Christian Record Celebrates 120 Years of Service
Story by Patricia Maxwell Robertson
Christian Record Services, Inc. celebrates 120 years of ministry to the blind in 2019. “With the Lord’s guidance, it is the members, donors, volunteers, and employees who have made Christian Record impactful all of these years,” said Diane Thurber, president of Christian Record. “To all of you, we say a hearty ‘thank you.’ And we invite those who are just now learning about who we are and what we do to join our community. You'll be in great company!”
Christian Record’s Annual Day of Giving promotion is Sabbath, April 13, 2019, and it is the emphasis for the World Budget offering.
Here are a few quick facts. At the very beginning, "Christian Record" was the name of our Braille magazine. It was the only Christian-focused Braille magazine published in 1899. The name carried over to the nonprofit that now also provides many services for people who are blind, along with its magazines (and, yes, "Christian Record," the Braille magazine, is still published to this day).
Christian Record led the way for many other innovations and services that together inspire and transform lives. It was the first organization to offer a blind camp, beginning in the ‘60s. The camps give individuals who are blind an opportunity to be themselves and freely create and engage with the community. A couple of decades later, the organization was the first to pioneer a new kind of book that provides Braille along with images, print, and an audio disc for the entire family to enjoy.
Today, Christian Record is still continually looking for the best way to serve its members. In 2017, it launched an online library of nearly 2,000 titles. Members may request many of these titles in formats specifically for them, including refreshable Braille, large print, audio streaming, and downloading, and on National Library Service's digital cartridges. Through the online library, they may request Bibles, the new Discover Bible Study Guides in Braille and large print through our Bible School, select the next books they wish to read or listen to, and much more.
Since the 1980s, Christian Record has awarded college scholarships to students who are blind who demonstrate academic promise. The program was initially endowed by a former employee and continues to grow through gifts by people interested in the program. In 2018, a total of eight scholarships were awarded.
Christian Record has prepared items for churches to use, in support of the ministry during the World Budget offering appeal on Sabbath, April 13, that can be downloaded from the website CRSBday.org. Provided online are:
· Videos (long or short versions)
· Bulletin Insert
· Offertory Reading
· Sermon (print or audio file)*
*As requested by a survey of pastors last year, there is included a sermon that can be read (as a letter to a church) or played (as an audio file) by Ray McAllister, Ph.D., a Seventh-day Adventist author who tells about his experience as a blind man with love and humor. He encourages churches to accept people with all types of disabilities.
ABOUT CHRISTIAN RECORD SERVICES, INC.
For more than 120 years, Christian Record Services for the Blind has been empowering individuals who are blind and visually impaired. By providing free and accessible faith-based services, CRS makes a significant impact in the lives of its members each day. CRS is supportive, caring, and eager to provide access to braille materials, audio books, large-print magazines, Bibles, and more that will enhance the life and spiritual journey of others. For more information on CRS, please visit www.christianrecord.org or call 402.488.0981.