President David opened the meeting at 12:30 pm.
 
Gretchen Kearney presented Words of Inspiration, drawing from the writings of that great sage, Dr. Seuss.  The three messages were: Be Flexible (from I had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew); Think Before you Speak (from “Steak for Supper” in The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories); and Cherish Diversity (from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish).  The quote supporting the second message was: 
My father had warned me, “Don’t Babble. Don’t Bray. / For you never can tell who might hear what you say.”
My father had warned me, “Boy, button your lip.”/And I guess that I should have.  I made a bad slip.
 
 
Secretary Mike Carmichael welcomed the following guests:
Visitor
Host or Rotary Affiliation
Work
Kevin Matthees
Rotary Global Grant Scholar /
   David Klaus
John Hopkins SAIS
Jose Estrada
Maldonado Club, Uruguay
Finance
Peter Freeman
Charlottesville, VA Club
(past secretary of our club)
Larry Langston
Metro Bethesda Club, MD
 
Russel Lacy
Metro Bethesda Club, MD
 
Mary Jane Marquez-Reyes
Arrel Olano
Manila, Philippines
Larry Lunt
Bill Busker
 
Nicole Heydari
Dan Mullin
Director, CSR
Chiffon Curtis
Ken Brown
Celebrity Makeup Artist
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Kimbrough then announced the birthdays of those Rotarians celebrating this week:
 
  • Nancy Riker - April 10. Nancy joined the club in 2010 and was sponsored by Bill Dent. Nancy's classification is Services: Meeting Planning.
  • Laura Khor - April 13 Laura was sponsored by Jennifer Hara and joined the club in 2014.  Her classification is Counter Terrorism.
  • Bob Mann - April 13 Bob Mann joined the club in 1989 and was sponsored by Mac Asbill. His classification is Investments: Securities Retail. 
  • Lisa Too Fierce Cohen - April 15 Sponsored by Kenny Barnes, Lisa joined the club in February 2010. Her classification is Non-Profit: Youth Services.
 
President David praised the golfing skills of Lisa Cohen and Max Salas at the tournament preceding last weekend’s District Conference in Baltimore.  He noted we had a good turnout at the conference and sponsored the Friday evening reception.
 
Alicia Fougere invited members to a book club meeting on April 26 at Kramer Books.  More information is coming.
 
Larry Langston and Russel Lacy from the Metro Bethesda club told us their club is buying a “team of ducks” for our fundraiser and invited us to their Purple Tee Golf Classic fundraiser on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Whiskey Creek Golf Club, near Frederick, MD.  This year the tournament supports the MBR Foundation, the Yellow Ribbon Fund, and the Salute Military Golf Association.
 
Jay Vilar gave his New Member Talk. He came from humble beginnings. His father was raised in the ghetto of Spanish Harlem. His mother grew up in the mountains of the Philippines, but she became a nurse and Lt. Col. in the reserves. Jay feels he won the family lottery. Each family member, including his aunt, cousins, brothers, and mom gave him help and inspiration. He did the right things. He earned good grades and went to college. He was amazed that he became a vice president of an advertising agency in DC. But he has sought to find ways to get the most out of life, to help others, to make money, and have fun. He went through a nutritional therapy educational program and learned how to help people with health and wellness through proper diet and other lifestyle changes. That is his passion. One of the people he has been able to help is our own member, Sterling Hoffman. Rotary is now an important part of his goal to get the most out of life, through giving.
 
PROGRAM
John Jackson introduced speaker Shannon Bennett, Director of Community Relations for the Museum of the Bible, which will be constructed in Washington.  Prior to joining the museum, Shannon lived in Israel where she received her MA in Jewish Civilization from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While in Israel she also served with Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial Museum and Research Center, in their efforts to reach out to the global Christian community as well as with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  Her professional background also includes ten years of experience with the Entertainment Operations and Marketing departments of The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, FL. 
 
The Museum of the Bible is currently under construction two blocks from the National Mall and three blocks from the Capitol.  Shannon Bennett told us the museum is only a quarter of what they do. They do research in cooperation with 80 universities, analyzing artifacts, of which 42,000 will be housed here. They have traveling exhibits that have visited six U.S. cities, Cuba, the Vatican, Germany, and Israel. They also sponsor educational programs.
 
The new museum in Washington should be open in about 18 months at Fourth and D streets Southwest. This is in an old refrigeration warehouse. To give us an idea of the museum’s scope and design, she narrated a six minute “fly through” animated video tour of the finished building.
 
