BethelTapestry The multicultural fabric of Bethel University
Issue 21 • Spring 2011
Bethel Alum Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Stephanie Smith brings peace, hope, and healing through humble service and bold leadership with the Dakota Indians. By Samantha Allgood ’12
ur names often define us. They label who we are or what we do. In the life of alumni Stephanie Hope Smith ’98, the recent announcement of her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize speaks to her true identity as one seeking to unify the broken and strengthen the hopeless. “My name is Stephanie Hope…I’m a hope bringer,” she introduces herself. Working with several First Nations (American Indians) communities, multiple nonprofits, and government agencies, Smith’s diverse efforts to create dialogue and healing were recognized by Dakota Indian spiritual tribal council members, who announced her continued on page 2
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nomination. Yet, even in her moment of praise, Smith sees this as another opportunity to serve. “How can I use this tool to bless other people? How will this help create more dialogue and actions that can lead to healing? How will God get the glory?” she asks. Smith’s journey began in the field of sports medicine, serving as a certified athletic trainer specializing in head injuries. After multiple international trips with ice hockey teams and the opportunity to serve at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Smith and her husband established two Minnesota nonprofits— The Northern Lights Junior A Hockey Team and the Global Athlete Village. These organizations aim to mobilize athletes for community service, create rich cultural exchange, and support international humanitarian efforts including Type 2 diabetes prevention and disaster relief. “Because this vision is so big, we need to connect youth nonprofits,” Smith says. “The Global Athlete Village serves as a bridge while helping them become more effective and efficient while the hockey team demonstrates this model.” In 2006, these organizations identified buildings in the National Historic Landmark District of Fort Snelling as a proposed site for the Global Athlete Village mobilization center. However, when she began to hear Dakota leaders share about the sacredness of Bdote (pronounced Bdoh-tay)—where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet—she chose to stop 2
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and “spend bulk, unhurried time” in the Dakota community. Smith expanded her volunteerism to include providing medical services at powwows and commemorative events, where she heard firsthand about First Nation community concerns, especially as they related to sacred sites. “Because I now serve as a neutral and a volunteer in meetings with government and First Nation leaders,” Smith explains, “I’m free to ask tough questions that would be perceived as offensive if the other party asked. I’m free to navigate the nonprofit sector, different ethnic communities, and faith-based and government agencies, not tied to one way of looking at the issues and not dependent on their approval or paycheck.” Addressing the issues around Fort Snelling led Smith to further involvement on behalf of the Dakota community. She stepped into an organizational role, assisting in the planning of this year’s World Peace and Prayer Day, which will be held in Minneapolis June 18-21, 2011, and includes an attempt at the Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Group Hug on Father’s Day. Smith encourages all to attend this event of healing, this call to prayer. “I don’t have a degree in history or law. I don’t have a background in social justice or any of those kinds of things, but as a private citizen, as a Christian, as a mom, as a person who is learning about what has happened to the First Nations in the U.S., I’m trying to come to grips with my responsibility,” Smith says. “I feel a duty, a continued on page 3
Bethel Alum Wins Film Honor By Joyce Venida ’13
he film Taking AIM by Bethel alumnus Lucas Langworthy GS’08 was recently named Best Film at a film festival sponsored by the 1968 Exhibit, a traveling exhibition exploring the events of that year. The documentary film explores the origins of the American Indian Movement. Langworthy, who received his Master’s in Communication Studies from Bethel’s Graduate School, completed the project as a component of his graduate degree. He interviewed American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt as well as several other founders of the movement. Over the course of one year, he produced the film with input and feedback from his professors at Bethel. Taking AIM explores a time of great social change and unrest when brave American Indians fought the injustice that had left them beggars in their own land. “I was inspired to take on this project because my passion is to show truth through film,” says Langworthy. “The story I told is one that is not widely known, so the story needed to be captured on film.”
Bethel alumnus Lucas Langworthy prepares a microphone for American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt’s interview for Langworthy’s documentary Taking AIM.
