emu... preparing students to serve and lead globally
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 1
vol. 91, No. 1
photograph by Matthew styer
crossroads summer 2010, Vol. 91, No. 1
Crossroads (USPS 174-860) is published three times a year by Eastern Mennonite University for distribution to 14,000 alumni, students, parents and friends. A leader among faith-based universities, Eastern Mennonite University emphasizes peacebuilding, creation care, experiential learning, and cross-cultural engagement. Founded in 1917 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, EMU offers undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees that prepare students to serve and lead in a global context. EMU's mission statement is posted in its entirety at www.emu.edu/president/mission. Board of Trustees: Andrew Dula, chair, Lancaster, Pa.; Wilma Bailey, Indianapolis, Ind.; Evon Bergey, Perkasie, Pa.; Myron Blosser, Harrisonburg, Va.; John Bomberger, Harrisonburg, Va.; Herman Bontrager, Akron, Pa.; Gilberto Flores, Cedar Hill, Texas; Curtis D. Hartman, Bridgewater, Va.; Gerald R. Horst, New Holland, Pa.; Charlotte Hunsberger, Souderton, Pa.; Clyde Kratz, Harrisonburg, Va.; Kevin Longenecker, Harrisonburg, Va.; Kathleen (Kay) Nussbaum, Grant, Minn.; Amy Rush, Harrisonburg, Va.; Kathy Keener Shantz, Lancaster, Pa.; Diane Zimmerman Umble, Lancaster, Pa.; Paul R. Yoder, Jr., Harrisonburg, Va. Associate trustees: Jonathan Bowman, Manheim, Pa.; David Hersh, Line Lexington, Pa.; E. Thomas Murphy, Jr., Harrisonburg, Va.; Judith Trumbo, Broadway, Va. Loren Swartzendruber, president; Fred Kniss, provost; Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement; Andrea Wenger, marketing and communications director. Bonnie Price Lofton Editor/writer email@example.com
Jon Styer Designer/photographer firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul T. Yoder Mileposts editor email@example.com
Jim Bishop Public information officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcy Gineris Web content manager email@example.com
Jason Garber Web/new media coord. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsey Kolb Project coord./videographer email@example.com
Carol Lown Mailing list manager firstname.lastname@example.org
All EMU personnel can be reached during regular work hours by calling (540) 432-4000, or via contact details posted on the university website, www.emu.edu. Cover: Merle Good in the People's Place Book Shoppe in Intercourse, Pa., where currrent books written, edited and/ or marketed by Merle and Phyllis Pellman Good are on display. Story on page 17. Photo by Jon Styer. POSTMASTER: Submit address changes to: Crossroads Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802
President Loren Swartzendruber ’76, MDiv ’79, DMin
Priceless Life Stories The two dozen creative writing samples in this issue largely reflect the life experiences of their writers. It is a privilege and a treat to be granted permission to peer into the heart, mind and soul of another human being through his or her writings. Whenever I can, I attend the monthly breakfasts sponsored by EMU's Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society (ACRS). They offer a priceless opportunity to hear the stories of those who have spent their lives in service to others, often to the church. Three years ago, I prepared the foreword to Making Sense of the Journey – The Geography of Our Faith, the first of two books that have emerged from these ACRS breakfasts. I wrote: “During my seminary years, I was employed as an admissions counselor and associate campus pastor at Eastern Mennonite, and I frequently ate lunch in the faculty-staff lounge in the Administration Building. There I heard my elders philosophize, tell stories, and debate the current issues. There was much humor, and tears were occasionally shed. It was a wonderful education for which I paid very little!” The same can be said of this issue of Crossroads. The selections offered can be likened to appetizers. And like any food, you will find some to your taste and some not. If you are hungry for more of certain snippets, I hope you will locate the book from which a piece was drawn and read the complete work. Most likely the book was published by an EMU alumnus or edited by one, or both, as is the case with all books published by Good Books and by Cascadia Publishing. These publishers – along with church-affiliated Herald Press – are making inestimable contributions to the world through their broad range of quality books and, in the case of Cascadia, through DreamSeeker Magazine. In addition, Choice Books, which distributes Christian-themed books via kiosks in supermarkets, hotels, airports, and other stand-alone display sites, is owned by John Bomberger ’77, MA ’92, an EMU trustee. How impoverished our readings would be without the efforts of alumni in the literature field!
printed on recycled paper
Loren Swartzendruber President XX-COC-XXXX
This issue, containing poetry and excerpts from fiction and memoirs, is intended to be read while relaxing at the beach, beside a mountain lake, or over a leisurely cup of breakfast coffee.
In this Issue
Our writing selections explore four themes common to many of those who publish: the writer’s roots, experiences in the wider world, exploration of identity, and facing of death.
On Writing Memoirs
Teacher and pastor Linden M. Wenger urged us to write down our memories and wisdom. Happily, he himself bequeathed us a delightful book, Climbing Down the Ladder.
Four members of the Good family – Merle, Phyllis, Kate and Rebecca – are working together in the thriving publishing business founded by parents Merle and Phyllis. All are alumni of EMU.
Our new seminary dean, Michael A. King, challenges us to consider whether our spouses would accept being treated in a manner similar to the way our nation handles disagreements.
Bishop in Love
Out of the hundreds of Bishop's Mantle columns written by Jim Bishop – surely the most prolific writer in the history of EMU – this one written in 2007 ranks as one of his favorites.
living words Close-To-Home Writings
The author of Mennonite in a little black dress is not an EMU graduate. (Got your attention?) Rhoda Janzen graduated from Fresno Pacific, a Mennonite Brethren university in California. But the astounding popularity of Janzen's sardonic tell-all book – it rocketed to the top of the New York Times paperback list after publication in October 2009 – does say much about interest in writings associated with any branch of the Mennonites or Amish. In short, it is no accident that “Mennonite” is in the title. “The book evokes strong reactions,” wrote Shirely Hershey Showalter ’70, former president of Goshen College, in her blog www.100memoirs.com. “Those who loved it laughed a lot, reading it with a huge ‘suspension of disbelief.’ Those who hated it accused the author of ‘mean girl’ humor full of ‘wounding words’ much like the ones the author endured from her abusive husband.” Showalter, an accomplished wordsmith herself, gave the book a delightfully nuanced review on her blog. She was among those who laughed heartily, but she also had her reservations. Coincidentally (or not?), seven years before the Janzen book, Cynthia Yoder, who started her undergraduate degree at EMU and finished at Goshen, wrote a book on almost the same topic – a woman struggling with marital issues and depression who returns to her familial roots in a desperate quest for well-being. Yoder's Crazy Quilt – Pieces of a Mennonite Life covers the same emotional ground, with the same sureness of words and the same irreligious tone. But Yoder is more compassionate in describing her family – whose lives, after all, are being held up for public scrutiny in the name of literary expression. almost two years ago, my Crossroads advisory committee agreed that an issue devoted to alumni and faculty working in the “arts” – the visual arts, theater, literature, music – would be timely. But as I embarked 2 | crossroads | summer 2010
on the subject, it became clear that it would be impossible to do justice to our alumni in creative fields if we threw such a broad net. So in the summer of 2009, we produced an issue devoted solely to the visual arts and theater, inserting a note that music and literature would be covered the following summer. This still proved to be over optimistic. More than 100 alumni have had their writings published. Dozens of alumni have worked, or are working, in the field of music.
In the following pages we will look at writings that might be called “creative,” rather than pedagogical. We will favor writings that have been winnowed and marketed by an established publisher (rather than self-published). Almost all of these will be writings grounded in people’s lives. Memoirs. Historical fiction. Poems. Excerpts will be offered without editorial comment. Please don’t infer EMU’s agreement or disagreement with what a particular author has said. These writers are telling their real or imaginary stories. They may not be mine or yours. Surely, though, we can learn something from hearing theirs. Most of the professionally-produced writings by alumni and faculty have been issued by three publishers, two of them owned by alumni – Good Books, owned by Merle and Phyllis Good (see pages 17-19); Cascadia Publishing House LLC, owned by Michael A. King (see page 20); and MenTo keep this magazine at a length that nonite Publishing Network (Herald Press), can be leisurely read at the beach or beside affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA a mountain lake, this summer issue of and Mennonite Church Canada. We thank Crossroads is limited to exploring the written these publishers for giving us permission to word. Coverage of music will follow in the publish the excerpts herein. next issue, dated fall/winter 2010-11. Regrettably, “other than Mennonite” creMy idea of “literature” has necessarily ative writers in our alumni database proved shifted as I explored the writings of alumni. to be scarce. (That would be my group of So far, no novelist of major stature has writers.) The most widely read example is emerged from our ranks – that is, nobody probably Alice J. Wisler ’83, author of two who approaches the acclaim garnered by Jo- Christian romances published by Bethany seph Conrad, Willa Cather, D. H. Lawrence, House: Rain Song (2008) and How Sweet It William Faulkner, V.S. Naipaul, or even Is (2009). Barbara Kingsolver. Instead our alumni and faculty have produced prodigious amounts Final notes: of useful writings on such topics as theology, EMU is hosting the Sixth International educational curriculum, and peacebuilding Conference on Mennonite/s Writing in the skills. Our folks have also produced lots fall of 2012. of memoirs, such as A Way Was Opened by We are creating a list of alumni, staff and Ruth Brunk Stoltzus ’37 and At Powerline faculty in the writing arena posted at www. and Diamond Hill by Lee Snyder ’63, and emu.edu/crossroads/authors. Please visit the stories based on historical records, such site to post additions. as Pilgrim Aflame by Myron Augsburger ’55, ThB ’58, Tobias of the Amish by Ervin —Bonnie Price Lofton, MA ’04 Stutzman, MAR ’99, and Margaret's Print Editor/writer Shop by Elwood E. Yoder ’81, SEM ’99.
“These writers are telling their stories. They may not be mine or yours.”
literature photograph by lindsey kolb
Kali Myers, daughter of Janelle â€™01 and Jason '99 (and granddaughter of two alumni), peruses a bestselling book written by Merle Good '69.
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four themes 1. roots
Honor your father and your mother. — Exodus 20:12
Silent Territory Tears for the men and women who leave the places that know them. — Naomi Shihab Nye My grandfather wouldn’t speak to his children in German. His transition to English was too full of misunderstandings and embarrassing accents to turn back. Upon my request, Mom dredges up the words for bread and morning chores. Everything else is lost. My husband abandoned his mother’s Romanian for the language he’d need in school. Now he clings to every foreign phrase he learns as if he’ll find something he misplaced between the new words. With language absent, I have left the town of my birth, the clothes of my ancestors. The family farm was sold to strangers years ago. We don’t plan for children, having nothing left to bequeath them.
By Debra Gingerich ’90, who holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Mochila Review, MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry, Whiskey Island Magazine, The Writer's Chronicle, and others. She works in communications for State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. This poem and the two others by her in this magazine section are from a book devoted to her poetry, Where We Start (DreamSeeker Books, 2007).
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The Day They Ask Someday it will happen: One of your colleagues—say the girl who teaches English 101 in the classroom just down from yours—will ask the question. It’s best to answer without pausing. Tell her you’re Mennonite. As she squints over your shoulder, looking for the horse and buggy, say you’re a modern Mennonite. Better yet, postmodern. You’ve got a liberal arts education, cable, Internet, and subscriptions to The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Scientific American. Resist the urge to blab cultural details: your kitchen drawer full of recycled twist-ties, the compulsion to turn off all unused lights and appliances, the guilt you feel at throwing away used egg cartons because there isn’t enough cabinet space in your grad-student rental. Say: “We’re like any modern religious group.” If she presses you for more, pick unique features: Peace. Service. Use peripheral vision to gage her comfort at speaking with a dutiful idealist. Do not pursue the subject unless she prompts you. Remember: You don’t like to talk about yourself. If she toured Amish country last July and sees you as a link to a world of charm and simplicity, she might want to go out for a drink and discuss it more. Wait until you get to the bar to tell her you don’t know how to drink. Order cranberry juice. Start with some history. Tell her Mennonites and Amish are so interwoven you can’t remember which group split off from the other and that the Anabaptists decided the Reformation needed reforming; “love your neighbor” meant renouncing violence. They rebaptized their members, who were then martyred in gruesome ways. Buy your companion another beer before you continue. Share the stories that raised goosebumps on your childhood vertebrae. Your predecessors burnt, drowned, and hung in cages for the carrion birds and the spectacle. Don’t forget: Dirk Willems, who escaped from prison across the thin ice of a pond, but turned back to rescue the pursuer who broke through. Burnt. Maeynken Wens, who was so persuasive the authorities screwed her tongue to her cheek so she couldn’t evangelize on her way to her death. Notice, but do not mention, your companion’s tongue piercing. Change the subject: hymns. You grew up singing four-part
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. — Isaiah 30:21
harmony, usually a cappella. Great-Grandpa composed some of these hymns on his organ until the elders decreed that musical instruments were too worldly. After the organ was sent away, he lined up his five children and made them sing the notes in his head. But the children were rarely available, busy as they were stringing secret radio antennae under the kitchen table or persecuting the neighbor’s chickens. Great-Grandpa stopped writing music. The elders were concerned. Why had he stopped composing? Under cover of darkness, he hitched up the wagon and brought home his organ. Then there were the grandparents who left their Beachy Amish community and became missionaries in Haiti, as well as the grandparents who watched their dairy farm disappear beneath housing developments. If you feel reckless, let your interrogator get you a drink. Go for something sweet and fruity. Make a joke about girly drinks. Don’t close your eyes when you sip. After your stomach is warm, decide. Will you talk about yourself? If you dare, if she’s not fiddling with her watch, plunge in. Tell about: Growing up without television and scared of movies, even Bambi. Encountering an unknown character you called Dark Vader in the school yard. Sitting under the quilt at Homemaker’s Fellowship while old women stitched impossible stitches, wearing thimbles to protect their fingers from the tiny needles and coverings to protect their heads from sin. The hymn sings some Sunday evenings when the black church joined you, and the singing got so fast and loud that even the old women forgot themselves and swayed. Tell how your mother stayed home and kept a garden and made bread and yogurt and granola and canned all summer long. How your father swept chimneys so he could go to night school and learn about computers. Tell about going to wilderness camp, where you went into the rainy woods with brokenzippered tents and canoed and hiked and sang and prayed. Or about the youth group trips to the national Mennonite conference where thousands of kids prayed and wept and knelt, and of course you went up to the front and vowed to spend your life in the Lord’s service. Talk fast, before her eyes glaze over. Tell about the volunteer house in the middle of Appalachia where you spent one of your happiest years. Jump on to the liberal arts education—philosophy and theology and theater all teaching you that humans and their God are limitless creatures. This was the time when you protested military actions, played drums at women’s conferences, and swore on stage. Spent part of a summer living with lesbian newlyweds. Didn’t smoke pot, though you surely inhaled a lot second-handed. Prayed in new ways. Let the Bible get dusty for the first time ever. Researched
ways Mennonite daughters develop eating disorders. Met and married one of your own kind—a Mennonite farm boy, far from the farm. Found out your grandparents knew each other and once bought land together. You weren’t surprised. Then tell how you came here, to this state university where football is God and burning couches in the streets is a sacrament, to become a writer. Don’t tell your companion how many different ways you and your husband are sixth cousins. Don’t tell about your aunt’s 12 toes. Don’t describe your own baptism, 12 years old and bashful, in a mix of glory and shame. Instead, drain your glass. Tell your friend about a song you sang at this summer’s family reunion. Where there are Mennonites, this song is sung: Seaworld, the Metro, your parents’ wedding, your own. Grab her sleeve. Lean in. Say, “I’m going to sing it to you.” Glance around to be sure nobody’s looking, then start in a whisper, blushing furiously. Succumb to a fit of coughing. Overturn your glass. Shout, “The heck with it!” Maybe even, “The hell with it!” Stand on your stool. Belt it out. Try to sing all four parts. Everyone is watching, but it’s time you do this. Praise God from whom all blessings flow Praise him all creatures here below, Praise him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen, Alleluia, Amen, Alleluia, Amen. Kirsten Eve Beachy ’02 wrote this essay, which first appeared in DreamSeeker Magazine (Winter 2005, Vol. 5, No. 1), while pursuing an MFA in fiction at West Virginia University. She teaches creative writing and journalism at EMU and serves as faculty advisor to the WeatherVane. She is the editor of an anthology, Tongue Screws and Testimonies – Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror, scheduled to be published by Herald Press in late 2010.