[Similar videos are available at https://www.museumofthebible.org/museum.] 
 
The facility will have 430,000 square feet of space. The front entrance will be from the Fourth Street side and guests will enter between two huge bronze panels with Genesis 1 inscribed on them, using text that appears in the Gutenberg Bible. The ceiling will have digital LED graphics. There will be custom software to tailor your tour to your time and interest, to keep tabs on your group members, and also to keep track of what you saw for your next visit.
 
A 486-seat live theater will have walls digitally mapped so that they can be redesigned instantly to create a totally different environment.  The first floor will feature the Bible's impact on music, stage and screen, fashion and other aspects of the arts. There will be also a focus on where the Bible has been burned and banned. And a center will show how the Bible is showing up in media right now.  A “Joshua machine” kiosk has a room where you and tell your own religious story and become part of the exhibit.
 
The design includes a Torah room. There is a demonstration lab on archaeology of the Bible in cooperation with Israeli archaeologists and Wheaton College. There will be a narrative floor featuring Bible stories.  The museum intends to have no interpretation of the Scriptures, just the actual stories.
 
It would take 45 minutes to walk through the Hebrew Bible.
 
There is a section on the World of Jesus, dealing with the culture and context in which he lived. A 260° theater features Luke's story of Jesus. On the fourth floor there is a focus on the history of the Bible and the development of the various canons.
 
There many affiliate libraries.
 
There is even a ride where you have a virtual flight through Washington DC to see Scriptures on various memorials and exhibits. There is a section for kids called the courage pages. The restaurant will feature food to the Bible and more, and should be of high quality there.  A rooftop biblical Garden will feature some of the plants and trees from the Bible.
 
Questions and Answers 
 
Q: How is the museum being financed?
A: On our website we have a campaign called One Million Names; the first million donors will have their names engraved in the museum.
 
Q: Who is the sponsor behind this?
A: Our founder is Steve Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby. Over time we have outgrown his initial vision, but he remains a very active chairman of our board.
 
Q: How much will the facility cost?
A: $450 million
 
Q: How much will the annual cost be?
A: I do not know that number but I could try to find it for you.
 
Q: Is this linked to any church or denomination?
A: No, we're non-sectarian. We include Catholics, Protestants and Jews.
 
Q: Is there any focus on the Dead Sea Scrolls? What about a focus on the apostle Paul?
A: Yes, there is some focus on the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Israel Antiquities Authority has most of the scrolls. There will be some treatment of the apostle Paul.
 
Q: There is a fine line between interpreting Scripture and religious sectarianism. How do you deal with that?
A: The exhibit shows the differences in the top nine biblical canons. We hire scholars from various faiths traditions and they catch us if we are wandering in a  particular direction.
 
Q: What about the so-called lost books of the Bible? And what about the Koran?
A: We only deal with the history of the Hebrew and Christian Bible. There are differing collections of biblical books within the nine canons  we include.
 
Q: It would seem you have to do a lot in terms of security. What are you doing?
A: We are very aware that both the subject and the DC location can make us targets. Security is being considered in all aspects of what we do, but we would not be talking about what those are.
 
Q: When does the tour GPS turn off?
A: It is off when you turn in the “digital docent.”
 
Q: Will the museum be free like the Smithsonian or charge like the Spy Museum?
A: There will be an admission charge and we're trying to make it small.
 
Q: How is Jesus represented in images?
A: We use artifacts that vary by culture. Ethiopian art shows Jesus as Ethiopian. European art makes him look European. I rather think he will appear Jewish in the theater productions, whatever that looks like.
 
Q: Why has it taken so long to have such a project, since the Bible has been around so long?
A: I don't know.
 
Q: What was the original vision of the project and how has it evolved?
A: It was originally proposed as a small Museum in Dallas, Texas. The idea was dropped. Later a bigger vision was proposed and market research showed the need for a museum of this size and that the best location would be Washington DC.
 
President David presented Shannon Bennett with a certificate stating that we would plant a tree in her honor in a national park area in DC.
 
Sam Hancock, represented by new member Julie Duriga to whom he entrusted his tickets, won the raffle’s small pot of $57 and did not win the large pot. 
 
President David announced our April 20 program will feature Diane Rehm, speaking about her new memoir, On My Own.
 
He thanked Donnie Shaw for conducting today’s Raffle, Ken Brown and Stu Shalloway for staffing the Hospitality Desk, and Mike Carmichael for writing today’s Meeting in Review.
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm.