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SPRING 2016

C O L U M B I A C O N TA C T CONNECTING THE COLUMBIA BIBLE COLLEGE COMMUNITY  |  COLUMBIABC.EDU

S PACE F O R D I F F E R E N CE Learning to disagree with integrity and kindness

B L E S SE D AR E T H E SH AL O MMAKE R S The Great Shalom Project of God

L O V E IN SPI T E OF F E AR A student spends time

T OPI C

in a refugee camp

YEARNIN G FOR SH A LO M " S e r v ing a s G od ' s fellow worke rs . "


COLUMBIA CONTACT

PRE SI DE NT ’ S D ES K

Spring '16 Columbia Bible College seeks to equip people for a life of discipleship, ministry, and leadership in service to the church and community.

RES T O R I N G SHALOM

COLUMBIA CONTACT PURPOSE STATEMENT The purpose of the Columbia Contact is to encourage and provide updates about news, events and related college business to students, alumni and friends of the college. Columbia Bible College provides faith formation and professional ministry preparation for Christians of all ages and supports the churches of the region in the fulfillment of their mission. Columbia is evangelical Anabaptist and is operated by two regional Mennonite conferences, British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and Mennonite Church British Columbia. COLUMBIA BIBLE COLLEGE 2940 Clearbrook Road Abbotsford, BC V2T 2Z8

EDITOR IN CHIEF Stephanie Jantzen

LAYOUT & DESIGN Grant Bielefeld Stephanie Jantzen

COVER PHOTO Victor Tongdee

CONTRIBUTERS Bryan Born Ken Esau Janet Boldt Julia Pauls Cara Abrahams Landon & Lindsay Hildebrand Mark Tymm Jodi Enns

“W orl d Peace!” Beauty pageant contestants have often been ridiculed for their naïve responses to the interview question, “What does our society need?” While I am no fan of beauty contests, the older I become, the more I appreciate the contestants’ simple hope for a society characterized by love, justice, reconciliation, mercy, and care for all of creation. Part of my longing for a better world may stem from the fact that I am a relatively new grandfather. When there are young children in your life, you want the world to be safe for them. But I think it is more than mere paternal instinct. Whether you’re a grandfather or not, watching the news can be an overwhelming experience. Violence, deception, greed, and conflict are the regular fare — ­ we should be disturbed by these pain-filled stories. God wants so much more for us. We live in a world marred by sin and evil, and deep within us all, we know that this is not what God intended at the dawn of creation. God’s ultimate desire is for right, harmonious relationships between God and humanity, within the human family, and between humans and the rest of creation. We see this everywhere in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Paul summed it up this way in Colossians 1:19-20: “God was pleased through [Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

CONTACT Tel. (604) 853-3358 Toll Free. 1-800-283-0881 info@columbiabc.edu Fax. (604) 853-3063

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And Psalm 85:9-11 gives us this picture of God’s heart for his creation: “Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in their land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace (shalom) kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” At Columbia, we believe the shalom God has in mind can only be fully experienced through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. As followers of Jesus, we serve as his ambassadors of reconciliation wherever and in whatever role God places us. The opportunities to promote peace and fullness of life are endless. We have recent graduates building peace in highly conflicted areas like Serbia, Chad, and Jordan. Caregiving & Counselling alumni are helping people rebuild marriages and families here in North America. In various European locations, Intercultural Studies graduates are serving refugees from Syria and Iraq. Creation care, educating students with special needs, connecting with at-risk youth, beautifying the world with artistic talent — all of these activities contribute to the restoration of shalom. God is redeeming and transforming the world, and we at Columbia are passionate about serving as “God’s fellow workers” (I Cor. 3:9) in this amazing mission.

B rya n B o r n, President


CONTE NTS DEPARTMENTS 01

P R ES ID EN T 'S D ES K

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Restoring Shalom. 03

N EW S & U P DAT ES

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Travels of the Travelling Ministry Team 08

A LU M N I U P DAT ES

Stay up-to-date with your Columbia

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BLESSED AR E T HE SHA L OM - M A KE RS

Alumni Community.

by K e n E sa u

The Great Shalom Project of God 11

S O U L FO O D

Solid advice, insights, and bits of wisdom on the topic of Shalom.

FEATURES 09

17

B EA R C AT AT H LET IC S

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How Shalom can drive, interlock, and overlap with sport.

S PACE FOR DIFFERE NCE

SHA L OM T H R EE WAYS

By Janet Bol dt

Three alumni share their own

Learning to disagree with integrity

perspectives on Shalom.

and kindness.

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NE W S & UPDAT ES

T HE TRAVE LLING M INIS T RY T E A M

U P C O M I NG DAT E S & E VE N T S

Photo: Stephanie Jantzen

AP R I L 1 6

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he Travelling Ministry Team (TMT) love worship, music, and the amazing privilege they have to serve and encourage groups of believers across the Fraser Valley and beyond. Led by Shar Warkentin, these students invest their free time and weekends because of the joy they experience blessing churches, students, and seniors’ groups.

