SPRING 2001 THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE
What exactly does
have to do with
ROUSING THE EVANGELICAL MIND, PAGE 4 • TOUCHED BY A SILVER ANGEL, PAGE 7 NOT YOUR FOUNDER’S MISSION FIELD, PAGE 11
Shalom of God
hile some alarmists would like us to think otherwise, religion in the academy seems to be thriving. Even evangelical scholars are being given an important place at the table. Not only are Christian scholars being heard, their views are respected as an important voice in academic debate. Here are some important indicators which underscore the renewed interest in religion in academic life: The Lilly Endowment has made grants to study ways in which religious vitality can enhance church-related higher education and heighten the profile of religion in the academy at large. The Lilly Endowment initiative concludes “religion steps into the 21st century with remarkable vitality. Both traditional religion and popular spirituality make impressive showings in the public square of American life—on the campaign trail, in the media, in the workplace and on American campuses.” Focusing primarily on evangelical scholarship, the October 2000 cover story of the prestigious Atlantic Monthly was “The Opening of the Evangelical Mind,” by Alan Wolfe. Our own Professor Thomas (Tal) Howard addresses similar issues in his article “Rousing the Evangelical Mind” in this issue of Stillpoint, page 4. Last October Harvard University held a symposium on “The Future of Religious Colleges,” sponsored by the Program on Educational Policy and Governance at the Kennedy School of Government. The conference included a wide spectrum of religious colleges, from those in the Anabaptist tradition to the extensive network of Roman Catholic institutions. I was invited to deliver a paper assessing the prospects for colleges and universities in the evangelical tradition—“Embodying Religious Mission: the Evangelical Vision.” A newspaper covering the conference suggested the educators “portrayed the cultural climate as increasingly welcoming of religious scholars and hospitable to religious institutions.” College presidents this year are reporting anecdotal evidence that there is a shift within the youth population to higher spiritual values and a desire for voluntary service. Many campuses can’t find enough service opportunities to fulfill the demand.
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What does all this mean? For one thing, it means faculty and intellectual leaders at a place like Gordon must be ready to provide leadership in academia. God calls us to be salt and light, presenting the full message of the gospel. Not only are we to call individuals to salvation in Christ, but we are also to be agents and witnesses of the liberation which comes from Christ living through us. We have a responsibility to be not only teachers but also agents of transformation in society, taking the shalom of God where there is strife and brokenness. May Christian colleges like Gordon indeed accept this challenge. May we be strong voices at the table in the important conversation which continues over the future direction of our culture and the academy.
T.S. Eliot, in his poem Four Quartets, refers to God as the “still point of the turning world.” Editor Patricia C. McKay ’65 Director of Communications Richard D. Sweeney Jr. ’85 Public Relations Specialist Chris Underation Publication Design Lora E. Maggiacomo ’92 Joanne R. Vermont ’96 Printer Universal Westwood, MA Stillpoint, the magazine for alumni and friends of the united college of Gordon and Barrington, is published three times a year and has a circulation of 22,000. Changes of address should be sent to the Development Office. Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, MA 01984 email@example.com Visit our website at: www.gordon.edu Reproduction of Stillpoint in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin.
Volume 16, Number 2 Spring 2001
What Exactly Does Jerusalem Have to Do with Athens? IFC UP FRONT BY PRESIDENT JUD CARLBERG Religion, Academics and the Shalom of God 2 ON & OFF CAMPUS BY CHRIS UNDERATION 4 Rousing the Evangelical Mind BY THOMAS HOWARD It’s time for evangelicals to wake up from their academic slumber and reclaim their scholastic heritage. 7 Touched by a Silver Angel BY CHRIS UNDERATION Professor Marvin Wilson and two filmmakers win the Silver Angel Award for Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith.
9 Christian Higher Ed at Its Best BY RONALD MAHURIN ’81 The 100 members of the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities accomplish together what no one institution can accomplish alone. 11 Not Your Founder’s Mission Field BY PAUL BORTHWICK How have missions changed since A. J. Gordon’s days? Missions Then and Now: Ralph and Polly Brown ’50, and Rob and Kimberly Skinner ’83. 14 Learning to Make a Difference BY GREG CARMER How do service-learning and outreach components of a Gordon education better prepare students for life and responsibility? Hear from Paul Malkemes ’95, Marc Pitman ’95, and Brandi ’92 and Dana ’93 Bates. 18 ALUMS AT LARGE BY PAT MCKAY ’65 Throwing Out the Lifeline For 20 years Ron Pickett ’68 has played a major role in saving lives around the world through telemedicine.
“MAS is more of a love than any of my other businesses have been. It’s the ultimate high— it saves lives.” Ron Pickett
20 GIFTS & GIVING BY PHILIP BEST Being Prepared for the Unexpected Joyce (Blakney) Duerr ’58 shares how unexpected circumstances changed her life drastically— not once, but twice. IBC RAVES & REBUFFS BC EVENTS CALENDAR
alike, who commented that they were struck by how much the two faiths actually share. “Frankly it was refreshing to hear what we have in common instead of how we differ,” one Christian woman wrote after viewing the film. “We have focused on the differences for too long. Maybe if we heard more about what we have in common, culture would be in better shape than it is because we could work together rather than distrust one another.” The two-hour program will be available for national release in the fall. Watch local TV listings for times.
PAT MCKAY ’65
Just before Christmas Gordon College finalized formal agreements with three institutions to expand educational opportunities for students and extend the influence of Gordon around the world. Starting in the spring of 2002, Silliman University in the Philippines will become the regular host site for Gordon’s Tropical Biology Silliman’s Marine Biological Laboratory Semester. Originally founded by the Presbyterian Church, Silliman is a strongly Christian school that has top-level research facilities in marine biology. Professor Dan Lindstrom will direct this program. In November Gordon hosted Suor Giovanna of the Institute of San Lodovico in Orvieto, Italy. Giovanna came to sign an agreement which provides housing for Gordon students in Orvieto. Gordon’s Orvieto Semester program has already established a presence in Orvieto, contributing to the culture of the L to R: Professor John Skillen; President Jud Carlberg; Suor Giovanna; Diane Blake, assistant area. Orvieto is an dean of external education. increasingly popular arts-oriented program, directed by Professor John Skillen. Gordon has also signed a special agreement with Bentley College that will provide Gordon’s accounting majors direct entry into several of Bentley’s graduate programs. Professor Ted Wood negotiated the agreement on behalf of Gordon.
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY Old timers from the North Shore insist it’s true—the largest Jewish-Christian interfaith event in New England history was held at Gordon College last fall. The reason was the premiere screening of a film based on Marvin Wilson’s book Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. (See the Summer 1999 Stillpoint for more details on the film project; see page 7 of this issue for a story about an award they received for the film.) On October 15 more than 1,400 Jews and Christians filled the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel for the first of two Sunday evening screenings. A second, student-only screening drew about 1,500 to the chapel. The film, titled Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith, was produced by Auteur Productions of Maryland. The film is intended to look into the commonalities and differences—as well as the misconceptions—Jews and Christians have about each other. It received rave reviews from Jews and Christians
CHAPTER AND VERSE Kevin Belmonte, director of Gordon’s Wilberforce Papers Project, has contributed a chapter to a book titled Building a Healthy Culture: Strategies for an American Cultural Renaissance. The book is edited by Don Eberly, founder of the Civil Society Project, and published by Eerdmans. Belmonte’s chapter is one of the longer chapters in the book, centering around the social legacy of British statesman and reformer William Wilberforce. Over a long political career, Wilberforce helped bring an end to slavery in the British Empire and helped reverse negative moral trends in his nation’s culture. “Considering the stature of the other contributors, I am extremely flattered that Don allowed me to reflect on Wilberforce’s legacy—specifically the reformation of morals—at such length,” Belmonte said. The book contains an introduction and foreword by Senators Joe Lieberman and Sam Brownback. Other contributors include internationally known historians Gertrude Himmelfarb and John G. West, Michael Medved, Zbignew Brzezinski, Charles Krauthammer, Elayne Bennett and Joe Loconte.
CLOSING THE BOOK Once again, this spring Gordon will say farewell to three individuals who will retire after serving the College well over the last several decades. Diane Blake ’58 has served in a number of important positions since the 1960s. She was associate director of European Seminar for several years, an associate professor of history, oversaw cooperative education, internships and off-campus programs, and was most recently assistant dean of external education. She served on many committees and helped shape and upgrade numerous programs. Diane Blake She has also been invaluable in her work around the world with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (see page 9). Diane holds a doctorate in European history from Boston University. Muriel Radtke has served both Barrington and Gordon Colleges during her 34-year career. She joined Barrington’s Department of Education in 1967 and taught interdisciplinary courses in fine arts and film. She was chair of that department from 1979 to 1985.
ON & OFF CAMPUS
BY CHRIS UNDERATION
BACKGROUND AERIAL PHOTO BY JAMES ABTS, 2000
She came to Gordon in 1985, becoming chair of Gordon’s Education Division in 1993 and the combined undergraduate and graduate divisions in 1996. Muriel was instrumental in establishing the Master of Education program at Gordon. She holds a doctorate in education from Boston University. Muriel Radtke Jane Wells, an education professor, came to Gordon as a part-time faculty member in 1981 and became full-time in 1987. As the director of teacher certification for Gordon, she has been deeply involved in statewide plans to toughen certification standards for teachers. Under her leadership Gordon College has proven itself as one of the best teacher’s colleges in the state, routinely placing in the top handful of schools Jane Wells based on the results of our teacher certification candidates on the state certification test. She earned her doctorate in education at Boston University.
eyond the ectern A sampling of faculty accomplishments and activities outside the classroom History professor STEVE ALTER presented a paper titled “Unconscious Selection and Darwin’s Distribution Thinking” at the November meeting of the History of Science Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. RICHARD PIERARD of the History Department reviewed James W. Fraser’s book Between Church and State: Religious and Public Education in a Multicultural America in the journal Contemporary Education.
Dean of the Chapel GARY STRATTON presented the paper “What’s Gone Wrong with the Harvest? Using the Wilkins Paradigm of Biblical Discipleship to Reach the Lost through Christian Education” at the North American Professors of Christian Education conference. MURIEL RADTKE served as a state representative on an NCATE accrediting team at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. NCATE is a national accreditation agency for teacher preparation programs. Business professor TED WOOD presented the paper “Corporate Social Responsibility, Management Decision Making and the Use of Accounting Information: the Nineteenth-Century Lowell, Massachusetts, Textile Mill Experience” at the Christian Business Faculty Association meeting in Buffalo, New York. GALE FULLER, a member of the voice faculty in the Music Department, placed second in the International Contemporary Opera competition held in New York. Gale went through three levels of judging, each time facing a different set of judges. Besides receiving a cash prize, she will be featured in a recital at Carnegie Hall next season. The goal of this competition is to assist the most talented singers with their careers. English Department professor MARK STEVICK ’87 published the poem “Enoch” in the fall edition of Christianity and the Arts magazine. This magazine is a national publication dedicated to promoting the sacred in the arts. KAY BANNON ’71 of the Education Division gave a presentation titled “Keeping the Cherokee Story Alive” at the annual conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development held in Boston. Kay has been actively involved in the Eastern Cherokee Language Project, which helps preserve the native Cherokee language. LEASA LUTES, professor of foreign languages, has written a book titled Allende, Buitrago, Luiselli: Aproximaciones teóricas al concepto del Bildungsroman femenino. The book is published by Peter Lang Publishing in New York. MARVIN WILSON served as a Hebrew exegetical consultant for a book recently written by Eugene Peterson. Marv consulted on six segments of the book, titled The Old Testament Prophets in Contemporary English. The book is published by NavPress.
