If Art Fry had not used Post-It Notes to mark his hymnal, the world may never have recognized Spencer Silver's invention.

Christians on Twitter were aflutter recently at the death of Spencer Silver, the chemist who created the adhesive so well-known as Post-it Notes.

Silver died May 8 at the age of 80.

So why mention him on the religion page?

On 3M’s website, the company recalled Silver’s words: “Silver was working on adhesives in a 3M lab in 1968 when he discovered a peculiar formulation that didn’t act like other adhesives. It formed clear spheres that ‘kind of sparkled in the light,’ Silver later recalled. The new adhesive was strong enough to hold paper together but could also be removed and would stick again — repeatedly — without damaging the paper. Silver looked for applications for his microsphere adhesive for several years while touting his creation to colleagues, calling it a ‘solution waiting for a problem to solve.’”

The world might not have known about Silver’s work had it not been for his colleague Art Fry.

Fry sang in his church choir and had a problem marking pages in his hymnal. The papers would always slip out and he would be slow getting to the hymn.

He recalled his colleague talking about this invention that would allow things to stick but then cleanly remove from the page. Fry made some prototype bookmarks, and once he started using them in his hymnal, he realized their potential to serve as notes, also.

Fry said in an NPR article, "You know, I've got notes that I applied to books in 1974 and they still come off and they still can be re-stuck," he says.

In other news

Diversity report: Barna Group, which collects and analyzes data on religious practices, has released its “Beyond Diversity” report.

The group suggested questions ministers can consider about diversity:

  • How am I stewarding the trust people have placed in me when it comes to leading on issues of race?
  • What incorrect attitudes remain unchallenged and unchanged in my personal life and/or church that hinder biblical justice and unity?
  • Has my congregation experienced pain around racial issues (both within and outside of the church) that I have remained unaware or dismissive of?
  • How is the church’s reputation affected by my own ability (or inability) to responsibly address and work toward racial justice?
  • How can the Church contribute to creating systems and structure that encourage racial justice rather than uphold inequity?

Visit barna.com to learn more about the report.

Book on church scandals: Warren Cole Smith, president of Ministry Watch, has published “Faith-Based Fraud: Learning from the Great Religious Scandals of Our Time.” The book, available at Wildblue Press, looks at fraud in the church, specifically Jim and Tammy Bakker’s PTL Network, Mark Driscoll, Todd Bentley, David Jeremiah and Bill Hybels, according to a news release. “Although this book is sometimes tough on the church and its leaders, its purpose is not to tear down the evangelical church, but to restore it to its rightful place of influence in the culture and in the lives of people who desperately need its message of grace and truth,” the release said.

How did Jesus treat women: Tim Clinton, president of AACC, a Christian counseling association, and co-host of “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk,” along with author Max Davis have co-written “Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity — The Heart and Strength of Being a Man,” released by Charisma House. Clinton reminds people that “Jesus elevated women in a society that didn’t highly regard women” and that “Arrogant, toxic men who don’t respect women are pawns in the enemy’s hands." The writers use Bible stories to show that “Jesus demonstrated how a man should treat women.”

Sign language Scripture: A newly launched movement to make the Bible available in every language in the next 12 years is also aiming to reach 70 million people who use sign language to communicate. The group says 58 million people do not have access to the Bible in their own language.

illumiNations, an alliance of 10 Bible translation organizations — American Bible Society, Biblica, Deaf Bible Society, Lutheran Bible Translators, Pioneer Bible Translators, Seed Company, SIL International, United Bible Societies, The Word for the World and Wycliffe Bible Translators USA — have committed to providing all people access to Scripture.

The organization points out there are more than 350 unique sign languages for the deaf among the 3,800 languages that don’t yet have a complete Bible translation. The only sign language with a complete translation of the Bible is American Sign Language, and 25 sign languages have some Bible chapters or verses.

To learn more about the sign language Bibles or any of the other translation projects, visit illuminations.bible/know.

Sources: tinyurl.com/29ym5sdx, tinyurl.com/dpezj59ttinyurl.com/55r42umntinyurl.com/4rcpeyej

Facets of Faith runs every other Saturday in Living. Reach Leila Pitchford at lpitchford@theadvocate.com.