TH E T RAV ELLING M I N I S T RY T E A M WOU LD LO V E T O V I S I T YO U R G R O U P NEX T Y EA R! For booking information, contact: Shar Warkentin shar.warkentin@columbiabc.edu 604.853.3358 ext 357

TMT F I G U R E S 10 9 180 20 1,500

Students in TMT Instruments played: piano, synth, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, trumpet, drums, ukulele, & mouth organ Minutes of practice every week Engagements: 12 church worship services, 1 high school chapel, 2 seniors’ homes, 5 Columbia chapels and events Total kilometers travelled

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Commencement Ceremony & Graduation Banquet

M AY 1 Church Match Bursaries Open

M AY 1 0 Strategic Taxation & Estate-Planning Seminar

JUNE 2

SEPT 4 - 5 New Student Orientation

A Direct On-Ramp to UFV

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AP R I L 2 3

Annual Columbia Open Golf Tournament

T H E D IPL OM A IN GENERA L S T U D I E S : olumbia is thrilled to announce its newest program for Fall 2016: the two-year Diploma of General Studies. Designed in collaboration with University of the Fraser Valley, Columbia’s DGS will give students the opportunity to deepen their faith and knowledge of the Bible while also completing a series of courses in key academic

Bearcat Prowl 5K Glow-in-the-Dark Fun Run

disciplines — literature, psychology, geography, business, the arts. Graduates of the Diploma in General Studies are eligible to transfer directly into the third year of UFV’s versatile Bachelor of General Studies program. From there? Options include a career, teacher education, graduate or professional school.

SEPT 22 Student Awards Evening


Columbia Launches a New Initiative “I’ve been challenged to think about the financial implications of estate planning and my legacy.” R.N.

O

n February 16, Columbia Bible College hosted its first-ever STEPS event — short for Strategic Taxation and EstatePlanning Seminar at Abbotsford’s Ramada Inn. A packed room listened as Brad Willems of Assante Wealth Management shared tips on the challenges and opportunities involved in leaving a lasting Kingdom impact on family, friends, and charities. Columbia Bible College made the decision to partner with Assante Wealth as a way to serve and equip the many friends of the College who could benefit from guidance in estateplanning.

Over the course of the evening, topics covered included:

Photo: Tonia Martens

“ T hi s e x pl anat i on shou l d b e he ard by e v e r y one w ho w ant s to b e a faithf ul C hr i st i an ste w ard .” J. R .

learn how to leave your legacy “We had not unde rstood the tax implications of retirement income .” R .H .

■ Will my legacy gifts help or hurt those I love? ■ Who better to direct your gifts (the government or you)? ■ How do we reduce our taxes and maximize our impact? ■ Is it possible to leave a gift that will impact future generations?

Upcoming Seminars

It was an informative, fun, and Kingdomimpacting evening! Based on the success and demand of the event, Columbia plans on hosting additional STEPS events — one on May 10 in Abbotsford, and another on September 13, in Langley.

For more information

May 10 Abb ots ford S e pt . 13 L ang l e y

or to RSVP for an upcoming e ve nt, call Kur t i s Kube at 604.853.356 7 x 344 04


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i l l u s t r at i o n c o u r t e sy o f K a r e n E s a u


BLESSED ARE THE SHALOM-MAKERS By Ke n E s a u

G

rowing up with parents who spoke German in addition to English helped me understand that there are some words too rich and complex to translate into one English equivalent. The Hebrew word “shalom” is a perfect example of this. It means far more than “peace” but implies health and wholeness between God and people, people and each other, people and creation, and even people and their own selves. In its fullest sense, shalom is really what God through Jesus is seeking to restore in our world. It is another way of talking about the Kingdom of God or Eternal Life. One could say that Jesus Christ — through his life, death, resurrection, and return — is fulfilling all the yearnings for shalom that are present in the Old and the New Testaments. This is what the words “salvation” and “gospel” mean. This restoration of shalom to all creation is the “Bigger Gospel.” The “Smaller Gospel” of my personal salvation from sin and death fits under the umbrella of this larger, amazing restoration project. Shalom is what Jesus is restoring as you read the Gospels. He restored people to health physically, spiritually, and relationally, which was a foretaste of the full restoration project that his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return are bringing about. In the Old Testament, shalom is one of the terms humans use to name God — “the LORD is Shalom” (Judges 6:24). It is the key word in the Priestly Blessing (Num 6:24-26), which

today is used by Jewish parents blessing their children each Sabbath evening. Shalom is the word that describes what Jesus was doing in his Messianic mission (Isa 9:6-7; 53:5; Zech 9:9-10). Old Testament Israelites celebrated a “Peace/Shalom Offering” which was a sort of “holy potluck” that reflected a healthy community celebrating before its Redeemer God (cf. Lev 7).

he LORD bless you “ Tand keep you ; The LORD make hi s face shine on you and be g raciou s to you ; The LORD tur n hi s face toward you and g ive you peace [Shalom ].