NAMESAKE OF PIKE HONORS PROGRAM DECEASED A world-famous linguist and Gordon College alumnus (class of 1933), KENNETH LEE PIKE, died in Dallas December 31 of septicemia. He was 88 years old. Mr. Pike was one of the first missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators and was president of the Summer Institute of Linguistics from 1942 until 1979. He was the first Wycliffe worker to complete a full translation of the New Testament, and he dedicated his life to helping other linguists create written languages so the Good News might be spread to all peoples. A Connecticut native, Mr. Pike taught at the University of Michigan for many years and was the first linguist
to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Templeton Prize. For many years Gordon has honored a select number of students as Kenneth Pike Honor Scholars. These students, who are permitted to design individualized majors under the guidance of faculty advisers, are selected because of their high academic achievement and clear vocational goals. Mr. Pike is survived by his wife, Evelyn, three children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his sister, Dr. Eunice V. Pike.
THOMAS ALBERT HOWARD
the evangelical mind
Idea of Christian Scholarship (1997), an hortly after the fall of the Roman Professor Howard says outgrowth of his prior opus, The Soul of Empire, when proverbial darkness the alarm clock has the American University (1994). was descending across Europe, These studies and others have not a monk named Cassiodorus dropped a sounded. It’s time for failed to attract the curiosity and esteem remark on the monastic vocation of copyevangelicals to wake up of outsiders. The Catholic intellectual ing books that might well apply to Christian from their academic historian and director of Notre Dame’s scholarship today. “What blissful exertion,” he wrote, “what precious pains in preaching slumber and reclaim their Erasmus Institute, James C. Turner, declared in a 1999 essay in the Catholic to men with one’s own hands, in opening scholastic heritage. journal Commonweal that the evangelical their lips with one’s own fingers, . . . [in] mind, though long dormant, had become opposing the evil wiles of the devil with pen something to be reckoned with. More recently, no less a and ink.” barometer of high culture than The Atlantic Monthly featured One could point out myriad differences between Casa cover article by Alan Wolfe, one of the nation’s premier public siodorus’ labors and those of scholars at America’s Christian intellectuals, on “The Opening of the Evangelical Mind.” In colleges today, but, in the main, the similarities perhaps it he intimated that contemporary evangelicalism had finally overshadow the differences. In his Institutiones, for example, overcome its fundamentalist associations and was poised “to Cassiodorus made clear his desire for a distinctly Christian seek at last some intellectual might.” form of learning. Although mainly concerned that his novices Given this state of affairs, what should Gordon College and learn “how to win eternal life,” he also desired that they speak other similarly situated colleges make of this renaissance of well and display “an attention full of curiosity.” While he evangelical scholarship and the increasing public recognition regarded copying sacred texts among his monastery’s essential for it? Should Christians, called not to be “wise by human purposes, he also praised the preservation of secular learning standards” (I Corinthians 1:26), desire to wield intellectual as a worthy and necessary cause. might? If so, how? Most fundamentally, what does the As students of early Christian history are well aware, Christian gospel have to do with the enterprise of the relationship between Christian and secular scholarship, especially the type of research and knowledge was an especially contentious issue What analysis most often associated with places like among the early Church Fathers, immortalized Harvard, Johns Hopkins or the University of in Tertullian’s famous question: “What does Chicago? In short, what exactly does JerusaJerusalem have to do with Athens, the Church exactly lem have to do with Athens? with the Academy?” I am persuaded that evangelical higher Since the days of Tertullian and Casdoes Jerueducation is rapidly approaching a point—if siodorus this question has never really gone it is not already at one—where it should away; rather, like Halley’s comet, it has consider some deliberate and soul-searching returned periodically to provoke—by its sheer salem have responses to Tertullian’s enduring question. inadmissibility of simple answers—some of The responses will not be no-brainers; they the most enduring achievements of Christo do with might entail involved and often contentious tian thought, ranging from Thomas Aquinas’ issues about the recruitment of personnel, Summa Theologica to Philipp Melanchthon’s the allocation of resources, faculty evaluaLoci Communes, the first systematic ProtesAthens? tion, the relationship between teaching and tant theology. research, and the very nature of the academic In our own day, North America’s evangelivocation. cal community has been fortunate to catch sight of the comet As daunting as this might seem, I am convinced if it is again. This became particularly apparent with the publicaundertaken with a spirit of fortitude and a reliance on God’s tion of Mark Noll’s landmark 1994 book, The Scandal of providence, evangelical colleges might just capitalize on the Evangelical Mind, which, while lamenting the populist a propitious historical moment to build on their faithful anti-intellectualism of 20th-century evangelicalism, signaled legacies toward an expectant future: a future of committed by its very existence the coming of a new day. The work was Christian scholarship; a future that challenges the assumptions followed by the launching of the journal Books and Culture, a of the secular academy; a future that nourishes the faithful Christian adaptation of the New York Review of Books, designed intellectually—not just emotionally; a future that repents of to foster serious intellectual discussion. More books appeared, the scandal of the evangelical mind. including, for example, Arthur F. Holmes’ Stob Lectures at In the interest of promoting such responses, and in the Calvin College published as The Soul of the Christian University same well-meaning, incautious spirit of Protestantism’s first (1997) and George Marsden’s much-discussed The Outrageous 4
act at Wittenberg, I offer below several theses that I hope might prove provocative in how we—Christians committed to the flourishing of evangelical liberal arts colleges—might think about the relationship between our common faith and the scholarly life of the mind. For the most part these theses are historical and philosophical in nature; they involve a thicket of practical issues, which should certainly be addressed as well. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say I’m an unapologetic booster of the task of top-notch Christian thinking. Forsaking worldly wisdom does not mean shortchanging the life of the mind, but transforming it for God’s glory and humankind’s eternal gain. Many of these thoughts are not terribly original; I admit to being an incorrigible borrower of ideas more salient than my own. I should finally remind the kind reader that the nature of a thesis is to be provocative—not exhaustive—raising questions the power of which does not lie in immediate answers.
SCANDAL OF ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM
American evangelical Christianity possesses an extraordinarily rich range of virtues, but exemplary thinking has not been one of them. It is incumbent upon evangelical Christians concerned about the life of the mind to pause and realize how entrenched and self-defeating anti-scholarly and anti-intellectual sensibilities have been among them in the 20th century. As Mark Noll has written, “It is a scandal arising from the historical experience of an entire subculture. It is a scandal to which the shape of evangelical institutions have contributed.” This has resulted in a “tragic imbalance,” according to William Hull, provost of Samford University, in which “the dominant religion in America is almost destitute of intellectual firepower.” Os Guinness goes a step further, calling evangelicalism’s shoddy intellectual stewardship deeply sinful.
PROTESTANT REFORMATION A SCHOLARLY PHENOMENON
Viewed from the long perspective of Christian history, the anti-intellectualism of American evangelicalism is a historical aberration, and one that especially debases our Protestant heritage. Indeed, the Protestant Reformation was, if anything, a scholarly, university-driven phenomenon, started by professors (Luther, Melanchthon) and transmitted because of universities. The early reformers would be particularly dismayed by the sloppy, individualistic biblicism that informs much of contemporary evangelicalism, just as they were troubled by the freewheeling abuse of the doctrine of sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) among Anabaptist radicals in their own day. Melanchthon, the great, sadly neglected humanist scholar of early Protestantism, was such an enthusiast for knowledge that he once wrote that next to Jesus Christ, the humane studies (studia humanitatis) is the greatest thing God has given to humankind.
UNABASHED TASK OF PURE LEARNING
Like Melanchthon, Christians today should especially esteem humane and liberal studies. Christian colleges which adopt the mantle of liberal arts owe particular fidelity to a venerable academic tradition. Consequently, they should be wary of overemphasizing vocational and preprofessional programs that often have the effect of detracting from the liberal arts. There is no dearth of technical, state, community, and now cyber colleges ready to serve strictly vocation-equipping functions. Christian liberal arts colleges should recover a deeper, historically informed understanding of vocation (vocatio or calling) that unabashedly esteems the task of pure learning as its primary, God-given purpose. To call oneself a liberal arts college while weakening the liberal arts undercuts the very meaning of the term. In fact, in the Middle Ages, the original meaning of liberal arts or artes liberales (literally “the free arts”) was set up against its opposite: the servile arts (artes serviles)—the disciplines geared exclusively to vocational ends. As Aquinas wrote, “Only those arts are called liberal or free which are concerned with knowledge; those which are concerned with utilitarian ends that are attained through activity, however, are called servile.” In our age of consumer capitalism, liberal arts colleges should all the more regard themselves as a sanctuary from, rather than a way station to, the world of total labor and consumption that knows only the principles of rational utilization and personal gratification. It is not that we want our students to become unskilled, sneering anticapitalists—far from it. Yet we should desire that as business leaders, rocket scientists or whatever, they enter the workand marketplace weaned from consumer capitalism’s often imperial demands.
LACK OF FAITH-INFORMED SCHOLARSHIP
Christian colleges are not research universities, but they should not overreact and define themselves in deliberate opposition to research universities, for this gives research universities too much power over their identity. Christians have done a good job at criticizing the secularism, the disdain of teaching and the often soulless careerism that habitually goes on
Gordon Elected to Lilly Network
e are pleased to announce that Gordon College has been elected to the Lilly Fellows Network of Colleges and Universities, a consortium of church-related institutions. The primary goal of the network is to encourage national conversation “about the nature of the Christian academic vocation and the future of church-related higher education.” The program is housed at Valparaiso University in Indiana and is currently comprised of 65 institutions. Among them are Wheaton, Messiah, Calvin, Westmont, Notre Dame, Villanova, Georgetown, St. Olaf, Goshen, Boston College, Davidson, Holy Cross and Baylor. Members participate in an annual conference on church-related higher education and have access to additional faculty development and grant opportunities. The Network was a principal supporter of the book Models for Christian Higher Education (Eerdmans, 1997) and subsequent conferences based on that text. Models explored the philosophical approaches to higher education in the Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, reformed, evangelical, Wesleyan and Baptist traditions. Gordon’s Harold Heie wrote the primary essay in the book, interpreting the evangelical view of faith and learning. Thomas Howard served as a Lilly Fellow at Valparaiso prior to coming to Gordon and played a vital role in promoting Gordon’s admission to the Lilly Network.