Upon winning the award, Langworthy was surprised, to say the least. “There were so many great films that were shown at the festival; I was honored to accept the award.” Since leaving Bethel, Langworthy has been teaching adjunct video production at North Central University in Minneapolis and says he is always looking for the next documentary project. Taking AIM can be viewed on the 1968 Film Project’s website at the1968exhibit.org/reflections/takingaim-origins-american-indian-movementbest-film. BT
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moral obligation, to do something if there is any chance that my efforts will help bring healing.” “I feel compelled to serve—I believe that this is why I’m here,” Smith says of her volunteerism. “It makes my heart sing.
I just know that I’m doing what I need to be doing.” In October the Nobel Committee will announce this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate who will be recognized in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 2011. BT Bethel University
Ruby Bridges Inspires Bethel Community
uilding address titled bridges. “Breaking It’s the task Barriers and Associate Dean Creating New for Inter-cultural Pathways Programs for Future and Services Generations.” Edwinna Similarly, Johnson puts together Johnson in front of and a group of herself each and Bethel colleagues Edwinna Johnson, Ruby Bridges, and President Jay and Barb Barnes every day. As worked tirelessly a member of the Office of Student Life, to make Bridges’ visit happen. Johnson desires for students to understand In 1960, as Bridges was escorted history in order to make connections with from the car into the school with two U.S. reconciliation and social justice in their Marshalls in front of her and two U.S. own lives. Marshalls behind, she was told to walk Out of this desire came Johnson’s idea straight ahead. “Now I know that’s the only to bring Ruby Bridges to campus. And so way to survive,” she says. history came to life at Bethel University on Bridges inspired the Bethel community April 13 when Bridges shared her story at to move past racism: “As adults, we take Bethel’s chapel service. Bridges took a place racism and pass it onto our kids. My in history books when she was escorted by message to you today is that it’s time to get U.S. Marshalls to William Frantz Public past that. I always say, the main thing we School in New Orleans in 1960. She was need to be concerned about is good and the first black student to attend the school evil….evil comes in all shades and colors.” after federal courts forced desegregation. In addition to speaking at chapel, “I didn’t do it alone. I was only 6; I Bridges participated in a Q&A session was just excited to go to school,” Bridges and signed copies of her book Through My told the Bethel community in her chapel Eyes. BT
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Bethel Seminary Graduate Named Among “20 to Watch” in Children’s Ministry Leadership By Dana Morrison ’12
ethel Seminary graduate Matt Guevara S’09 was recently listed among “20 to Watch” in Children’s Ministry magazine—the 20th anniversary edition. The list highlights influential and energetic children’s ministry leaders who show promise for making big change in children’s ministry. Guevara, currently the KidsWorld Group Life Director at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Ill., felt a strong call to be in ministry since he was young. “I love working with kids; they’re such a teachable group of people,” he says. While working as a children’s pastor in Madison, Wis., the pastor at the church offered financial support to anyone wanting to go to seminary. Since Bethel Seminary was the only school to offer a master’s degree in children’s ministry, Guevara was excited to choose Bethel. After graduating from Bethel and continuing work at
Christ Community Church, Guevara has focused on technology to reach kids. “Opening children’s ministries up to technology will help ministers learn the language their kids speak and contextualize the gospel to this younger generation,” says Guevara. He adds, “But effective ministry is not just about gadgetry; it’s merely a tool we use to take the truth of God’s Word and let it transform the lives of the kids God allows me to minster to.” Bethel Seminary made a lasting impression on Guevara and shaped how he ministers to children and their communities. He stays connected with Bethel by serving as the webmaster for the Cory Center for Children’s Ministry, which works with those who have gone through seminary to provide resources and training to the broader field of family and children’s ministry. BT Matt Guevara, a 2009 Bethel Seminary grad, was recently listed among “20 to Watch” in Children’s Ministry magazine. Bethel University