N u m b er s 6 :2 4- 2 6 (NIV )

The New Testament Greek word eirene, translated as “peace,” should be understood not in the Webster’s Dictionary sense of peace as the absence of conflict, but rather in the Hebraic sense of shalom (relational wholeness with God,

people, creation, and self). When peace was promised by the angel choir in Luke 2:14, this was a proclamation of God’s shalom coming through his heralded Messiah. When Paul talks about the “God of peace” (Rom 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1 Thess 5:23), this is about much more than simply good relationships between Jews and Gentiles. So that brings me to the day a few years ago when I decided to add the words “Shalom Project” to my OT Survey syllabus. Each student was to prayerfully select some relational area, spend at least one hour of effort to bring greater health to that area, and then present the results to the class in a short verbal summary. Initially I did not have great expectations for this project, unsure how seriously students would engage with it. But the students have exceeded my expectations and short Shalom Project presentations have dramatically changed the feeling of my class. It is clear that something is happening: God is on the move bringing his shalom into our world. Some students have chosen to bring greater shalom to their relationship with God by beginning to deal with a variety of issues (e.g. anger, disappointment, etc.) that have caused significant stress in that relationship. Many have chosen to address interpersonal relational issues — conflicts with estranged parents, family members, or friends. Some have asked for forgiveness while others have decided finally to speak truth into relationships that have involved hurt. Still others spoke into situations of injustice to encourage God’s shalom there.

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SHALOM PROJECT IDEAS Where do you need to build shalom? Here are some options to consider:

Build Shalom with God

Are there sore spots in your relationship with God? Areas of your life that are off-limits to him? Is there something you’ve done (or failed to do) that you need to seek God’s forgiveness for? This kind of Shalom Project typically involves focused time in honest dialogue with God, sorting through thoughts and feelings and inviting God’s input.

Build Shalom with Others

Some have shared verbally the good news of Jesus with friends whom they had never shared with before. Certainly verbal proclamation of the Gospel is a worthy Shalom Project! Still others have pursued greater shalom with creation, volunteering to clean up garbage in local parks or taking steps to take better care of their physical bodies. And finally some have begun the challenging task of coming to greater shalom with themselves by beginning to address body image issues, self-harm, and so on. Needless to say, the Shalom Projects are almost always just the beginning of the process, as students invite others to help them be accountable to their commitment to pursue Jesus’ road of shalom in their lives. In many cases, the road to shalom will be a lengthy one and the project will involve many more conversations and emails or a longer series of professional counselling sessions.

Maybe you offended someone, or have unresolved conflict with a friend or family member. Maybe you’ve been hurt, or there is distance between you and a person you care about. What concrete step could you take to work towards healing in that relationship? Could you make a phone call? Have a video chat? Go for coffee? Write a letter?

However, as each Shalom Project is reported on and as I have the privilege to open the class with prayer (for among other things the student and their project), it so often feels that we have been on sacred ground, observing the Holy Spirit doing a work among us. Students have shared stories of new understandings of God’s love, grace, and holiness. They have expressed hope for God’s healing in the dark places and brokenness that is there.

Build Shalom with Creation

Now, not all the projects have amazing endings. I have heard heart-wrenching stories of a carefully written email or phone call sent to an estranged father or mother that went nowhere positively. Students sometimes have to be reminded of Romans 12:18—“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (NIV). Stepping out and taking risks is no guarantee that everything will work out.

Is there a way you can help restore the goodness and beauty of God’s creation? This could be volunteering time to clean up a park, or launch a recycling plan. It could be a commitment to use our natural resources with more care, or to purchase ethically-sourced food or clothing.

Build Shalom with Yourself

Maybe there are parts of yourself you struggle to accept, or mistakes from your past you can’t forgive yourself for. One good way to build shalom with yourself is to create something that will be a tangible reminder of God’s delight in you — a drawing, a photo, a painting, a printed list of verses. Put it somewhere you will see it often!

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When I have shared about the Shalom Projects with pastors, they have often commented that maybe we should do this sort of thing in church — although I have yet to hear of anyone actually doing it. Shalom Projects proclaim that God is at work in the lives of his people — mightily moving by his Holy Spirit to bring about change. As a child, I sat through countless church services without really sensing that anything was actually happening as a result of all of our preaching and teaching. It was only on “Missionary Sundays” when I would hear stories of amazing life change — but these seemed to be

happening somewhere far away. I was forced to ask, “Why does God not do work among us here in our little Prairie town?” Hearing stories of believers taking risks to build God’s shalom is inspiring at several levels. It helps us to see that our great and awesome God is at work “reconciling all things to himself through Christ” (Col 1:19). It helps us to be encouraged to take steps of our own when we hear about others and their willingness to be vulnerable about areas of brokenness and about taking risks to allow God to work. It shows the watching world that we too struggle with various types of brokenness but that we are leaning forward into God’s great shalom future — knowing that not every brokenness will be healed until that “great and glorious day” (Acts 2:20) when God’s shalom will be fully present in Jesus. After my prayer for the Shalom Project presenter, we pray out loud the Lord’s Prayer with its amazing line—“May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”—which is really a prayer about the great Shalom Project of God. Blessed are the Shalom-Makers! ■

K EN ES AU

i s the Biblical Studies Program Director at Columbia and is completing his twenty-fifth year on faculty. He is also on the Spiritual Leadership Team at The Life Centre (an MB intercultural church) in Abbotsford and enjoys preaching and teaching in many church contexts.