PLACE FOR CONTEMPLATION OVER ACTIVISM
One of the defining features of American evangelicalism, scholars regularly contend, is a penchant for activism over contemplation; Christian service over Christian thought; doing over being. Not surprisingly, evangelical colleges place great emphasis on service—service learning, as the expression goes. To a great extent this is laudable, especially since learning and action are regularly and wrongly divorced in mainstream education, and Christian service is undeniably one of Gordon’s strong suits. But if I may respectfully offer a word of caution: Overamplified, strengths can mutate into weaknesses; and evangelical colleges should remain mindful that practically every church and parachurch organization is also devoted to service in some form or another. By adopting a similar focus, it would seem evangelical colleges risk reinventing the wheel and ignoring the theological mandate to realize a diversity of gifts. It would further seem that if any set of evangelical institutions should unreservedly embrace the vita contemplativa (the contemplative life) as a remedy to its subculture’s most crippling shortcoming, it would be evangelical colleges. It might just prove that such institutions, acting as academic agenda setters and repositories of excellent Christian thought, would then be regarded by churches and other organizations alike as keenly discerning servants indeed: “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many” (I Corinthians 12:14).
BROADENING OUR INTELLECTUAL STIMULI
One of the consequences of evangelicalism’s earlier flight from the life of the mind is that it has not cultivated any of its own sustained intellectual traditions or schools of thought from which to draw. The greatest testimony to this perhaps is the fact that C. S. Lewis, a high-church Anglican—who most certainly would question the individualistic and hyper-contemporary tenor of American evangelicalism—is, nevertheless, evangelicalism’s leading intellectual light. One might also point to heavy borrowing among evangelical scholars from the neo-Calvinism of Abraham Kuyper or the social thought of the Catholic Church. There is nothing wrong with borrowing. In fact, evangelicals who do so might just be wresting a virtue from necessity; James Turner has argued that the key to evangelicalism’s recent scholarly renaissance has been its intellectual ecumenism—“its cooperation with other Christians concerned about revivifying . . . the life of the mind.” But some evangelical colleges might hamstring these efforts with a strain of isolationism and sense of embattlement with faith statements and hiring practices that ward off even potential allies. While such measures often have
the effect of protecting a particular heritage, like the servant who merely held his talent, they might not adequately invest in its future. I would like to see evangelical colleges become, in the words of Gordon’s Director of the Center for Christian Studies Harold Heie, “communities of conversation,” which, while cherishing their own heritage, also recognize that selective broadening of the faculty might be necessary. This could be done through visiting professorships, designated positions and the like, to allow for sympathetic Catholic, Orthodox, mainline Protestant and Jewish scholars who would enrich our intellectual stimuli. Additionally, this should be done not for the mere sake of diversity—the well-intentioned talisman of mainstream education—but rather for quite the opposite reason: unity—an effort to take seriously the biblical charge “that they all be one” (John 17:21).
MIND IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE GOD IS IMPORTANT
Lastly, a commitment to first-order Christian thinking and scholarship by evangelical colleges should be undertaken for the right primary reasons. These do not include goals like winning the culture wars among cultural elites or building tomorrow’s leaders, or a similar instrumental understanding of learning—even if some of these goals might be deemed salutary consequences of learning. Rather, as Cardinal John Henry Newman put it in his masterful The Idea of the University, “Knowledge [is] worth possessing for what it is, and not merely for what it does.” And this is true simply because our Lord is the Creator and Sustainer of the world of nature and human culture—the domains that invite our contemplation and knowing. To quote Noll again, “For a Christian, the mind is important because God is important . . . [for] [W]ho created the mind in such a way that it could grasp the realities of nature, of human interactions, and of beauty?” As one of America’s flagship evangelical colleges, Gordon can provide key intellectual leadership in revitalizing the evangelical mind, as it already has in some areas. But make no mistake: leadership will come with a price, literally and figuratively. Realism requires that we count the costs of swimming against the tide of an entire subculture; the costs of drawing criticism from certain constituencies; the costs for professors of protracted time in laboratories and libraries; the costs for administrators in creatively fostering and rewarding scholarly work; the costs for students with high expectations and a robust liberal arts curriculum. Indeed, Christian intellectual commitment promises no easy path, just as there is no simple relationship between Athens and Jerusalem. But one hopes this will inspire and not dissuade us.
Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard joined the history faculty at Gordon in 1999. He has been on leave this year—under a Pew Evangelical Scholarship—to research the rise of the modern German research university and the role of theology therein. Tal holds a doctorate in European intellectual history from the University of Virginia.
COURTER PHOTO GRAFX
at major research universities. They should now complement their criticism with constructive thinking, and think as rigorously about the nature of Christian research as they have about pedagogy or the spiritual formation of students. To borrow from St. Augustine’s famous response to Tertullian, Christians today should not vacate the precincts of research but rather take the spoils of Egypt and put them to better use. As things now stand, one of the great ironies of evangelicalism’s forfeiture of rigorous scholarship is that many academic fields languish without excellent faith-informed scholarship. Those assigned to teach these fields are often left with no option but cribbing their lectures from, and assigning material that is often produced at, major research universities.
Professor Marvin Wilson was in the media spotlight along with two award-winning filmmakers when they received a Silver Angel trophy for Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith.
PHOTO BY CINDEE T. JACOBS
hen Christian academic Marvin Wilson sat down in 1989 to write a book titled Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, it never entered his mind that one of the fruits of his work would be to face the spotlight of the Hollywood media. And when veteran, award-winning filmmakers Gerald Krell and Meyer Odze, both Jewish, contacted Wilson six years later about making his book into a film, they never imagined that one day they would be rubbing elbows with the stars while holding a prestigious Silver Angel Award. But there they were on February 15, in Hollywood having their pictures taken, answering questions and receiving national publicity after their two-hour documentary—Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith—received the highest award in the national television category. “I had no idea this journey would lead to Hollywood,” Wilson said. “It is affirming that there are people in the media who value work that has serious religious content, and it’s all the more so considering how thorny the road of Christian-Jewish relations has been for the past 2,000 years.” 7
The Angel Awards, selected by a group of veteran actors, reporters and filmmakers, are given annually to a variety of professional media that have the greatest moral, spiritual or social impact. This year’s winners included Billy Graham (for his contributions to media); movies Cast Away (best dramatic film) and Remember the Titans (best true-life action film); and television series like Providence, Touched by an Angel and Frasier. While this is heady company, Jews and Christians is a deserving winner. The film approaches Jewish-Christian issues from the perspective of seeing what beliefs, traditions and rituals the faiths have in common. Its goal is to show viewers how Jews and Christians perceive one another, how they confront prejudices and stereotypes and, ultimately, how Jews and Christians can understand one another. “Of all the films we’ve done over the years [Krell and Odze have won more than 30 international awards for their films], this one has been absolutely unique,” Krell said. “People have responded to other films we’ve done. But this one seems to strike something deeper in people. Call it a thirst or a hunger—people see this film and it seems to motivate and encourage them. People think about this film. They talk about it.” In October nearly 3,000 people showed up to two premiere screenings of the film in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. Many volunteered comments that show Krell’s feeling about the impact of Jews and Christians is correct. “This film provides much for me to think about,” one viewer wrote. “It also reaffirms my feeling that while there are differences to acknowledge between Christianity and Judaism, the similarities are so strong that I don’t understand all the conflicts between the groups.” One thing Jews and Christians never fails to do is get people talking. For this reason, Wilson has developed a 45-page study guide that goes along with the film. The study guide is organized around the 19 major themes the film touches on, such as the religion of Jesus and His disciples (Judaism), and how Jewish life and thought shaped the early church. “The documentary is an educational project, and the study guide provides hundreds of questions,” Wilson said. “Some of the questions are for Christian groups, some for Jewish groups and others for interfaith discussion groups.” In a review of the documentary in Congregations magazine, Rabbi Susan Stone of Hudson, Ohio, said Jews and Christians would “begin to move the dialogue in the pews away from fear and toward understanding. Not that everyone will want to walk this journey—there is comfort in the old fears. I heartily recommend using this tape, either in pieces or as a whole, in congregations, classes and community settings—wherever we find the opportunity to spread the not-so-new news of interfaith respect. The personal and academic testimonies will go a long way to opening up people to self-reflection, prayer and forward movement.”
Above: Charlie Chaplin congratulates Marv at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. At right: The magic moment. L to R: Maureen Magnuson, award presenter from Lighthouse Television, Grenada, West Indies; Gerald Krell, film director; Cindee Jacobs, associate producer; Meyer Odze, cinematographer; Marv Wilson. Cindee Jacobs suggested Marv’s book to Jerry Krell back in 1995, and after reading it three times, Krell decided to make a documentary based on the book.
INGA GRETA ODZE
CINDEE T. JACOBS
Copies of Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith and the study guide are available through Auteur Productions Ltd. by calling 866.299.6554 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. A portion of the proceeds will support Gordon College. When ordering, please mention you saw this in Stillpoint.
C HRISTIAN H IGHER E D AT I TS B EST For 25 years the CCCU has strengthened Christian higher education in faith, scholarship and service. BY
ere’s a pop quiz. Which of the following organizations has Gordon College been a member of: (a) The Christian College Consortium, (b) the Christian College Coalition, and (c) the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities? If you guessed all three, you’re correct. Gordon was among the 13-member Christian College Consortium which helped to found the larger coalition in 1976. Former Gordon College Vice President Gordon Werkema played an instrumental role as the coalition’s first president.* That larger organization has gone through a number of name changes. In 1998 it was renamed the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Gordon College is one of the Council’s 100 member campuses in North America (there are also more than 40 affiliate campuses). The Gordon community has contributed much time and talent on behalf of the CCCU over the years. CCCU President Bob Andringa notes that “Gordon College has been a model for many CCCU campuses, especially in the way it approaches the integration of faith and learning. Gordon administrators and faculty have played key leadership roles on our board, advisory commissions and grant programs.” Andringa is delighted to have Jennifer (Wolff ) Jukanovich, a 1994 Gordon grad, as his executive assistant. In particular, Jud Carlberg and Diane Blake have been invaluable to the work of the Council and advancing Christcentered education around the world. Diane is a two-term member of the Student Academic Programs Commission. That commission helps shape policies and guidelines for all student programs and carries out continuing evaluations and site visits. In addition to serving on and chairing the Board of Directors for several years and helping to establish several of the academic programs, President Carlberg is the founding (and still) chair of Christian University GlobalNet. Christian University GlobalNet is a supporting organization of the Council, established to facilitate a Webbased distance education outreach among member and affiliate institutions. CCCU member campuses have seen their average enrollments increase 25 percent in the last three years. A number of CCCU schools—including Gordon—have received national recognition as liberal arts colleges and universities of distinction. Alumni of CCCU campuses now total more than one million.
