The Magazine of Gordon College
The Language of Peace 14 As spoken by Judith Oleson, Daniel Johnson, Greg Carmer, Marv Wilson and many others
Also in This Issue 32 La Vida: Celebrating 40 Years 36 Our Fractured Wholeness: Making Sense of Disability
14 Photo Michael Prince
Feature: The Language of Peace Two new programs at Gordon—the Initiative for the Study and Practice of Peace, and a minor in peace and conflict transformation—seek to teach the multifaceted language of peace in personal, social and global contexts. It’s a language already being spoken by the Gordon community, including alumni worldwide.
That Passes 14 Peace Understanding: Toward a
Theology of Peacemaking by Marvin Wilson
Father Abraham, peacemaker extraordinaire, is more than just a name from Bible 101.
Peace: An 17 Teaching Interview with Judith
Oleson and Daniel Johnson
on the 20 Perspectives Teaching of Peace Reflections from Dean of Chapel Greg Carmer, and faculty Ian DeWeese-Boyd, Lauren Barthold and Paul Brink.
Social Capital in 22 Rebuilding Post-Communist Romania Dana Bates ’93 reflects on peacebuilding through recreation—and re-creation.
the Story 24 Regenerating by Jeremy Simons ’97 The story of an ex-Marine turned pacifist, investment banker turned justice advocate.
Efforts on Both 26 Peace Sides of the Wall
by Kristin S. Rydbeck ’04 How (and why) four alumni are working for peace in war-torn nations.
M. Perkins: 29 John Peacemaker, Mentor, Friend by Jo Kadlecek
A meeting that led to a career of exploring themes of passion, justice and reconciliation.
Peace Offering of 30 ABlueberries by Charles Marsh ’80
Charles Marsh learned the language of peace through an unexpected gift.
IN EACH ISSUE
Vida: Celebrating 40 32 La Years of God’s Faithfulness
38 Alumni News
2 Up Front
Legacies: Gordon 43 Winning Inducts Alumni Athletes
3 Inspiration 4 Letters 5 SPORKS
in the Wilderness
by Heather Trapp ’10
Jim Belcher and 34 Interview: Christian Smith
Interview by Joshua Hasler ’09 Two award-winning alumni books on church and culture.
Our Fractured Wholeness: Making Sense of Disability by Katie Thompson ’12
The inspiring journey of Diana Ventura ’82.
and Students 37 Alumni Explore Professions, Build Networks
GordonLink, a career mentoring program, pairs alumni and current students.
News and notes about the Gordon and Barrington alumni families: milestones, memories and accomplishments.
in Fourth Annual Hall of Honor Ceremony by Annie Cameron ’09
Highlander Club hosted a day of friendly competition, entertainment, and the annual awards banquet.
with President Carlberg
6 On the Grapevine
Student, Faculty and Staff News
On the Cover Judith Oleson, associate professor of social work, believes Gordon has unique resources for exploring diverse theological perspectives in peacemaking, and for equipping students to mediate conflict as a transformative process. Cover Photo Michael Prince
Up Front with President Carlberg
The Gospel “Pull quote goes Language of here. Num veleseq Peace uismodignim zzriuscil doluptat. Cum nos duis nulput digna con volenim ent augait wis nit aut aliqui blan.”
Photo Ben Leaman ’11
Making peace is complex, not some sort of holy sedative. It’s something we must actively make as “ministers of reconciliation,” to quote 2 Corinthians 5. Every Sunday in some of our churches, in a ritual that enacts how the peace of Christ is to be shared and not hugged to ourselves, we turn to those in the pews around us to extend our hands and pass the “peace of Christ.” But as the articles in this issue of STILLPOINT illustrate so well, making peace is complex, not some sort of holy sedative. It’s something we must actively make as “ministers of reconciliation,” to quote 2 Corinthians 5. And we are only able to pursue this calling because of our ultimate reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. As you read about how our faculty, staff, students and alumni are embracing this calling, I think you will be inspired and challenged by just how nuanced and complex being peacemakers can be. There is nothing dreamy or sentimental about this ministry of reconciliation. Dana ’93 and Brandi (Anderson) ’92 Bates have spent the last 10 years in
2 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
Romania working to reverse a corrupt culture bankrupted by communism. Seeking to restore fundamentally Christian values, their work has grown into the largest youth service organization in Romania and is becoming a model for Eastern bloc countries. Though their movement is transforming thousands of young lives, their work has been far from easy. The Bateses themselves have been victims of the very corruption they are trying to reverse. Still they stay, willing to serve as ministers of both peace and justice in what is a persistently challenging context. The multifaceted language of peace is also illustrated by the work of Jeremy ’97, mediator and peace trainer, and Amy (Ludeker) ’96 Simons, nurse practitioner, serving in Mindanao. Jeremy says, “As an ex-Marine turned pacifist, investment banker turned justice advocate, peace efforts have
taken me back to the Philippines, where I grew up as a missionary kid, to live out new aspects of witness and proclamation.” There is nothing dreamy about building peace, nothing softheaded. Take, for example, the hard work of Judith Oleson, associate professor of social work, and Daniel Johnson, associate professor of sociology, whose visionary faculty committee has laid a solid foundation for teaching peace through Gordon’s new Initiative for the Study and Practice of Peace, and a minor in peace and conflict transformation. So the next time I get a puzzled or patronizing look when I say I’m the president of a Christian liberal arts college, I might just hand over a copy of this issue of STILLPOINT. It makes a great case for the vision of our alumni, staff and faculty and the sheer breadth of their sense of mission. Their voices ring out on some of the most compelling issues of our day.
President’s Page www.gordon.edu/presidentspage
In each issue
Volume 25 Number 1
“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot, referring to God in his poem Four Quartets Editorial
Patricia C. Hanlon Editor
Tim Ferguson Sauder Creative Director
Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04 Associate Editor
Rebecca Powell Amy Harrell ’07 Publication Design
Jo Kadlecek Senior Writer
Cyndi McMahon Staff Writer
Nancy Mering Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
Pat McKay ’65 Publications Editor Meg Lynch ’10 Rebecca Michealsen ’10 Interns
ADMINISTRATION R. Judson Carlberg President Brook Berry Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing
Address changes Development Office firstname.lastname@example.org
other correspondence Editor, STILLPOINT | Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984 email@example.com
Sandwiches and Students Pat Marcheterre, Deli Lead, Dining Services After many requests to see her in STILLPOINT, I had the privilege of interviewing “Pat the Lunch Lady” to find out what inspires her. I had no idea what inspires her, though I did know how much of an inspiration she has been to many students. There are few who haven’t been a recipient of her warm spirit and smile as they move through the deli line in Lane, looking for a sandwich and receiving motherly conversation as well. —Meg Lynch ’10 “Thirty years of making 150 sandwiches a day—and I’m not sick of it yet! I just love being a part of the Gordon Dining Services family, and I love this environment. But what’s my true inspiration? It’s the students. “I watch as they begin their journey, nervous and excited freshmen. My position is not academic, but I get to see them every day—when they’re happy, stressed, dying for peanut butter and fluff sandwiches. I watch as they mature into adults, readying themselves for the world, and finally as they graduate. The cycle changes every four years, and I’ve happily stayed. “And then they come back. They come to the deli to say hello. They come with new stories, new spouses and growing families. I feel like old mother hen to them! “I know I’m going to have to retire eventually, but I’m still not ready. It’s these kids. It’s the daily interactions I have with them, the conversations. “There’s one particular question students often ask me: ‘When we’re on break, do you make sandwiches?’ And I always reply, ‘I thank God every day for this job, but when you kids go on break, you can bet I’m not making sandwiches!’”