Local Sankofa Excursion Enlightens Students and Staff By Samantha Allgood ’12
mbuntu. This South-African concept that means “My future is inextricably tied up in yours” explains seminary student Valarie McCullar’s attitude toward her recent Sankofa experience. In mid-March, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offered its first Native American/ Indigenous People Sankofa Excursion. A group of 22 Bethel employees, students, and guests toured local NativeAmerican sites and heard stories from facilitators and tribe members, who shared historical and spiritual insights of the native people. The goal of the excursion was to build cultural knowledge, highlight Bethel’s connections with the NativeAmerican community, and learn more about the struggle for social equality. “We wanted to do a local Sankofa event focusing on local civil rights history,” says Chief Diversity Officer Leon Rodrigues. “We started with NativeAmerican culture and engagement. In the future, we hope to do trips focusing on African-American and Asian populations.” One of the selected sites was Coldwater Spring, an important landmark for the Dakota people. “The greatest impact for me was to discover it’s Edenic significance to the Dakota tribe, right
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under my nose at Minnehaha Park,” says McCullar. “I have lived my entire life in proximity and enjoyed the falls, yet I had no idea that to my Native brothers and sisters, this is the Center of Turtle Island—the place where they believe their ancestors first appeared on earth.” Another site the group visited was Fort Snelling State Park, beneath the Mendota Bridge, which was the site of a concentration camp that imprisoned and killed tribe members of the Dakota after the Dakota Uprising of 1862. At the close of the day, participants celebrated with a powwow and feast at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Tina Ould Ndiack, a seminary student, reflects: “The garb, the dancing, and the combination of old and young participants drove home how the richness of the Native-American culture is just as relevant today as it was before the pilgrims landed on these shores.” BT
Seminary Alum Raises Awareness for Zimbabwean Pastors in New Book By Dana Morrison ’12
ethel Seminary of the East alum Abiot Moyo ’05 recently presented his new book Meet the New Pastors in Their New Churches to the seminary’s library. At the presentation, Moyo and former adjunct faculty member John Lindsey shared that they began working on the book together to educate people on the struggles of not having proper places to train pastors in Zimbabwe. Moyo also hopes that the book will garner support and resources for the untrained pastors. Moyo, a graduate of the Master of Divinity program, is a native of Zimbabwe. “He was in line to become the Methodist Bishop of Zimbabwe and came to the U.S. for more education,” says Doug Fombelle, Seminary of the East’s dean and executive officer. Because of financial reasons, Moyo considered dropping out of seminary at one point. But with the help of Lindsey, Moyo was sponsored by the East Brookfield Baptist Church, which Lindsey pastored. After Moyo’s graduation and Lindsey’s retirement as pastor, the two joined forces on Moyo’s newly formed ministry, The Balm in Gilead Ministry International, Inc., which aims to plant
churches, care for AIDS orphans, and provide leadership training in Zimbabwe. Moyo and Lindsey periodically take trips to Zimbabwe to receive updates on the improvements their ministry has made in the country. Their work is gaining recognition. The prime minister of Zimbabwe sought out Moyo on one of his recent trips to Zimbabwe to commend Moyo, give him government property to use for the ministry, and offer his blessings on Moyo’s work. Visit thebigm.org to learn more about The Balm in Gilead Ministry International, Inc. BT
Left to right: Jeremy Labosier, Bethel Seminary of the East library director; Rev. Abiot M. Moyo, author of Meet the New Pastors in Their New Churches; and Rev. John A. Lindsay, retired pastor and former Bethel Seminary of the East adjunct professor
A Seminary Student’s Take on Reconciliation:
An Evolving Process By Samantha Allgood ’12
Sara Bensen examines the process of reconciliation through her internship and education.