RONALD P. MAHURIN ’81
have participated in CCCU-sponsored programs over the years. Among other achievements are the following: • All member campuses are rooted to a biblical worldview. • All full-time faculty and administrators of member schools are committed followers of Christ. • The CCCU provides nationally recognized research on student values, campus climates, spiritual formation, faculty and administrative needs. • More than 20 professional development programs are held for presidents, chief academic officers and for more than 15,000 full- and part-time faculty. • Member institutions are assisted with collaborative efforts on marketing Christian higher education, government and media relations. While much has been accomplished, there is still much to be done. Now is the time for Christian higher education to distinguish itself around the world. The CCCU looks to the future with both excitement and challenge.
Looking Ahead Among areas the CCCU will strengthen in the coming days are the following: Globalization—We will expand partnership with global affiliates. Every month the CCCU meets with educators from other nations to help strengthen their campuses. Faculty, student development, administrative and professional expertises are shared. Racial Harmony and Diversity—CCCU member campuses have lagged behind state universities and private colleges in this area. We will progress toward more racially diverse faculties, administrations and student bodies. Leadership and Professional Development—We will continue to identify emerging leaders and provide training. In addition to academic and presidential leadership development, we will integrate more leadership development programs in student life, external relations, campus ministries and other areas. Service Learning—While servicelearning opportunities abound on CCCU campuses, we will more intentionally link classrooms and experiences beyond classrooms with a major initiative that models effective integrative learning. Funding Christian Higher Education—The CCCU can accomplish together what no one institution can alone, especially in the areas of student programming, professional and faculty development, public advocacy and marketing. The long-range vision of the CCCU is to establish a separate endowment that will underwrite work in all these areas and allow expansion with new partners around the world. The CCCU continues to enhance Christian higher education as it strives—along with Gordon College—to educate students of intellectual maturity and Christian character for leadership roles worldwide.
The CCCU can accomplish together what no one institution can alone.
Highlight Achievements of 25 Years With services that now span 15 nations, the CCCU offers eight academic programs—three in the United States, five abroad: American Studies Program, China Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Middle East Studies Program, Russian Studies Program, a summer program at Oxford and a Summer Institute in Journalism. Approximately 226 Gordon students
*Readers interested in a more detailed history of the Council and Christian Higher Education are encouraged to read James A. Patterson’s Shining Lights: A History of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Baker Books, 2001).
Ron Mahurin served at Gordon from 1989–2000, first as a professor in the Political Studies Department and then, in 1995, in a joint appointment in the Development Office in corporate and foundation relations. Along with then CCCU Vice President Karen Longman, in1993 Ron helped launch the Middle East Studies Program in Cairo, Egypt. In the fall of 1999 Ron and his wife, Jerilyn (DiPirro) ’82, moved with their daughters, Heather and Gwen, to Washington, D.C., where Ron now serves as vice president of professional development and research for the CCCU.
COURTESY OF THE CCCU
Among former and current Gordon administrators and faculty who have played major roles in the CCCU are Diane Blake, Jud Carlberg, Stan Gaede, Richard Gross, Craig Hammon, William Harper, Harold Heie, Barry Loy, Steve MacLeod, Lynn Samaan, Mark Sargent, John Skillen, James Vander Mey, Herma Williams and Richard Wright. Many others have led workshops and lectured in exchange programs. Several from Gordon attended the CCCU’s 25th anniversary celebration held in Orlando, Florida, in February.
Middle East Studies Program Students often find their perspectives and educational paths changed when they attend a CCCU-sponsored program like the MESP.
KATHLEEN LIBERATORE ’01
y semester at MESP was a whirlwind. The days were packed with buses carrying me all over Cairo, Egyptian friends wanting to see me every weeknight, sailboat rides down the Nile and academic tours to the pyramids and various museums. I went on a backpack trip to the Sinai, where I found myself snorkeling in the Red Sea, sleeping in a grass hut and motorcycling through the desert. I spent time buying veggies and 'aish (bread) from old women on the streets, horseback riding, dining in little cafés in Syria and Turkey, visiting villages in the desert, going to mosques and ancient synagogues and churches, cave exploring, getting lost in the Khan El Khalili (a large, old-fashioned Egyptian market), doing the dupka dance in restaurants, and staying up late doing research papers and drinking Arabic coffee. What initially attracted me to the Middle East Studies Program was a growing desire to gain understanding of the political situation in Israel and Palestine. I was tired of picking up the newspaper and not being able to understand the roots of the conflict and the unique angles on the situation that no newspaper could even print. A good friend of mine had studied in Cairo and highly recommended the program to me. I had no idea then what a significant impact studying there would have on my understanding of Islam, Christianity and politics. The intense classroom instruction is a valuable part of the program. The director and guest lecturers helped me gain insights into a variety of topics. They were also able to offer a great deal of reading material that has been extremely useful in understanding the complex social, political and religious structures of the Middle East. But more than any lecture, the most important element of this program was the focus on experiential education. Instead of simply reading about various people groups and social issues, we visited the camps of Palestinian refugees and listened to their stories. We ate dinner with Syrian college students, lived with an Egyptian family, worshiped in a Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, and were taught to dance by Circassians in Jordan. We volunteered weekly in Garbage City in Cairo, where people live in the garbage heaps and sell what they can salvage. The director, Rick Cahill, had about a thousand phone numbers in his little book, and in every village and city we went to he seemed to know someone who could show us places foreigners would not normally see. My experiences at MESP are more valuable than anything I could read about in a book. I have been utterly changed by my time in the Arab world. My political and Christian values have been significantly reshaped and broadened by this intense experience. Kathleen—while at the Middle East Studies Program during the fall of 1999.
Kathleen completed her degree at Gordon with a major in art in December 2000. She did her senior art project on Middle Eastern images. Pictured here is one of her paintings, The Refugee, from that collection.
hen Adoniram Judson Gordon founded the Boston Missionary Training Institute in 1889, his plan was to equip men and women to supplement the labors of missionaries and pastors already serving on cross-cultural fields. He especially favored training those who because of age, education or lack of finances were unable to go to seminary. The world that A. J. Gordon sent missionaries into looked like this: • It was dominated by colonial powers, most notably the British Empire. • Western Christian missions were in the midst of what Yale historian Kenneth Scott Latourette called “the Great Century” because of advances for the gospel and the number of missionaries sent. • The dominant force in missions was shifting—from England (and Europe) to the United States. • Pioneering efforts into the inland portions of countries were just beginning under groups like the China Inland Mission, Africa Inland Mission, and Sudan Interior Mission. • Christian faith was predominantly the religion of the Anglo-Western culture, which sent out the missionaries. For that world in those times, God raised up the Boston Missionary Training Institute, along with other schools like Moody Bible Institute and Nyack Missionary Training Institute, to equip young men and women for globally effective and relevant Christian faith. Over the past century the Boston Missionary Training Institute evolved into the college we know as Gordon. At the beginning of this new millennium, our focus is broader, our commitment to academic excellence is deeper and the challenges of our times are greater. Here are five realities about our world for which Gordon now equips young men and women for globally effective and relevant Christian faith.
The Changing Face of Global Christianity The global Christian community is listed as 70 percent nonwhite by World Christian Encyclopedia. While the actual number of long-term, North American missionaries is declining, thousands of new missionaries are being sent from countries which were formerly considered receiving nations—like Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea. In Latin America evangelical growth is estimated by some to be four times the population growth. The zeal for sending missionaries, as well as the resources of the new middle class, has made Latin America a missions force and no longer exclusively a mission field. Consider China. Although China still has more than 1.2 billion non-Christians, some estimate the church there at 100 million believers, making it one of the largest national churches in the world. The internationalization of Christian leadership comes as exciting news, but it challenges Gordon College to keep abreast of global developments in scholarship, research and trends. Today’s students consider it the norm to study for a semester or a year in another culture. They want the opportunities to expand their worldviews and build cross-cultural friendships firsthand. Exchange programs with places like Daystar University in Kenya build learning environments that equip graduates to respond to the multiethnic, multinational face of global Christianity. Cross-cultural service through hands-on ministry programs enlarges students’ visions before they complete their undergraduate education.
The Impact of Globalization The changing face of the Church is related to the reality of globalization. In spite of all the negatives, the global village has opened many doors for evangelization. Technology opens the door for the use of radio, television and the Internet in global evangelism and discipleship. The Urbana 2000 student missions convention hosted over 20,000 on the campus of the University of Illinois in December. But the impact was expanded when over 35,000 others joined the conference via audio and video webcasting of testimonies and plenary addresses. Individuals tuned in from 50 countries, some of which are considered closed to traditional missionary work. Globalization opens the door for totally new concepts in
Not Your Founder’s Mission Field
The changes in our world—and in missions—over the past century are astounding. Our greatest challenge today is to prepare firmly grounded followers of Christ for the multiethnic, multinational face of global Christianity.