A L U M NI UPDAT E

ALUMNI UPDATES

JA I M E P ET ERS ( W IENS)

Attended 1994-1996 After attending CBC, I enrolled at North American Baptist College and eventually the University of Alberta to earn my Bachelor of Elementary Education degree. I have taught in various Christian schools in the Edmonton area but have most recently taken on the role of Assistant Principal at Strathcona Christian Academy Elementary School in Sherwood Park, Alberta. It is truly a privilege and blessing to teach and work within a Christian environment. I was married in 2000 to Jeremy Peters. We have two boys, Mackenzie (age 12) and Keaton (age 9). As most families know, we are kept busy by a full slate of school, sports and church commitments. We are actively involved at Heartland Alliance Church and still enjoy Alberta winters!

MAX & M I C H AE L A H AR W O O D

Max received his BA Biblical Studies 2015 and Michaela received her diploma in Worship Arts in 2012. Max and Michaela re currently living in Calgary, Alberta. Max is attending Ambrose Seminary, working towards his Masters in Divinity while Michaela takes some sacred arts classes through St. Mary’s University, focusing on various artistic forms like Celtic designs, iconography, and tapestry. Both are working in between classes and attending a local Orthodox Church, which they have found very fulfilling and exciting. Photo Courtesy of Max & Michaela Harwood

Photo Courtesy of Jaime Wiens

TELL US YOUR STORIES! We love to hear what is going on in your world — your ministry, your career, your family! Submit an update and you will be entered in a draw to win a $50 gift card to a restaurant of your choice. The next draw will be September 1, 2016.

R EB E K A M I G N E AU LT

BA Intercultural Studies 2014 I am currently working in an Inuit community called Kuujjuaq in the Region of Nunavik in Northern Quebec. I work for the Kativik Regional Government in a program called Youth Employment Services. We provide employment counselling to the youth of Nunavik from 14 Inuit communities. We also empower education, therefore if the youth need help with CEGEP, University, or even adult education applications we help them with that or with finding a school/ program that they are interested in. We provide learning opportunities, travel opportunities, entrepreunership workshops, self-awareness workshops, career days, etc. We just partnered up with an organization called Canadian Roots and also the YMCA to provide a student exchange between 12 Inuit youth from Kuujjuaq and 12 youth from Ottawa, Ontario. We just finished our first leg where the 12 youth and 4 leaders from Ottawa spent a week here in Kuujjuaq in order to learn about Inuit culture. It was amazing! Our Inuit youth along with me and my 2 co-workers will be going down to Ottawa in May for our second part of the exchange. P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f R e b e k a M i g n e a u lt

Congratulations to our most recent winner: Bryan Reagh!

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By J anet Bold t

Photo: Zach McNair

SPACE FOR DIFFERENCE

L ea rning to Disagre e W i t h I n t e gr i t y an d K i n d n e s s

The

world seems to be falling apart because of difference. Isis seeks to destroy what's grey and create a world divided into only black and white. South of our border, rhetoric spirals further and further from common humanity. Here in Canada, border guards have started to carry guns. A frightened protester pepper-sprayed Syrian immigrants being welcomed at the Vancouver airport. With the daily news revealing so much strident language around difference, it's difficult to envision another way. The world is in conflict

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over difference no matter which way we turn. It seems impossible to disagree and still get along. Is there another way? The prophets, evangelists, and apostles believed there was. They looked to Jesus who offered a “third way,” as Walter Wink described it: a response that was neither flight nor fight, but rather engaging with the difference. Difference, in fact, is part of the human condition. God created diversity, and loves diversity. The world is a much more colorful place than just black and white.