“…[S]ociologist Grant Stoltzfus [would] talk of the sect cycle, in which a group strongly tied to certain issues separates from the larger society, establishes a unique identity, lies in tension with society, gradually loses its fervor about the issues that spawned it, and is finally re-assimilated. We do not talk about that cycle now that Grant is gone. Should we?” – Ray Elvin Horst ’59, retired Spanish-language professor at EMU. From his essay in Continuing the Journey: The Geography of Our Faith (EMU/ACRS, 2009)
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Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. — 1 Corinthians 3:18
Where I’m From I am from rugged mountains from small coastal plains and river valleys from roosters crowing early in the morning. I am from the Caribbean island which natural disaster often devastated. I am from the roots of Africa from Catherine Flon and Dessalines, I am from the suffer-it-all and never rest and have-to-decide or accept it. I am from learning it the hard way with no hope or rescue. I am from a grandfather tortured, treated like a thing with no respect, from the nation born of a slave revolt from the trunk of the tree of black liberty. I am from the Republic of Haiti from the French- and Creole-speaking. I am from the second native country that defeated the French colonial army and declared its independence. I am from the African and French culture from the mixture of Catholic and Voodoo. I am from Africa, Haiti from a society where French, Spanish and Taino-Arawak influence all aspects of culture, from the music style known as Kompa from the cuisine unique in its own right from painting and sculpture, distinctive arts. I am from Port-au-Prince descendant of Queen Anacaona and King Louis from the Haitian Diaspora living in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
By Ben Louis, class of 2011, a native of Haiti, majoring in biochemistry. This poem is from the 52nd edition of EMU's literary journal, The Phoenix (2009-10).
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Learning Politics in the first grade Helping teacher after school feels good. She likes me. I can tell. Common as dirt after school she is. Inside, I help teacher sweep the wood floor with a lopsided broom, swirls of yellow chalk dust in the air. In the corner, I finally get to run my fingers through the cool sand. This is the boys’ place, where they drive their Tonka tractors and trucks through trails mapped in this sand contained by a faded green wooden box. Outside, I help teacher beat the erasers on the red brick school wall. I gather up my courage and tell Miss Mast a secret, something big girls do. Tell secrets that is. I tell her that awhile back, after school, Rachel and I talked Dutch while together in line behind the gray post, waiting for the bus. Talking Pennsylvania Dutch is verboten, forbidden to students on the playground, before and after school. We say morning good-byes to our mothers and baby brothers and sisters in Dutch. And then our lips are sealed until, in the afternoon, we step off the bus at the end of the lane. But that day, I got up my nerve to answer Rachel in Dutch, daring God to cut out my tongue on the spot. Just like that. So, I told Miss Mast. I laughed at Rachel and me as I told it. She smiled back, preoccupied. She likes me. And I like being here with her. Next day right before recess I’m opening the silver latch on my red and blue plaid metal lunch box. Not again! Butter and homemade grape jelly smashed on soft white bread. The jelly bleeds through the bread, showing purple. I promise myself for the thousandth time never to eat food like this when I grow up. I look up from my little jelly jar of canned peaches to see Rachel’s face turned back toward me from her desk in the front of the room. Her facial muscles are twisted down, and her eyes are fierce with disgust. Miss Mast has betrayed me. She has decreed to the whole class that Rachel and I must give up our recess today for talking Dutch while waiting for the bus. Rachel denies it. Says no such thing happened. I insist that it did. I don’t lie. It’s bad. Inside me, I know something. That day, I know not to tell secrets to Miss Mast. I know not to tell secrets to people who are the boss. I know Rachel is not my friend. I know to watch out for Mennonite girls. This is my own truth. Outside, I learn to be nice. To give in. To not make a fuss. To steer clear of conflict. In this way, I multiply my knowledge and divide myself. In first grade. By Violet “Vi” Dutcher, who chairs EMU’s language and literature department. She also directs the university-wide writing program, which assists all members of the campus community (undergrad and grad students, faculty and staff) to become better or more productive writers. The piece above is from After the Bell – Contemporary American Prose about School, (University of Iowa Press, 2007). Dutcher earned her PhD at Kent State University.
2. wider world Sunday Mornings in China, 1993 The church I go to in this country of stone walls, brick walls, concrete-coated walls, adobe walls, and — in the South -- bamboo fences has many doors — simple wooden doors weathered into a quiet green, doors whose locks hang loose in this land of crisply snapped shut locks, doors never locked even when darkness fills the alleys outside. This church I go to has many windows — small-paned double windows set in green wood along the south and north sides of the sanctuary, anachronisms polished clean in this flat dusty town dotted with smoke stacks that is home to six million people. The eastern sun pours in through the high door windows, reflecting off the white-washed arches and high ceiling and filling the room with such clear light that all two thousand heads of the people — gathered here for this second of three morning services — shine as though tipped with white fire! In this church I go to the people sing an hour before the service begins and stay for the long sermon even though the cushions on the hard wooden slats of the benches are thin. In this church I go to here the people smile now.
By Nancy V. Lee ’52, who has taught English at universities in the U.S., Canada, Japan and China, including part-time at EMU’s Intensive English Program. This poem can be found at the end of her chapter-length memoir, “An Unexpected Life,” in a book she co-edited with husband Robert Lee, Making Sense of the Journey: The Geography of Our Faith (EMU/ACRS, 2007, distributed by Herald Press).
Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. — Proverbs 11:14
After Changing the Tire [This excerpt from the novel A Long Dry Season, published by Good Books in 1988, involves the protagonist, Thomas, stopping to help some American tourists stranded in the Kenyan countryside with a flat tire.] “How do you like Africa?” the woman said, coming to him with the peaches. It was a tourist’s question, and he fought down the pride to let them know that he had been in the country for nearly a decade. “I love the land,” Thomas said. He drank from his coffee and set the cup on the roof of the car to accept the polished saucer of peaches. Then relenting a little, because of the fruit in his hand, he added, “Yesterday I drove all morning across the lovely plains and in the late afternoon up through the green hill country south of the town …” But he stopped speaking, for the other man was smiling. “Just now you reminded me of a line out of Hemingway. Perhaps you read him, too?” Thomas began to eat the fruit. And when its firm flesh was in his mouth he caught the cloying smell of the lemon on his hands. “Not often since college,” he said. But Jason was not listening; he had begun to quote the lines: “‘I had loved country all my life; the country was always better than the people. I could only care about people a very few at a time.’” When Thomas made no response, the tanned wife said with a sardonic laugh: “You must forgive my husband! Quoting Hemingway! Imagine! Who but a professor of American literature could be so romantic, so gauche!” “Perhaps you remember it,” the husband said. “From Green Hills of Africa?” “Could you quote it again?” Thomas spoke quietly, his steady voice a lie to the dark flood pounding in his veins. So into the clear sunlight of that new day he heard the American professor say again, “‘I had loved country all my life; the country was always better than the people ….’” And into that space between the three of them under the wild fig fell something cruel and fresh as the sudden air through a window thrown open in a sealed house. By Omar Eby ’57, professor emeritus of English at EMU, where he taught for 27 years. He also taught for six years in Africa—Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia. He holds an MA in journalism from Syracuse University and MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia. He just published in e-book form his second novel, Mill Creek, about a teenaged boy from a Mennonite background who is struggling to understand himself and his world.
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When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick [do].” — Matthew 9:12
PRIVILEGED WHITE GIRLS IN AFRICA In a field I am the absence / of field. This is / always the case. Wherever I am / I am what is missing. — Mark Strand, from “Keeping Things Whole” My parents own an old, dog-eared edition of Tenzi Za Rohoni, the hymnal of the Tanzania Mennonite Church. Inside its ripped green cover, the pages are slathered with the large swirls and zigzags of my one-year-old hand. My markings cover the texts of North American hymns, translated into the straightforward vowels and forceful consonant blends of Swahili: Mungu Ni Pendo, Baba Mwana Roho. Later, back in the Mennonite churches of Pennsylvania, I will learn them as For God So Loved Us and Holy, Holy, Holy. I imagine myself in those Shirati days, perched on my mother’s lap during hot services inside the white adobe church, scribbling intently on top of those songs while listening to Luo voices sing them. It seems that I am determined to make a mark on each page of the book—even if only a dot or short line—as if to say, I have been here, and here, and here, too. It is as if I am adding my voice to the chorus of other wazungu [white people], who have brought medicines and motorcycles and coverings and hymnals to this Dark Continent: We have been here, and here, and here, too. In Africa, I am the absence of Africa. Several countries to the south, during those same troubled years of the 1970s, another white girl was leaving her race’s mark. Alexandra Fuller’s recent memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, recounts her bitter childhood as the daughter of colonial farmers with motives far more complex—and far less admirable—than my parents’. Fuller’s British family moved from ranch to ranch in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. They lived at least the façade of colonial dominance, complete with uniformed “houseboys,” swimming pools, and all-white boarding schools. Although their colonial lives crumble in the face of her mother’s alcoholism, the death of three of her siblings, and African nation-building, Fuller’s parents persist. A conversation early in the book tells much about her parents’ blinded loyalties to their race, their refusal to acknowledge any Other. While entertaining a visitor from England and discussing politics, Mum pours herself more wine, finishing the bottle, then she says fiercely to our guest, “Thirteen thousand Kenyans and a hundred white settlers died in the struggle for Kenya’s
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independence.” I can tell the visitor doesn’t know if he should look impressed or distressed. He settles for a look of vague surprise. “I had no idea.” “Of course you bloody people had no idea,” says Mum. “A hundred . . . of us.” I am reticent to lay these stories beside each other. The characters in them—my parents and their missionary colleagues, Fuller’s parents and their colonial cronies—could hardly be more different. The first were motivated by concern for the souls and bodies of others, the second by a strong brew of racism and profit and adventure. And even though many early missionaries are learning how culture-bound and racist their message often was, I remain confident that most carried generous motives and compassionate hearts. Yet I am disturbed by the strange sonority of these scenes, the strings of Whiteness, resources, and power that connect them. As Tanzanian Mennonite bishop Zedekiah Kisare, now deceased, put it in his memoir (Kisare: A Mennonite of Kiseru, 1984), missionaries (and certainly colonialists, even struggling ranchers like the Fullers) have a “long tether rope”: “Their rope is so long that they can hardly carry it,” he writes. “These resources give the people from the West the ability to come here in the first place. Their resources make it possible for them to do their work and for them to enjoy Africa.” With these words, Kisare implicates some of my favorite memories: Land Rover trips past the acacia trees and elephant tribes of the Serengeti, afternoon teas in the bougainvillea-lined guesthouse of Nairobi, hippo-watching at lush Lake Naivasha. My missionary-kid life certainly wasn’t all game-park vacation, but my life looked more like Fuller’s than like the malaria-ridden and water-carrying existences of my African peers. I would love to return to Africa. I would love to show my husband and children the frangipani trees I climbed, to taste the ugali and mandazis that I learned to love, to meet the people who were so hospitable to my family. But how do I salvage these happy memories when Whiteness and the privilege of a long-tether rope made them possible? How do I appreciate another culture without consuming it? How do I observe or interact with the Other, whether person, culture, or landscape, without altering—or at least negatively altering—It? On the other hand, how do I, as a person of relative privilege and power, not feel guilty for my very existence? Alexandra Fuller and I take little stabs at apology and reparation: She takes some of her few clothes to one of her family’s African laborers; I choose to live in a diverse neighborhood with at least a few less things than my culture tells me I deserve. But how do we not simply act ashamed of our privilege, which
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. — Romans 12:16
is a convenient liberal façade, while continuing to benefit from it? As Albert Memmi writes in his over-40-year-old but timeless book, The Colonizer and the Colonized, any attempt by a colonizer to disengage from colonial ideology is ultimately futile and mostly a mental exercise: “It is not easy to escape mentally from a concrete situation, to refuse its ideology while continuing to live with its actual relationships.” We can be, in Memmi’s terminology, “colonizers who accept” the structures of inequality or “colonizers who refuse,” who agitate against the system. We can be hard-driving ranchers or compassionate missionaries. Either way, in Africa, we are the absence of Africa. It would be disingenuous to assume that my privilege is visible only there, of course. I benefit from my race and class privilege every day, here at home, most of the time without even being aware of it. But that’s a topic for another, much longer, much more confessional column. So I won’t travel to Tanzania right now, or any time soon. Instead I’ll read Swahili counting books to my sons and enjoy the ugali that my father and sister whip up on occasion. I’ll remember with fondness the hyena’s cackle and the bitterness of wood-smoke, but I’ll try to keep my tether rope coiled, at least a little. It’s not about a guilt trip for a privileged life, as Barbara Kingsolver puts it in an essay about simple living, but just “an adventure in bearable lightness.” And fortunately, when we human beings with power use it wrongly, nature—and culture—can sometimes bounce back to their original forms. Fortunately, Luo Mennonites now sing Luo songs in church, not only Swiss-German melodies, and North American missionaries are leaving their requirements for coverings and “modesty” at home. Fortunately, God can take all the absences we create and turn them into signposts of the true Presence. By Valerie Weaver-Zercher ‘94, whose work receives special mention in the 2009 Pushcart Prize anthology and has been published in Orion, Publishers Weekly, Christian Century, Sojourners, and Brain, Child, among others. This essay is from DreamSeeker Magazine, Summer 2003, Vol. 3, No. 3. Weaver-Zercher is a recipient of a fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is currently editing the 30th anniversary edition of Living More with Less, which will be published by Herald Press in November 2010. She also is a curriculum editor for Gather ’Round. For more information on WeaverZercher, including ways to engage her editorial services, visit www.vweaver-zercher.com.
Grandfather Zehr’s Schooling He wouldn’t let them sleep when they arrived home late after hitchhiking five hundred miles from the nearest Mennonite college. He’d fill the wood-burning cook stove like it was time to warm the kitchen for breakfast—their bags still resting in the entryway—and quiz them on the view in the planetarium, world geography, even the fundamentals of physics that make a plane fly—all that his eighth-grade education had not provided. Even the walk to bed was fueled by discussions as they’d stumble over Donna—still too young to stay up past nine—hiding on the stairway to overhear her brothers and father debate underlined portions of text. She would fight sleep, wording “Psychiatrist” after her pre-med brother or “Vietnam” from another’s history class, as if they were prayers. Then with the kids in their beds and the flicker of his reading lamp, he would milk every tired drop out of a book about missionaries in China, until he woke them at 5:00 a.m. for chores and questions, their weary answers a map to how they’d leave that farm for good.
By Debra Gingerich ’90, from Where We Start (DreamSeeker Books, 2007)
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3. who we are
We live by faith, not by sight. — II Corinthians 5:7
Letter to Myself as a Child
‘Demure as Dynamite’
You wake to birdcalls,
[This is excerpted from a review of At Powerline and Diamond Hill: Unexpected Intersections of Life and Work written by Lee F. Snyder, class of ’63, and published by DreamSeeker Books, 2010.]
your mother's footsteps down the hallway past your door. Amazing grace, she sings, her arms piled high with laundry. Sunlight warms your face and dawdles in the sheets. You rise, dress, leave the house as if on urgent business. Barefoot, you leap across high grasses in the field, drag the dinghy through mud, throw in a life preserver that you never wear and row south, past the duck blinds and buoys that mean deep water, past the sandbar. The house is small in the landscape. As though you were already gone, you dream a little of your life there, but what you think of mostly is the way this river leads into a larger river, bay, then ocean. The sun beats down on your skin, warm and brown, and you lift the oars into the hull and lay a palm against your belly, stroke your thigh. Amazing grace, deep water. The tide turns your drifting boat toward the river’s mouth and, further, toward a flickering spot of white, so tiny and uncertain it’s barely more than premonition, a gull’s wing or a sail reflecting light.
By Juanita Brunk, who spent several years at EMU (class of ’77) before completing her BA at James Madison University. She holds an MFA from George Mason University and was the first recipient of the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born in Newport News, Va., Brunk now lives in New York. This poem is from A Cappella -- Mennonite Voices in Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2003).