Urbana 2000, www.urbana.org
The Challenge of Pluralism Although A. J. Gordon founded the Boston Missionary Training Institute in a culture influenced by the universalism espoused by Thoreau and Emerson, he didn’t face a world that had philosophically departed as drastically from absolute truth as we have today. Today—even within the Christian Church—pluralism and resistance to Jesus Christ as “the [only] Way” (John 14:6) or the unique Mediator between God and humanity (I 12
ment. He and Christie say of that experience, “The only way to describe the sound of 20,000 people in a domed stadium lifting their voices in praise to God is ‘preheaven.’”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF URBANA 2000
Timothy 2:5) have diminished the evangelistic zeal of many. the global mission of the church. An example is the Gordon A. J. Gordon could have sung with confidence “We’ve a Story alumna who teaches computer science in a Muslim Republic in to Tell to the Nations.” Today’s evangelical subculture in the Central Asia. And English teachers can go almost anywhere to West may not be so sure. teach—often to places that traditional missionaries cannot— because English has become the language of globalization. We do still have a story to tell, but the challenge is to teach That’s not to overlook the downside to globalization. We that Jesus Christ is the Truth without being culturally insenall read about people abused in sweatshops in the undeveloped sitive as earlier generations sometimes were. Understanding world, manufacturing goods for Western consumers. Any travphilosophies, worldviews and the teachings of other world eler can see the negative impact of Western religions (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and society (especially of the media), which is others) helps to ground students in their being exported indiscriminately without ability to articulate the message of the gospel The changing face evaluating the impact on societies (did you to the world. From the platform of underof the Church is know the world’s most popular TV show is standing and cultural appreciation—more related to the Baywatch?). than just zeal—today’s Christian leaders can reality of glospeak the truth of Christ powerfully. As a result, it is ever more important that balization. In today’s students enter this increasingly glospite of all the A Younger World balized world as firmly grounded followers negatives, the A final challenge that distinguishes our world of Christ. Academic training and personal global village from A. J. Gordon’s is the demographic shift development help shape the strong Chrishas opened many in age around the world. While Western tian moral compass that guides our students’ doors for cultures age, the rest of the world is getting global contributions in the arts, the sciences, evangelization. younger. Daystar University, Gordon’s sister technology and the economy. institution, is located in Kenya, where 60 Consumerism and Global percent of the population is under age 16, and they have one of the highest birthrates in the world. Inequities With over half of the world under the age of 25, the The Western world lives on what has been called an island challenge of ministry to youth and children will become of affluence in a sea of poverty. The material benefits of the increasingly significant, especially given the fact that a global village have not been evenly distributed. The World majority of those who ever become Christians do so before Christian Encyclopedia cites many statistics that reveal the the age of 18. This fact is not just an endorsement of Gordon’s staggering nature of global inequities: Youth Ministry Department; there’s much more. It’s also • While many of us surf the Internet on global information a call to train more education and social science majors in highways, 43 percent of the world doesn’t have access order to address the complex world of needs into which most to a telephone. of today’s young people are born. • We use drinkable water to take showers or wash our This is not 1889. And Gordon College is no longer a cars; 2.2 billion people do not have access to safe water missionary training school. We are a Christian liberal arts to drink. college dedicated to preparing students with a broad, excellent • Many of the families in our churches have vacation homes; academic foundation for being the followers of Christ in 700 million people in our world (more than two times our modern world. the population of the United States) are shantytown or I think A. J. Gordon would be proud. slum dwellers. • We spend over $2 for a deluxe cup of coffee; 2 billion individuals live in poverty (under $2 a day) and 1.1 billion of these live in extreme poverty (under $1 a day). Our challenge in equipping a new generation of leaders Paul Borthwick has been adjunct faculty in youth ministries and missions at Gordon for the professional, academic and religious worlds is to since 1998 and served previously at Barrington. He was on the ministerial staff of Grace Chapel, Lexington, MA, for 22 years. He and his wife, Christie, currently focus help resolve these inequities. This is no easy task, given our on developing world Christians in the Church. They have coordinated over 100 Western culture’s addiction to material wealth. Instead of short-term service teams around the world since 1978. baptizing the American dream, our challenge is to sensitize Paul is the author of several books, speaks at large gatherings around the ourselves and our students to these inequities so we will world, and mobilizes world missions. He is director of the Youth Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship. compassionately dedicate our lives to serving our world for At Urbana the sake of the Kingdom of Christ—as economists, business 2000 Paul professionals, teachers, social workers, politicians, medical delivered the professionals and more. Call to Commit-
POLLY (KOLODINSKI) ’50 BROWN, WITH RALPH ’50 Missionaries to Pakistan for 34 years with CBInternational BY
RAVEL to Pakistan in the fall of 1954 took three and a half weeks by freighter. Most of our worldly goods were packed in four steel drums and three wooden crates in the hold of the ship. Like many of our generation, we answered God’s call to take the gospel where Christ had not been preached. We fully expected to spend the rest of our lives in Pakistan, planting the church of Jesus Christ among the Sindhi people. By the time we retired 34 years later, no one traveled by ship. The speed and relative economy of plane travel were factors leading to the development of short-term missions. LIFESTYLE changes from the 1950s to today have gone from primitive to fairly modern, with comforts and conveniences we never dreamed of. We took two basic appliances with us: a kerosene refrigerator and a portable kerosene stove. Furniture was made by local carpenters. We had no running water, and in 1960, still with only a hand pump, we put in the first flush toilet (flushed with a bucket) in our town of 7,000. Missionaries who came to our area in the 1980s started out with running water, natural gas stoves and water heaters. Today missionaries arrive with their personal belongings—including laptop computers—and buy everything else they need in the local markets. By mid-1970 there was a growing middle class in the cities of Sindh. Refrigerators, televisions and VCRs became common, and even poor people in the cities were cooking with gas and buying refrigerators. We returned for short-term service in 1992 to find satellite TV, with CNN and MTV available. Three of our five children were born in Pakistan, two in a mission hospital 50 miles away and one at home. Our son Tom decided to come in the middle of the night, helped along by a missionary nurse-midwife and Ralph. They tied his cord with yellow bias tape from my sewing supplies. The next day Ralph drove to the train station to catch Dr. Maybel Bruce on her way back from a Christmas break. He brought her back to check out the baby and stitch me up. Education for the children of missionaries has always been a challenge. Our best option was Murree Christian School, a boarding school 800 miles away. Today there are many more options available to missionary families, including homeschooling. Some feel boarding school may still be the best choice for a top-notch education. TECHNOLOGY has brought about a revolution in communication. Telegrams brought us urgent messages, while ordinary airmail took 10 days from the United States—four or five days within Pakistan itself. We went from no phone service at all, to direct dialing, to e-mail—all in one generation. When my father died in 1958, when our son was in a serious car accident in Turkey in 1976, and a year later when our daughter-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we got the news by cablegram. Computers have brought changes in some aspects of missionary work. Ralph did New Testament translation the old way. He and his Sindhi translator completed several drafts, written by hand in Sindhi script. After the review committee made its changes, the final manuscript was sent to a printer to be typeset by hand. Even with meticulous proofreading, errors got through. Now transla-
Polly and Ralph, holding Edward (who graduated from Gordon in 1975), on the freighter that took them to Pakistan in 1954. Inset: the Browns today.
tors are trained to type the first draft on the computer, making changes much easier. I wrote a 400-page pedagogical grammar in Sindhi. Then I typed three drafts of the English explanations on a manual typewriter while a Sindhi scribe wrote in the Sindhi calligraphy. It was a great day when we got our first correction ribbon for the typewriter! PEOPLE are still the key to effective missionary service—people with servant hearts, willing to take the time to learn difficult languages, to learn new customs and cultures. God still calls and the world still needs those who will leave their comfort zones to follow Jesus’ model of incarnation and identification with people in order to share with them the good news of God’s love. Not all missionaries finish college or graduate study knowing they’re headed for the mission field. Robert ’83 and Kimberly (Seed) ’83 Skinner are representative of many contemporary missionaries who transport their well-established and successful careers to other cultures. With a law degree from the College of William and Mary in 1989, Rob enjoyed a law career in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, practicing before state and federal government agencies, particularly those overseeing energy and public utility industries. His goal was to be Christ’s representative for change within the institutions of society. Kim was an English teacher in grades eight to 12 and appreciated being able to integrate faith with subject matter in Christian schools. In recent years she has continued teaching through homeschooling her two sons. Over a six-year period of time, Rob and Kim made the decision to transition to their current place of service at HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador. BY
ust about a year ago, Kim and I packed up our two boys, Ben, 10, and Matthew, 9, and moved lock, stock and barrel to Quito, Ecuador. It was not a quick decision but one that was carefully orchestrated by God’s hand through a number of circumstances. I was working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., when in 1993, following an extended time of intense Bible study and prayer, my main focus became to see individuals come to know Christ. SPRING 2001
When God called me to attend Moody Graduate School in Chicago in 1996, I had no idea that He would also provide a job for me at a major law firm there. In 1998 I graduated with a master’s degree in biblical studies. I expected that law was behind me and ministry ahead, but over time I began to pray for an opportunity to combine law and ministry—an unusual combination. HCJB World Radio was God’s answer. HCJB has ministries in radio, hospitals, community medical clinics, education and pastoral training, with a staff of over 200 missionaries and 500 Ecuadorian employees. A mission of its size faces a wide variety of legal issues on a constant basis. I am advising on U.S. law while meeting the challenge of learning the Spanish language, and the Ecuadorian culture and legal system. One recent issue involved negotiating a construction contract for a new HCJB medical clinic in a poor area of Quito. My time at Gordon taught me how to study, to think critically and to write—foundational liberal arts skills that have been critical in my legal career. I also learned leadership skills through being a resident assistant in Wood Hall. Drs. Thomas Askew, Russell Bishop, David Franz, Arno Kolz and Malcolm Reid were godly role models and important mentors for me. Tom and Jean Askew continue to be good friends and very supportive of our current ministry. During her time at Gordon, Kim was impressed by the faith and wisdom demonstrated by all her professors, particularly Drs. Thomas Howard, Marvin Wilson and William MacDonald. Her classroom experience was augmented by European Seminar, student teaching, and being a student intern in the Cooperative Education and Career Development Office. And both Kim and I were youth leaders in area churches. There are many opportunities for Kim to use her teaching skills here in Quito. However, due to bed-rest restrictions while awaiting the birth of our third child and homeschooling our son Matthew, Kim’s primary ministry is prayer. Law and teaching are tools God has given us, but our chief desire is to share the gospel of Christ with the people of Latin America through HCJB and our personal lives. We’re grateful to be able to minister as a family in HCJB’s Quito hospital on Sunday mornings, singing and praying with the patients. This gives us all the opportunity to be missionaries to suffering people—and the patients are greatly cheered by the presence of our children.
L to R: Matthew, Ben, Kim and Rob Skinner in Ecuador.
LEARNING How do service learning and outreach better prepare students for life and responsibility? BY
n a cold, wet morning in early March, a group of Gordon students gathers in the corner of the Boston Common to distribute hot soup and coffee to those who call the park home. In the group is Sololia Amente, a freshman who is working with the Homeless Ministry—one of Gordon’s 28 student ministries—to fulfill a course requirement. On this day she is struck by the relationship her classmates share with many of the homeless in Boston, though her observation stirs up a little self-doubt: The thing that touched my heart the most on this particular day was the passion some of the Gordon students have to help people in need. After spending time with the leader and members of this team, I realize how much they care about the homeless people. Many of the homeless I met in Boston say they go to the Common, even in cold weather, just to talk to the “Christians from Gordon.” I wonder: Do I belong in this group? Do I have the same passion as my peers to help the ones who may need my help? Am I just here to fulfill a requirement for First-Year Seminar, or do I really care? The next week Sololia was back on the Common but distracted by a sense of guilt for not having the proper motivation. Her plan was to spend one more cold Saturday morning in the park, complete her required hours and be done with the Homeless Ministry. But then something happened. There were not enough people to serve food, hand out clothes and talk to people at the same time. So . . . I was left on my own to serve soup and coffee. . . . As time went by I forgot the guilt I was feeling for not caring for others and just started talking to and serving the people. . . . One man asked for a cup of coffee, and as I was making it for him he kept saying, “God bless you, thank you.” He really did appreciate the coffee. At that moment I realized these deeds did help others. Later that morning one of the homeless men approached me and said, “It is a good thing that you are doing here. . . . If you help one person who needs help, then you have made a difference in the world. So don’t give up.” He didn’t know I was planning to quit the ministry, but he told me the one thing I wanted to hear: I was making a difference.
