A warm welcome and celebration of the Peale legacy at the new headquarters in Philadelphia
by Katie Allen Berlandi — Posted in Bible Resources on Mar 20, 2017
This past weekend our family made a trip to Philadelphia. It was an opportunity for us to tour the historic parts of the city, visit museums, run the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, see dear friends and enjoy some restaurants.
It also gave us the opportunity to visit the American Bible Society headquarters, which relocated from New York City in 2015. ABS holds a legacy in our family, as my grandmother, Ruth Peale, served on the ABS Board for 50 years and my mother, Elizabeth Peale Allen, served on the ABS Board for nine years until the spring of 2016. Throughout my life I have heard about the work of ABS, the lives around the world it touches through the gift of the Bible and the impact of its mission.
There’s a poem with the line, “If you live close to God and His infinite grace, you don’t have to tell it, it shows on your face.” From the moment we arrived at the ABS offices, we were greeted with God’s grace through the people we met. Roy Peterson, the president and CEO, and Famatta and Joy welcomed us with genuine kindness and appreciation. Mr. Peterson shared with us the history of ABS and the overlap of its leadership with that of our nation’s. He also shared with us some inspiring stories about Grandmother Peale and my mother and their leadership at ABS.
Joy then took us on a remarkable tour of ABS’s new space, located in Independence Square, across from the Liberty Bell. Every inch of it was so thoughtfully done with a “tree of life” stairway using reclaimed wood joining the two floors, displays of gifts from countries around the world served by ABS, displays of ancient and treasured Bibles, including a volume of Helen Keller’s braille Bible (she was an ABS Board Member!).
The thought and care put into the new headquarters reflects the innovative, service-oriented work of ABS and its employees, who fulfill its mission “to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford so that all people may experience its life-changing message.”
The faces of each ABS team member we met radiated with God’s infinite grace. Living close to God and fulfilling His mission will do just that. It was a gift to be in His presence at the American Bible Society headquarters in Philadelphia.