raduating soon from Bethel Seminary, Sara Bensen plans to take her Master of Divinity degree into the world of reconciliation. “I am Native American, African American, and white American, and I was raised in a Norwegian family,” says Bensen. “The best advocate for reconciliation is me!” Last fall, Bensen began an internship at Woodland Hills and Campher United Methodist churches, both in St. Paul. Through assisting with conferences, establishing community, and working alongside faith-based social services to organize methods of reaching out to engage in social justice, Bensen has come to a deeper understanding of the reconciliation process. She realizes the importance of reconciling not necessarily with belief systems, but reconciling as believers. “I would say that stereotypes are very firmly planted,” says Bensen. “I think that when people have a set belief system— whether it be denominationally or racially or culturally—it is hard to enter into authentic conversation because oftentimes people come in with a defense mechanism that is focused on defending how and what 8
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they believe without being open to others’ perspectives.” Bensen talks of focusing on the “small victories” in reconciliation, of breaking down the walls of frustration and laying down one’s pride, bitterness, and anger in an effort to recognize that everyone has a valid perspective. “Sometimes the steps are small and the results are small, but when people are willing to show their vulnerabilities and express some of the things that cause anxieties within, they can be free from them,” she says. As Bensen concludes her time at Bethel, she recognizes the foundation she has gained to facilitate the reconciliation process. “There has been a strong focus on holistic care and holistic ministries,” she
says of her Bethel education. “We’re not just looking at understanding the doctrine of the Bible, but also understanding how it is applicable to self and community.” She also notes how the study of apologetics and church history have impacted her and strengthened her approach. “There is a lot of work to be done within the socioeconomic divisions
globally; the Twin Cities are not exempt from this. This work should be especially essential among the church communities,” Bensen concludes. “What needs to be understood is that reconciliation is an evolving process. As Christians, we should be open to the process with the idea of loving our neighbors and loving God as well as respecting human dignity.” BT
Seeking Comments for Bethel Seminary Accreditation Bethel Seminary, a school of Bethel University, is seeking comments from the public about its educational programs in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its accrediting agencies. Bethel Seminary will receive a required 10-year comprehensive evaluation visit October 17-19, 2011, by teams representing The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Theological Schools. Bethel Seminary’s current accreditation by both organizations is at the doctoral degree level and includes degree sites at various locations nationally. The teams will review institutional compliance with the criteria and standards of both organizations.
Comments must: • address substantive matters related to Bethel Seminary’s quality and/or academic programs; • be in writing and signed; • be mailed to: The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413 and/ or Accreditation Comments, Bethel Seminary, 3949 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112; • include your name and address; and • be submitted by September 15, 2011.
Comments may also be offered electronically at www.hlcommission.org under the link “HLC and the Public” and then “Third-Party Comment” and/or to email@example.com.
Yelena Bailey Bethel University
ThroughReconciliation: the Lens of the Middle East By Samantha Allgood ’12
he complexities of reconciliation story than we hear in the news. We have to often start on a personal level: in the ask what’s being included and what’s being home, workplace, or community. But it omitted that would be helpful for us to is not until one has a global view that the know and understand when dealing with a problem can be fully understood. For a long and deep conflict,” says Barnes. group from Bethel, new perspectives on Participant Phyllis Alsdurf, associate the issues of reconciliation were cultivated professor of English, agrees: “The trip during a recent trip to the Middle East. emphasized the importance of not offering “There were a number of things that superficial responses to complex situations drew us to Israel and Palestine,” says of conflict—racial, ethnic, religious, and President Jay Barnes. “One was just to political. In the face of all the hardship understand the geography of the land and we saw, I felt compelled to pray and listen the culture that is behind the stories in the more, to offer solutions much less.” Bible.” Another motivation stemmed from Coming away from the experience, the desire for a “deeper understanding of Barnes challenges the Bethel community the conflict between the state of Israel and to ask: What’s the rest of the story? We are the Palestinian people,” says Barnes. responsible to examine both sides, even The Bethel delegation toured holy when the media may only present the most sites, fellowshipped with Christ-followers popular view, he asserts. at Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, and “We need to be better students of gained insights what’s happening through home-stays in the Middle East, with Arab Christians more committed in the Bethlehem to a big picture of area. Throughout reconciliation,” the trip, there were Barnes says. “[We opportunities to hear need] to recognize from both Israelis that the message of and Palestinians on the gospel is really the complexities of important in trying the conflict. to bring people President Jay and Barb Barnes, Phyllis Alsdurf, Karith and Doug “It made us together in a peaceful Magnuson, Leon Rodrigues, and Curtiss DeYoung in Bethlehem in front realize that there is way.” BT of the wall dividing Israel and the West Bank (Photo credit: Barb Barnes) often more to the 10 Tapestry • Spring 2011
“Justice Rolls Down” during Bethel’s Black History Month Celebration By Samantha Allgood ’12
uest speaker Nekima-Levy Pounds, professor and director of the Community Justice Project (CJP) at St. Thomas University, called students to action on behalf of the oppressed as a tribute to Black History Month at an event held in the Underground in February. The “Black History Month Conversation” was one of many scheduled events to challenge and enlighten the Bethel community in view of this year’s theme: “Let Justice Roll Down.” “What was exciting about her message is that she weaves her faith into her story and her work,” says Diversity Office Coordinator Pamela Ngunjiri. “She seems to have the ability to do so in a way that is conversational and profound at the same time…so that you come away with truth and motivation to search and find for yourself a better way to answer the call of God in your life as you are in community with others.”