WHY DOES GORDON OFFER SERVICE-LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES? “The question to be asked at the end of an educational step,” said President James Monroe, “is not ‘What has the student learned?’ but ‘What has the student become?’” Becoming a competent servant leader is a matter of training, experience and education. According to a recent survey of highly selective private colleges, 26 percent of freshmen agreed that “an individual can do little to promote social change.”1 The world is ever increasing in complexity, and it is more difficult for young adults to develop a fully integrated sense of self and to harmonize what is best for them with what is best for their communities, churches, workplaces and families. Fewer students are entering college with the conviction that they, like Sololia, can make a meaningful difference in the world.
a Difference To prepare students for lives of meaningful work and to encourage them to become people who make a significant difference in the world, Gordon College offers a variety of learning environments beyond the classroom and campus. These include courses with service-learning components, voluntary community service opportunities and short-term mission trips. Providing the kind of experience Sololia had is in keeping with Gordon’s strong tradition of preparing students for lives of mission and service. It also makes excellent educational sense to expose students to experiences and skills they need for a lifetime of learning and acting responsibly. Out-of-the-classroom experiences combined with times of structured reflection allow students to learn, make decisions and act in complex environments. Students get experience in negotiating new social settings while interacting with people from different ethnic, racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Students cultivate the art of learning as they are encouraged to act in the face of unanswered questions and reflect on the meaning of their actions in light of larger contextual concerns. Such engagement often stimulates greater engagement with classroom material. Recent research indicates that involvement in service-learning activities positively affects students’ academic performances in areas of overall GPA, critical thinking and writing skills.2 Service experiences encourage students to make connections between classroom readings and real-life situations. Likewise, thinking critically about what they have experienced often occasions new insights and raises new questions for attentive students. Gordon graduate Beth Taylor ’00 reports that through short-term missions trips, she was “exposed to new cultures, new attitudes and different levels of development. The reality of the experience multiplies the learning done in the classroom—it triggers further thinking about issues such as poverty. I have a new understanding; even more importantly, I have new questions. I have participated in something that gives me a renewed sense of interest.” Further, students participating in service-learning projects often experience a heightened sense of personal efficacy—the ability to act upon their values in meaningful ways. An increased sense of moral and political agency is essential if graduates are to provide creative and generative leadership in their workplaces, churches, communities and homes. The belief that individuals can and must make a difference is a learned trait. Experiencing oneself as an agent of change instills confidence that one is capable of contributing in meaningful ways. Freshman Micah Fournier noted that “some [people] who want to help do not because of a feeling of helplessness. They think, ‘The problem is too big—what can I do?’ Some don’t see that every little bit, no matter how insignificant it may seem, makes a difference. I feel the more individuals are
The World Focus 2001 team with Nicaraguan children. At the left is Kirk McClelland ’97, assistant director for missions in the Chapel Office, and at the right is student Doug Priore ’02.
introduced and encouraged in community service the more motivated they will be to help.” Positive experiences in service helps students cultivate leadership skills and motivation for continued engagement with public concerns. Contributing to the greater good reinforces the notion that true joy results not from seeking one’s own welfare but from participating in projects that benefit larger bodies. Work can then be viewed as a way of leading a full and meaningful life, not just as a means of making a living. Three-time mission trip participant Tim Erickson ’00 says, “To be perfectly honest, these service projects have been the most influential part of my education process at Gordon. They have given me a solid Christian worldview through direct experience that has provided the guidance for my education. I no longer view education as a ‘passport to privilege’ . . . but as a path to serving God.” With the knowledge that they can make a difference and with a drive to do so, students are able to view themselves as productive members of society and the Kingdom of God. They not only possess the skills to enter rewarding careers but are also able to situate their work within the broader context of God’s designs for the world. After spending a day loading produce onto trucks with Nancy Jamieson of Fair Foods in Dorchester and reflecting on the theology of work, Heather Lenahan ’01 wrote: “So what do I learn from Luther, Calvin and Nancy Jamieson? I learn to see the big picture, to see vocation in the context of community. I learn to see how my gifts can be used specifically for the service of others while understanding the potential of my days: that they are an opportunity to participate in the ongoing creative process of God in the world, and to see myself as an agent of reformation of both society and individual lives.”
“The question to be asked at the end of an educational step,” said President James Monroe, “is not ‘What has the student learned?’ but ‘What has the student become?’”
1 Alexander Astin, Cooperative Institutional Research Program survey, Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA. 2 Astin, Vogelgesang, Ikeda and Yee, “How Service-Learning Affects Students,” Higher Education Research Institute of California, Los Angeles, January 2000; A. A. Stukas Jr., E. G. Clary and M. Snyder, “Service Learning: Who Benefits and Why,” Social Policy Report, Vol. XIII, 4.
Greg Carmer, who has been at Gordon since the early ’90s, has recently been named Gordon’s assistant dean of chapel for service learning and missions. Greg has taught on the college level and in 1997 received the Templeton/Boston Theological Institute award for an essay on science and religion. He is completing his doctorate at Boston College.
EARNING TO LEAD AND SERVE BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Opportunities for students to learn about themselves, others and the world outside the classroom. Community Outreach Ministries Fourteen student-led ministries share the love of Christ in word and deed on the North Shore and the Greater Boston area through weekly outreach activities such as after-school mentoring/tutoring, serving at a soup kitchen, visiting a local nursing home and performing dramas. Last year more than 375 students participated in voluntary community service. Short-Term Missions and Service Trips Students participate in short-term mission and service trips during Christmas and spring breaks and over the summer recess. In the past 12 months, Gordon students have served in Albania, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Tennessee, Thailand, Uganda and Washington, D.C., contributing over 225 weeks of service. Clubs and Tutoring Programs Departmental clubs and tutoring programs include Volunteers in Tax Assistance, the Social Work Committee, ALANA (Asian, Latino, African and Native American), music clinics, GCSA (Gordon College Student Association), and BRIDGE (after-school tutoring program for middle school students in Georgetown, MA). Cooperative Education Work Placements and Internships La Vida and Discovery Experiences Courses with Service-Learning Components First-Year Seminar, Senior Seminar in Business Management, Community Development, and Mandarin Chinese. Over 100 students participated in credit-bearing, service-learning projects last year.
Where Do They Go from Here? E
arly in 1995 God brought together nine Gordon students who had a vision of youth serving others. Members of the group had been inspired by participating in various outreach ministries: Paul ’95 and Glenna (Aron) ’94 Malkemes; Marc ’95 and Emily (Downing) ’96 Pitman; Stefan ’95 and Cami (Smith) ’98 Foerster; Michael ’94 and Cori (Durling) ’96 Coffey; Elizabeth Bergeron ’95. This team of students spent eight months in prayer and discussions with Boston churches and youth leaders and another 10 months in planning. The Boston Project Ministries (TBPM) began its Summer Missions Program for Christian youth in 1996, involving two youth groups (16 participants) for two weeks. In 2001 TBPM anticipates six weeks of short-term missions trips and Paul, Glenna and Megan Malkemes hosting 12 youth groups and over 130 teenagers. TBPM equips urban, suburban and rural youth along with churches and businesses to demonstrate God’s love through meaningful service. In 1997 the organization incorporated as a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation. Dorchester Temple Baptist Church 16
has provided significant support as a local church. TBPM has also formed partnerships with several other charitable organizations in the Dorchester and Roxbury communities. Five of the original nine alums still serve as directors of TBPM: Paul Malkemes, executive director; Glenna Malkemes, director of program; Elizabeth Bergeron, director of finance; Stefan Foerster, director of communications; Cami Foerster, chairperson of the board. Gordon professor Mark Cannister also serves on the board. Paul Malkemes sums up his experience with servicelearning ministries while at Gordon: Little did I imagine that serving a cup of soup to a homeless gentleman on a freezing Sunday afternoon, or painting my face like a mime to share the gospel with people on the Boston Common, or traveling with a team to repair a roof with Habitat for Humanity in Georgia would contribute to my life and vocation as the director of this youth missions and service program. But Jesus, definitely my best teacher, used all these acts of service to show me what life is really about. Now I have the responsibility to share God’s heart for justice with others, especially teenagers. To learn more about the donor-supported TBPM, go to www.TBPM.org or call 617.929.0925. Students who participate in student ministries move on to a wide variety of careers. Marc Pitman is alumni director at the Stony Brook School on Long Island. BY
MARC PITMAN ’95, PIKE SCHOLAR
ordon is characterized by a culture of outreach. I remember being ecstatic after going to the ministry fair during freshman Orientation. I couldn’t believe there were so many God-honoring things to do, and I jumped in with both feet. Whether through formal Marc, Emily and Caleb Pitman Student Outreach Services (SOS) ministries or informal activities with friends, I was surrounded by people who wanted to be used by God to make a difference. That attitude of open yieldedness and expectancy was kneaded into my being. It marks me today. I was afraid this focus on service might impair my interactions with people after four years at Gordon, but I find I’m better-equipped to interact with people regardless of creed or beliefs. Urban Outreach, the spiritual pilgrimage to India, World Focus, Catacombs core staff and the Vine all helped expand my vision of God and His Kingdom. Participating in them also helped me see how God had gifted me—and in what areas He’d created me to lean on others. To this day I remember a paradigm-rattling experience with a man in a soup kitchen in D.C. I asked him what he planned to do that day after breakfast, assuming he’d hang out on a street corner or worse. He matter-of-factly said he was headed to the library to continue a research project he was working on—definitely not the answer I was expecting. Now, as a husband, dad and alumni director, I find I draw on those ministry experiences all the time. Recently at a board meeting I used group facilitation skills I learned in the Vine. I daresay the way outreach permeates Gordon’s culture and the lives of its students is unique.
Missions work is any living response to the question “What is needed here—for health, for growth, for redemption?” While I was at Gordon, I just knew I was going to be a Vineyard Christian Fellowship church planter in Sweden—or a monk. Six years later I’m neither. But I’m right where God prepared me to be. BY
BRANDI (ANDERSON) ’92 AND DANA ’93 BATES, A. J. SCHOLARS
Dana led a U.S. Exposure trip for Habitat for Humanity and served in the Homeless Ministry. Brandi led La Vida expeditions, was a resident advisor and participated in the Coalition for Christian Outreach City Beach Project. Both Dana and Brandi led mission trips after graduating.