NOVA Partners | Gorham, Maine Photo Cyndi McMahon STILLPOINT, the magazine for alumni and friends of the United College of Gordon and Barrington, is published twice a year and has a circulation of over 22,000. Opinions expressed in STILLPOINT are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gordon College administration. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin. Reproduction of STILLPOINT in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 3
Letters to the editor
“Whether or not we decide to use it, Internetmediated, blazing-fast, short communications are what define our time.”
What would we say if we found that the 0.7 percent of users spending the most time on Facebook were spending their time enriching their spiritual lives and evangelizing to an otherwise unreached community? In this brave new world, we are not unlike Paul in the Athens marketplace, shouting our ideas out among the din, but we will quickly render ourselves and our message
Disclaimer: I’ve never played
using social-networking media wisely. I am
obsolete if we extract ourselves from these
Farmville or “poked” anyone. I have an
wondering if it has not already become a
conversations and refuse to engage others
ambivalent relationship with Facebook and
necessity for this training in discipline to be
by this medium.
have not yet ventured into the world of
included in a college curriculum?
—Jonathan Lopez ’03
Twitter. So I’m far from an expert user. But I
—Herb Boyd ’52
was sobered by the statistics in Auday and Coleman’s article “Pulling Off the Mask” (STILLPOINT Fall 2009)—I’ve certainly been guilty of wasting hours wandering around Facebook. Yet social networking has allowed me to reconnect with people I might not have otherwise. I was motivated to attend Gordon’s Homecoming last October because I planned to meet up with friends I’d reconnected with via Facebook.
I appreciated John Skillen’s article
I very much appreciated Provost Sargent’s words about our culture’s
“Facebook in a Monastery” in the Fall 2009
immersion in online media. Dr. Oleson,
issue. My husband and I have hesitated over
whom he quoted early on in his article,
the Facebook thing and haven’t caved in . . .
was correct. The Internet, unguarded by
yet. I would feel too much pressure to keep
diligence and accountability, can be a pit
up with my “relationships” if I participated
of wasted time and energy as well as a
in texting, Facebook and twittering. Who
source of greater evils. Provost Sargent’s
has the time? I have two small kids who
brief reflection did, however, remind me of
need me. The irony of it all is that we as a
the wonders of the information age. When
culture are spending more and more time
I roamed the halls of Jenks the Internet had
staring down at our screens instead of
only begun to explode. I remember sitting
My good and patient husband is fond of
looking up at the beauty of God’s creation.
at tables surrounded by stacks of books,
reminding me (when the responsibilities
The Internet can become an enormous
leafing through this one and that, and often
of caring for young children seem
distraction if appropriate boundaries aren’t
wishing they had concordances.
overwhelming) that “this is a season.”
put in place.
And for this season I’m grateful for these
Now when I do research, most of what
—Lori (Kent) Maggiacomo ’92
I search for has an electronic copy. I am
cyberconnections. I know the aperture of my life will open again, but on these cold winter days, my narrowed focus makes me appreciate the vistas, however fragmented or edited, of worlds outside my own. —Molly (O’Connor) Dantonio ’98
Whether or not we decide to use it, Internet-mediated, blazing-fast, short communications are what define our time. Most ideas that hold my generation captive are not stumbled upon in letters or books; rather, they are found in tweets, blog posts
grateful to search volumes of scientific literature, look up definitions and images and even translations with Google, connect with old friends on Facebook—and do it all from anywhere in the world with only a few keystrokes.
As I read the essays in your October
and one-page online articles. In a post-
I am also grateful for the reminder that
issue, I was challenged by the impact of
postmodern world, I would argue that we
there is peace in a little intentional
the ever-increasing scope of the Internet.
see these items not as forgettable, fleeting
unplugging from the online world. Thank
At 79 years old, I do use a computer and
thoughts but as an invitation to initiate a
you for the pause to consider the substance
the Internet; I am even on Facebook, and
conversation—to return to the search for
of this new “air” in which we live and
who knows what I eventually will do. For
breathe. And may Paul’s words to the
missionaries such as myself, the ease of staying in contact with family, churches and our mission organization is a great asset.
I commend Dr. Auday’s and Dr. Coleman’s study, but who is asking our students what they actually do when they are on social
Yet I am, just like all the others, inclined to
networking sites? Where are the voices
spend too much time online on unimportant
of the students? Were they so distracted
“tasks.” Personal discipline is important in
that they weren’t invited to speak up?
4 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
Write a letter firstname.lastname@example.org
Corinthians guide us as we trek deeper and deeper into the age of the Jetsons. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). —Sarah McGarry ’00
In each issue
Story bryan parys ’04 Illustration Stephen Dagley ’08
Installation 10: You Are Here A confession: I stole a pen, and I’m sorry. I was in Berlin, Germany, with some friends, having what we dubbed a “bro-mantic man-cation.” Each evening, after hours of bundled walking through January-chilled streets, we seemed to end up at the same hole-in-the-wall burger joint down the street from our apartment. The place was called City Burger 2 (when asked for the location of City Burger 1, the answer came back simply “No such thing”); and to be honest, my particular brand of gastronomy tends to be more salad fork than greasy spoon, more bulgur than burger. Business was pretty slow at 2 a.m., so when we walked in, the sole worker arose from his crossword, Sudoku or other time-waster, and went behind the counter, bearing the brunt of the language barrier to take our order. I sat at the table where the burger-flipper had been sitting and waited while my compatriots ordered their fatty-patties. I saw a pen sitting on the table. It was one of those pharmaceutical pens and had a spring that made it bend in any which way. Like watching my grandfather pull a nickel from my ear, my brain went oooo, and without further thinking I pocketed it. That week my friends and I had taken part in the paradox that is an Eastern European vacation: enjoying the sites and gustatory delights while at the same time coming face to face with scars that war so irreparably etches, our lips performing an aerobic workout of smiles turning to slackened jaws. Just a block from Brandenburg Gate—the mouth of a city that’s breathed peace and war for centuries—we walked into a Holocaust memorial comprised of thousands of tomblike stones. It’s as close to museums and landmarks as it is to parking lots and apartments. Visitors and residents have no choice but to engage with the wounds of history. It is impossible to forget something that still hurts, but that doesn’t mean healing can’t happen in the midst of it. No more than ten hours before the pen incident, we’d made a trip to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp turned memorial. Though it’s main role was a labor facility, it still contained death chambers and medical experimentation facilities. On one diagram a rigid grid marked out what atrocities occurred where, to help the onlooker make sense of the dust-covered ruins before him. Below squares that read things like “gas chamber” and “crematorium” was a large empty space with a dot that read “You Are Here.” There it was in bold present tense, a reminder of what side of history I was on—the one that survived.