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Lee Snyder’s career trajectory is amazing – from farm girl with only a year of college to young wife and mother, years of voluntary service during the Biafran war in Nigeria, administrative assistant at EMU, assistant dean, academic dean, president of Bluffton University, and denominational head for several years during a decade of presidential leadership. Along the way, while working and mothering, she somehow finished three degrees, concluding with a PhD in English literature from the University of Oregon. “Why do you want to go to college?” asked her father before she set off across the country with her high school sweetheart for one year of college before they married. “Will you have a good man to work for?” came from her mother when she took the position of academic dean at EMU, and “Why would you want to do this?” asked a board member’s wife when she interviewed at Bluffton. All three questions indicate how radical her path was when judged by traditional Mennonite standards for women. How did she resolve them? By her thorough knowledge of the Bible and its narratives of unusual people called by God to do particular work in the world, by her careful reading of great writers, by her loving relationship with Del, her supportive husband, and by her daily practices of contemplation, some of which included traditional tasks like folding laundry. When she gets a particularly nasty letter in her work as academic dean, she goes home and scrubs the toilets! What I find most amazing about this book is exactly what I find most wonderful about Lee Snyder in real life. Just barely five feet tall, soft-spoken, and self-effacing, she never commands with her presence. I think about a poetic line describing Emily Dickinson – “demure as dynamite”– when I look at her. Somewhere between the Oregon sawdust trail of her youth and the president’s corner office, she discovered harmony, a peace that passes understanding, something larger than the mere resolution of the contradictions and conflicts in her life. Her story is not a testimony to striving, or “agency”; instead, it testifies to the possibility that the still small voice inside, when rooted in faith, love, and a physical home in the world, can lead both to great adventures and to a larger spiritual home that we carry with us always. From a blog, www.100memoirs.com, by Shirley Showalter ’70, vice president of programs at The Fetzer Institute, previously a professor and the president at Goshen College. Her writings have been published in The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Christian Century.
My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. — Proverbs 6:20
Withered New Yorker [This excerpt from Crazy Quilt – Pieces of a Mennonite Life (DreamSeeker, 2003) elaborates on a decision by the author, who had been seriously depressed and who was separating from her husband, to return to her Lancaster roots for an indefinite visit.] …[A]s the saying goes, you can’t truly go home again. Home is simply a memory, a place that no longer exists in the real world after you’ve been away for a long time. To truly go home would be to return to what you were before you left, to relinquish everything you’ve become. But you can try to return. Just as you can try anything. You can return with a little of you, just that teeny part that agrees to go. Maybe I would learn something I’d forgotten, or a thing not learned well enough the first time around. I told my friends it was just for a summer, so that I could write poetry. But I was more desperate than that. At first, I felt very awkward, a withered specimen from New York, wearing too much black and smoking in stolen moments, late at night, on the driveway. I kept a pint of Wild Turkey I’d brought from New York in my desk drawer, which I sipped late at night after everyone else was in bed. When a week passed, and the bottle was empty, I drove to the local pizza joint and tossed it into the dumpster. I didn’t plan on replacing it. I was going to do what one of my friends called “52-card pick-up with your life.” I was going to change my life all over again. By Cynthia Yoder, who attended EMU for the 1984-85 academic year. She holds a BA from Goshen College and an MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a freelance writer based in Princeton, New Jersey.
Lewis County Chronicle 2 When needed at home, Marian took a job sweeping the floor of the one room schoolhouse so she could read the students’ lessons left on the blackboard. She would eavesdrop when friends at church shared their social studies assignments and pretend the German lessons in Sunday School led to a diploma. She played evening games of dominoes as if they were final exams. Years later, in tight cursive written to each of her eleven grandchildren, she would admit, “I did want to go to high school.” But it was sugaring season and brother Sam had broken an arm and no special treatment
“During seminary, I thought knowing should be at the base; and I studied diligently. When I began the ministry, I thought doing should be at the base; and I worked diligently. In recent years I have discovered
could be given to a girl born the ninth of eleven on a Thursday in July
that being really should be at the base, and I am giving
while her siblings visited
more attention to this aspect of my life.”
– John R. Martin ’54, SEM ’56, professor emeritus at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. From Making Sense of the Journey: the Geography of Our Faith (EMU/ACRS, 2007).
and the men finished haying.
By Debra Gingerich ’90, from Where We Start (DreamSeeker Books, 2007)
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The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. — Isaiah 32:17
Going to War [Excerpted from a book about two Mennonite brothers – “Mastie,” who chose to be a soldier in WWI, in contrast to “Ira” who chose to be a conscientious objector.] He was on his way to France and these people here clutching at him — they’d get over their feelings. He wished Mom would at least stop crying. It made him feel criminal. “Look, Mom —” “I don’t know what we did wrong,” she said. “What’s the sense of bawling? You didn’t do anything wrong.” “Train up a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart — depart—” said Mom, and she couldn’t finish it. “Now, Mom …” Pop put his hand on her shoulder. “So, what did Annie have to say?” “I don’t think that’s anybody else’s business.” “Listen, Mastie. It’s our business. You are our business. We brought you into this world. We raised you and you’re our boy.” “I didn’t come to argue. You said, ‘Come for dinner,’ so here I am. Now can I eat? Pass the potatoes.” There was a long silence. “Your hair used to look so nice the other way,” said Mom. “I don’t know why you suddenly want to throw everything away. It just doesn’t make sense to me. No, it doesn’t.” “This is the way I like it, that’s why,” said Mastie. He went back to his potatoes. “The Army —” said Mom. “When I think of the awful things that are happening in France that we hear so much about, and then think that my boy might kill some other mother’s boy —” “I’m not going to kill anyone. Anyway, they’re not just ‘mothers’ boys.’ They’re German soldiers.” “We’re German,” said Pop. “We’re not German. We’re American!” “Well, we were once German — and Swiss. We speak Pennsylvania German. They’re no different than we are, except for one thing. They’ve caught a disease and now they’re sick, and if we don’t watch out we’re going to catch the disease too, because it’s contagious. Do you know what that disease is?” “No.” “Why war, of course. War is a disease, just like tuberculosis, and it’s catching. Now does it make sense to get sick yourself in order to help a sick man?” Mastie yawned. He hadn’t had much sleep. “I have a plan,” said Pop. “I’m going to write to your Uncle Joe's in Indiana and see if he can scrape up some work for you. Joe’s in carpentering and he makes some of the best tables and chairs in the Midwest. There’s a chance for you to apprentice
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yourself to a real master and learn something you could take with you for a lifetime. Having a trade is a gift of God. You can always use it. I was thinking of this for a while already but I wasn’t going to suggest it for another year or so, but since you’re set on leaving—” “I’ve enlisted, Pop,” said Mastie, “and there’s a law against quitting once you’re in.” “You leave that to me,” said Pop. “I’m going into town in the morning and I’ll call on those people and explain how things are. I know the officer there in town – Sholley. We used to be just like that in school.” He twined his fingers. “He’s a man who listens to reason. There’s a difference between being drafted and enlisting. You’re not twenty-one yet.” “You’re not going to take me out.” “Sure I am. You’re not going to the Army, son.” “Do you think you can stand up to the United States government? You can’t – they’ll squash you – and secondly, I’m going to France and you and the whole church can’t stop me. You may be able to keep Ira out if you’re lucky, but you’re not keeping me. I want to go.” [In France, many months later…] “What’s wrong?” said the chaplain. “Tell me about it.” “I killed hundreds of men,” said Mastie. “Today?” the chaplain said. “Yes, today. You said a prayer over them, but it didn’t do no good. They’re in hell, like I’ll be in hell when my turn comes. My Pop was right. He told me the truth.” He kept shaking his head. “Stoltzfus, you’re too hard on yourself,” said the chaplain. “War and murder are two different things. Murder, the Lord says, is wrong. ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ the Scriptures say, and again, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ But the Bible also tells us in Romans, ‘Let love be genuine: hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good,’ and in Romans 13, ‘But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he [that is the government] does not bear the sword in vain, he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the evildoer.’” “Then it is right to kill them?” said Mastie. “Jesus would do it?” “Stoltzfus,” the chaplain said, and he gripped the boy’s hard shoulder. “I could not do the work I am doing until I could see Jesus himself sighting down a gun barrel and running a bayonet through an enemy’s body.” By Kenneth Reed ’66, excerpted by permission from Mennonite Soldier (Herald Press, 1975; reissued in paperback by Masthof Press, 2009). Reed has written a second novel, He Flew Too High, as well as investigative articles, plays and magazine columns. Recently, he received a grant to write a novel on Swiss German Mennonites coming to America in 1710. Reed’s day job is an account manager at Albin Engineering Services, Inc., in Santa Clara, California.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. — Matthew 5:4
Friendship . . . (in memory of Rod Childers) Rod, my friend—or, as we called you back then for reasons I’ve long forgotten: “Pidge.” It’s been more than thirty-five years. Does anyone still remember?
Now it is more clear to me (kids don’t appreciate these things enough). The kindness, the wisdom, the humility. You were a true friend.
I remember. I don’t want to forget. I can’t forget. My heartache has only deepened.
A little league trip. The excitement of the drive-in stop. When you live in Elkton, Oregon, fast food is a rare treat.
You started four years. Varsity fullback. As we said then— built like a brick s---house.
But I was broke—too ashamed to let on. How did you know? You had some spare change, no words needed to be said.
Solid. Hard. Low to the ground. Not easily stopped. The irresistible force moving the immovable object for a four-yard gain. Then you’d get back up (more slowly in the fourth quarter).
The sleepovers. Eighth-graders talking till dawn. There’s no God, we’re on our own, I said. You weren’t so sure. That talk-show philosopher from San Francisco we listened
December 1971. The immovable object was a semi. No getting back up. They came by the dozen. Young and old from Elkton—those who cheered you on.
to at night, Ira Blue, said we need faith to be human. By the time I realized you (and Ira) were right, you were gone. How did you know?
Rivals from Drain, Yoncalla, Oakland. They cried, too. More than thirty-five years ago—can that really be?
Football. You started as a freshman—the rest of us
Now, you are alone, there on the hillside above the Umpqua.
Game day, the scrubs run out at the end of the line. You ran
were scrubs. It is a beautiful spot. Since 1984 my dad, our coach—we called him Buzz—is only a long jump shot away.
out with me, the last two guys. Each game, four years, you and I bring up the rear—even as all-stars. How did you know?
That will keep me coming back from time to time (I saw your grave, summer of ’07). But now Buzz has his Betty nearby. You’ll always be there alone. “Rodney Vern Childers. Born December 1953. Died December 1971. Number 35.”
Yes—you were a friend. I know that now much more than I did then. There is no love without loss. No friendship without sorrow. We always will have to say goodbye sometime. You weren’t taken for my benefit (though benefit I have).
We had good times together—
We learn through our tears, bittersweet.
The rapids. My only drunk. Noticing girls. Playing ball. A few
Dear God help me not waste this gift.
fistfights. Wasting your dad’s window panes with BB guns. The analgesic balm in the jock (I didn’t think that was funny). Mr. Cotreaux’s confrontation after you fire-crackered his garage. “I want to tell you something, Mr. Rod Childers!”
By Ted Grimsrud, who is an EMU Bible and religion professor. Adapted with Grimsrud’s permission from DreamSeeker Magazine, Summer 2008, Vol. 8, No. 3.
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The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. — Psalm 9:9
Shared Grief Is More Bearable [The author is writing after his young adult daughter was killed by a negligent truck driver.] Thank God for those who stood with us, who strengthened us… Two cousins whom I had not seen for years, two days after the accident travelled almost four hours to be with us for several hours—eight total hours of travel on a Sunday afternoon and night to offer us their presence and love. On a Friday afternoon, exactly a week after the accident, I finished teaching a class and turned to leave, thinking I had hidden my feelings rather well. A young woman hesitated until most of the other students had left and then startled me: “I just want to give you a hug.” Many students, especially women, sent notes for weeks after the accident. One wrote to me, “This is just a little note letting you know that someone is thinking of and praying for you today. I realize that the weekends are tough for you and your family, but I just want you to know that I care and I still cry for you and your pain. Even though I cannot fully understand your pain, I just wanted to tell you that I care.” At times I felt an incredible emptiness as if there were an actual physical void in my body. On one such occasion I returned to my office after teaching a class which seemed uncharacteristically dull and unresponsive. The well of my emotional resources was drained, seemingly depleted. Later that forenoon a former student, now a secretary, came to my office, saying, “I came to give you a hug.” The human touch heals, restores. A good friend and colleague stopped in the hallway on another occasion to offer me his concern. “When I walk past your house,” he said, “I think of an empty room, an empty chair, empty hearts.” I am humbled and encouraged by his thoughtfulness. Grief shared becomes more bearable. You continue to grieve but as the weeks and months pass, you think perhaps you should say less about your own feelings. After all, others do need to get on with their lives; what right do you have to impose pain on them? And some appear to forget quickly. Others seem to want us to forget, too, or assume that we don’t want to be reminded. What those without the experience cannot imagine is what a towering preoccupation the death of one’s child becomes. Forget! For months in any vacant moment, thoughts of my daughter would rush in. We cannot forget—nor do we want to, were it possible. Rather, those who are grieving need to be permitted—yes, encouraged—to remember. As Abraham Schmitt says in his helpful book Turn Again to Life, “Tomorrow will not be better for the grieving ones as long as they meet persons who continue to say… [that it will].”
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But what a wonderful gift when others remember. Exactly six months after the accident a dear family friend said, “Today is six months, isn’t it?” Moved by her thoughtfulness, I could barely nod my answer. “I want you to know,” she continued, “that I have prayed for you every day.” I am left dumb in the presence of such caring, such generosity of spirit. There are no simple, formulaic solutions to cure grief, no quick fixes for the anguished spirit. About nine months after the accident, as we were visiting another church, a longtime acquaintance asked me, “Well, are things pretty well back to normal?” I could have collapsed on the floor, but with Germanic reserve I murmured that, no, life was not “normal.” …Most of our friends in Kansas and elsewhere did not try to explain why the events of September 18 took place. A few, trying to help, did attempt explanations—or asked thoughtless questions. One medical doctor, not from our church, did have the temerity to ask what was Janelle’s spiritual condition. I was, frankly, outraged. Had she not been a deeply committed believer, what would his question have served except to bring more pain to the parents? Could he hope to change her eternal destiny now? Another acquaintance, a minister, said that while he would not apply his words to our case, he had found that when people became too comfortable, God often sent hard things into their lives to make them realize their dependence on God. He repeated his statement for emphasis. Although I swallowed my words, I wanted to shout that my wife’s rheumatoid arthritis, her several major surgeries and devastating chemotherapy treatments would have seemed adequate to keep us from being “too comfortable.” A relative of ours, well-meaning, I’m sure, said she was confident that God never made any mistakes. My lips were sealed, or I might have blurted out that I didn’t know much about God’s way, but that I was certain that truck drivers made mistakes. And I wasn’t sure that we should blame God for the incompetence of a truck driver who lost control of his vehicle. Our relative also said that it seemed God often chose the elite among his children, his very special ones, to call home to heaven. God calls home the specially gifted, she said, the unusually committed. To me these attempts to comfort us fell flat, but then I’m never sure how these theodicies are supposed to work out. By Paul W. Nisly ’65. This is an excerpt from Sweeping Up the Heart—A Father’s Lament for his Daughter (Good Books, 1992). Nisly retired from teaching at Messiah College in 2007. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Kansas. In April 2010, Messiah College released a book Nisly wrote to coincide with the college’s centennial celebration: Shared Faith. Bold Vision. Enduring Promise. The Maturing Years of Messiah College. Nisly is an ordained minister and a bishop in Lancaster Mennonite Conference.