he best equation for the happiest life is found in Jesus’ words “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” At Gordon we were constantly challenged to test this, and we found we always got more back than we gave. Today our particular giving/serving is nontraditional. We have built and operate a program called Viata—patterned after the La Vida wilderness program—in Romania’s poorest region, the coal-mining Jiu Valley. On our office door hangs an old, faded SOS poster from our Gordon days: “Always hold firmly to the thought that each one of us can do something to bring some portion of misery to an end.” We thank the people and mission of Gordon for exhorting us to hold firmly to this. We were continually being told we could make a difference in someone’s life that very day through serving. As Annie Dillard once said, “How we live our days is how we live our lives.” Now we offer Gordon students the summer opportunity to work at Viata serving teens from Romanian public schools. We are together challenged to give up our misguided beliefs about what it means to communicate God’s love across cultural divides: American to Romanian; democracy to communism; Christian to non-Christian; rich to poor. We must speak their language culturally, historically, emotionally; we must become listeners in order to earn the right to be heard. So why does sending a kid up into a tree on a rope qualify as missions work? Because missions work is any living response to the question “What is needed here—for health, for growth, for redemption?” We asked ourselves a thousand times, “What does Romania need?” The answer came: recreational outreach that is re-creational—empowering youth to recreate a new civil society out of the ash heap of their communist legacy. Romania’s former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s version of communism demolished many of the tenets of democracy we hold dear. Over and over we introduce a group to the concept of shared leadership and invite them to try it. But always one person (usually male and loud) quickly rises to the top, and all the others readily do what they’re told. What exhilaration comes when a group truly achieves shared leadership. One participant said her discovery of teamwork opened a whole new way of thinking for her: “Before, I was like a horse with blinders on, only able to see in one direction. After today I feel like I’m on top of the horse, able to see all around me a whole new world of possibilities.” Communism morally starved the Romanian people—many compromised to survive. Corruption is expected; the simple signing of a contract and keeping it is unusual. Viata is addressing this tendency by having all members of a team sign a contract: “I agree to attend to your safety, etc.” We challenge and
Over 500 kids experienced Viata’s summer program in 2000. Dr. David Kideckel of Central Connecticut State University and an active anthropologist in Eastern Europe for 25 years, spoke at Viata’s fundraising event in February. Though not a believer, Kideckel wholeheartedly supports the program’s approach to addressing social issues. Viata has also been approved as a Peace Corps volunteer site.
discuss any lack of commitment. We teach that it is noble to assume responsibility and say “I’m sorry” for mistakes. Compassion and care are praised; self-absorption is criticized. We teach what characteristics are valuable: Success depends on the goodness of all team members; corruption leads to failed attempts and dissatisfied participants. The environment was also laid waste under communism. While citizens took impeccable care of their own apartments, anything outside—the stairwell, the exterior of the building and all else—was in the hands of the State. Romanians must learn to claim care over their land, air, water, everything that lies beyond personal perimeters. To teach this we take the young to the mountains where they learn to love the stars, the wind, the earth—creation. Where love exists, care soon follows. Each Friday every participant picks up trash for four hours. They learn to give back something in exchange for the Viata program—which at this point is still free to them—and they make the connection that voluntary initiatives serve the common good. God cares deeply for Romania’s questions. Through Viata we provide answers that give the youth empowerment over their own growth. Romanian people don’t lack information about God; they are profound God-lovers. What they need is a hope. Our prayer is that we will give them hope that inspires change. U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. James Rosapepe (circled here) visited Viata in the spring of 2000 and have been impressed with and supportive of the work. Dana and Brandi have had much experience with local officials in setting up Viata (enduring everything from massive floods to broken contracts). They’ve made the news a number of times, and were invited to appear for 10 minutes on the popular Romanian version of Good Morning, America. Recently they’ve begun a ministry of feeding hungry children—about 30 a day currently. For more information on this donor-supported work, check their website at www.viata.org, e-mail them at email@example.com, or write to Young Life–Account X248, P.O. Box 520, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. Dana and Brandi Bates
TWENTY YEARS AGO RON PICKETT ’68 PIONEERED LONG-DISTANCE MEDICINE IN REMOTE LOCATIONS. HE’S STILL BREAKING NEW GROUND AROUND THE WORLD.
19-year-old woman and a young man who were working aboard a weather research ship paddled a short distance away in a small inflatable boat for some off-duty recreation. As they swam in the beautiful waters off Easter Island in the South Pacific, the unthinkable happened. Like something straight out of the movie Jaws, a great white shark attacked the young man. As he scrambled onto the inflatable and tried to help the young woman over the side, the shark circled back and took off her leg from a couple inches below the hip. A crew member on deck, scanning the tropical scene with a camcorder, caught the whole incident on tape. Over the next 32 hours the care and evacuation of this young woman was directed by Medical Advisory Systems, which provides medical emergency intervention internationally. The patient was picked up by a faster ship, then moved to a helicopter which took her to Easter Island; from there she was carried by U.S. air transport to Panama and finally by private plane to Seattle, WA. Incredibly, she recovered and today uses a prosthesis.
PAT MCKAY ’65
“I like to be involved in things that do good and do well,” Ron says. “It is particularly rewarding to help someone by doing good while advancing a business that does well. But this business is different. MAS is more of a love than any of my other businesses have been. It’s the ultimate high—it saves lives.” MAS is a multifaceted organization that provides 24-hour medical advice and support for emergencies in remote locations. They service, for example, the U.S. maritime fleet at sea, oil-drilling companies, multinational airline corporations, international travel industries and countless others. MAS provides many layers of assistance—everything from medical supplies, to coordinating evacuation, to taking care of the paperwork. Ron established the company in 1981 after the Reagan administration privatized 32 maritime hospitals. A commander in the Coast Guard had alerted Ron to the Coast Guard’s need for more extensive on-site assistance to decrease medical evacuations from ships. When medical support was not quickly implemented by the government, Ron jumped in and responded to the need. This tragic story could have been even more tragic without “The first year I worked basically alone,” Ron says, the vision of Gordon grad Ron Pickett. He founded Medical “researching, establishing the company and funding the Advisory Systems, the organization that saved this young effort.” woman’s life—and thousands of other lives over the years. When he was ready for business in 1982, he hired Dr. Though semiretired, Ron is still chairman of the board of Thomas M. Hall to be chief physician of the company. As MAS and involved daily in the company from his electronic a young doctor who had completed his training at a public office in North Carolina. An entrepreneur since his days at health facility with a focus in maritime medicine, Tom says, “I Gordon, he likes nothing better than to recognize a need recognized the unique opportunity to be on the cutting edge and find a way to address it. In the Fall 1993 Stillpoint, of providing medical assistance to ships at sea. we ran a story on Ron’s innovative waste management “After nearly 20 years MAS still provides medical assisrecycling company. Five years ago he sold that very successful tance in remote areas,” Dr. Hall says. “But our services have business venture. expanded as new technologies have developed.” Tom also earned a master’s degree in Pictured here are (L) Dr. Thomas M. Hall and Ron Pickett. Ron is a big Gordon fan. In fact, a room in the new Phillips Music Center is being dedicated in honor of his aunt, Harley Marshall, who was a missionary to Brazil in the 1930s and the “catalyst international management at for Christianity in my family,” he says. Ron has been generously involved in a number of the building ventures on campus in the University of Maryland and the last few years. “Gordon provides a quality educasince 1992 has been CEO and tion in an environment with other Christians,” he director of MAS. He supervises says. “So many schools today aren’t top quality. God has chosen us, and He wants us to be good all day-to-day operations as well servants—not second-rate. To be competitive in as medical personnel, overseethis world, we need to be the best at whatever ing 50 full-time employees, we do.” Ron has a message for students at and four full-time and several Gordon today: “I don’t care what you think you’re supposed to do, if you’re walking part-time physicians (who also the walk, you’ll find out exactly what maintain private practices). you’re supposed to do—and it may be “An outpatient clinic built at completely different from what you MAS headquarters in Owings, think now. I was headed, I thought, for politics when I was a student, but Maryland, allows more physiit wasn’t to be. I’m doing what I’m cians to participate,” Dr. Hall supposed to be doing. Keep your says. “In fact, I also continue a antenna high—you don’t know small practice there to stay curwhat signal you’re going to get 18
from somewhere at any time. No matter how much we’d like to think we’re in control of our destiny, we’re really not.”
rent with the latest advancements in medicine.” The primary service of Medical Advisory Systems is to contract with corporations to handle medical emergencies on site. To implement that, they provide training programs for select personnel, maintain medical records, and provide and oversee on-site equipment. Pharmaceutical inventories are electronically monitored and replenished through 200,000 providers around the world. Training classes are held at various locales to teach skills and observation techniques to designated employees from contract corporations—for example, On the floor of the American Stock Exchange the day Ron (L) rang in the opening and MAS began the captain of a ship might want to be trained. The trading on the AMEX. Ron and Joe Giamanco, specialist for MAS at AMEX, watch the first trade as it’s printed on the ticker tape. designees learn to give injections, insert catheters, give CPR, immobilize the injured and administer emergency procedures under the direction of an onshore MAS doctor. All equipment and medications provided by MAS are “If you’re not covered by travel insurance, you’ll need to do numbered—right down to syringes filled with premeasured all this on your own—in an emergency situation, in a country amounts of medication. The medical designee is trained to whose language you may not speak—and later you’ll struggle observe a patient’s condition, report it to the MAS doctor with mounds of paperwork to get reimbursed, even partially, and carry out the doctor’s orders. If the patient needs more for big bills you must pay out of pocket.” help than the designee can give, the patient is stabilized and Many have benefitted from MAS’ confidential median evacuation is put into motion. cal assistance to the general public via the Internet. At MAS receives 30 to 300 requests a day for help, and these are www.doctalk.com patients can get medical advice for a fee. handled by a rotating staff of 120 doctors. In 98 percent of events Though doctors at these services don’t provide diagnoses, they encountered, care can be adequately provided on site. assist patients in getting the information they need to make MAS gets involved with many interesting ventures. One better healthcare decisions. These chat services are sponsored of the most intriguing was providing poison by hospitals, and pharmaceutical and health insurance comgas antidote kits and training modules panies. Patients who do not have the Internet can call for the U.S. government during 800.597.8410 to access the service. the Gulf War. Currently MAS MAS also provides a free interactive chat provides technical support service at www.americasdoctor.com, used for software used by docby over a million clients in its first three tors and pharmaceutical years—paid for by advertisers. Dr. Hall is “MAS is more of companies to run clinical currently developing a similar chat service trials of new medications a love than any of in France. and collect data via the With his extraordinary energy level my other businesses Internet. and drive, Ron will probably never fully Medical Advisory have been. It’s the retire. After working with him for 20 Systems provides an years, Tom Hall says of Ron, “He has ultimate high—it important service to been the motivating force in getting Medinternational travelers saves lives.” ical Advisory Systems to where it is today. as well, operating like an Ron Pickett Ron’s a very gifted, dynamic and unique international HMO with leader—it’s been a great learning experience call centers in 38 affiliate for me to work with him over the years. A lot countries. “For example,” Ron of the credit for our success goes to him.” explains, “suppose you purchase Ron’s newest endeavor is facilitating an awareness travel insurance for a trip to France— campaign on the need for travel health insurance for all which is available for about $60 through travelers. “The United States is way behind in awareness of travel agencies or associations. In the middle of the night in a this necessity,” Ron says. “Travelers from around the world hotel in France you suffer severe chest pains. When you dial routinely buy travel insurance, but U.S. travelers seem not to the emergency number on your travel insurance card, you will realize the need until an emergency hits them while abroad.” most likely reach MAS. They coordinate getting you to the Information on travel insurance is available at www.csatrave right hospital, discuss your treatment with doctors in the local lprotection.com. language and oversee your care while you’re there. They fly a For more information on Medical Advisory Systems, go designated person to be with you if necessary, or fly you home to www.mas1.com. as soon as you are able. And they take care of all the paperwork details. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAS
We tend to think it will happen to someone else— never to us. But just like the Boy Scouts, we should always be prepared.