So, how did I respond that evening? I stole a pen—took the power of words from a native who by necessity was already forced to use our words in order to communicate. Had I already forgotten where I was and that I was still here? America often strikes me as a country suffering from a combination of Alzheimer’s and restless leg syndrome. We’re quick to forget, and even quicker to move on. This kind of spirit has brought us pioneers and 49ers but also slave owners and pilgrims covering their tracks under smallpox blankets; we hoped by getting bigger we’d get better.
Like Watching my grandfather pull a nickel from my ear, my brain went oooo, and without further thinking i pocketed it. Our common brother’s-keeper response is often “Can’t we just move on?” Sure, but that limp’s not going to heal itself. A friend of mine was once on the receiving end of some anti-American rant while he visited Russia. Another passerby almost immediately shouted “Sorry.” I long for that sense of corporate responsibility even amidst our darkest corners. But as I put on my coat on my final day in Berlin, I shoved my cold hand into a deep, dark pocket and felt a pen. My response to the shame was to leave it behind. So my apology still remains hidden in a small wicker basket in that apartment, where the next tenant will probably pick it up to write down the address of that restaurant where JFK went after his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech, having no idea they’re continuing the chain of regret I started. And they are culpable simply because they are there, and I am not. Humbly I name the site of my grief: 51 Reuterstraße #2, Berlin, 12047, Germany. You are here. Incomprehensible numbers of others are not. So I invite you: Pick up your pen and follow me.
bryan parys doesn’t like to capitalize his name and will be graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire in May. He needs a job, has a pen—that he paid for—and will travel. Email him. email@example.com Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 5
News: On the Grapevine
Student, Faculty and staff news
Photo Paul Wright ’11
Hosted by the student-led organization Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF), Earth Week (April 19–23) featured a variety of unique and creative events, including this concert with recycled “instruments” on the benches outside the Ken Olsen Science Center.
Student Travels to White House Environmental Forum Since arriving at Gordon, senior Kate Kirby has taken on campus life with fervor. A Spanish major with minors in biblical and theological studies, Latin American studies and environmental studies, Kirby has also found time to serve as president of a student club, Advocates for a Sustainable Future. For all her campus commitments, though, Kirby never expected to receive an invitation to the White House. But in early December she was one of only 100 student leaders invited to participate in a White House-Sponsored Clean Energy Economy Forum for emerging leaders. Kirby’s involvement in Washington started when she joined Restoring Eden, a faithbased environmental group that organized
6 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
college students to lobby senators from their states. When the president’s staff contacted the Energy Action Coalition about inviting college students to the forum, Restoring Eden turned to Kirby. “I came back wanting to encourage my peers to take their stewardship role more seriously than ever,” Kirby said. “We as Christian students are an unlikely alliance on environmental issues. Many don’t expect us to advocate for sustainability, but it’s because of my faith that I was able to take advantage of this opportunity. And I hope this is only the beginning.”
Gordon Launches Innovative News Service In response to dwindling staff at local newspapers, Gordon launched the Gordon College News Service (GCNS),
an internship program providing journalism students the opportunity to gain professional experience while covering a wide range of stories that then become available to media outlets who partner with GCNS. “It’s a win-win for our students and media partners,” said GCNS editor Jo Kadlecek, senior communications writer. “We’re looking forward to serving the community in this way.” Established as a capstone internship program for journalism students, the GCNS program accepts three to five students per semester. Each piece the fellows produce is first distributed to the GCNS media partners and then posted online. newsservice.gordon.edu
On the Grapevine
Haitian Student Supported by Gordon Community
Fils would like his Gordon classmates to support relief work as they are able to. “If nothing is done, this could be the end of Haiti,” he says. “And I think people understand that.” Even more than hoping they give, Fils hopes fellow students pray. “The most important thing is prayers. Prayers for this time of change in Haiti.” This article was written by the class that produces The Tartan.
For Their Dedication and Service . . .
Photo Ben Leaman ’11
The worst fears Niltzer Fils endured during the first three days after the catastrophic earthquake in his homeland of Haiti never came to pass. After the agonizing wait—“The phone was like part of my body,” he says—the second-year Gordon student learned from an uncle that his immediate family had escaped injury. But these are still hard days for the business administration major, even as his faith is strengthened. Fils, 23, worries about the families of the tens of thousands of victims. He is heavyhearted about survivors who lost everything, though his own town of Fontamara, just outside Port-au-Prince, came through fairly well. And while his mother, father, two brothers and sister were uninjured, he is anxious about what the future holds for them— in the short term and for years to come. Meanwhile, Fils goes about his business on campus—wishing he could help, fearful a visa situation would prevent his return to the United States if he were to head home to help. It was his desire to do something—even just to raise awareness, he says, that compelled him to tell his family’s story. The most pressing problem for his family is food. When relief workers make deliveries, the scene can be chaotic and dangerous. “People are fighting for food. My family’s not used to that,” he says. Looking into the future, Fils worries about his siblings’ education. His 19-year-old brother was supposed to graduate from high school this year. “Right now there is no school standing. It’s going to take a long time.” Fils said he would like to bring him, along with their 16-year-old sister, to the United States to continue their education. He hopes the disaster ultimately fuels spiritual revival in Haiti. Answers to some of the big questions elude him. But he knows that his own prayers during those awful early days after the earthquake were answered—that his family would be safe, and that he would be able to forge ahead. “God gave me the strength,” he says. “I think my faith is getting stronger and stronger. The whole time I couldn’t get in touch with my family, I was just trusting God.” When he got the good news from his uncle, he thought, “All these dead bodies and no one in my family is among them. It’s a miracle.”
The annual Academic Service Awards are presented to faculty members who have demonstrated their love for teaching and students in a way that enriches the Gordon community. The 2010 recipients, Larry Mayes and Katie Knudsen, are both part-time professors who generously bring in outside perspectives that greatly enhance students’ learning experiences. Since 2003 Larry Mayes has worked for Gordon in Boston, where he teaches Introduction to Urban Studies, one of the cornerstones of the program. In addition, he also serves as the chief of human services for the City of Boston, where he promotes programs aimed at preventing youth violence and enhancing civic justice. Mayes’ remarkable expertise is directly applied to the classroom setting, encouraging his students to be proactive leaders in the urban city setting. Hired in 2005, Katie Knudsen has taught many versions of The Great Conversation, an introductory course to Christian liberal arts. In each class she has received rave reviews from students who admire her interest in not only the subject matter but the students themselves. With a background working as a mental health specialist and in Young Life Ministries, Knudsen has become one of the most beloved and respected teachers at Gordon.