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5
Last Love Letters Dad went to the hospital in January. He had a cough that wouldn’t go away. On the way to Riverside Hospital, he told my sister Evelyn, “Soon I will be taking a long journey.” At ninety-two years of age, he accepted reality and was trying to prepare the family for his departure. He had been the strong one for himself and Mom, but it was becoming apparent that he would probably be the first to leave. Dad and Mom had been soulmates for a long time—they were married more than seventy years. Mom worked side-byside with Dad in all areas of their life together. Whether in raising a family, working in the peach orchard, or preparing the Sunday sermon, they were partners. They were wonderful models for their children and grandchildren. I was living in Pennsylvania, three hundred miles from Dad and Mom when this last illness struck. I made frequent trips to spend time with Dad. When I arrived in the Colony, I stopped at the house and took Mom along with me to the hospital. They wept in each other’s arms... Sometimes Mom was not well enough to go with me to the hospital. Then I became a letter-carrier between the two... I still have the last letters they wrote to each other. Dad wrote: My precious dear sweetheart, I love you forever and forever. I do wish with all my heart that I could be with you. Dear Sweetheart, there is no one like you so precious. — Truman To my lover and husband I loved you way back then when we were young and carefree. I loved you through all the years of our toiling and growing together. I love you now and I love you forever and forever. — From the one you call Ruthie Early one Monday in January I made my third trip to visit Dad. Soon after I arrived, the family surrounded his bed. His doctor came into the room with a report from his recent tests. He informed Dad that some cancer was in his lung tissue. The doctor asked, “Do you want us to begin treatment, or do you want us to make you as comfortable as possible?” Dad responded in the way he had planned long before, “No treatment,
just do what you can to make me comfortable.” That evening when I embraced Dad, he said, “You’d better return to Pennsylvania. I am alright.” Betty and I left, thinking there would be more visits. We arrived back home about midnight and had been asleep only a few hours when the phone rang. It was Evelyn, “Dad just left us.” While it was still dark, we got back in the car and headed back to Virginia. By Truman H. Brunk ’64, MDiv ’69 from That Amazing Junk-Man—The Agony and Ecstasy of a Pastor’s Life (Cascadia, 2007)
Death of a Harsh Father [In this excerpt from a novel, the narrator’s father was mortally injured when his private plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.] My father was a businessman. He was always orchestrating, organizing, managing things. His children were not exempted from the list of things that he thought needed managing. To say it mildly, I resisted it. I resisted him. He was never much of a father to me. He was of a mind—the same stubborn mind he had when he ran from the wreckage and swore at the Amish and Mennonites—that the world is a cold, unforgiving place. He resolved to, if nothing else, impart that knowledge to his children. He spoke to me often the cliche, “Willie, nobody’s going to do anything for you. If you want something in this world you’re going to have to get up off your ass and get it yourself.” People are not good, was his basic belief. And, beyond their moral position in the world—perhaps even worse, in his view—people didn’t really act, they didn’t act with decision. People, he thought, lacked initiative. But he was still my father and for whatever differences we had, it still wasn’t nice to see him suffer on his deathbed. It wasn’t nice to see his ears burnt off, his head swollen up like a balloon, or his hands charred and shriveled into what looked like little chicken’s paws. In the weeks after the accident, we had to decide whether or not to pull the plug. The doctors told us, “Statistically he has no chance to live. And, if he does live, he’ll be severely disfigured, severely disfigured.” Of course we chose not to pull the plug. Of course he died anyway—after four or five weeks of unnecessary suffering. By Stephen Byler ’92 from his first novel, Searching for Intruders (HarperCollins, 2002). He holds an MA in religion and literature from Yale and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University.
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The Value of Memoirs By Linden M. Wenger ’36, ThB ’53
Have you thought about writing your memoirs? I know that many people have the urge sometime in life, usually in their later years, to record the events which have shaped their lives and which seem significant to them. Most of us, I suspect, struggle with two conflicting impulses. The first is to say, “But my life was not all that eventful, different or unusual. Why should I record it?” The other is to say, “Life was exciting and significant to me; I would like to share it with my posterity.” Let everyone be assured, “Your life is important.” You are a part of family, church and community. Your contribution should not be lost. Here is a small segment of history which you know better than anyone else and to which you have given your own interpretation. Your interpretation of events may differ from that of your siblings or fellow citizens (as people who write memoirs find out), but your interpretation has its own validity and serves to enrich the whole. Your observations and conclusions may well give light to others. In some cultures — the Chinese, for example — it is considered something of a duty, a final legacy to posterity for the elderly to write down and preserve their own stories, their observations and accumulated wisdom of life. It is true, writing is a discipline and doesn’t come easily to most of us. But most of us do have children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, who will cherish a few mimeographed pages of the most exciting adventures of life — of our own family habits, traditions and jokes. For those who are serious about writing memoirs, I recommend Katie Funk Wiebe’s book, Good Times With Old Times, as a help in getting started and, indeed, as an interesting book in itself.
editor's Note on recent memoirs Three books produced in the last four years contain a wealth of memoirs, mostly offered by excellent writers and deep thinkers at middle age or older. Most of these authors are EMU alumni who have accumulated decades of colorful experiences and hard-won wisdom. The books are: Telling Our Stories – Personal Accounts of Engagement with Scripture (Cascadia, 2006), edited by Ray Gingerich ’60 and Earl Zimmerman ’86, MAR ’87; Making Sense of the Journey – The Geography of Our Faith (EMU/ACRS, 2007), edited by Robert Lee and Nancy V. Lee ’52; and Continuing the Journey (EMU/ ACRS, 2009), edited by Nancy V. Lee. Perhaps because many of the authors are retirees with “nothing to lose” in terms of their careers or social status, most of the memoirs are refreshingly frank, with doubts and detours laid out for all to examine. They also offer differing,
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There is an interesting metamorphosis that most of us go through regarding our appreciation of family stories and family history. Children like stories, but because of the admonition often accompanying them, children are not initially impressed by stories of the early hours in which Dad had to get up to help with the chores or how many miles he walked to school in the rain and snow. The same is true of mother’s stories of how few dresses were in her closet when she went to school or how her family ate turnips instead of potatoes during the Great Depression. Children need to separate themselves from the parental home, to mature, make their own decisions, climb their own ladder and establish their own identity and place in society. This achieved, these children often return with a new appreciation and relish for the stories of the good old days. Remember, your own life is unique and valuable. You occupy a spot in history that no one else can duplicate. Your observations and conclusions are a contribution to the welfare of humankind. To record them for posterity is to extend the benefits of your own life and work. Linden M. Wenger died on December 12, 2005. He wrote about his life as a retiree in Climbing Down the Ladder (Good Books, 1993), from which this was excerpted.
sometimes conflicting, interpretations of historical events and theological teachings. But the editors allowed them to stand as they are. As Gingerich and Zimmerman wrote in their introduction: “As an authentic expression of a community member’s experience, a story needs no further legitimization. It lies beyond the critic’s analysis. For the one telling the story, it calls for vulnerability, an inward search, a potential revelatory therapy. For listeners (audience), it offers the invitation to participate in another’s sacred encounters and life-shaping experiences.” Telling Our Stories contains 23 essays, and the two Journey books contain 16 essays each. Despite the ponderous-looking historical paintings on the covers of these books, these books are not heavy reads. Instead they read like chats over the breakfast table, as indeed many of them were.
Good family ministry
Creative, ‘Benevolent’ Capitalists Writers who fear readers’ reactions might try adopting this mindset of long-time publisher and writer Merle Good ’69: “Always have another work underway. If people think your current work is great, you don’t get too big of a head, because they might not like your next one. If they think it’s terrible, you can tell yourself, ‘But they don’t know about my next piece.’” Merle Good combines obvious confidence in his creative and business acumen with a disarming ability to smile at himself, admit some serious missteps, and express utter devotion to Phyllis Pellman Good, his wife of 41 years, and their adult daughters, 33-year-old Kate Good and 31-year-old Rebecca Good Fennimore. “My priorities were always my wife and my kids,” he says. “Way down the line is making a significant impact doing this or that.” Actually, Merle and Phyllis Good (class of ’70) make an egalitarian twosome in writing, editing, and publishing books, in addition to their non-publishing business ventures. Merle got picked for the cover of this Crossroads because he is the one who has written novels, children’s books, and plays (i.e., “creative writing”), while Phyllis has focused on non-fiction, especially the hugely bestselling series of “Fix It and Forget It” recipe books for slow cookers. Despite millions of books sold under the Good Books imprimatur, the Goods don’t live much differently than they did when they were raising Kate and Rebecca in the 1980s and ’90s in a modest rowhouse in downtown Lancaster, a couple of blocks from their current church, East Chestnut Street Mennonite. They work from this same home or out of a small warren of offices above the People’s Place Book Shoppe and Gallery on Main Street in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Their business conference room is sandwiched between two doors that serve as a
passageway from the bookstore to the upstairs offices. When Merle, Phyllis, Kate and Rebecca met with two Crossroads staffers, they had to pull the conference table from against a wall to make room to squeeze into chairs around it.
Merle Good ’69 was a student actor and director at EMU, later earning an MDiv.
thriving businesses They don’t look or act like they’re raking in millions of dollars of profits, but clearly they are doing very well indeed: Books issued by Good Books are sold in Walmart, Sam’s, Costo, Target, Lowe’s, Toys R Us, and supermarket and bookstore chains, among other outlets. The Goods’ 20 or so cookbooks, most of them produced by Phyllis and titled some variation of “fix it and forget it,” have totaled more than 12 million sold. A just-launched Facebook site devoted to people interested in “fix it and forget it” cooking has attracted 3,000 new fans per day. This spring (2010) a crew from CNN’s Your Money came to Intercourse, Pa., to film a segment on the “fix it and forget it”
phenomenon. It aired nationally on June 11 and 12. In January 2010, Good Books published The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight, which immediately became the No. 1 New York Times bestseller in its subject category. The Goods will be collaborating with the Mayo Clinic to publish eight more books in the next five years. Mayo chose Good Books as its publisher over a branch of Time Inc. With EMU professor Howard Zehr as series editor, Good Books published the Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding, a series of 16 inexpensive, easy-to-read paperbacks, including one in Spanish. Merle’s children’s books, featuring a fictional Amish boy named Reuben and illustrated by renowned painter P. Buckley Moss, have sold more than 125,000 copies. A book co-written by Merle and Phyllis in the late 1960s, 20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites, has sold almost 500,000 copies. It is often the book in the hands of the six to eight million tourists who pass through Intercourse, Pa., each year, in search of glimpses into the Amish. Apart from their books, the Goods have tapped into the unending curiosity about the Amish and Old Order Mennonites by setting up retail outlets in Intercourse – the middle of horse-and-buggy Amish country – such as the Old Country Store, the People’s Place Quilt Museum, the Village Pottery, and an art gallery. A cook store targeted at “fix it and forget it” fans is in the works, with daughter Rebecca as its manager. Other ambitious projects have had impressive runs, but were shut down for various reasons (usually due to onerous time demands on the Goods, coupled with high costs): from 1968 to 1977, Merle ran a summer theater in Lancaster called Dutch Family Festival, with plays on Amish or Mennonite themes. He www.emu.edu | crossroads | 17
photograph by jon styer From left, Rebecca Good Fennimore ’01, Kate Good ’99, Phyllis Pellman Good (C ’70), and Merle Good ’69 ham it up in The Old Country Store owned by the Goods.
wrote 10 full-length plays and oversaw 400 productions, sometimes acting in them. (And this from a man who was forbidden to see movies or plays while growing up – he saw his first movie, My Fair Lady, after he got to college.) Phyllis edited Festival Quarterly, a magazine focused on Mennonite-related culture, literature, art and music, from 1974 until the publication ceased in 1996. (As an undergraduate in 1969, Phyllis was one of three editors of The Phoenix, EMU's literary magazine.) Merle wrote his only novel (his second is now in the works), Happy as the Grass Was Green (1971), which was renamed Hazel’s People and made into a feature-length movie in the 1970s. Between the book and the movie, about a quarter million people were reached around the world. Out of 1,000 manuscripts or writing proposals sent to Good Books each year, about 10 are accepted for publication. The Goods now have about 300 books on the market, including books repackaged from the United Kingdom for North American consumption. 18 | crossroads | summer 2010
Daughters join in Merle estimates he spends 90 percent of his time on business matters. Says he enjoys working with numbers. The son of a farmerpastor in the conservative Mennonite tradition, Merle was a “little boy preacher,” who many in his home community thought would grow up to be a revival-style evangelist – in short, he is good at selling stuff he believes in. These days Merle devotes, at best, only 10 percent of his work time to creating his own pieces. He dreams of changing those percentages to 50-50. “Theater is my first love,” he says, adding that he played the lead in the first official play ever produced at EMU, Murder in the Cathedral. Merle majored in English and history at EMU. The summer of ’69, soon after his graduation, Merle married Phyllis, a rising senior at EMU. She had transferred into EMU from Millersville State a year earlier. The newlyweds then moved to New York City where Merle entered Union Theological Seminary to earn an MDiv. Phyllis completed her BA and MA in English at New York University. Similar to her father, Kate majored in
English and minored in history at EMU. She then earned an MFA from George Mason University in writing fiction. She is working on her first novel in her free time. Mostly, however, she carries assistant publishing duties at Good Books, including screening manuscripts, publishing books, and marketing them. Merle and Kate do get help from two New York publicity firms. Phyllis remains chief editor, often assigning the copyediting to a small stable of regular freelance editors. In the children’s book line, copyediting tends to be minimal because many of the books originate with a publisher in the United Kingdom. Good Books re-publishes the books for its North America audience. Rebecca ’01, a former middle school English teacher in Harrisonburg, Va., was the last to join the family business. She came in 2008 because she and her husband, a fellow teacher, “missed being in Pennsylvania,” and she was open to “trying something different.” Her husband Rob ’01 has opted to remain in the classroom – he’s teaching at Manheim Township High School and completing a master in education through the EMU site in Lancaster.
what is now EMU’s Washington Communi- Bankruptcy debts paid ty Scholars’ Center) and with the Lancaster The bankruptcy judge allowed the Goods to Intelligencer Journal. She also worked for the reorganize their debts and to file a 10-year U.S. Postal Service in its intellectual proper- plan to re-emerge in good business health. ties legal department. Full payment of debts was not required Rebecca followed her childhood dream under this court plan, but the Goods have by teaching sixth grade language arts at chosen to make good on all of their debts, Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrepaying them a bonus of at least 25% and risonburg, Va., for seven years. She always sometimes as much as 50%, says Merle. made time to recount her childhood experi“Now that we’ve paid everything back, and ences on Amish farms and to serve homemore, we’ve gone from being dogs to being made shoofly pie to her students. heroes,” he says. “But we’re no different now Though obviously pleased that their than we were then. We just have more scars daughters are working in the family busion us.” He pauses. “And so do many other ness, Phyllis stresses that the future is open: people. We must always remember that it “Kate and Rebecca aren’t obligated to be here. was our failure that caused the crisis.” I hope they continue to feel that they have Given that the Goods feel that most of a choice. But they are picking up significant the “unnecessary” hurts involved fellow responsibilities, which may free Merle and Mennonites, did they ever consider leaving me to work on other projects in the future.” the Mennonite church? The business ventures of Phyllis and “Yes,” says Merle. “But in the end we Merle hit rough waters in the mid-1990s. In said, ‘Where would we go? What commu1996 they filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. nity would be better?’ I have known many When asked about this period, Merle’s face people who are ‘ex’s’ – they keep living in loses its animation and his words seem more argument against what they left. I would labored. But he responds with his usual prefer to keep learning from working a step frankness. outside the church while in full embrace of “It was a terrible time,” he says. “The it.” Another pause, and then... “I’ve found [local] newspaper did a front-page exposé that God’s grace comes from the most unexon us. Rebecca was a junior in high school. pected places.” We were viewed as dogs. There was a lot of Merle notes that he likes having businessgossip about our marriage that I’m not goes that do not operate officially under the ing to address. We were told that God was church’s umbrella. He has spent much of his punishing us. life challenging his Anabaptist community – Choosing emu “I understand that many were investors and his family of origin, for that matter – to The Goods say they put no pressure on their afraid of losing their money, but people broaden their horizons. It is easier to do that daughters to attend EMU – and their girls were mean in unnecessary ways that really from the outer edge. confirm this. Says Kate: “I wanted to attend hurt. Sometimes it seemed that the people With their businesses thriving again, a small liberal arts school – I thought about we could trust could be counted on our Merle and Phyllis have resumed being major Franklin & Marshall – but I wanted to fingers.” supporters of causes close to their hearts. In continue having the Mennonite experience.” Eventually, says Merle, some wise elders addition to being stalwarts at their church, Both she and her sister graduated from of the Mennonite church stepped in and they devote five to 10 hours a week as volLancaster Mennonite High School, as did quietly said, in essence, “Enough bashing unteers for Mennonite World Conference, their parents. of the Goods – destroying them serves no assisting with communications and finances. Rebecca chuckles at her reason for choospurpose.” One was a church bishop who They also give significant sums of money to ing EMU: “I thought I would find a Menconfessed to the Goods that he himself had many organizations, including EMU. nonite husband and then go on to a ‘good’ lost his family’s farm. “Phyllis and I have always had the idea of school.” She did find her husband at EMU, “They built a firewall for us,” says Merle. ‘benevolent capitalism,’” explains Merle. It is but he wasn’t Mennonite. And she ended up “They understood that we were key to getgreat – essential, actually – to have a profitdeciding that EMU was giving her a “fabuting people’s money back.” able business, he says, but those businesses lous education,” so she stayed put. Other support came from seemingly sucdo need outside folks to monitor them; Both daughters developed identities discessful individuals in the non-Mennonite they do need to be held accountable to the tinctly different from their parents as young business community, who told the Goods church and larger society, as the Goods have adults and for a few years after college. that “anybody is lying if they assert that they tried to model. Jumping from the EMU student newspaper, are more than one business quarter away — BPL the WeatherVane, Kate had journalism stints from potentially being in trouble.” as a reporter for Pacifica Radio (while at When Rebecca was 16, she, Kate and her mother wrote a book together, Amish Cooking for Kids. The book was inspired, in part, by the experiences Rebecca and Kate had as preschool and elementary-age children when they spent many afternoons and summer holidays in the care of several Amish families. The girls were immersed in the families’ activities of farm work and meal preparation, including the marathons of cooking leading up to a wedding or funeral. Rebecca sees her interest in healthy eating and in education coming together in the plans for a cooking store a half-block away from their Old Country Store in Intercourse. Merle says his daughters’ journeys back to their roots have been a “total surprise,” though the family has always been close. When the girls were infants, “I asked a lot of fathers what they regretted about their lives, and most of them said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at home when my children were younger.’ So I tried not to make that mistake.” Phyllis only worked part-time when the girls were young. She cherished the three hours of uninterrupted reading time set aside for her each Saturday morning, courtesy of Merle. He occupied their daughters while she secluded herself on the top floor of their three-story rowhouse to read whatever her heart desired.
