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Start-up company uses origami to teach Bible verses

 


Start-up company uses origami to teach Bible verses

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
Photo courtesy of Western North Carolina Conference

Partners in Memory Cross Inc. are (from left) the Rev. Andy Lambert, the Rev. Bill Gibson and Mike Vitamvas.

March 3, 2005

By United Methodist News Service

Two North Carolina United Methodist pastors and a print shop owner have created an interactive card to give children and youth a way to learn Bible verses as they make a cross.

The three men came up with a concept of fun + Scripture = Memory Cross.

Memory Cross is an interactive card that puts God’s word at the tips of young fingers—and, the designers hope, into their hearts. The cards are designed in the origami style (a Japanese paper-fold), and each contains a selected Scripture. As a card is flipped and folded, words are revealed, with the last few words of the Scripture ending in the shape of a cross.

The Rev. Andy Lambert, general evangelist for the Western North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference, has been on a mission to connect young people with ways to learn Scripture. 

“For years I’ve looked for a fun, engaging way to get Scripture into kids’ heads and hearts,” he says. “When I couldn’t find what I liked, I came up with my own idea.” 

Lambert pitched the idea of a card and cross to the Rev. Bill Gibson, associate pastor of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Greensboro, N.C., and Mike Vitamvas, owner of a printing business in High Point, N.C. Gibson and Vitamvas liked the idea but could not visualize it. Then pieces started coming together, Lambert says.

“One day, I just started folding paper, and when I made the shape of a cross, I thought that I should pursue trying to create something that works,” he says.

Last year, the three men spent months working on a design for the card that would be attractive, fun and informational. They launched Memory Cross Inc. in January and have been promoting the product through www.memorycross.com

According to Gibson, company vice president and product developer, Lambert’s  “idea is genius. … I’m a technology geek when it comes to gadgets and such, and that is what fascinates me the most about the Memory Cross. It is really cool, simple to use, effective, and oddly enough, low-tech.”

Memory Cross is designed for children ages 4-13, and the use of striking colors and
graphics also makes it attractive to youth and adults.

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
Photo courtesy of Western North Carolina Conference

As it is folded, each Memory Cross reveals part of a Bible verse, with the last fold resulting in the shape of a cross.

It can be used in many ways, the designers say. Parents can use the cards at home. Camps can use them during devotional times. Churches can use them in Sunday school classes and during children’s sermons. Through regular use, the cards could teach children 52 Bible verses a year.

“This Scripture memory method is the coolest, most ingenious way to learn and memorize Bible verses,” Lambert says. “Learning Scripture will transform lives. Children love gadgets and hands-on learning, and children (and everyone else) memorize longer sentences by breaking them into small sections.”
 
While Memory Cross may be a fun way to learn Scripture, Vitamvas says the lesson learned will sustain children in the future.

“Initially kids love the way it (the card) flips around, but by using this simple tool, they will memorize God’s Word…,” he says. “When they start struggling with things that are going on in their life, the verses they learned will come back to them.” Vitamvas is the secretary and treasurer of Memory Cross Inc. and is responsible for production, product development and marketing.

Lambert says the Memory Cross concept has been expanded to customized messages and blank cards. More details, including pricing, are available at the Web site.

*The article was adapted from a release by Dawn Hand, director of communications for the Western North Carolina Annual Conference.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or
newsdesk@umcom.org.

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