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 7
French Learning: Outside the Classroom
Finding Fellowship in Bread Groups
Meg Lynch ’10
Megan Nadeau ’10
Photo Cyndi McMahon
Attending French operas in Boston and gathering for French pastries at Café Vanille is a regular part of French students’ education at Gordon, under the encouragement of Emmanuelle Vanborre (pictured), assistant professor of French, and Damon DiMauro, professor of French. Trips into Boston to hear influential French speakers like author BernardHenry Lévy, former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, former prime minister Dominique de Villepin or movie director Michel Blanc inspire students to learn more and love Francophone language and culture.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” Members of Bread Groups know this verse in John so well that they live it by engaging in small groups on campus to study books of the Bible, explore issues like brokenness and healing, or pray for the persecuted church. There are about 30 groups, and this year faculty and staff have also joined.
learn more when I lead because of the people in my group. Last semester my group studied Romans. Judith Kasiama ’12 courageously opened up about difficulties she was facing—mainly uncertainties about being able to return to Gordon because of immigration difficulties within her family. As she shared, I found myself continually challenged and encouraged by the strength and faith she personified. While still unsure of her future, Judith has decided to lead her own bread group this semester, trusting in God and encouraging the rest of us with her unshakeable faith.
Having led many bread groups over the past two and a half years, I realize I often
Seeing with New Eyes: Global Education Photo Contest
These learning opportunities don’t always take place off campus, though. “We organize a weekly lunch on campus, get to know each other and speak French together,” Vanborre adds. Other oncampus events include the French Film Festival, special French meals, and visits from noted French writers. In March, for example, Mylène Priam, a Harvard professor who specializes in Francophone studies, was invited to speak with students, followed by a French dinner. “Learning a language is also learning a culture—we have to experience it as much as we can,” says Vanborre.
Each year the Global Education Department sponsors a photo contest, “Seeing with New Eyes.” This year’s winner was Carolyn Conlon ’10, a math and secondary education major from Wakefield, Massachusetts. This photo was taken during Carolyn’s semester in the Middle East. “Standing in the Sahara is a surreal experience,” she says. “Sand stretching to the horizon, nothing but vast rolling dunes in sight, no north or south, no landmarks of any kind—just you and the dunes. Running barefoot up the dunes is a metaphor for my semester in the Middle East. In a world completely and utterly different from my own, I often felt lost, but in a wonderful, fully immersed way. Studying abroad redirected my life, opened my eyes to the world around me . . . il humdulayh. Saalam.” Carolyn was the winner of this year’s Global Education Photo Contest.
8 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
On the Grapevine
I Don’t Know, I Just Don’t Know
IN THEIR WORDS
“Recently I went on my first fishing trip. After learning a series of knots, the parts of a rod, and the basics of casting, our PE Fly Fishing class took a trip to try our hand at fishing . . . on the quad. So far all we’ve caught is attention.” —Lindsey Reed ’12 During her PE048 Fly Fishing class
Nonprofits and Businesses Invest in the Community
Photo Rebekah Jordan ’10
Illustration Alex Rocklein ’09
Even with a downsized economy, businesses still want to find meaningful ways to contribute to their communities, especially nonprofit organizations doing valuable work. Approaching such partnerships isn’t always easy. In an effort to address these challenges, Gordon’s Center for Nonprofit Studies and Philanthropy, along with Gordon’s Cooperative Education and Career Services Advisory Board and the Career Services Office, hosted a free panel discussion and networking reception. The event, Investing in the Community: The Intersection of Nonprofits and ForProfits, “provided a unique opportunity to help us think more creatively about innovative ways we can partner together to help our communities,” said Ted Wood, professor of economics and business, and codirector of the Center for Nonprofit Studies and Philanthropy.
From losing your car keys or deciding what to wear each morning to wondering what to do with our lives, everything was fair game in Gordon College’s recently performed original comedy about uncertainty entitled I Don’t Know, I Just Don’t Know. The fast-paced production marks the third comedy event in the 10th anniversary year of the Barrington Center for the Arts and was directed by Norman Jones, associate professor of theatre. Known as a “devising” in the theatre world, I Don’t Know, I Just Don’t Know drew from improvisational scenes the cast of 12 student actors created while a student crew filmed them. The video scenes were then viewed, transcribed, copied and distributed to the cast to determine which fit into an overall storyline. Jones and the ensemble then edited each scene, assigned roles and reworked the collaborative scenes into a three-act play. The performance included musical and comedic interactions that touch on daily life—Where are my keys?—as well as more in-depth themes such as faith, doubts, politics and injustice. “Since September 11—and now Haiti—our world has experienced more uncertainties than we have known what to do with,” Jones said. “We all wonder why certain things happen or the reasons behind experiences we’ve had. For instance, why does the greatest certainty in a Christian’s life—God—also seem like the greatest uncertainty at times? Our show touched on our responses to these issues—in hilarious ways. “This talented group of actors wasn’t afraid to explore a range of issues, often making visible to the audience the invisible elements characters face on stage. It was an opportunity to engage in the questions we face each day—with humor.” Pictured, left and right: cast members Susanna Young ’11 and Rachel Strasner ’10
Regardless of what the economy is—or isn’t—doing, Wood believes the principles behind effective partnerships will always be helpful for both the organizations and the communities they serve. Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 9
An Appreciation for Craig McMullen Mark Sargent
Sometimes I’m asked what’s on the other side of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. A street, I say. That amazes them. Most Americans assume major league ballparks should have the right to bulldoze neighborhoods to enlarge left field.
Craig McMullen is a Red Sox fan. A few years ago he passed out baseballs with Red Sox logos to Christian college provosts who were visiting the Jubilee House in Dorchester. I had asked Craig then to share with our guests something about the Gordon in Boston program he has now led for 16 semesters. What was obvious to everyone was that Craig is also a fan of the neighborhoods— an enthusiastic guide to the many churches, storefronts and ballparks squeezed into Boston’s maze of streets. Craig has taught us much about how to love our urban neighbors. He has opened new doors for learning—taking students to the Mayor’s Office and community development sites, to the Museum of Fine Arts and to folk murals painted in alleys or on store walls. After a long tenure as a pastor at a multiethnic church, Craig took on the challenge of building our Gordon in Boston program from the pavement up. Since 2002 he has introduced students to the Back Bay, Roxbury, Cambridge, the Boston Common and the South End. Students have volunteered over 30,000 hours of service. They take courses in an old Congregational clapboard church now owned by Caribbean and Cape Verdean 10 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
immigrants. Some students then ride the T over the Charles River to take an extension course at Harvard.