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photograph by jon styer
TERRORISM LESSONS FROM MARRIAGE By Michael A. King ’76 Every now and then I have a fight with my wife. Joan is a wonderful spouse; this column is in the end not about her. But it is about what our fights may teach, if I dare make such a huge leap, about fighting terrorists. What particularly catches my attention, as I ponder our fights, is how quickly I find myself severed from rationality and possessed by the need for her to grasp how right I am and how wrong she is. If she dares fight back—as she often does, dear woman, this being one reason I celebrate being married to her when back to sanity—my flame flares white hot. Here I am, training her in truth, justice, and Michael’s way, and she dares—she dares, oh, the travesty!—to challenge me. I order the generals within to provide reinforcements. Stat! Bring me my cruise missiles of maddened rhetoric hardened with hate. Fly in my bunker-busting bombs to destroy her generals as they huddle in her plotting against me. After our decades of marriage she can fly across the blazing desert of my war-mode mind with her own Predator drones; thus she spies the shock and awe I intend for her. She orders in Apache helicopters backed by F-16 fighter jets. And we draw near the brink. We glimpse now, through the smoke of battle, that destination called Divorce. If we press on, this country which is our marriage will be reduced to rubble, and no matter who dealt the other the final blow or who may still be left standing to declare victory, we will both have lost. There is only one footpath around that outcome, but who will take it? The human spirit so flinches from that path, especially in the heat of battle. The path takes the walker into the very heart of the war, there where blood pools on the streets, the sniper bullets crack, the tanks rumble, and the
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Michael and Joan King behind their family home in Telford, Pennsylvania.
fighter pilots aim. And the walker of that path must throw down her (I say "her" because she often manages to walk there before I do) weapons. She must cry out to his generals and foot soldiers, and up to the snipers and the pilots, that she does, actually, glimpse part of why they’re so enraged at her. "I’m sorry," she must say. “I’m sorry for my part of this war, and for the ways in my own anger I set out to hurt you.” The horror of that path is that it takes her to peace, the promised land across the war zone, only if he softens. But he may not. He may use her foolish vulnerability to finish the job and mow her down. She risks her very life if she tries to end the war. Yet if she doesn’t, the war will only escalate, and both will lose no matter who wins. So she takes the risk. Or once in a while, when he can match her courage, he does. And so far the one who first sets out on that path has in the end been joined by the other. So far the one’s readiness at last to stop escalating the war has in the end gentled the enraged heart of the other, until they reach that oasis called Peace. There at last they are able to engage in constructive discussion of what caused the war and what resolution of grievances will enable them to stay in peace rather than resume battle again tomorrow. I know married people are not nations nor jihadist groups. I know generalizing from two to millions can get us only so far. But I wonder why we mostly seem to learn nothing from our most intimate relationships about how to relate to other nations or
groups. What if the dynamics aren’t that different? What if every human being, whether in the West or the East, Christian or Islamic, needs some sense that she honors him, that he honors her? Every time I hear someone explain that we’re in a global war, we in the rational and civilized West against the irrational and barbaric Islamic fascists, I think of how in the heat of marital war each side always believes his side or hers is the right side, the rational side, the civilized side. Then I wonder why we act as if people in religious or global conflicts are so different from people in marriage. In marriage, if you threaten people, if you demean people, if you explain why you’re so perfect and they’re so awful, you blow things up. The more you violate the other, the more the other wishes to violate you. The more you try through brute power to vanquish the other, the more the other schemes to build the weapons to vanquish you. Michael and joan King have stepped back from the brink for more than 30 years. King became our seminary dean and university vice president on July 1, 2010. He is the owner of Cascadia Publishing, a pastor, and the author of many writings on Christian themes. He holds an MDiv from Palmer (Pa.) Theological Seminary and a PhD in rhetoric and communication from Temple University. REAd “New EMS Dean Brings Different Background To Seminary,” posted at www.emu. edu/michaelking.
photo by lindsey kolb
EMU dedicated a 10-foot handcrafted peace pole as a symbol of its core values and commitment to diversity in a ceremony (above) held on June 17, 2010. The pole, at the edge of Thomas Plaza, consists of six flat sides that display "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in 18 languages (that may be rotated to feature new ones): Swahili, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, English, Hebrew, Korean, Navajo, French, Russian, Japanese, Indonesian, Hindi, Urdu, Amharic, Sesotho, Filipino and German.
Faculty and Staff
David R. Brubaker, assistant professor/ academic director at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, took training with the Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) office of the province of Alberta, Canada, on the topic of “Creative Collaborative Municipal Cultures,” May 10-11. The DRS office provides consulting services to municipalities throughout the province of Alberta. Melody Cash ’89, associate professor of nursing, successfully defended her dissertation, May 11, at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Her PhD in education focused on instructional technology.
Marti Eads, associate professor in the language and literature department, served on the national selection committee for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program in Indianapolis, Ind., April 16-18. This program supports exceptionally well-qualified graduate students who have bachelor degrees from Lilly Fellowship Program Network Schools and who are interested in becoming teacher-scholars at church-related colleges and universities. Gloria Mast ’93, Broadway, Va., has returned to EMU as the assistant director of housing. Gloria brings years of experience in residence life at EMU and JMU. She also is an adjunct instructor for transitions in college writing.
Sarah Roth ’10 joined the EMU staff as admissions counselor on June 1.
messenger to Naaman and that witnessing for Christ is a very simple, everyday task.
William (Willie) Longenecker ’69, CBS ’94, and his wife, Rhoda (Rodi) Stoltzfus Longenecker ’94, Morson, Ontario, Canada, have been singing across the country in nursing homes and retirement communities since 1994. In December 2009, Willie and Rodi spent a month in Bangladesh with their daughter, April, who has been teaching at LAMB English Medium School for the past two years.
Mark A. Kniss ’52, Harrisonburg, Va., a retired physician, received Eastern Mennonite School’s science achievement award in its May 19 chapel service, as reported in the Daily News-Record.
Joseph B. Martin ’59, Brookline, Mass., was EMU’s commencement speaker this spring; he spoke on “keeping faith relevant.” He is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Joe and his spouse, Rachel Wenger Martin (class of ’61), are members of Mennonite Congregation of Boston, where Joseph is a member of the church council.
David D. Yoder ’62 and his spouse, Shirley J. Yoder ’62, were appointed in February by Virginia Mennonite Missions for a one-year term to serve as a mentoring couple for pastors and congregations in Trinidad. Richard A. Showalter ’68, Landisville, Pa., president of Eastern Mennonite Missions, Salunga, Pa., opened Rosedale Bible College’s annual missions conference March 3, “with a call to students to become people who know how to point to Jesus.” Richard focused on the story of Naaman and Elisha in II Kings 5. He asked, “What does it take to be a witness for Jesus? What does it take to be a missionary?” He noted with interest that God chose a young slave girl to be his
M. Virginia Musser ’70, Lititz, Pa., has retired as director of admissions at Landis Homes in Lititz. Virginia is a volunteer in the Lititz library and with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Harpers Ferry, W.Va. She is an Appalachian 2000 miler and has completed the New England Four Thousand Footer (NEFTF). NEFTF was formed in 1957 to stimulate interest in scaling 67 peaks of 4,000 feet or more, in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. Nathan D. Showalter ’71, SEM ’75, is senior pastor at Abundant Grace, an international congregation in Shanghai, China. “I’ve been here seven years now,” he writes. “[I’m] enjoying the challenges and opportunities of this unique city.”
Marcus Hochstetler ’75, a clinical psychologist living in Valley Center, Calif., rides horses as a favorite hobby and enjoys exploring state and national forests. He developed “Southeast Performance Solutions,” a diesel truck business.
Joan Graber ’75 Kauffman, Orrville, Ohio, began working as an oncology nurse in a multispecialty physician’s office in Wooster, Ohio, in 1988. In 1994, this medical practice, The Wooster Clinic, became the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center. Still located in Wooster, it functioned under the umbrella of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, with a very active oncology/hematology department. Joan continued working for the Cleveland Clinic through 2005, as a chemotherapy nurse and then as nurse manager of the hematology/oncology office. She has since been caring for her mother. Leanna Showalter ’75 Rhodes, Harrisonburg, Va., and her husband, James ’72, SEM ’75, have seven children, five of whom have graduated from EMU. She and James enjoy traveling abroad and visiting their children working in mission endeavors in North Africa, Israel, and Thailand. In 2009, they spent five months on the campus of Rosedale Bible College, Irwin, Ohio, where James has taught part-time for the last six years. Leanna served as a development assistant and did some nursing there. Cheryl (Cheri) Weber Good '79, New Hamburg, Ontario (Canada), is a freelance calligraphy artist with a passion for the written word unleashed through art. She teaches classes that focus on finding the unique vibrancy of the student. She works through experimentation and play to free up students' creativity. She's very interested in mental health, speaking or facilitating workshops
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linking art and healing. Her artwork is in churches, universities, institutions, and counseling centers, as well as used as personal gifts and home décor. Much of her inspiration comes from hiking the fields and forests around the farmhouse where she lives. Her farm is also the site of her classes and retreats. More info at www.writehand.ca Albert (Rocky) Miller ’79, Sarasota, Fla., senior pastor of the Bay Shore Mennonite Church, led a men’s retreat using the theme “God’s Men Don’t Fly on Autopilot.” His experiences as a corporate pilot, flying in North America and currently flying internationally for a mission organization, are fodder for many stories and life applications for men. God’s men need to be more intentional (hands-on flying) about their faith, family and marriage.
Daniel Hooley ’81, Canton, Ohio, serves as a volunteer in the credentialing ministry of Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA.
Bikko & Allen Break School Track Records Running in 90 degrees, wind and high humidity on May 9, 2010, rising senior Richy Bikko, a native of Kenya, broke EMU’s 31-yearold school record in the 1500 meter run, clocking 3:54.91. The previous record, set by Kenny Layman ’81, was more than a second slower. Prior to Bikko, no runner in EMU history had come within seven seconds of the record. Bikko won the 1500 meters at the New Captain's Classic hosted by Christopher Newport University in May. Zach Tennant of the College of William and Mary (Div. I) came in second at 3:55.62. Rising junior Michael Allen finished his season at D-III's national meet May 27-29 at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. It was the second straight year that Allen competed at the national level. Allen was in the long jump and triple jump as a freshman and qualified again in the triple jump as a sophomore. Just 17 athletes qualified for the national triple jump. Allen entered the national meet with the third best qualifying jump at 14.83 meters (48-8 feet), but ended in the first round for the second time. He holds the EMU record in the triple jump, with a jump of 14.85 meters (48-8 3/4 feet) in 2009. — James De Boer fall 20072010 22 | crossroads | summer
Jenifer Yoder ’82 Garlitz, Joliet, Ill., has recently released her book, Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining: Why Mountains Are Missing and What We Can Do About It. She believes that most of us flip a light switch without thinking about where the power comes from. This eye-opening book details how coal is removed from mountaintops, devastating families and communities in the Appalachian Mountains. Flooding, air and water pollution, health problems and global warming all result from using coal to generate electricity. Jenifer’s reader-friendly book suggests how citizens can make changes in their lives to prevent further destruction of the country’s mountains and to make their voices heard. Jenifer has a personal stake in this topic, having grown up in southwestern Pennsylvania in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Jenifer is a reading specialist at Creekside Elementary school in Plainfield, where she leads an environment club for fifth-graders. Beryl M. Jantzi ’82, MDiv ’91, Harrisonburg, Va., stewardship education director of Mennonite Mutual Aid/Harrisonburg, was featured in the March 22 issue of Mennonite Weekly Review, as the teacher of an EMU online course, “Money, Ministry and Me,” which ran May 3-June 23. The course was intended for anyone who works with church finances. Beryl is moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference, completing his second three-year term in August. He was installed last November as the bishop/ overseer of Southern District of Virginia Mennonite Conference, a role in which he will continue to serve. Amy Rosenberger ’85, a Philadelphia labor lawyer and a partner with Willig, Williams & Davidson, was appointed to the board of directors of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee of the American Federation of Labor and Congress
of Industrial Organizations. She will serve on this national legal organization’s board through December 2010 and will be eligible for reappointment to the board. In her role as a partner in Willig, Williams & Davidson, Amy represents labor unions and individual employees before state and federal courts and in arbitrations, negotiations and administrative proceedings. With nearly 15 years of experience as a labor practitioner, Amy also counsels and trains employees and union representatives with respect to employment disputes and their rights under the law. Amy has been a speaker and/or instructor for a number of state and federal agencies, among other groups. David W. Boshart ’86, MAR ’87, Parnell, Iowa, lead pastor of West Union Mennonite Church, has been providing leadership to the development of church-planting strategy for Central Plains Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA since 2005. David holds a PhD in leadership studies from Andrews University, with a concentration in missional ecclesiology. For his dissertation, David analyzed four Central Plains church plants, focusing on the habits and beliefs that characterize missional churches. He spoke at the annual meeting of Central Plains Mennonite Conference, June 24-27, at Mountain Lake, Minn. The conference theme was “Mission at the Center of Our Story…Going Where Jesus Intends to Go.” In his presentations, David focused on three core commitments of the church in mission: Biblical discernment, threedimensional hospitality and contextual witness. Hugh Stoll ’89, Harrisonburg, Va.,was featured in the Daily News-Records “Saturday Magazine” on May 22 for his energetic commitment to a future with green energy. Earlier Hugh built a straw insulated, timber frame house a hundred miles north of Spokane, Wash. The 1,500-square-foot home, housed his wife, Kathy, and their two daughters. It was simple to build and maintain, while being more sustainable and cost efficient than most modern houses. Hugh next built a green home in Harrisonburg with an innovative and eco-friendly, “photovoltaic,” or solar panel system, a system Hugh is pioneering. Mary Ann Weber ’89, Goshen, Ind., became managing curriculum editor for Mennonite Publishing Network on July 1, 2010. Mary Ann majored in early childhood education at EMU. She also has a degree in Christian formation from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Weber previously was the human resources coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Great Lakes. She has also taught for six years in Pennsylvania, served three years with MCC in the Philippines in the area of education and children’s rights issues, and spent several years on the Congregational Resources staff of Lancaster
Valerie Ann Merfa ’90, of Vienna, Va., is serving with MCC. She is sponsored by Vienna Presbyterian Church, where she is a member. Valerie serves at the Community Child Care Centre, operated by Khanyisile, an HIV/AIDS program in a township outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Her chief joy is sharing God’s love. “I tell the children in the Sotho or in the Zulu language that God loves them, that God is always with them and they are never alone.” Gaye Spivey ’91, Reidsville, N.C., became a certified pharmacy technician (CPht) in October 2009. After working for Walmart as a CPht, Gaye moved to being a certified pharmacy technician/customer service representative with Carolina Apothecary, which owns numerous pharmacies in the Reidsville area. Gayl Friesen ’92 Brunk, Singers Glen, Va., was appointed vice chair of the 2010-11 Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Valley Region Committee on Apr. 15. Gayl has been a member of the board since 2008. She is secretary of the three-person committee, which meets twice yearly. The committee’s responsibilities include providing counsel to the VSBA regarding policy issues specific to 16 Valley school divisions, including Rockingham County and Harrisonburg. Missy Kauffman Schrock ’92 became director of development at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., on June 16, 2009. Kara Hartzler ’94, Oracle, Ariz., is an attorney at Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. Kara has testified before the Arizona House Judiciary subcommittee. In her work, Kara has talked with thousands of people who are in the process of being deported. She provided a glimpse into her ministry by telling stories to the subcommittee of her interaction with her clients. The Florence Project is a nonprofit organization providing free legal services for persons in Arizona who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. M. Trevor Parmer ’94, Harrisonburg, Va., has been promoted by BB&T Bank to vice president. Parmer, who joined the bank in 1996, is a client executive in BB&T’s employee benefits department. In addition to his duties with BB&T, Parmer is a coach in the academy program of the Shenandoah Valley United Soccer Association. He also enjoys racing sports cars. Ryan Kauffman ’98, Lancaster, Pa., is a saxophonist and private teacher in central and eastern Pennsylvania. He leads his own jazz trio and quartet and has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including appearances at Bethlehem Musikfest, Central Pennsylvania
Friends of Jazz, Lancaster Jazz Festival and Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival. He has had the privilege of performing with Dave Liebman, Steve Giordano, Ron Thomas, Tim Warfield, Steve Wilson, Peter Paulsen, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and the Manhattan Saxophone Ensemble. Ryan also doubles on the flute and clarinet, and plays for various regional and Philadelphia area theaters. He teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, Darlington Arts Center, and Westtown School. He has also taught saxophone at West Chester University. Ryan holds music degrees from EMU and West Chester University, where he earned his master’s degree studying with Gunnar Mossblad, a saxophonist, composer/arranger, and educator in both the European classical and American jazz idioms. Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler ’99, Coralville, Iowa, was ordained for ministry at First Mennonite Church, Iowa City, Apr. 18. Karla is a daughter of Omar ’71 and Catherine Ramer Stoltzfus ’71 of Luray, Va. Thomas (Tom) ’99 and his spouse, Candice Rhodes ’00 Mast, previously of Greenwood, Del., are currently serving in Thailand under Rosedale Mennonite Missions, Irwin, Ohio. The April issue of Brotherhood Beacon carried a feature article by Tom and Candice, “Living with Unseen Neighbors.” The Masts wrote that “Thailand is a Buddhist country, but animism, or the belief in spirits, plays an important part in the folk Buddhism that many Thais practice today.” They described interviews with two Thai men, Piak and Pon, who have become Christians, and the impact this has had on their daily lives.