At Columbia we want to encourage students to welcome this diverse and beautiful world God has made. We would like to teach the value of diversity rather than sameness, that it is normal to disagree, and to learn how to disagree with integrity and kindness. We want to teach more than just what to believe, we want to also teach how to relate to others’ beliefs. Students who arrive at the college are often surprised at the range of beliefs that are held within evangelical faith. When they’re curious and open, they realize even their fellow students hold a great variety of beliefs. There


is often much grey as students develop their own spiritual muscles, and learn to read and understand Scripture, and experience the love of God in the midst of their lived experience. Jesus seemed to allow for this. The Pharisees would come to him demanding that he follow the law and say and do the acceptable thing. Jesus’ response often shocked them: “You have heard it said…but I say to you.” Paul showed his own awareness when he wrote, “Now we see through a glass darkly but then we will see face-to-face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully as I am fully known.” Jesus and Paul suggested our beliefs and understanding are incomplete. Students will also discover a great deal of difference in how people hold these beliefs. Some hold them tightly and believe that agreement means unity and unity means agreement. Others are comfortable with the idea that we may or may not all agree and that there is room for all at the table. And along this continuum of how we believe what we believe are many minefields, many fears, many questions. These are risky pursuits. Our beliefs are part of our core identity, and thus there's a vulnerability to exposing what we believe because of the fear of being judged, misunderstood, dismissed. We never just lightly talk about our differences because just beneath the surface is a core identity. Identity is easily crushed. Relationships are easily fractured. We know this from Scripture and from church history. Try taking conflict out of the Bible and you wouldn't have much of a book left. Try taking conflicts out of church history and there wouldn't even be a textbook. When we look back, we see that disagreements about truth were likely to destroy relationship. Typically a response would be either to avoid or confront, with the outcome of seeing others as the enemy. Church history shows it is very difficult to hold both truth and community together, to hold fast to what one believes and to do so with kindness so as to preserve community. How might it be possible to disagree and do so without maligning or destroying the other? I'd like to suggest three things. ▇▇▇ Fir st, d ialogue. Because we can’t eliminate conflict, we must discover the means for transforming potentially divisive conflicts

into opportunities for growth. As Christians, we are not called to seek the absence of conflict, but rather, the presence of shalom. The Bible commands us to stand firm in our faith, AND to be gentle and open — to resist evil AND to hold fast to the good. How can we do this? Through listening to understand (not to find ammunition), and speaking to be understood (not to defend).

g row s in “ Grace uncer tain places,

and di s ag reements about theolo g y are one of thos e holy places of g row th.

The goal of dialogue is not compromise: it is mutual understanding. It’s to see if something new can come from sharing our convictions in a context of love and respect. Dialogue about convictions can give birth to relationship, and can deepen relationship. ▇▇▇ Seco n dly, h o s p i ta li t y. Miroslav Volf in his profound theological challenge, Exclusion & Embrace, writes that exclusion of difference is not acceptable. “I reject exclusion because the prophets, evangelists, and apostles tell me that this is a wrong way to treat human beings, any human being, anywhere" (68). We are to receive each other, our struggles and our ideas with openness and care. To be inhospitable to strangers and strange ideas is to be inhospitable to the possibility of growing in truth. Truth cannot happen when people feel threatened or judged. No learning can occur in inhospitable spaces. Generally most people have a limited ability to tolerate dissent. We want to hurry and “fix things” as quickly as possible. Understanding and relational growth take a lot of time. Conversion takes a lifetime. The Kenyans have a proverb: “Drink more tea.” We need to be

committed to long conversations of mutual listening and trust God’s Spirit that in time, clarity will emerge.

T h i r dly, h u m i li t y, h u m i l i t y, h u m i li t y. This is how Calvin described the ▇▇▇

three main precepts of Christianity. He knew that as human beings we always want to put the best interpretation on our own motives and beliefs and the worst on our opponents. In the same section where Paul wrote that we “know only in part” and see only a poor reflection, as in a mirror — he adds that what endures above all else is love. You will recall the description of love — how it is patient and kind, slow to anger, not rude nor keeping account of wrong words or actions, hopeful, trusting and protecting. In the midst of uncertainty and lack of clarity, in all our 'hermeneutical conundrums,' we are to show this kind of enduring love. Schrock-Shenk and Ressler in their book Making Peace with Conflict described this as living with the “grace of uncertainty” (32). Or as Richard Mouw, previously president of Fuller Seminary put it, perhaps when we are tempted to declare “The Bible clearly states…” it would be helpful to apply a “hermeneutic of suspicion” to ourselves and a “hermeneutic of charity” to those we disagree with. Dialogue, hospitality and humility. Grace grows in uncertain places, and disagreements about theology are one of those holy places of growth. ■

JA N ET B O L D T has been a member of Columbia's Interdisciplinar y Studies faculty for 24 years. Her courses include Conflict Management, Effective Teaching, and Cultural Anthropology.

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SO U L F OOD

SOLID ADVICE, INSIGHTS, & BITS OF WISDOM ON THE TOPIC OF SHALOM 11 COLUMBIA BIBLE COLLEG E

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ON THE MEANING OF SHALOM “In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight ­­— a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”

■ Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

comparison between our lives became the thief of joy in my own. Keeping shalom in my life means a balance of how much I take in from social media and a reminder that what is truly going on is not always what you see.”