Gordon Student Awarded Best Delegate at Harvard’s Model UN
So often we sing that peace is like a river, descending rapidly from mountains, becoming the broad, tranquil flow that connects towns in the valleys and neighborhoods in the coastal cities. To make peace, we need people who will prepare us to see those connections between different communities. For nearly a decade Craig has helped us restore links between our semirural campus and the city where Gordon College began. In the words of one student, the Gordon in Boston program has given us a richer glimpse into the “plight and beauty of the city.”
Steven Fletcher ’11
“The challenge of many urban programs,” Craig observes, “is that they study ‘about’ the issues of urban life without becoming part of the community. For eight years over 150 Gordon in Boston students have chosen to live, work and study in Dorchester and overcome negative media perceptions of urban violence, poverty and racism only to find personal transformation through participating in the diversity of its community life.” One graduate noted that the Gordon in Boston program “changed my life. I look at everything differently—people, the urban way, the suburban way, politics, money, career, church, fashion, food, children.” Craig has decided to head now for the mountains: He and his wife, Angela, will be joining The Potter’s House in Denver, Colorado, where Craig will be the executive pastor. I doubt he’ll switch his loyalties to the Colorado Rockies, though he may find himself cheering for some of the ex-Patriots on the Broncos. I’m grateful for his time with us. He brought a big vision and a big heart to Gordon. His great gift was his way of showing us that making peace requires us to be present—to walk the streets in order to learn more about the hopes and challenges of our many neighbors. I will miss him as a guide, a witness and a Christian brother.
Close to 3,000 students attended Harvard University’s National Model United Nations at Boston’s Park Plaza hotel this past February. Seventeen Gordon students—a collection of political studies, international affairs, philosophy and music majors—attended, led by students Rachel Bell ’11 and James Cassell ’10, and by Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies. David Denison ’11, an international affairs and philosophy major, was awarded Best Delegate within his committee, the highest award a delegate can receive at the Model UN. Denison’s honor marks the first time a Gordon student has received this award, which usually goes to students from larger schools—Yale and West Point are frequent winners—or from large international schools from countries like the Netherlands or Venezuela.
Photo Cyndi McMahon
The Best Delegate award is given by committee staffers and takes a wholistic view of the delegate’s performance over the weekend. They consider attendance, participation, skill and everything in between. Denison served as the Tanzanian representative to the UN Development Committee, which included nearly 40 other delegates representing countries the world over. “In a very short time, David had to master the topic, Tanzania’s perspective on it, as well as the jurisdiction and scope of the committee’s purpose,” said Brink. “Just ask him how much sleep he got.”
On the Grapevine
Making a Difference, On and Off the Court Dylan Girard ’10
A Literary Apprenticeship at the Kilns Hannah Baker ’10
The first time I cycled my way up Lewis Close and knocked on the door to the Kilns, I couldn’t believe I was taking an Oxford course on Dorothy L. Sayers, in the home of C. S. Lewis. I assumed a special author study on Sayers would be a chance to revel in detective stories. But my tutor, Lydia Newell, was not interested in reveling. We had four one-hour sessions together, and she expected me to learn more in those four hours than in a semester at home.
From draining three-point shots to jaw-dropping buzzer beaters, Aaron Trigg has provided excitement at Gordon’s men’s basketball games. Over the past four years Trigg has been one of the most successful players to put on a Fighting Scots uniform, but the impact he leaves stretches far beyond the basketball court.
Our first meeting proved to be typical of our tutorials. I entered, Lydia offered me a mug of tea, and then questioned my assumptions on everything. I quickly realized that Sayers’ skill as a detective novelist had blinded me to the serious aspects of her books; she possessed one of the finest minds of the 20th century.
A senior and recent recipient of ESPN’s Academic All-District basketball award from district one of the college division, Trigg has rendered leadership in several areas, from cofounder for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Gordon to inaugural president of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Trigg has also maintained an impressive 3.8 GPA in his business administration and finance majors while being a two-year captain for the men’s basketball team. “What I love most about Aaron is that he very well embodies what the Division III student-athlete should look like,” says Gordon’s athletic director, Jon Tymann. “His leadership has reenergized certain areas on campus.” Before Gordon, Trigg received the Kansas City Star Metro Scholar Athlete of the Year, awarded to the top male scholar athlete out of 99 metro area schools. He also received the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission Kansas Athlete of the Year, which recognized his athletic achievements in football, basketball and track. As a Fighting Scot, Trigg broke the 1,000-career point mark as a junior and has continued to add to his total over his senior year while adding several TCCC Player of the Week awards and many other personal accolades. “I am fortunate to have the success I have had so far,” said Trigg. “My parents set an amazing example of Christian values, integrity, character and focus on hard work. I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without them or my Gordon teammates and friends.” Wherever Trigg’s name ends up in the record books, it is his infectious work ethic, kindhearted personality and fervent leadership that define his four-year career at Gordon College. And it’s those attributes that will not only help him in life but give future Gordon athletes a role model to emulate.
The best example of my ignorance came after I reread Gaudy Night. Under Lydia’s tutelage I finally understood that Gaudy Night was not just a mystery but the culmination of all Sayers’ theological and social writing. The story calls into question the cultural ideals of womanhood, education and human purpose. But it was only after I moved beyond my literary crush that I could appreciate this. In the end the thrill of sitting in the Kilns living room paled beside the excitement of tutorials where two open minds freely exchanged ideas. Hannah (pictured above on Addison’s Walk at Magdalen College, Oxford, fall 2009) is a theatre and English double major. Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 11
Gordon at Church: Grace Chapel, 02421 Doug Whallon
Gift #3—Gordon grads in our congregation: Our congregation is diverse in just about every way—ages, ethnicities, denominational and educational backgrounds. However, one of the patterns I am increasingly aware of is the presence of Gordon grads. So many are steady, spiritually savvy servant leaders in our midst. Take them away and it wouldn’t be pretty. Let them stay and we press forward and prosper together. A lot of good things (mostly people) drift down those 27.9 miles from Wenham to Lexington. While Gordon has given greatly to Grace Chapel, it’s been a twoway street. Each year a few of our high school graduates choose Gordon. And one of my own children is in her junior year as a Gordon business major. Every time I travel up to visit her and watch one of her soccer games, I take pleasure in her good and multifaceted Gordon experience.
Google Maps tells me Gordon College and Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts, are separated by 27.9 miles, which can be driven in 30 minutes. That may be wishful thinking for commuters during midweek rush hour, but it is good news on Sunday mornings. As pastor of discipleship at Grace Chapel, I have many reasons to declare the relationship between Gordon and Grace is not defined by geographical distance but by a satisfying closeness in real-time relationships.
Rev. Doug Whallon has served at Grace Chapel for 14 years “strengthening and encouraging” people in their Christian growth and development.
Gordon is calling this “church relations,” where Gordon and local churches can partner together and mutually benefit from one another. Here are three specific ways we’ve benefited as a church from this relationship with Gordon College.
