In a First Person on Baptist Press, Sandra Peoples encourages church to prepare to welcome children with special needs to their Vacation Bible School this summer. She says the number of children with special needs may be greater than you think.
She says, “If our VBS gatherings reflect our communities, up to 1 in 5 of the students we welcome for a week each summer will have a physical disability, cognitive disability, learning disability or mental health diagnosis.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 school year, 14 percent of total public-school students (ages 3-21) received special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Add in kids with learning disabilities and mental health or behavior diagnoses who fall under 504 accommodations, and you’re likely close to 20 percent in your school district.”
Peoples offer three suggestions on serving children with special needs:
Add a question to your VBS registration form that communicates you’re prepared to welcome kids with disabilities
Equip teen and adult buddies to come alongside kids who benefit from extra attention and help
Have spaces designated for sensory breaks
Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.
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