■ Leslie Miller

ON SHALOM WITH GOD “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Isaiah 26:3 NIV

ON SHALOM WITH OURSELVES “Growing up in the boom of social media, I’ve spent my fair share of time scrolling, searching, flipping through photos, ‘liking’ status updates and profile pictures. I’ve seen the greatest moments of hundreds of people’s lives. I’ve noticed that the more time I spent looking and in a sense longing for those perfect lives to become my own, the more dissatisfied I became with my own journey. It took a long while, and a couple of wise words from a friend, to realize that people only show their “best of” reels on social media. If I were to compare my life to theirs, I was being completely unrealistic. I could see my whole life – the good and the bad – while only seeing the good in theirs. The

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5 NIV

ON SHALOM IN MARRIAGE “Advice given to us at our wedding: Three ingredients for marriage: communicate, communicate, communicate. Sometimes this means speaking to be understood; most of the time it means listening to understand.”

■ Janet Boldt “Seven years of marriage have shown me some of our conflicts will never get ‘solved.’ He will always be spontaneous; I will


always love to plan ahead. What’s important is not letting the perpetual conflicts divide us – something we can only do with God’s grace (and a sense of humour.)”

■ Stephanie Jantzen

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Proverbs 15:1

ON SHALOM WITH OUR COMMUNITY “God hates sin not just because it violates his law but, more substantively, because it violates shalom, because it breaks the peace, because it interferes with the way things are supposed to be.”

■ Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

“Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.”

Proverbs 26:17

"In my first official job as a worship leader (fresh out of university) my “trial Sunday” happened to be on the week the congregation went from two services to one. The early morning service had been only piano, all hymns; the second service had been all contemporary, full band. I was unaware of this shift, and was asked to lead fullband, all contemporary. They hired me—but you can imagine the fall-out. When I understood the situation, I immediately shifted to a more blended style, but some damage had already been done. What I learned from that experience is that, if I let it, my own defensiveness (and insecurity!) can be my worst enemy in resolving conflict. To truly listen to the position of another individual, we need to open ourselves to the possibility that we are wrong— otherwise we will not hear them, we will only be thinking of our next argument. While many of our earlyservice congregants warmed to me, one congregant in particular remained combative. Afraid to sit down and address our conflict face-to-face, and angry that I was being blamed for a situation that had been thrust upon me, I

simply avoided him. As a result, I missed a pastoral opportunity. This individual later became one of the biggest champions of the worship leader who came after me (who, by the way, led full-band, all contemporary)."

■ Stacey Gleddiesmith

“Christ is our fortress; patience our weapon of defense; the Word of God our sword; and victory a courageous, firm unfeigned faith in Jesus Christ. And iron and metal spears and swords we leave to those who, alas, regard human blood and swine’s blood about alike.”

■ Menno Simons

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:14-18 NIV

R ES OUR C ES ON S HA LO M : S HALO M : T H E BI BLE' S W O R D FO R S ALVAT I O N, J U S T IC E, AND P EAC E by Perry Yoder

F I G H T: A C H R I ST I A N CASE FOR NONVIOLENCE

E X C L U SI O N & E M B R AC E

TO LIVE IN PEACE

by Miroslav

by Mark R.

Volf

Gornik

by Preston Sprinkle

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L OVE IN SPITE OF

F EA R B Y JU L I A PAU L S

It

was one thing to sit on my comfortable couch at home, reading Facebook stories about Syrian refugees.

It was a whole different thing to come face to face with the reality of the situation. Three of us Trek interns had the privilege of travelling to a refugee camp to bring a few extra hands and hearts. Until then, I wasn’t fully aware of the crisis: millions of our Syrian brothers and sisters seeking a place to rest their heads and eat their meals, who have lost their hopes and their dreams because of a war that has been ongoing for several years.

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A specific moment stands out for me. The small refugee camp where we spent time consisted of about twenty-five women (all war widows) and seventy children. On this day we hung out with the kids putting on a chaotic, yet successful carnival. But the part of the day that stands out most is when we scrubbed the hands and faces of the twenty-five beautiful women! Now at first, when the group of women saw the bucket full of “spa supplies” they greeted us with a somewhat standoffish demeanor. This was understandable considering there’s absolutely no way a sugar scrub could wash away the pain and the burden that these women are carrying as a result of the war. Thankfully, they soon recognized that our hearts were for them as fellow women, interested only in showing love

where love has been lacking. It was such a powerful afternoon. The Father blessed us with many intimate moments. I approached an elderly woman, who was wearing an eye patch, to ask if she wanted me to massage her hands with the scrub. She proceeded to remove her patch, indicating that she wanted me to wash her face. So, with my hands full of sugar scrub, I gently massaged her weathered face. As my fingers navigated her skin, I couldn’t help but think about all that she had seen, tasted, smelled, and felt in her lifetime. With each wrinkle holding a deep and difficult story, I felt honored to wash her face and touch her with a gentle hand.


Photo Courtesy of Julia Pauls

h we could “ Althoug not unde rstand each othe r, she and I g ig g led at the absurdly intimate e ncounte r ! It wa s s o hilar iou s and beautif ul all at once .