Gift #1—Great guest teachers from Gordon faculty: In January Dr. Marvin Wilson taught one of our four-week January JOLT adult courses, entitled “Jewish Roots of Christian Spirituality.” A packed room of more than 100 people “went to school” on Dr. Wilson’s biblical insights and spiritual wisdom. As one person said afterwards: “It made my faith deeper. Please have him back to teach soon—but make it longer next time!” Gordon College is a treasure chest of Christian teachers. The occasional visit goes a long way in blessing our people: guests such as Roger Green, professor of biblical studies; Dave Mathewson, associate professor of biblical studies; and Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology. Our minds are stretched, our spiritual growth is stimulated, and our lives are challenged. Gift #2—Youth ministry majors: Gordon has a great youth ministry program. How do I know? The answer is from first-hand, personal experience at our church. Our middle school pastor, Andrew Breton ’08, and our high school pastor, Todd Szymczak ’97, are terrific advertisements for Gordon’s program. I bet similar things would be said by many congregations in our region. We also have a steady stream of Gordon students who serve within our youth ministry on a weekly basis—some as volunteers, others as interns. Thanks, Gordon, and please keep them coming.
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Is Your Church in the Loop? Gordon’s Church Relations Office offers many resources for churches. Here are just a few: • The Great Gordon Shootout: Church youth groups attend Gordon basketball games and participate in halftime shooting contests. • Annual New England Youth Ministry Symposium, for pastors and youth pastors (October 28, 2010, on the Gordon campus, featuring Cheryl Crawford ’77). • Notes celebrating student accomplishments are sent to their home churches weekly. Office of Church Relations firstname.lastname@example.org 978 867 4010
On the Grapevine
Youth Ministry Symposium Builds Relationships campus,” Crawford says. “The first two weeks are critical—they set the pattern and tone for at least the first year, if not all four years.” A student’s future isn’t always bleak, though—even with a culture that continues to corrupt. “When it comes to youth ministry I’m very hopeful because I have watched a generation of youth pastors move from activitydriven programs to relationship-driven ministries. Youth pastors are better equipped theologically, and as a result are more able to challenge students to grow in Christ.”
Participants enjoy a lunch break during a Gordon-sponsored Youth Ministry Symposium held at Denver Seminary. The annual symposium, which began at Gordon in 2003, is a continuing-education and networking event for workers in the field of youth ministry.
Youth Ministry: Now More than Ever Jonelle Flood ’10
“I became a believer during my junior year of high school,” says Cheryl Crawford ’77. “I hungered for more—more of the Bible, more theology, more fellowship. Gordon provided an opportunity for me to engage in deep study and practice of faith.” That deep study led Crawford to complete her master’s degree in youth counseling at the University of Southern California and then receive her Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2008. “I’d say what sparked my interest was working with adolescents. The more I
work with them, the more questions I have and the more I’m intrigued by their experiences,” says Crawford, now assistant professor of practical theology at Azusa Pacific University in California. Her chief teaching area is in youth ministry. “Youth ministry provides caring, supportive adults during a time when adolescents may not enjoy their parents as much. As a result, youth ministry leaders can have enormous impact in all areas of an adolescent’s life—a deeper impact than many realize.” But Crawford says the need for youth ministry continues as students enter college. “Students lose direct daily contact with family and long-term friends. As a result, a lot of students feel incredibly lonely.” The struggle to remain in the faith and to even grow in the faith is a hard battle for those who attend secular colleges, but it is surprising that faith can even be tested at Christian colleges. “Students should get involved in a local church and/or on-campus fellowship groups as soon as they set foot on the
Youth Ministries Major Renamed and Expanded For over 30 years Gordon College students majoring in youth ministries have been prepared for a wide range of leadership roles in community and church organizations. Now the youth ministries program has been expanded—and renamed Christian ministries. The Christian ministries major allows students to focus their academic studies in one of five specific areas: juvenile justice ministries, global Christianity, youth ministries, urban ministries or outdoor education ministries. Gordon is the first Christian college in the nation to offer students the study option of juvenile justice ministries. “Just as we read the Bible in context, ministry must be studied in a context,” says Mark Cannister, professor of Christian ministries. “With these options we’re helping students focus on their fields of interest while remaining united by the theology and values common to all facets of Christian ministries. “One of the major reasons for the new approach and title is to reflect a fuller picture of our program.” www.gordon.edu/christianministries
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 13
14 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
The Language of Peace
Peace That Passes Understanding: Toward a Theology of Peacemaking Marvin R. Wilson
If the Old Testament were to have a candidate for Peacemaker Award, I believe Abraham would be the honoree. When we look closely at the traits of Father Abraham, we find him to be an exemplary model of faithful obedience, one whose sensitive, godly character is oriented toward hospitality, reconciliation and peacemaking. Abraham is far more than a name from Bible 101. To take just one example, when Abraham (an “Iraqi” from Mesopotamia) meets Melchizedek (a Canaanite king-priest from the city of Salem) he does not avoid contact with this stranger. Rather, Abraham opens himself up to him; the patriarch discovers he and Melchizedek worship the same God. They then share bread and wine together, tokens of friendship, hospitality and peace. Why was Abraham chosen? The obvious answer is the Messiah would come through his line. But great as that promise is, there is more. God says, “I have chosen him” so his children after him will “keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just” (Genesis 18:19). Those who are faithful and true “sons and daughters” of Abraham also have a concern for practicing tzedakah (“righteousness”) and mishpat (“justice”). If the Apostle James were addressing us today, he would say, “To have the faith of Abraham, without his works, is to be spiritually dead.” The grand scheme of Scripture is the story of reconciliation, of shalom, between God and humankind. God is the Author of perfect shalom (Isaiah 26:3). His Messiah is the Prince of Shalom (Isaiah 9:6). And because we have received reconciliation through Christ (Romans 5:11), we have peace with God (Romans 5:1). God, in turn, calls us to be part of this “ministry of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:18). What does it mean, as ministers of reconciliation, to bring shalom to this world? The Hebrew term properly means “wholeness,” “well-being” or “perfection.” Shalom includes friendship, harmony and health. Though personal sins and societal imperfections now often thwart shalom, the prophetic vision of shalom will one day not be denied: harmonious relations within a fully redeemed, restored and perfected world. Ultimately He shall “speak peace to the nations” (Zechariah 9:10) and they “will not learn war
anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). As agents of peace and reconciliation, we presently await its culmination. Though biblical reconciliation is ultimately focused in Christ and His work, it is not without profound interpersonal, social, physical and even environmental implications. In my classes at Gordon I often say “Good theology will lead to good sociology.” In Scripture the two are often intertwined. The practical peacebuilding projects described in this issue of STILLPOINT illustrate this truth, reflecting how God is present in the life of the doer and through deeds that display His nature and bring glory to Him. These personal narratives about peacebuilding demonstrate in concrete situations how the God of peace equips believers to do His will. Yet as the stories in this issue of STILLPOINT illustrate, reconciliation is usually more a process than an event. The bitterness within human hearts cannot simplistically or quickly be separated from bitterness often derived from one’s social situation. Barriers of misunderstanding, resentment and painful memory of atrocities require the gradual building of bridges of communication, friendship and harmony between individuals, communities and nations. Peacemaking is often elusive and easily fractured. Like other paradoxes of Scripture, the concept of shalom reflects the real tension of the “already but not yet.” Thus we are urged to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14; cf. I Peter 3:11). Even in times of futility we persevere, for in the end there is hope promised those committed to “waging peace.” They will reap, in due season, a “harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18). Indeed, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).