Alan T. Hostetler ’01, Charlottesville, Va., a certified public accountant, is an auditor with Thomas C. Stott, CPA, PC, in Charlottesville. He was one of five young professionals recognized by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) at its annual meeting on May 14 through their new award, “Top 5, Under 35.” Alan is president of the VSCPA Thomas Jefferson Chapter. He began his first term on the board of his local chapter in 2006. Alan has nine years of experience in nonprofit auditing and informational return reporting and was selected as a Virginia Business Super CPA in both 2006 and 2007. Naomi Epp (MA ’02) Engle, associate pastor of West Clinton Mennonite Church (WCMC), Wauseon, Ohio, was the featured speaker at the Spring Day of Inspiration, sponsored by Ohio Mennonite Women, April 10, at Kidron Mennonite Church. Naomi and her husband, Jesse (Jess) Engle, MDiv ’02, co-pastor WCMC. Sarah Pharis ’02, Staunton, Va., was the focus of the “We HEART Sarah” fundraising concert April 18, which
Terry Koppenhaver ’69 in a yearbook photo from his era
Three Enter Hall of Honor
This fall, three Eastern Mennonite University alumni will be inducted into the EMU Athletics Hall of Honor. Ryan Brenneman ’00, Kirsten (Brubaker) Fuhr ’99, and Terry Koppenhaver ’69 (deceased) will bring the Hall of Honor membership to 81 studentathletes and coach/administrators. Brenneman played on some of the best men’s soccer teams EMU has put on the pitch, as he played in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship match all four years. His 1996 and 1998 squads won the only ODAC titles EMU owns for men’s soccer. A high-flying scorer, Brenneman was named All-ODAC First Team in 1997 and 1999 while taking Second Team honors in 1998. He also earned regional All-America status as a junior and senior. Brenneman graduated third on EMU’s career scoring list for points (92) and goals (37). He is also sixth in career assists (18). Fuhr was also a constant force during some of the most dominant years in her sport, field hockey. As a midfielder and defender, she never lost more than two games in a season and compiled a record of 83-7 from 1995-98. She won four ODAC titles and is already in the EMU Hall of Honor as part of the 1995 field hockey team, which took third place in the NCAA Tournament. Fuhr was named AllODAC First Team her final three seasons, as well as ODAC Player of the Year, First Team All-South Region and First Team All-America as a senior. Koppenhaver played only two seasons of soccer, but still graduated second in points (51), goals (21) and assists (9). He was named to the Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association All-State Team in 1967 and then Team MVP and All-South in 1968. Eastern Mennonite’s coaches also unanimously voted Koppenhaver as their Outstanding Athlete after his junior season. More than 40 years after his graduation, Koppenhaver, who learned to play soccer as a missionary child in Argentina, is still 11th all-time in career goals and 12th in points. The trio will be awarded plaques as the Class of 2010 at an induction breakfast on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 9, during Homecoming Weekend. — James De Boer www.emu.edu | crossroads | 23
featured music by The Findells, Trent Wagler and the Steel Wheels, and William Lott. Sarah has ocular melanoma, an extremely rare form of cancer that has metastasized to her liver. Sarah worked for the American Shakespeare Center for four years doing a little bit of everything. She then attended graduate school at Loyola University in Maryland and returned to teach at Woodland Montessori School in Harrisonburg. She discontinued working in March due to her illness. Betty and Phoebe Kilby have an intertwined family story linked to slavery.
CNN: 'Coming to the Table' CNN's May 20, 2010 coverage of the EMU/CJP project “Coming to the Table” drew national attention to a groundbreaking program centered around peacebuilding, reconciliation, and the legacy of slavery. In 2007, Betty Kilby, an African American and author of the book Wit, Will and Walls, got to know Phoebe Kilby, a European American and the associate director for development for EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. They were descendants of an enslaved/slaveholder family. They now travel the country as members of Coming to the Table (CTTT) telling their story. Their story was featured on the CNN home page for several hours on May 20, with more than 600,000 hits logged. It was the mostread, linked and shared story of the day on CNN.com, said Wayne Drash, author of the piece and CNN reporter. Online comments numbered nearly 2,500 less than 48 hours after the original posting. The majority of discussion underscored the difficulty and importance of reconciliation. Twitter came alive, too, with mentions of the unique program. One young woman tweeted that she found CTTT after meeting kin from the family that enslaved her great-great-grandmother. By mid-day she was one of dozens of new members of the program's online community, which doubled in membership in just 24 hours. Visitors to the CTTT website, www.comingtothetable.org, hit an historic high. The site logged 30 times more readers than the day before. Interest in the program and the story of the Kilbys went global quickly. By mid-day, international broadcasting service Voice of America had interviewed Phoebe Kilby, CTTT program director Amy Potter Czajkowski, and CTTT community coordinator Susan Hutchison for a segment to be aired in Asia. (Phoebe and Amy are alumni of EMU's graduate program in conflict transformation.) “This is a story that resonates in many cultures,” says Phoebe. “It bridges racial, ethnic and religious divides. In the last day I've gotten so many positive e-mails, calls, and Facebook postings. I'm glad our story of racial reconciliation has touched so many.” Coming to the Table was created in 2005 to address the traumatic effects of slavery on individuals and communities. Initially the program focused on the stories and experiences of people linked by their ancestors' enslaved-slaveholding relationship, but focus has since expanded to addressing historical harms in communities. “While our family histories provided a window through which we could connect, Betty and I are focusing on creating a new relationship now, a new legacy for the future,” Phoebe says. — Marcy Gineris fall 20072010 24 | crossroads | summer
Ariana Unruh ’03 Kauffman, Hesston, Kan., is director of fund advancement at Schowalter Villa in Hesston. Sara Neuenschwander ’03 Obri, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a nurse in the emergency room at Cleveland Clinic. Sherah-Leigh Zehr Gerber ’04, MDiv ’09, Apple Creek, Ohio, was licensed Feb. 28 at a special Sunday afternoon service at Kidron Mennonite Church for her work with Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA as resource team coordinator. Regional pastor Matthew (Matt) Hamsher ’95, MDiv ’99, performed the installation ceremony and read a letter of support from Sara Wenger ’75 Shenk, then interim dean of EMS. Rachel S. Miller ’04, Indianapolis, Ind., received her master’s degree in international peace and justice studies at the Kroc Institute of Notre Dame University in May. Hosanna Tobin ’04 Thomas and her husband, Jacob, are working in a Muslim context in South Asia. Jacob is a graphic designer for a company called Bengal Creative Media. They are affiliated with Virginia Mennonite Missions. Shane J. Wills ’04, Staunton, Va., was elected by the board of directors of DuPont Community Credit Union for a three-year term. Shane graduated from EMU with a business and organizational management degree. He recently completed his MBA through Averett University. He is the plant manager for Valley Precision, Inc., in Waynesboro. Travis Kisamore ’05, and his spouse, Bekii, did an internship with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) in Quemchi, Chiloe, May 2007 through Feb 2008. During that time they felt the call to return to that small town for a long-term assignment. The Kisamores are under appointment with EMM until the summer of 2013. They are serving a two-year term, which began in August 2009. They will return stateside for 10 weeks in the summer of 2011 and return to Chiloe for another two-year term. Travis and Bekii work primarily with small group Bible studies; they lead three adult Bible studies throughout the week. They have a goal of seeing a group of believers raised up in Quemchi, which then will be able to lead the church without outside help. Beyond their focus on Bible studies, they are engaged in
building relationships with people in the community. They also have a children’s Sunday school class every Saturday morning, which emerged when parents in the weekly Bible studies asked that their children also have the opportunity to receive biblical instruction. Travis and Bekii joined relief activities after the February earthquake. Erin N. Price ’05, Souderton, Pa., joined Lacher & Associates of Souderton as account executive for personal insurance. Previously, Erin worked as director of human resources at Sanford Alderfer Companies. Dustin Galyon ’06, Sterling, Kan., and Tony Brown addressed the 138 graduates of Hesston (KN) College, May 9, entitling their commencement talks “We Must Be the Change,” taken from a quote of Gandhi, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” Joel Miller Lehman ’06, Lancaster, Pa., online journalist with the Intelligencer Journal, received a first-place Keystone Press Award in the online special project category for “What Street Cameras Show.” Joel edits interactive online content for the newspaper. He has been with Lancaster Newspapers since 2007 and lives in Lancaster city with his wife, Stephanie Miller ’06 Lehman. Michael Keatts ’08, Staunton, Va., is the new district emergency planner for the Central Shenandoah Health District. He serves as the lead coordinator, overseeing preparedness and response efforts to bioterrorism, natural disasters and other public health emergencies for the counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham, the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro and Harrisonburg, and the towns of Lexington and Buena Vista. Michael has 20 years of fire, rescue and emergency services experience in both career and volunteer departments and in developing and promoting community safety initiatives. He serves on the Staunton Recreation Commission and the Staunton City Schools Health and Safety Advisory Board. Frances (Fran) Pfister ’08, a nurse in St. Petersburg, Fla., recently had a rewarding experience caring for Jerry, a young boy afflicted with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition in children. After a severe illness and intensive therapy, including tracheal intubation and a medically induced coma, Jerry began to recover. Advanced outpatient treatment continued and, on his followup visit a year later, he was able to walk to the evaluation room. He mouthed, “I love you” to Fran. Fran thought, “This is why I am a nurse.” Pamela Baldwin ’08, MDiv ’10, Craigsville, Va., is pastor of Augusta Springs United Methodist Church in Craigsville. Amy Knorr, MA ’09, Washington. D.C., coordinator of the Haiti program for World Vision U.S., provided an update to faculty and staff at a "brown bag" lun-
cheon on April 6. She shared about the Haiti earthquake response and reflected on moving from being a graduate student in conflict transformation at EMU to working in an NGO like World Vision. Previously, Amy worked five years in Haiti for Catholic Relief Services. Kimberly Jo (Kim) Roth ’09, Lancaster, Pa., is teaching third grade at Linville Hill Mennonite School in Gap, Pa. Michelle Swartley ’09, Lancaster, Pa., teaches middle school math at Kraybill Mennonite School, Mount Joy, Pa.
Shirley Yoder ’66 Brubaker, MDiv ’10, Harrisonburg, Va., began a part-time interim pastoral role at Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va., May 1.
Tamara Gill, MDiv ’10, Harrisonburg, Va., is serving as a volunteer at three camps this summer: Joni and Friends at Spruce Lake Retreat, Canadensis, Pa.; and Kaleidoscope Camp at Williamsburg (Va.) Christian Retreat Center; and summer camp at Highland Retreat, Bergton, Va. Carmen D. Horst ’01, MDiv ’10, Chambersburg, Pa., is serving as interim pastor at James Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa., during the sabbatical of pastors, Stan and Kathy Keener (SEM ’96) Shantz.
Rebecca (Becci) Steury ’05 to Matthew Anderson, Sept. 2, 2007.
Joy Kraybill ’95 to Tom Morgan, April 16, 2010.
Deborah (Debbie) Lockridge ’91 and Kenneth (Ken) Fields, Joel Robert, Dec. 23, 2009.
Mark ’93 and Candace Wenger, Fredericksburg, Va., Cameron, April 8, 2010. Beverley (Bev) Kenagy ’96 and Jason Reed, Happy Valley, Ore., Bradley Carles, April 7, 2010. Benjamin (Ben) ’04 and Meredith Blauch ’05 Wideman, Pasadena, Calif, Anika Rose, April 20, 2010. Joy Zimmerman ’07 and Thomas Haller, Denver, Pa., Julianna Elizabeth, Jan. 8, 2010.
Olive M. Kuhns, retired professor of nursing at EMU, died April 22, 2010 at age 86 at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community where she lived. Olive and her husband, James (deceased), were engaged in mission activities under Eastern Mennonite Missions in Ethiopia, 1949-51. She received an MS degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Olive joined the EMU nursing department faculty in 1970 and taught here until her retirement in 1986. Her specialty was maternal and child care nursing. “Olive was an advocate for
children. Her interactions with children served as a role model for students in learning how to work with vulnerable, sick children,” said Dr. Beryl H. Brubaker, a nursing colleague of Kuhns during her years at EMU. John Paul Alger, HS ’40, ’48, Broadway, Va., died May 25 at age 87. John was a farmer and an electrician. He was ordained as deacon by Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) in 1960. He served several congregations in the Northern District of VMC until his retirement in 1990. John taught Sunday school classes in several West Virginia school houses, part of VMC’s “School House Evangelism,” a unique mission endeavor of the conference some years ago. He was Sunday school superintendent and song leader at Zion Mennonite Church in Broadway. He also served as president of Virginia Mennonite Aid Plan. Lila Buckwalter ’40 Hess, Colorado Springs, Colo., died March 27 at age 87. Lila was a graduate of the former Coatesville (Pa.) Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a night supervisor at the former Morris Hall, Parkesburg, Pa. She retired from her role as night supervisor of Harrison House of Christiana (Pa.) in 1990. Lila was member of Fountain Faith Fellowship of Fountain, Colo. Norman Landis Loux ’42, Lansdale, Pa, died May 20 at age 90 at Dock Woods Community, where he had resided for the last three years. In 1946, he received his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. He later completed his residency in psychiatry at Butler Hospital in Rhode Island and then completed a child and adolescent fellowship at Yale University. He began his psychiatry practice in a small house in Souderton. He later moved his practice to Sellersville, which grew from a one-man operation into a comprehensive, community-based behavioral healthcare service with 43 programs and a staff of more than 300. When Penn Foundation was opened in 1955 – with Norman as its founding father – it was one of the nation’s first communitybased mental health facilities and a pioneer in the healthcare field. Norman stepped down as medical director in 1981 and retired from seeing patients in 1984. He remained on the board of directors until 2008. Norman was member of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, where he taught Sunday school for many years. Elam S. Kurtz ’52, West Jefferson, N.C., died April 26 at his home at age 86. Elam graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1951 and from Case Western Reserve University Medical School in 1955. Elam practiced medicine in Ashe County, N.C., for nearly 50 years. For most of those years he made house calls, delivered babies, and helped establish mental health services for the region. He mentored more than 60 med-
Professors Amir Akrami, Rasoul Rasoulipour, and Seyed Mousavian of Iran.