tudents leave Gordon full of high hopes and big plans. Though life certainly does hold great blessings, the unexpected sometimes forces a change in direction. Joyce (Blakney) Duerr, class of 1958, has twice endured major changes. After leaving Gordon she was happily married and eventually blessed with five children. But when her youngest was less than a year old, she was divorced. As a single mom, Joyce faced a variety of issues. She had no personal credit, so she quickly established it. There were also concerns related to guardianship of her young children. She took legal steps to make certain that if she were to die they would be cared for properly by people of her choosing. Joyce began a career in teaching, which led to 16 years as principal of an elementary school and completion of a doctorate. After retiring from her career in education in 1993, she pursued a Master of Divinity and now pastors Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hope, Rhode Island. Joyce shouldered a heavy load for many years, not remarrying until her youngest child was 10. Her first insight into the importance of thinking ahead came when her mother died and she was named executor of the estate. “I’ve always had a will,” Joyce says. “But when my mother died, my children told me they hoped I would plan better than she did so they wouldn’t have to deal with the stress and worry I was dealing with as executor of my mother’s estate.” So Joyce was as well-prepared as anyone can be when the second unexpected circumstance changed her life once again. In 2000 she and her husband, Cliff, took what was to be the trip of a lifetime—a tour of the land where Jesus had lived. They expected it to be life-changing, but not in the way it was. Cliff suffered a heart attack during the trip and died after several days of hospitalization. Though the loss was devastating, Joyce and Cliff had prepared for such an eventuality. “Because he was 11 years older than I,” Joyce says, “we knew he would most likely precede me in death. I didn’t have the burden of figuring out what to do or wondering whether there would be enough for me to live on.” Joyce thinks it sometimes takes these kinds of hard lessons
to get people to think about planning because we “tend to be uneducated, in spite of the breadth of information available to us. And secondly, even Christians have this aversion to discussing issues related to their dying.” When planning an estate, Joyce recommends following some biblical principles. “In Scripture we are advised to seek wise counsel,” she says. “Certainly we need to seek legal counsel because we’re establishing legal documents, which, if done improperly, could nullify our intentions. It might also be helpful to include a financial advisor and perhaps even your pastor in the process.” There are the obvious financial considerations, such as provisions for a surviving spouse and children, tax implications and charitable giving. But there are other important issues that should be addressed, like guardianship, power of attorney and naming a healthcare proxy. It might even be helpful in this process to plan your own funeral, Joyce notes. As a pastor, she is teaching her congregation how to prepare properly for every spiritual and material contingency they can think of. “We need to be stewards of 100 percent of all God has provided us,” Joyce says. “By not addressing estate planning issues, we’re potentially not being good stewards.” And then there are the less obvious issues—spiritual considerations about how our resources should be used to God’s glory. “We need to provide for those causes we care about. My hope is that alumni and friends of Gordon will join me in considering the College as part of any overall estate plan,” Joyce says. It’s not the size of the estate or the stage of life that tells us when planning is necessary. Stewardship is an attitude—it’s about being prepared for whatever unexpected circumstances life brings. The Office of Gift Planning is available to serve you in regard to any of your estate planning needs. Contact Philip Best at 978.927.2306, ext. 4228, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984. Joyce (Blakney) Duerr ’58
It’s not the size of the estate
or the stage of life that tells us when planning is necessary. Stewardship is an attitude— it’s about being prepared for whatever unexpected circumstances life brings.
GIFTS & GIVING
Being Prepared U
t has come to my attention that a member of your faculty, Sybil Coleman, has misrepresented my work in her article “Where Compassion and Condemnation Collide” in your Spring 2000 issue. Specifically, [she] cites my book Addiction and Grace as a source for the following statement: “But we need to recognize that the homosexual’s struggle to control sexual desires is parallel to that of anyone who is struggling with sinful behavior. The answer isn’t in control, but rather in the recognition of one’s lack of control—and in surrendering it to the grace of God.” . . . Although the author’s vagueness makes it impossible to know what, precisely, she is supposedly attributing to me, I find it most uncomfortable to be cited as a source for something with which I strongly disagree. For the record, then, let me state that neither do I consider homosexuality to be an addiction, nor is there anything whatsoever about homosexuality in the book she cites, Addiction and Grace. Gerald G. May, M.D. Editor’s note: It is certainly never our intention to misrepresent individuals, their positions or materials. Nor are we intentionally vague. In compressing two paragraphs, we inadvertently joined two sources and ideas, which may have led to misinterpretation. We apologize for any inconvenience or discomfort this caused Dr. May. all 2000 Stillpoint is your magazine’s best ever in my opinion. The articles were interesting and inspiring. We read the one about Christmas customs in Holland [“Recovering the Season”] after our holiday dinner (one side of our family is of Dutch origin). Thank you.
Patricia Culver ’68 ince shortly after graduation we have lived in Holland, serving as missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions. I was particularly happy to read the article “Recovering the Season” in the Fall 2000 Stillpoint. Almost since the very beginning of our life in Holland we entered into the Dutch way of celebrating Sinterklaas, especially appreciating the ensuing result of reserving Christmas for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Our first Christmas in America during a furlough was a sorry time for us. . . . I would very much like to establish contact with [the authors, Tracy Kuperus and Arlyne Sargent] and share some further wonderful experiences which come from living in Holland. . . . We have lived here 47 years.
Herb Boyd ’52
From a letter to Mark Sargent from the Pilgrim Society, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts:
our article on Thanksgiving in the Fall 2000 issue of Stillpoint . . . was excellent. You captured both Thanksgiving’s historical background and its contemporary ramifications in a moving and thought-provoking fashion. We met briefly in the early 1990s. . . . Not long thereafter you were elected a Fellow of the Pilgrim Society—and I’m happy to see your interest in the Pilgrims continues. Peggy M. Baker Director of the Pilgrim Society and librarian of Pilgrim Hall From an e-mail to Mark Sargent:
e read with pleasure and much interest your insights on the New England Puritans at Plymouth. My wife, Jean [Long ’58], and I have had an ever-developing interest in and thankfulness for the legacy of these spiritual forebears. Since we spend much time in our auto, we try to redeem that time by reading. Most recently Jean has read for us Bradford’s classic [Of Plymouth Plantation]. . . . We found ourselves awed by the piety and humbled by their uncomplaining submission to most severe providences. I have been impressed by the attention that has been given in the writings and sermons of many of them on the biblical subject of the fear of God. . . . When I heard of the Westminster Theological Seminary (West) D.Min. program emphasizing preaching, I determined I would like to write something for publication under that program on the fear of God in the preaching of the Puritans. I applied, was accepted . . . and am well into the rigors of putting the research together in book format. My purpose in writing was not only to thank you for your article but also to inquire what you think about an assertion I make in my first chapter [which I am enclosing]. . . . Thank you for your reply. Arnie Frank ’55 t’s a privilege to extend congratulations on a job very well-done . . . issue after issue. A number of people over the last several years have commented to me about how well Stillpoint is done. We really appreciate your strong contribution to the College, to its constituency, and to the broader kingdom.
Harold L. Myra Executive Chairman, Christianity Today International
RAVES & REBUFFS
In this column our readers can respond to articles in STILLPOINT or voice thoughts about Gordon in general. Reserving the right to edit for space, we will attempt to publish a balance of positive and negative comments.We hope to hear from you.Write to Editor, STILLPOINT, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road,Wenham, MA 01984, or e-mail: email@example.com. Anonymous letters will not be published. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO HAVE EXCERPTS OF YOUR RESPONSE PUBLISHED, PLEASE NOTE THAT. Letters written to individuals other than the editor are forwarded to those persons whenever possible.
pril Art Exhibit—Senior Art Majors 7 Annual Pops Concert; 7 P.M., A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel 8 Easter Passion Music; 4 P.M., Phillips Recital Hall
20, 21 The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, a comic opera by Jaques Offenbach; 7 P.M., Gordon Chapel 24–28 Spring Theatre Production, Rumors, a comedy by Neil Simon; 8 P.M., BCA Theatre
ay Art Exhibit—John Schneider ’80: Recent Paintings 4 Choirs, Choirs, Choirs! featuring all Gordon’s choral groups, including the College Choir, the Women’s Choir and the Children’s Choir; 8 P.M., Gordon Chapel 5 And God, a concert featuring a wide range of gospel styles; 8 P.M., Gordon Chapel 6 Thompson Chamber Music Series featuring Mia Chung, Carol Ou and Jamie Buswell; 4 P.M., Phillips Recital Hall 7 Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert; 8 P.M., Lane Student Center
18 Baccalaureate; 6 P.M., Gordon Chapel 19 Commencement; 10 A.M., on the quad (if rain, in Bennett Center by ticket only)
ASIAN AMERICAN ART EXHIBIT ATTRACTED ATTENTION A nationally important exhibition of Asian American art was on view at the Gallery of the Barrington Center for the Arts early this year. The display featured an impressive selection of works produced by America’s top 25 Asian American artists of the senior generation. During its brief, six-week stay, “Leading the Way” attracted more media attention and Diana Kan, Day Break, 1995. 231/4 x 171/4". larger audiences than Mineral, watercolor on gold leaf on silk. any previous art exhibit in the new arts center. Gordon was fortunate to host this exhibit. Asian American art is usually viewed in the museums, galleries and private collections of the West Coast. All but six of the nearly 50 works on display were shipped from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Hawaii. Gordon’s role as a focus of Asian American art is the result of the efforts and support of benefactor Philip Lee, Gordon alumnus, class of 1982, and the Mrs. H. C. Lee and Family Charitable Trust. So Kam Ng Lee, a noted San Francisco specialist in Asian art, was the exhibit curator, while the installation was overseen by Gallery Director Bruce Herman and his staff. Equally important was the release of a beautifully illustrated exhibit catalog authored by Irene Poon, Asian American art expert, and designed by Craig Ing, entitled: Leading the Way: Asian American Artists of the Older Generation. It featured an introduction by Paul J. Karlstrom, West Coast director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. For more information on the catalog, call David Goss, Gordon’s fine arts coordinator, at ext. 4862. SING-SI SCHWARTZ
For info, updates and tickets, call ext. 3400 for music events and ext. 3200 for theatre productions. Phillips Recital Hall is located in Phillips Music Center. Art exhibits and theatre productions are in the Barrington Center for the Arts (BCA).
I f you’re in the area this summer, stop by the Old Town Hall in Salem, Massachusetts, to see the play Cry Innocent, by Mark Stevick ’87—now in its 10th season. Performed by Gordon’s professional theatre troupe History Alive!, the hour-long, interactive drama is based on testimony from the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. Call 978.524.4747 for times and rates. A study guide is also available.
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Published on Jan 22, 2010
Published on Jan 22, 2010
What exactly does have to do with ROUSING THE EVANGELICAL MIND, PAGE 4 • TOUCHED BY A SILVER ANGEL, PAGE 7 NOT YOUR FOUNDER’S MISSION FIELD,...