Marvin R. Wilson, Ph.D., Ockenga Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, has taught Old Testament and Jewish-Christian studies at Gordon since 1971. He is the author of the widely used textbook Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, and worked as a translator and editor of the New International Version of the Bible. Locally and nationally he has extensive experience in building bridges of understanding between the evangelical Christian and Jewish communities. email@example.com
Feature Photos Michael Prince Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 15
16 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
The Language of Peace
An Interview with Judith Oleson and Daniel Johnson Judith Oleson (pictured left) and Daniel Johnson, both associate professors in Gordon’s Sociology and Social Work Department, have at least two other things in common: a passion for the gospel work of peacebuilding, and a conviction that good scholarship has practical, real-world implications. STILLPOINT interviewed them recently about their roles in two new projects: the Initiative for the Study and Practice of Peace, and a new academic minor in peace and conflict transformation.
STILLPOINT: Why peace studies? Why now? Daniel Johnson: For starters, the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures continually enjoin the followers of God to seek peace, to make peace, to live in peace. Though there are substantial disagreements about how we should try to achieve peace in this broken world of ours, the goal itself is one that all Christians should be able to affirm. And when we do so, we find there are millions of others from other faith traditions—and even from no faith tradition—with whom we share common cause. Beyond this, we study peace because more than a century’s worth of peace research has made clear that a lasting peace never arises spontaneously. It always takes work: diligent study of particular social dynamics, informed critical reflection, the exercise of imagination, practices of mediation and conflict transformation, the disciplines of speaking and listening, and so on. We hope peace studies at Gordon will help encourage and equip those in the Gordon community and elsewhere to engage in some of this work themselves. Judith Oleson: We live in a world of ever-greater intolerance and deeper divisions. Yet nowhere in our curriculum do we specifically equip students with knowledge and skills in conflict analysis, prevention, resolution and transformation. Our students in all fields must be able to de-escalate conflict to be effective problem solvers. In preparing students for both local and global leadership, it is essential they understand that conflict, if addressed, can be transformative. SP: How did these two programs get started? DJ: Some six years ago a small group of faculty from across campus began considering how we might make issues of peace and reconciliation a more prominent part of conversations that take place on campus and spill over into the broader community.
This group kicked around a lot of different program ideas until we finally hit on a package that drew the interest of a major donor. And so the Initiative for the Study and Practice of Peace was born. The specific programs the Initiative will underwrite are all noncurricular in nature. All along, however, our little group figured an academic major or minor in peace and conflict studies would be a natural complement to those programs, so we were hopeful something like that could be implemented as well. Then along came Judith. . . . JO: The impetus for a new minor in peace and conflict transformation came from the Sociology and Social Work Department, where I was awarded a grant to research other undergraduate programs. Last summer Gordon was chosen to participate in a five-day course at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University. This course, Teaching Peace in the 21st Century, enabled three Gordon faculty—Daniel Johnson, John Sarrouf and myself—to meet with the leading scholars/educators in this field and consult with 15 other universities and colleges with existing or developing programs. Upon returning to campus in the fall, an interdisciplinary faculty committee was formed to review and revise the proposed minor. The minor was recently approved by the Academic Programs Committee. SP: What passions and scholarly interests do you bring to this field of study? JO: I am passionate about community partnerships and how they can effectively build processes that enhance collaboration while addressing conflict. However, community leaders often reduce their effectiveness due to unresolved conflict. In 2002 I was provided a fellowship to study mediation and leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, based on my eight
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 17
years in facilitating a collaborative among school districts, local government, nonprofits and tribal councils. In completing a Doctor of Ministry, my dissertation, Sacred Leadership: Facilitating Reconciliation, examined the knowledge and skill set needed to train leaders in facilitating reconciliation in deeply embedded organizational and community-based conflicts. As a result of this research, I received a grant to develop and teach a course for pastors at the seminary level. Now Iâ€™m beginning to work with the Peak Performance Group Inc. to train corporate leaders in interpersonal and organizational conflict. And Gordon communications adjunct professor John Sarrouf and I provide consultation, training and mediation services to nonprofits, churches, small municipalities (school boards, city departments) and community coalitions.
critical role to play in bringing peace to our world. Yet these kinds of headline-grabbing processes and events tend to obscure the essential work that untold numbers of peaceworkers do behind the scenes and on the ground to make possible the fragile peace celebrated in the headlines. And long after the media spotlight drifts away from places as far flung as Rwanda, the Balkan states, Cambodia and Nicaragua, those workers are still there, living and working with would-be antagonists to resolve misunderstandings and grievances in ways that preclude a return to violent engagement. One of my hopes for peace studies at Gordon is that students and other community members will be led to picture these sorts of workers whenever they think of peace efforts in the international arena. And who knows? Maybe some of them will see themselves in those pictures.
Though there are substantial disagreements about how to achieve peace in this broken world of ours, the goal itself is one all Christians should be able to affirm. Both of these off-campus contexts provide rich material for one of the social work courses I teach, Working with Groups and Organizations. Iâ€™m also concerned about the growing interest in guns as a perceived method of reducing violence. I recently presented a paper at the Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference that outlined methodology for creating a more meaningful dialogue between gun-rights and gun-control groups. DJ: Unlike Judith, I received no formal training in peace studies. Indeed, I may have looked askance at such a nontraditional, eclectic field during my years of graduate study in sociology. Through the years, however, I have found I am far more motivated in my work by the hope for peace than by some kind of diffuse commitment to an academic discipline. So I find myself sharing the experience of thousands of peace researchers whose education was in some other academic discipline but whose passions led them to the study of peace. In particular, as a cultural sociologist I focus on how the frameworks of meaning that we inhabit generally motivate or inhibit certain social actions and interactions. Where this approach hits home for many of our students is in unpacking why it is that religious identities and convictions can promote violence in so many circumstances while at the same time contributing to the cause of peace in so many others. SP: What about the international arena? DJ: I need to be careful how I say this because I do believe diplomacy, international treaties, peace accords and so on have a
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JO: Itâ€™s important for students to know that every international conflict has a local context. Women and children suffer from displacement, abuse and poverty during and after conflict. Soldiers return to communities not always equipped to meet their post-trauma needs. The rebuilding of neighborhoods after generations of ethnic and religious conflict is at the heart of reconciliation. During my doctorate studies I was able to visit reconciliation processes in South Africa, Israel and Palestine, and Egypt, specifically examining strategies in religious and identity-based conflicts and community reconstruction. After an internship with the United Nations Development Business Partnership Office at U.N. Headquarters in New York, I was sent to Kazakhstan to mediate failed partnerships between the U.N. and multinational corporations in Central Asia. I also became active with Initiatives for Change, a faith-based organization that sustains an informal worldwide network of those engaged in reconciliation. I have been a presenter at their reconciliation conference in Caux, Switzerland, for several years. During my recent sabbatical I worked with Rabbi Hillel Levine, founder, and Anuradha Desai, executive director of the International Center for Conciliation. ICFC trains diverse religious communities in a process of exchanging historical narratives to increase understanding and rebuild community following violent conflict. My contributions included designing a training strategy, rewriting proposals for their work in Israel and Palestine, modifying their fellowship program and facilitating an organizational planning retreat.