Other highlights included the Black History Gospel Concert and music and literature reviews. Bethel professors Angela Shannon and Herb Johnson collaborated to tell the story of black culture through poetry and music. “These events are important because they provide a cultural experience from the art perspective— another way to communicate history,” says Ngunjiri. Film reviews, lectures, chapel speakers, and simulations also added to the dialogue with the goal of reflecting the diversity of the body of Christ, while also examining the Civil Rights Movement and the Christian response as it continues. Ngunjiri notes, “Events of this type impact our community by providing opportunities to experience various perspectives on cultural diversity as we contemplate our own journeys on the road to reconciliation.” BT
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Bethel Seminary Student Appointed Head of the St. Paul NAACP By Samantha Allgood ’12
ocial justice issues. At the heart of the matter, that is what fuels the work of Jeffry Martin—Bethel Seminary student, criminal defense attorney, ordained minister, and now, the 22nd president of one of the country’s oldest chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “Anywhere people are being oppressed and taken advantage of because of their race or economic status, or anything potentially out of their control—that’s where my compassion lies,” Martin says. In 2008, Martin served as chairman of the NAACP’s legal redress committee, after getting to know the president at that time. In the fall, there came an opening
Jeffry Martin is a Bethel Seminary student, criminal defense attorney, ordained minister, and president of the St. Paul chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 12 Tapestry • Spring 2011
for a new leadership position. “When the former president retired, I decided to put my name in the hat,” Martin says. Now, with the responsibilities and authority of his presidential position, Martin seeks to further advance the issues at hand by holding a light to the work of the past. “I think there’s a lack of historical education in this generation in that people seem to think that the Civil Rights bill was passed and everything is fine,” Martin says. “I don’t want people to be lax…because if you don’t know your history, you’re definitely going to repeat it.” Martin is currently leading the NAACP’s St. Paul chapter to examine issues regarding the enrollment changes in the St. Paul Public School system, accountability matters within the police department, and business concerns around the construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit. Martin stresses not only the importance of these issues, but also the necessity of expanding and diversifying membership within the NAACP, especially by getting churches involved. Martin’s faith drives him and is the reason he is pursuing a Master’s in Community Ministry Leadership at Bethel Seminary. After hearing about the program through a presentation at his church by the program’s lead faculty Mark Harden, Martin enrolled and is now in his second continued on page 13
Bethel University Gets on Its Knees By Joyce Venida ’13
econciliation begins in each of us… we need to be willing to face the pain, the challenge of being part of a broken world.” This was the message Naomi Tutu gave to the Bethel University community during Reconciliation Day chapel last fall. The theme for this Reconciliation Day was “We Are on Our Knees.” Reconciliation Day is an annual event at Bethel, a time set aside to focus on the ministry of reconciliation that Christians are called to. Past speakers have included Brenda Salter McNeil, Jin Kim, Soong-Chan Rah, and now Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. During chapel, Tutu spoke on “Reconciliation Begins with Me” and Bethel Board of Trustee member Vikki Myers, who recently released her album I Just Want to Thank You Lord, performed with the Bethel Chapel Choir. Other
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year. The program focuses on theological training alongside hands-on leadership skills; Martin describes it as the perfect preparation for what he is doing now. As Martin strives to incorporate his faith in each of his positions, he notes, “Every decision I make, I try to make it a Godcentered one.” He recalls Jesus’ example:
events for the day included a luncheon with Tutu and a small group discussion and showing of the film In Search of Shalom: White People in Reconciliation. Tutu concluded her chapel address by saying, “I believe true reconciliation is possible. That we have all we need to achieve it. We have each other. Through faith, through prayer, through action.” This was her challenge to Bethel University. BT