EMU Hosts Interfaith Forum, Professor from Iran “Abraham's Tent—Center for Interfaith Engagement” at EMU, hosted three Iranian scholars — Drs. Rasoul Rasoulipour, Seyed Mousavian and Amir Akrami, all professors of philosophy and religion in Iran — for a campus visit on May 25, 2010. These highly engaging scholars emphasized the eager willingness of many Iranians to promote interfaith dialogue among “people of the book” who share a common heritage as Children of Abraham. Their visit to the EMU campus was jointly sponsored by Abraham's Tent and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). An active proponent of interfaith dialog, Rasoulipour works closely with the Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Tehran where he formerly served as director. In recent years he has been instrumental in arranging MCC learning tours to Iran. A late afternoon forum drew an unexpectedly large group of about 100 persons. Rasoulipour has spent the past year as a visiting professor at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. He returned to his teaching post in Tehran on June 5. — Jim Bishop ’67
Grad at Security Council In mid-June (2010), Kumar “Anuraj” Jha, a 2007 MA graduate in conflict transformation, accompanied an 18-year-old female to New York so that she could tell the United Nations Security Council about her experiences as an involuntary insurgent, beginning at age 15. Jha works for the United Nations Mission in Nepal as a child protection advisor. He has been key in facilitating the discharge of child soldiers from the Maoist army and ensuring their rehabilitation. He works closely work with UNICEF, UNDP and other national and international organizations. From an Associated Press report filed on June 16, 2010: “Now 18 years old, Manju [Gurung] spoke at an open council meeting considering a report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that urged the UN's most powerful body to consider tough measures – including possible sanctions – against countries and insurgent groups that persist in recruiting child soldiers and violate international law on the rights and protection of children in armed conflicts. “At the end of the day-long meeting Wednesday, the council approved a presidential statement expressing ‘its readiness to adopt targeted and graduated measures against persistent perpetrators.’ " Jha acted as the translator for Manju. www.emu.edu | crossroads | 25
ical students, some of whom lived in his home. In 1995, he joined his son, Kevin, to help establish High Country Family Medicine. After retirement at age 79, Elam continued his community involvement by delivering meals on wheels and serving as a hospice volunteer. An avid cyclist, both bicycle and motorcycle, he earned the coveted motorcycle “Iron Butt” Award for riding 1,000 miles in 24 hours. During his 50 years in Ashe County, Elam was involved in Warrensville Methodist Church, Jefferson Mennonite Fellowship, Meadowview Mennonite Church, and Big Laurel Mennonite Church. He sang in the choir, led music, led youth groups, and taught Sunday school. His passion for singing led him to the local barbershop quartet, Ashe Choral Society, and multiple solo performances at special occasions. He was an accomplished musician including playing the auto harp and organ. Elam is survived by his wife, Orpah Mae Horst ’39 Kurtz. Penny Driediger, MDiv ’08, is RMH's supervisor of chaplain interns
Hospital & Seminary Now Training Together Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS) and Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Harrisonburg, Va., are working together to train chaplains and pastors to be more compassionate caregivers during crisis situations. The hospital recently hired Penny Driediger as a part-time chaplain and supervisor of chaplain interns who are enrolled in the EMS Clinical Pastoral Education program. Driediger is a 2008 seminary grad and a course assistant at EMS. “The collaboration between EMS and RMH provides Driediger, and future supervisory education students, with an opportunity to have a foot in both worlds – the clinical world of patient-focused care and the educational world, encouraging the growth and development of clinical pastoral education students,” said Robin Martin, manager of chaplain services at RMH. This step forward for the EMS Clinical Pastoral Education program means the seminary can provide another level of education for those interested in the chaplain ministry and can provide more opportunities for students who want to go through the first level of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. “The 40% time position with Rockingham Memorial Hospital represents a shared commitment to pastoral education,” said Kenton Derstine, CPE director at the seminary. “It symbolizes the hospital's confidence in our CPE program and an appreciation for what our chaplain interns have contributed to their patients and staff.” “For the hospital, this agreement to have a supervisory education student means that we will get an employee with a theological degree and several years of supervised ministry experience,” said Martin, as well as “someone who has learned active listening and empathic caregiving and is able to reach out in a compassionate pastoral role to connect with others, especially those who are suffering.” — Laura Amstutz, MDiv ’06 fall 20072010 26 | crossroads | summer
Coleen Beachy ’68 Harlow, Mylo, N.D., died in the Presentation Medical Center, Rolla, N.D., April 22, at age 62. She graduated from Rolette High School before attending EMU. After graduation from EMU, Coleen became a school teacher. Her teaching career took her to schools in Oregon, Mississippi, North Dakota, Virginia and Red Lake, Ontario, Canada. Later, she used her skills to teach her children in her home. Coleen was devoted to God and her family. After being diagnosed with cancer, she became active in Relay for Life activities. She was a member of Salem Mennonite Church.
Degree Key BD - bachelor of divinity CMS - certificate of ministry studies HS - high school degree from era when high school and college were one MAL - master of arts church leadership MAM - master of arts in church ministries MAR - master of arts in religion MDiv - master of divinity ThB - bachelor of theology
Mileposts is compiled by retired physician Paul T. Yoder ’50, MAL ’92, who may be reached at paul.t.yoder@ emu.edu or at (540) 432-4205. Feel free to send news directly to Paul or to the alumni office at email@example.com. Corrections The following items pertain to the spring 2010 issue of Crossroads: On page 22, Capital Christian Fellowship in Lanham, Md., was described as “non-denominational.” It actually belongs to Lancaster Mennonite Conference. On page 38, Oxford Circle Mennonite was described as being located in northeast Philadelphia (in the photo caption) and in west Philadelphia (in the text). Northeast Philadelphia is its actual location. On page 39, Bianca Prunes was named incorrectly as Bianca Walker. On page 50, the birth of Emma Elizabeth Blyer to Doug ’99 and Kristina Blosser ’98 Blyer was recorded twice, once with an incorrect date. The correct date is March 4, 2010. On page 53, the obituary of Luke D. Yoder, Sem ’78, incorrectly had the name “Paul” before “Luke.”
Free Access to ATLAS for Alumni As a result of a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., alumni of Eastern Mennonite University have been granted free access to ATLASerials®, a full-text collection of more than 150 major religion and theology journals selected by leading religion scholars, theologians, and clergy. This collection is administered by the American Theological Library Association, which has been producing research tools in religion and theology for more than sixty years. Contact Jennifer Ulrich, firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 432-4173 for access information.
Grateful for His Valentine by Jim Bishop ’67 Valentine’s Day is special for Anna and me… [On] Feb. 14, 1967, we publicly announced our intention — an urge on the verge of a merge — to exchange vows of mutual involvement in one another’s lives. No sooner did that word spread across campus than I became almost paranoid, watching my back, casting furtive glances up and down my dorm hallway. Tradition called for any newly-engaged guy to be waylaid and tossed into the fountain on front campus. Never mind that it was February with temperatures around the freezing mark. For several days, little more happened than the occasional “congratulatory” comments. I should have known. Nearly a week later, I was sawing wood when rudely awakened by a goon squad who yanked me from my bed, hauled me in the darkness to the ice-encrusted fountain — with a side excursion to the area outside the main women’s dormitory where the guys’ banshee screams awakened half the residents — and dropped me unceremoniously into the arctic water (today, that fountain is drained for the winter). It’s a miracle I didn’t contract pneumonia. I’ve reflected many times since whether we two 21-yearolds with no money and still developing careers had the vaguest notion back then of what it meant to join in bonds of holy matrimony on July 22, 1967, in eastern Pennsylvania. Forty years later, I believe we have a much better idea, and it sure wasn’t untarnished love, sunny skies, flowers and spring day in and day out. Our marital relationship encountered many stings and arrows that weren’t shot from Cupid's bow — working through role expectations, miscommunication, the trials of child-raising and, probably foremost — financial constraints. For a long stretch, we deliberately tried to operate largely on one income when we simultaneously started a family and took on a mortgage. But we found ourselves facing many other unexpected major expenditures long after our daughters left home. A slip of paper attached to my computer has helped keep my perspective: “Remember that if you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish somewhere you are among the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy.” Sitting in my warm, cozy office, it hits me anew: If I have a roof over my head, a job that provides challenge and meaning and a degree of fiscal stability, some food on the table, reasonably good physical and mental well-being and the support of friends and extended family, I should be grateful and content.
September 2009: Anna and Jim Bishop
Spring 1967: Jim and Anna on the verge of being grads and spouses
JIM BISHOP ’67, EMU’s public information officer, has produced literally countless press releases about EMU activities – more than 5,000 for sure -- that have appeared in some form in publications around the world. Since 1990, Jim has written a weekly column called the “Bishop’s Mantle” for the Harrisonburg Daily News Record. As an undergraduate in the mid-1960s Jim wrote for the WeatherVane and produced shows for the college radio station, WEMC. He continues to host a weekly show, Friday Night Jukebox, on WEMC-FM. As needed, he has written and edited for Crossroads throughout the years. Jim will be retiring at the end of the coming (2010-’11) school year, after 40 years of continuous service. In honor of (surely) the most prolific writer in the history of EMU – not to mention, a beloved one – we hereby wrap up the literature theme of this Crossroads with an excerpt from one of his favorite Bishop’s Mantle columns. It originally appeared in the 2/24/07 issue of the Daily News Record. — Bonnie Price Lofton
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Alumni Award Winners Great Coach On and Off Court Dwight Gingerich ’81: Alumnus of the Year By Larry Swartzendruber ’83 Dwight Gingerich has coached at Iowa Mennonite School (IMS) for 28 years, compiling an amazing record: 509 wins to 139 losses as of Feb. 2, 2010; 10 state tournament appearances; five sportsmanship awards at state tournament; one state championship (1992); four state runner-up finishes; one state third-place finish; conference coach of the year 12 times; district coach of the year four times; sub-state coach of the year two times; state coach of the year one time. His ten state tournament appearances rank third among active coaches in Iowa (seventh among Iowa coaches all-time). His 509139 win-loss records puts him ninth among active coaches in Iowa; his .786 winning percentage ranks third among active coaches. He has averaged 18 wins per season (third among active coaches with 500 wins). He was Iowa’s nominee for National Coach of the Year 2010 and was among the eight finalists nationwide for this award. In the service and volunteer arena, Dwight serves on the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association board of directors and has been active in the coaching fraternity. He is active in Coaches vs. Cancer efforts. Since being at Iowa Mennonite School in various roles including vice principal, guidance counselor and coach, Dwight has led numerous interterm groups (week-long experiences), both on campus and off. He has served on multiple committees at First Mennonite Church of Iowa City and as a youth coach in basketball, soccer, and baseball. Dwight actively cares for students. He has opened his home to students during transition periods, most often to boarding students and to students experiencing difficulties in their home lives. I have had the pleasure of working with this outstanding person for 23 years. His commitment to the students and the community in general is unsurpassed. I have heard him speak of athletics on numerous occasions, and one thing strikes me each time – that athletics is no higher than fifth on his list of priorities, with these
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“It is a testament to Dwight’s influence and respect among his players/students that many former players have entered the coaching ranks and have chosen to model their on-court behavior after him.” coming before: (1) God, (2) church, (3) family, (4) academics. All of our coaches coach to win, but more importantly teach more than the sport itself. It is a testament to Dwight’s influence and respect among his players/students that many former players have entered the coaching ranks and have chosen to model their on-court behavior after him. Many people speak to the “Dwight way” of coaching: fundamentals, hard work ethic, respect for one another, and working as a team. Our school has had some outstanding players over the years, ones who have gone on to play college ball (including two at the Division I level), but while a part of the IMS program, their egos get checked at the door. One of our local schools runs an out-of-bounds play called “IMS.” Usually plays are named after well-known colleges, such as a play called “Duke” or “Kansas” or “Iowa.” For little IMS to have a play named after it is a sign of the type of respect rival schools feel for the IMS program, which Dwight has played the leading role in crafting. There is always tension between athletics and academics, or athletics and the arts. The role of athletics, of course, has
Come, Gather Again
EMUand Homecoming 2009 Homecoming family weekend 2010 photo by mary yoder
increased over time, and the emphasis on sports can be excessive, even at the high school level. Dwight is a master at bridging those differences and alleviating some of that tension. He has successfully included the community in the appreciation of the role of sports in the lives of our youth. Beyond all of his coaching accolades and his success in that area, Dwight has remained grounded and humble. I’ve heard our athletic director talk about going to coaching clinics where the majority of other attendees “couldn’t hold a candle to Dwight coaching-wise,” yet Dwight is furiously taking notes and trying to better himself as a coach. He is constantly learning and is constantly placing the students, the athletes, and the game above himself as an individual. I mentioned the coaching boards he’s been on. Dwight detests playing the “political game.” He will not put himself in position to serve on boards simply to gain recognition for himself. If asked, he
will be involved, but he does not actively seek such positions. All of us have experienced sports events at which coaches routinely yell, swear, and berate players and officials. Dwight simply does not do that. Officials will many times talk about enjoying refereeing ballgames at IMS for that very reason, not only from the coaching standpoint but for the atmosphere in general. This tone is set by Dwight himself. Dwight has had opportunity to move on to bigger programs, but has chosen to remain at IMS, where he feels he can make a difference at this level, in this community, at this time. Larry Swartzendruber ’83 is director of development at Iowa Mennonite School. This piece was his nomination essay. Dwight was the first in his family to go to EMU. He was followed by his brother Ken ’82 (deceased) and his sister Jewel Gingerich Longenecker ’88.