Although we could not understand each other, she and I giggled at the absurdly intimate encounter! It was so hilarious and beautiful all at once. After I dried her face she put her eye patch back on and gave me a hug and kiss, allowing me to feel her soft skin against my cheek. I later learned through our translator that my gorgeous new friend was taking care of several of her grandchildren because they had lost their parents to the war. This woman, although weathered and burdened, carried such strength... strength that I can only dream of possessing.

A few weeks later, we were able to go back to that same camp. It was such a special bonus for us to be able to return to this place where our wonderful and beautiful new friends live. The women and children were unaware that we were coming. To our happy surprise we were eagerly greeted with tickles and smiles from the adorable little children and big hugs and sincere kisses from the women. We spent the next hour and a half sitting on the floor in one of the container units in the camp, drinking Nescafé and discussing life and faith with the women. It was such a unique experience that was followed by more hugs, kisses, and of course selfies! These women are strong, inspiring people who have encountered loss in ways that I can’t imagine... and I’m praying that they will continue to experience Christ in dreams and through the compassion of other Christians. Not every visit is happy. In contrast, we also had the chance to go see a woman and her daughter in their home. This woman and her child have gone through atrocious things too difficult for me to put into words. After the loss of all of her children but two, she and her 9-year-old daughter now live with the painful memories of watching their family being murdered in front of them. Her oldest and only living son has fled to a different country, and has been separated from her for some time now. We are seeking the resources and the miracles to find him and bring him home to her.

My heart is very heavy. I have been learning so much over these past few months about what it means to love the broken and hurting among us and to live each day without fear. We are living in a time where fear is sown into our daily lives through media, opinions, prejudices, etc. But we’re called to love as Jesus loves, and he loves so deeply! He loves so selflessly. As I journey each day I am challenged to let this love captivate me and flow through me. And I notice that when living out this love becomes my reality I can do nothing but expect that the Father will move. Let his love captivate your heart. Listen to his truth and disregard the seeds of fear that are constantly being sown all around you. Our world needs Jesus... how is he calling you to love today!? ■

J U LIA PAU LS

is an Intercultural Studies student who transferred to Columbia from Bethany College. She is completing her third-year internship in Central Asia.

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A L U M NI FEAT URE

S

halom boils down to being all about good relationships. Between Creator and creation. Between planet and people. Between soil and seed. Between the predominate food system and a growing need for an alternate model of feeding a community — one that acknowledges interconnectedness and works towards wholeness and peace for all involved, one that's a ‘less-negatives’ way to survive and thrive. Early in our mid-semester marriage, in 1999, Andy and I began to explore together the impact of some of our daily purchases and life decisions. After some research, we made a few changes — we stopped eating bananas regularly, were more

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by Ca r a A b r a ha ms

mindful of random trips in our car, we sought out clothes second hand or from ethical companies, and looked for fair-trade staples for our kitchen. When we began full-time vegetable farming over a decade later, being ethical in our farming practices was a given and an overflow of our love for the Creator. We were convinced of the need for an alternative to over-travelled, chemically-fertilized vegetables and their accompanying problems — ­ problems for the earth and for the life on it. We have been seeking to grow rightrelationships and shalom through our organic vegetable farming these past seven years. We do this through various means, such as seeking to

spring ‘16

P h o t o : K at h y K l a s s e n

G ROWIN G S HA LOM

Photo: Cara Abrahams

Photo: Cara Abrahams

SHALOM THREE WAYS

understand how to best work with the natural soil biology and the many ways plants interact with it. We also plant season-specific crops, grow a diverse range of vegetables in rotation, utilize compost and other natural amendments to build up our soil and sell our vegetables direct to consumers within the Fraser Valley. We are thankful to work together and are committed to encouraging sustainable food production as organic farming stewards of the earth. We seek to honour God’s amazing web of creation, grow really tasty vegetables and be inspired by our perfect shalom — Jesus, the Prince of Peace. ■

Abundant Acre Family Farm is tended by alumni Andy and Cara (Klassen) Abrahams and their children, ages 11 and 6, on 1.5 leased acres in Chilliwack (Greendale), BC. They offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Vegetable Box program in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, have a booth at the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market on Saturdays and sell to a couple of local restaurants. www.abundantacre.com


Photo Courtesy of Mark Tymm Photo: Pure Emotion Photography

R ES TOR IN G W HO LENES S by Lando n & L i nds ay Hi l de b r a n d

I

nterestingly, Lindsay and I first learned about shalom from one of our professors at CBC. Yes, we learned the theoretical definition of shalom, but really, it was modeled for us. When we were newly married, a professor and his wife who also went to our church let us know through their actions that they would walk beside us, modeling relationship and wholeness. This peace helped us form our own relationship and led to us eventually leaving BC and heading to Alberta to work with children in treatment centres and group homes. At these centers, we saw some pretty extreme brokenness and we got to experience Christ and his restorative presence. This leads to where we find ourselves now. I have gone

on to complete an MA in Counselling Psychology and am currently working as a provisional psychologist finishing my registration. After running mentoring and after-school programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lindsay is now home with our two daughters Annika and Ellia and helping facilitate a moms group through a church. While our roles and lives have changed drastically over time we keep coming back to this theme of shalom. Wholeness isn't a concept you understand and tell people about. Instead, it is something inherited. In being created in God's image we are invited to the restorative task. It has been overwhelming to experience this in our lives and the lives of others, in everything from counselling, to simple conversation, to shared meals. ■