Naomi Tutu, Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Christ came here to visit those in prison and feed the needy, and those things are social justice issues.” Thus, Martin urges all to be mindful of our individual responsibilities: “The same issues that have existed in the past still exist today, and they are everyone’s issues, not just people of color’s issues, but society as a whole.” BT Bethel University 13
Members of the Bethel community making a difference in communities of color
Edwinna M. Johnson, Associate Dean for Inter-cultural Student Programs and Services (CAS), took students to the Second Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference held at North Park University in Chicago. The theme for the conference was “How Do We Live a Life of Significance?” She also led an Underground Railroad Simulation last fall and Dare 2 Be Real Race Dialogues throughout the school year. Ben Lim, Professor of Marital and Family Therapy (Bethel Seminary San Diego), spoke on “Coping with Loss and Grief” at the All Saints Memorial Chapel and preached at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Singapore. He also taught an intensive on marriage and family therapy at the Alpha Omega International College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He then ministered at Evangelical Free Church Gospel Center for a week, before leaving for China where he and his wife will do their sabbatical at HuaQiao University at Quanzhou.
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Naomi Ludeman Smith, Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies (CAS), presented “Sojourn through Spiritual and Religious Tension: A Quantitative Study of Intercultural Competence and Worldview Development” at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR-USA) in Denver. She also presented “Catch Them before They Go Native: Religious Differences in the Cross-Cultural Domestic and International Experience” at The Moberg Lectureship on Christianity and Sociology at Bethel University.
Bernita Missal, Professor of Nursing (CAS, CAPS), presented “Fulbright in Sultanate of Oman and Beyond” as part of the Bethel University “NotReady-for-Primetime” series. Missal’s presentation discussed her experiences at the University of Nizwa in Sultanate of Oman teaching nursing students and conducting research of new Omani mothers’ transition to motherhood. Reconciliation Studies major Nicholas Wolfe C’11 published an article titled “From Hatchet-Man to Women’s Advocate: An Interview with Cleophus LaRue” in the winter 2010-11 issue of Mutuality: The Voice of Christians for Biblical Equality. Wolfe wrote the article as part of his internship with Christians for Biblical Equality.
Ning Zhang, Assistant Professor of Anthropology (CAS), led a Social Issues Forum titled “In the Name of Love: A Preliminary Study of China’s Emerging Grassroots NGOs and the Rethinking of the Empire and the Multitude.” The forum explored the emergence and development of China’s grassroots (or minjian) NGOs, and examined new forms of social movement, sovereignty, and governmentality in light of the “network power” forcibly presented by Hardt and Negri in their influential works Empire and Multitude. BT
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Bethel alum wins film honor for documentary on Native Americans Sankofa excursion focuses on Native-American history in the Twin Cities Holy Land trip provides global perspective on reconciliation Seminary student appointed head of St. Paul NAACP
Sherie J. Lindvall ’70, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing Cindy Pfingsten, Editor • Thomas Vukelich ’82, Design Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.255.8706, ext. 6233.
For more about multicultural diversity at Bethel, visit bethel.edu/about/diversity.
Student group Asian Christian Fellowship (ACF) organized events on Bethel’s campus in honor of Asian History Month that included Asian cuisine in the Monson Dining Center; a viewing and discussion of the movie 1040, a documentary on Christianity in Asia; and a dinner celebration featuring MN Sunshine Dancers, a Hmong dance troop. ACF Co-Director for Inter-cultural Programs Alicia Chong said, “ACF chose the theme ‘The Rising Son’ for this year’s events to bring awareness of Christianity and what the Lord Jesus is doing in Asia.”
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We are reconcilers, honoring the worth and dignity of people from all races and purposely seeking to create a community that reflects the diversity of the Body of Christ.
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