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Alumni Award Winners Compassionate, Gentle Births in Haiti Nadene Brunk ’75: Distinguished Service Award By Ken Heatwole, MD A good cause. Passion. Compassion. High motivation. Extremely motivating. Delicate negotiator. Put all of these into a lady who is already vivacious, likable, and mild-mannered and out comes Nadene Brunk. In 2000, I was on the medical mission team that introduced Nadene to Haiti. Granted, as a Certified Nurse Midwife, she was already primed to be acutely aware of women’s health, especially as it relates to pregnancy. But the impact of that visit and the seeds of vision that were planted went well beyond her own expectations. The reality of what she witnessed and the statistics of Haiti – 75% of births unaided by skilled attendants, high infant and maternal morbidity and mortality by largely preventable causes, almost nonexistent prenatal care, early childhood disease and death rates, and rampant postpartum disease – were more than enough to impregnate the vision of help for the women of Haiti. Through her own vivid thought process and with the help of others close to the cause, Nadene birthed Midwives for Haiti (MFH) in 2006. (See midwivesforhaiti.org). The primary goal of MFH is to educate and train the women of Haiti in the skills of midwifery and place them in areas of need. We are preparing to graduate our third class and are now interviewing candidates for the fourth. The graduates are already embedded into various rural communities and have been highly successful. In good modern mission philosophy, this program is for the Haitians, in strong collaboration with local Haitians, and to be, ultimately, largely Haitian driven. MFH is barely a toddler yet, but its growth is dramatic and largely due to Nadene. Passion – The plight of the pregnant Haitian woman and how to care for her are daily on Nadene’s mind and lips. Without hesitation, she will enter into fervent discussion on the statistics and emotions of Haiti. Her e-mails of research, organization, and various personal reflections are sent at all hours of the day and night. Compassion – There is a certain amount of chaos and aggres-
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“Nadene’s leadership and belief in a program that is right and good in our world excite and move those around her.” siveness during labor and delivery in Haiti. One of the lesser, but no less important, goals that Nadene fosters in this project is her own philosophy of compassionate and gentle care during birth. She models this approach, urges all of the volunteers to do likewise, and actively teaches this approach to our Haitian staff and students. And outside of the delivery room, her compassion and caring highlight the importance of developing and maintaining relationships. High motivation – To make a project like MFH work, sustain, and grow, there must be leadership that is greatly motivated and driven to see the big picture, yet focus also on the necessary details. The future for MFH may always be cloudy. Nonetheless, since day one of this service to Haiti, Nadene has believed strongly in her vision of better health care for the women of Haiti and has pursued it with unbridled gusto. In the most positive sense of the word, Nadene is obsessed with the success of this project. Inspiring – Nadene’s leadership and belief in a program that is right and good in our world excite and move those around her. She has motivated into action: midwives across the United States and Canada to volunteer through insight sessions at the national midwife conference; university professors to bring their students for training and experience; the Haitian Ministry of Health to see MFH as a model for the rest of the country; the support
Come, Gather Again
EMUand Homecoming 2009 Homecoming family weekend 2010 photo courtesy Nadene Brunk
of women’s groups through impassioned testimonials; churches with worship sermons; and the MFH board and her family as we become more invested in the cause. MFH has even captured the attention of the United Nations, the wider international midwife community, and, hopefully with upcoming negotiations, the BushClinton Foundation. Negotiator – Nadene has developed into a masterful and delicate mediator. And there has been no lack of opportunities – contracts with a challenging Haitian government, hiring and firing of Americans and Haitians alike, working with the personalities of 250 midwives that have been placed in volunteer positions, settling contracts of our Haitian staff, collaborating closely with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, and working with major benefactors like the Bon Secours Healthcare System and the International Rotary
Club. She takes each challenge, often processing it out loud with those close to her, and, even in the most sensitive and potentially explosive scenarios, creates an outcome of good will for all. While the cause of MFH has many contributing to its growth and success, it is fundamentally Nadene’s vision. She is the current heart and soul of this mission, but has the wisdom and intention of raising this “child” of hers into an adult mission that can sustain itself regardless of an individual or the few. Ken Heatwole, MD, is on the board of directors of Midwives for Haiti, as well as its medical director. He also practices family medicine in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is husband of Virginia ’79, son of John Paul Heatwole, class of ’51, and grandson of long-time Eastern Mennonite employee Ammon Heatwole (deceased).
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Come, Gather Again EMU Homecoming 2009
EMU Homecoming 2009 Homecoming and family weekend 2010
Join us October 8-10, 2010
Come for an unforgettable experience. Share memories, renew friendships and build new ones!
Schedule Friday, October 8 Homecoming chapel assembly Lehman Auditorium, 10 a.m Featured speaker will be Nadene S. Brunk ’75, founder and director of Midwives for Haiti. She will share about her organization and its efforts to bring about improved health conditions for women and babies in Haiti. Art exhibit: Hartzler Library Gallery, open during library hours Art show by EMU faculty. The Paul R. Yoder, Sr., Memorial Golf Classic, sponsored by the Loyal Royals Spotswood Country Club, morning and afternoon shotgun starts; lunch included. 4-person captains choice with flighted scoring and great prizes. Cost is $100 per person, with many sponsorship opportunities. Contact the EMU Athletics office at (540) 432-4440 or email@example.com to register. Welcome center and registration desk University Commons, 3-9 p.m. Evening meal Dining Hall, 5-6:30 p.m.; pay at the door. Donor appreciation banquet (by invitation) U. Commons lower level, reception, 4:45 p.m.; banquet, 5:30 p.m. Field Hockey vs. Virginia Wesleyan Turf Field, 7 p.m. Lady Royals’ intercollegiate athletic contest, and jersey retirement ceremony for former field hockey player & Athletic Hall of Honor member Jeane Horning Hershey ’94. EMU Theater: “The Triumph of Love” Lehman Auditorium, 8 p.m. A musical comedy for Homecoming and Family Weekend. Talk-back following Friday’s performance, led by Drs. Christian and Annmarie Early. Directed by EMU Theater's Thomas P. Joyner. Suitable for all 32 | crossroads | summer 2010
ages. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For more information, visit www.emu.edu/box-office, or call the box office Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. beginning September 1, at (540) 432-4582.
Saturday, October 9 Welcome center and registration desk University Commons, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Science center annual breakfast and program Suter Science Center, 8 a.m. 8 a.m., Breakfast, for which reservations are necessary. 9 a.m., Suter Science Seminar. Guest speaker Dr. David Leaman ’60 of Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa., speaking on common problems in cardiology and on the health care bill relative to our current health care system. Room #106 10 a.m., Update on Science Center campaign plans by Kirk Shisler ’81, vice president for advancement. 10:30 a.m., Open house for the departments of biology, chemistry, psychology, and math sciences. Haverim and seminary alumni breakfast and program Seminary foyer, 8 a.m. All are welcome to hear from the new seminary dean, Dr. Michael A. King ’76. Reservations necessary. Business and economics breakfast and program Discipleship Center, 8 a.m. Roger Bairstow of Broetje Orchards will be the speaker. Broetje Orchards is one of the largest family-owned apple and cherry orchards in the U.S., encompassing nearly a million trees. “Putting people before profits” is its operating mission. Reservations necessary. Nurses’ breakfast and presentation West Dining Room, 1st floor of Northlawn, 8 a.m. Special guest speaker will be Nadene S. Brunk ’75, nursing department graduate, founder and director of Midwives for Haiti, and 2010 EMU Distinguished Service Award recipient. Reservations necessary. Hall of Honor breakfast and awards University Commons Court C, 8:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Loyal Royals and EMU Athletics Department. Terry Koppenhaver ’69, Kirsten Brubaker Fuhr ’99, and Ryan Brenneman ’00 will be inducted into the Hall of Honor (Terry posthumously). Reservations necessary.
Jesse T. Byler lecture series Seminary Building, room 123, 9 a.m. Stanley Swartz ’87 will present “Overcoming Evil with Good; Making Connections in the Classroom.” Stanley teaches drama and English at Harrisonburg High School. The lecture is open to all. Please register. Language and literature department reunion Campus Center, room 301-302 9-10 a.m. All are welcome to hear alumni share stories about the language program including the International Volunteer Exchange Program language partners. Reservations recommended; no charge. Parents & the president Campus Center 1st Floor, Brunk Maust Lounge, 10-10:30 a.m. You are invited to have coffee and hear from EMU president Loren Swartzendruber and others on a variety of matters of interest to parents of EMU students. Alumni and others are welcome. This will be an informal time of questions and answers, bringing you up-to-date on recent campus developments and plans for the future. Fun run Meet at the track, 10:30 a.m. 5K run/walk. All welcome. No entry fee.
Class Reunions Festive Gathering 11 a.m. Lehman Auditorium lawn Mingle with fellow alumni, friends, university faculty and EMU administration. Refreshments, music and entertainment. Opening Welcome Program 11:20 a.m. in Lehman Auditorium Gather with your classmates as you sit together in this familiar landmark. The short program will include a presidential welcome and introduction of alumni award recipients. Class Reunions and Luncheons Immediately after the opening program, reunion classes of 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 will convene into their own groups for photos, reunions and lunch. Please pre-register for “class reunion luncheon” on the registration form.
Children’s activities Grades 1-5 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Lehman Auditorium, recital hall Fun-filled activities organized and led by the EMU Student Education Association, including free pizza and supplies – to ensure appropriate amounts of both, pre-registration is requested. Intercollegiate athletic contests Women’s volleyball vs. Mary Baldwin, 1 p.m. Men’s soccer vs. Guilford, 4 p.m. Women’s soccer vs. Roanoke, 7 p.m. Wilderness seminar reunion University Commons, climbing wall area, court C, 1-3 p.m. All members of past wilderness seminar groups, as well as their families, are welcome to drop in for a time of fellowship, and perhaps to once again meet the challenge of a climb! Climbing wall open University Commons, climbing wall area, court C, 1-3 p.m. Alumni, parents, children, and students are welcome to come test their agility and determination at the climbing wall. There is an appropriate climb for all levels. Permission forms required; may be filled out on location prior to climbing. 1986 China cross-cultural reunion University Commons, room 211- 212, 2-4 p.m. Please register. 1995 Germany cross-cultural reunion & dinner Discipleship Center, 4 p.m. Reservations necessary. Dinner Dining hall open 5-6 p.m.; pay at the door. Encore! Dinner Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Martin Chapel, 6 p.m. Sponsored jointly by EMU’s music department and the “Encore!” alumni support group, this dinner is open to everyone. Reservations necessary. EMU Theater: “The Triumph of Love” Lehman Auditorium, 8 p.m. Please see description and ticket information at Friday event listing.
Sunday, October 10 Jubilee Alumni & class reunion luncheon and program Seminary building; Martin Chapel, 12:30 p.m. This event is for alumni who attended EMU 50 years ago or more. The class of 1960 will be honored and inducted into the Jubilee Alumni Association. There will be designated tables for reunion year classes. General seating is available for other Jubilee Alumni guests. Reservations necessary. Youth activities Grades 6-12, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come explore EMU. From academics to social life, from the Shenandoah Valley to Delhi, India, EMU students and admissions counselors will lead the way. Meet at the welcome center in the University Commons for activities, including free pizza lunch. Activities end at 2 p.m. Pick up at the welcome center. Please pre-register.
Homecoming worship service Lehman Auditorium, 10 a.m. Worship celebration of song and scripture. Alumnus of the Year Dwight Gingerich and Distinguished Service Award recipient Nadene Brunk will be recognized and participate in the service. Child care available if pre-registered. Lunch Main dining room, Northlawn lower level, 11:30-1 p.m. You may pay at the door. Award recipient dinner (by invitation) Martin Chapel, 12 p.m. EMU Theater: “The Triumph of Love” Lehman Auditorium, 3 p.m. Please see description and ticket information at Friday event listing. www.emu.edu | crossroads | 33
Monday, October 11
Alumni Association annual council meeting, 8 a.m.
List only those attending and indicate how the names should appear on nametags. Please include birth name.
Name ___________________________________Class ___________ Spouse/Guest ____________________________Class ___________
EARLY REGISTRATION REWARD! All registrations sent in by September 1, will be entered into a drawing for free tickets to the musical, “The Triumph of Love.” Tickets will be mailed to several lucky winners.
Address _________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________ State_______________________________Zip___________________ E-mail __________________________Day Phone _ ______________
Registration Deadline: Register and make payment securely on our website by September 29 at www.emu.edu/ homecoming, or return this registration form with payment by September 22.
Limited tickets will be available at the homecoming registration desk in the University Commons during open hours for those who have not pre-registered.
Mail Alumni Office, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Online www.emu.edu/homecoming Theater tickets are available only through the box office. Questions? Please call (540) 432-4245. You may also reach us by fax (540) 432-4444 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Refund policy: To receive a refund, send your cancellation notice by October 5. EMU Homecoming 2009
Name _____________________________________ Age __________ Name _____________________________________ Age __________ Youth activities, grades 6-12 Name _____________________________________ Age __________ TEAR HERE
Checks should be made payable to Eastern Mennonite University. Reservations and payment must be sent by deadline to guarantee seating.
Children's activities, age 5 through grade 5
Name _____________________________________ Age __________
Tickets Breakfast programs Business & economics breakfast Hall of honor breakfast Haverim & seminary alumni breakfast Nurses’ breakfast Sciences’ continental breakfast
______ $ 8.50 ______ $ 8.00 ______ $ 5.00 ______ $10.00 ______ $ 4.00
Total ______ ______ ______ ______ ______
Luncheon Programs Class reunion luncheon Jubilee alumni luncheon
______ $ 7.00 ______ ______ $ 7.00 ______
Dinners Encore! dinner 1995 Germany cross-cultural dinner
______ $10.00 ______ ______ $10.00 ______
Free Events 1986 China cross-cultural group reunion Jesse T. Byler lecture series Language & literature reunion
Number attending ______ ______ ______
Total amount enclosed
EMU Homecoming 2009 emu.edu/homecoming
Office Use Only ID # ___________ Amt Rec’d $________ Amt Due $____________
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 34
EMU Homecoming 2009
EMU Homecoming 2009 emu.edu/homecoming
Lodging Information: Hotel (block room) reservations for Homecoming, October 8-10, 2010 For discounted rates, callers should mention “EMU Homecoming & Family Weekend.” Best Western Tel: (540) 433-6089 Rooms: 40 Lift Date: September 8, 2010 Candle wood Suites Tel: (540) 437-1400 Rooms: 20 Lift Date: September 8, 2010 Pets allowed
EMU Theater: “The Triumph of Love” Lehman Auditorium, 8 p.m. A musical comedy for Homecoming and Family Weekend. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Directed by EMU Theater’s Thomas P. Joyner. Suitable for all ages. “Love can make a woman do strange things. Like lie about her past. Or give up her career for the man she loves.” Such is the state of things in James Magruder's, Jeffrey Stock's, and Susan Birkenhead’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, musical adaptation of the classic French comedy by Marivaux. For more information, visit www.emu.edu/box-office, or call the EMU box office at (540) 432-4582, Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., beginning September 1.
EMU Guest House Tel: (540) 432-4280 Rooms: all rooms, plus availability in local homes. Lift Date: as long as “supplies” last… Hampton Inn Tel : (540) 432–1111 Rooms: 20 Lift Date: September 8, 2010 Sleep Inn Tel.: (540) 433-7100 Rooms: 20 Lift Date: September 8, 2010 Pets allowed
Come Gather again Don't miss the tradition of gathering with friends from your college days at homecoming. A festive gathering, short program, and class reunions/luncheons are all part of this year’s celebration.
See www.harrisonburgtourism.com for more information Art work by Dennis Maust / Metamorphoses / tile mosaic
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EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY
PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID Harrisonburg, Virginia
Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2462 Parents: If this is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a separate residence, please give us the new address. Call (540) 432-4294 or e-mail email@example.com
EMU Homecoming 2008 EMU Homecoming 2010
don’t miss thebrochure brochure the back cover! don’t miss the inside theinside back cover!
Oct. 10 - 12
Don’t miss your class reunion!
Come, Gather Again
Reunions for alumni who attended EMU 50 years ago or more will gather at the Jubilee Alumni Luncheon at 11:30 a..m in the Campus Center’s Martin Greeting Hall. All other reunions, for the classes of 1963EMU and later (grad years endingparents, in 3 or 8) will begin at 3:30 p.m. invites alumni, and families to After meeting in your designated location, each class will also have a space Homecoming and Family Weekend 2010!dinner, set aside for additional gathering and fellowship at the evening to beThere held in the hall, firstand floor events of Northlawn. Please register aredining activities planned for all for both your class reunion and the dinner to follow. All Homecoming throughout weekend. and Family Weekend the guestsentire are welcome to register for this Family and Reunion Dinner. Serving lines will be open 5 – 6:30 p.m.
this event, please contact Kirsten Beachy at 432.4164 • beachyk@emu. edu or Vi Dutcher at 432.4316 • firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oakwood Reunion All Alumni who once resided in Oakwood will come together to share memories and refreshments. See inside for more details of these special reunions and online at www.emu.homecoming
Cheer vane for theReunion EMU Royals in sporting events weather
throughout All alumni who werethe onceweekend. a part of the Weather Vane staff are welcome to attend a reception hosted by the language and literature department. Former Weather Vane editors will reminisce about their experiences EMU Theater’s performance of “The no on EMU’s student newspaper. Advance reservations recommended; charge. If you were a former editor and want to share your memories at Triumph of Love.”
by Sunday morning worship and recognition of alumni award recipients.
EASTERN RelaxMand catch up with friends, ENNONITE former classmates and professors—whether it’s UNIVERSITY your reunion year or not. Homecoming events are
PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID Harrisonburg, Virginia
planned for ALL VA alumni of EMU. Harrisonburg, 22802-2462
Parents: If this is addressed to your son or daughter who
has established a separate residence, please give us the newregistration Look inside for more details and address. Call (540) 432-4294 or e-mail email@example.com information and online at emu.edu/homecoming
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 36
Crossroads is the alumni magazine of Eastern Mennonite University, a small Christian liberal arts college dedicated to Anabaptist and Mennon...