M A N AG I N G C O N F L I C T

S

ince completing my BA at CBC in 2013, I have been working with Mennonite Central Committee. I started off with an internship in the MCC Ottawa Office, where my research focused on international weapons conventions. Since August 2014 I have been working with MCC in Chad, where I have been focused on interfaith conflict management. I work with MCC’s partner, the Department of Ethics, Peace & Justice (EPJ), an arm of the local Protestant church. EPJ’s work consists of bringing Muslim, Catholic and evangelical communities together to discuss differences and similarities in perspectives, strategies for nonviolent conflict management, and mediation techniques. These workshops each are specifically designed for the target audiences of religious leaders, women and youth. I was recently told by a prominent church leader that he considers our work to be the future of the church in Chad. He said, “You are building relationships and bringing the gospel of peace.” Many interfaith relationships in Chad are characterized by misunderstanding and

by M ark Tym m

misrepresentation. Our workshops seek to reveal some of the misconceptions both Muslims and Christians have of their fellow Chadians. In the beginning of the week, participants will literally sit on opposite sides of the room from each other. However by Friday, they are laughing, joking, eating together and sharing stories. The intensive final day of regional group work allows participants a concentrated time of strategic planning and brainstorming on how they can work together to live in more mutually beneficial and healthy communities. The transformation of relationships is perhaps one of the most remarkable things I have seen during my time in Chad. People who have been taught at a fundamental level to see each other as enemies are able to see past differences and sit down to talk about peaceful living and community building. It’s a privilege to be a part of the work being done here, and my time at CBC serves as the foundational platform that brought me here. ■

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BE ARC AT AT HLETICS

HOW SHALOM CAN DRIVE SPORT By Jodi Enns

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S

ome people might see shalom and sport as two separate entities. In my three years as a student athlete at Columbia, I’ve learned how shalom and sport can interlock and overlap. I’m extremely competitive. I have a drive to succeed and work hard, and this is especially true for my athletic career. Also close to my heart is the idea of shalom. It’s something I strive to live out: with myself, my relationship with others and especially with God. I have come to understand that shalom and sport are forces that can coexist and even drive each other.

What I’ve learned is that finding shalom is bigger than a single volleyball game. It’s bigger than winning. Finding shalom in sport is about representing and loving a God who is bigger than any game, conflict, struggle, challenge, or lie. By striving to embody the peace of Christ I have found purpose in my play that goes beyond my love for the sport. This does not mean that I do not want to win! Bearcat Athletics is a competitive program, and we play to win. But what motivates our play is not winning — we aim to have an impact that is beyond ourselves. This is what motivates my competitiveness too. Being at peace with myself and in my relationship with God actually

"FOR ME, THERE’S NO QUESTION: I STRIVE TO COMPETE AT A HIGH LEVEL AND LIVE A LIFE OF SHALOM – AT THE SAME TIME." If you are familiar with the sport of volleyball you will have heard it said that, "Volleyball is a mental game." This could not be more true. My volleyball games have been full of challenging moments. Scenarios that come to mind are a referee making a bad call, an opposing player who’s frustrating, or even a teammate who is disrupting the peace — all things that I cannot control. But I have found the hardest obstacle to shalom in sport is myself — what I can control. It is within my power to choose how to react to a situation, or how to think about a conflict that is tempting me to break shalom. Striving to be at peace with myself while I am a student, an athlete, a teammate, and a leader has proven to be my most significant struggle.

fuels the results and fuels my drive to win. And the more I grow in this area, the more I love volleyball and the more my relationship with God flourishes. For me, there’s no question: I strive to compete at a high level and live a life of shalom — at the same time. There’s no limit to the power God can have through sport. God has used my love and passion for volleyball for so many things, and they all amount to something greater than what I could have achieved on my own. In my life, shalom and sport come together to make a greater impact for God’s Kingdom. Volleyball has been an incredible vessel for my faith, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to represent both Christ and Columbia through sport. ■

JODI ENNS 1

Photo: Leslie Miller

PACWEST CONFERENCE AWARDS

BEARCAT ATHLETICS AWARDS

■ PACWEST All-Rookie Team (2013/14)

■ WVB Most Improved Player (2013/14)

■ PACWEST Rookie of the Year (2013/14)

■ WVB Christian Leadership Award (2014/15)

■ 2-time PACWEST WVB Athlete of the Week

■ President's Leadership Award (2014/15)

■ PACWEST Adacemic Excellence Award (2014/15)

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Columbia Contact Spring 2016 Issue  

Connecting the Columbia Bible College Community

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