The Language of Peace
SP: In what ways is Gordon well-positioned to the task of “teaching peace”? JO: Gordon, due to its strong liberal arts tradition that integrates faith with learning, is in a unique position to be “teaching peace” through a theological lens. We’re equipped to help students examine and respond to conflict on personal, social and global levels, and to provide the space for self-reflection that is key to global leadership. The College already serves as a leader in intra-faith dialogue, and we’re well-positioned, through our faculty, to provide diverse Christian perspectives on peacemaking. The many scholars and professionals in the Boston area in the mediation field will provide key opportunities for student internships. DJ: I believe Gordon is uniquely positioned to offer a more comprehensive approach to the subject of peace and conflict and reach more diverse audiences than other programs in Christian institutions. Not surprisingly, most of the standing peace programs across the landscape of Christian higher education are in schools tied to the Anabaptist tradition. Yet we find intellectual and moral resources to engage with such matters scattered all across the many Christian traditions. Moreover, while most programs focus on political processes of conflict resolution, we know these questions are not solely political. They also demand careful attention to social divisions (religious, cultural, racial, ethnic and gendered), economic relations, ecological concerns and so on. Gordon offers an ideal setting in which to bring the full range of Christian reflection to bear on the full range of questions associated with the quest for peace.
Initiative for the Study and Practice of Peace Launches Several components are set to begin by the fall of 2010: •• Grant opportunities for faculty and students •• An annual Peace Lecture series •• Library resources on the issues of peace and reconciliation To participate or contribute, contact Daniel Johnson (dan. firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dan Tymann (dan.tymann@ gordon.edu).
New Minor in Peace and Conflict Transformation Hosted by the Sociology and Social Work Department, a new, recently approved minor in peace and conflict transformation will be an asset to many majors, providing students with core knowledge and skills to apply in any setting. Though the minor will draw on the teaching and scholarly interests of the Sociology and Social Work Department, other departments with scholarship and expertise in the field will be participating as well.
Daniel Johnson, Ph.D., is associate professor of sociology, department chair, and a recipient of Gordon’s annual Distinguished Junior Faculty Award. In addition to his regular teaching responsibilities, he coordinates and teaches Gordon’s Coffee Seminar, which examines the structure of the global coffee trade and its impact on local communities in Guatemala. email@example.com
Judith Oleson, M.S.W., M.P.A., D.Min., is associate professor of social work, teaching Groups and Organizations, Field Practicum Seminars, and directing senior field practicums. Next spring she will teach the first course in the new minor, Peacemaking: Personal, Social, Global. She is cofounder of Oleson/Sarrouf Associates (www.olesonsarrouf.org). firstname.lastname@example.org
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers Greg Carmer
In the winter of 1984 a small group of friends and I gathered in the basement classroom of St. John’s Church in Jackson, Michigan, to discuss the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on War and Peace. Reagan was in office, the nuclear arms race was in full tilt, and the Nuclear Freeze Movement was gaining considerable traction. Since those days many things have changed. More states have gained access to nuclear weapons, but the total number of nuclear warheads on the planet has dropped from 70,000 to just over 25,000. In April of this year, at a nuclear security summit in Washington, Russia and the U.S. reaffirmed their intention to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium from their military caches. The existential anxiety fueled by images of mushroom clouds and talk of mutually assured destruction (MAD) of previous decades has given way to a dull malaise brought on by a constant state of “high terrorist threat levels” and the vague threat of elusive weapons of mass destruction (WMD). And peace movements have broadened their scope from calling for arms reduction to working towards justice for all and the building of social capital in areas beset by poverty. The themes of peace and war run throughout Scripture like a golden thread; now appearing as a present reality, and again as a future hope. The prophet Micah foretells a day when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks,
and when “nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Micah 4:3). On the other hand, Joel challenges the nations to beat their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears as they gather in the “valley of decision” to receive the Lord’s judgment (Joel 3). Likewise, prophecies concerning Jesus call him the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) who will bring peace to the nations (Zechariah 9:10); yet enigmatically Jesus says of himself, “Do not suppose I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). These mixed messages about peace in Scripture are reflected in the range of attitudes of present-day Christians towards war. Fellow followers of Jesus find themselves in disagreement about how to pursure peace. Still, there is no escaping the clear call of Scripture to be peacemakers. The Apostle Paul, expounding upon the amazing role given to the Church to be Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation, cannot hide his astonishment at the responsibility with which the Church is entrusted; it is “as though God were making his appeal through us,” he declares (2 Corinthians 5:20). This message of reconciliation is not written on golden tablets nor enshrined in a sacred temple. Rather, it lives in the life and language of the worshiping Body of Christ. And it is through this worshiping body that the Lord makes His appeal to the world. Greg Carmer, Ph.D., (pictured below) is dean of chapel. email@example.com
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The Language of Peace
Peace on Earth, Peace with the Earth Ian DeWeese Boyd ecological pacifism, noun, (ekəläjicəl pasəfizəm)
Ecological pacifism is the extension of the love of one’s neighbor and enemies, advocated by Jesus, to the environment that provides for their flourishing. This gospel recognizes that humanity’s place within the created order is not to dominate it but to live in harmony with it—even to recognize God through it. As Jesus holds the raven and the lily before his disciples, he affirms that nature itself displays the caring provision of God and that these fellow beings, resting each in its specific niche, serve as exemplars of living in harmony with the world and with God. The idea that the planet is to be unrelentingly shaped to serve the ever-increasing desires of humanity, then, represents both a failure of trust and of love. Our own redemption involves inhabiting our specific niche in the world—understanding both its demands and limits; that is, to live in peace. This pacifism isn’t simply a passive rejection of violence; it is an active striving to bring about substantive peace between humanity and the land we live upon. When the gospel is taken outdoors—taken into a world groaning under the weight of human consumption and exploitation—it becomes obvious it’s impossible to love neighbors without caring for their environs. To feed the hungry we must tend the earth. Peace on earth requires peace with the earth. Ian DeWeese Boyd, Ph.D., is associate professor of philosophy and education. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gender, Body(ies) and Shalom Lauren Swayne Barthold
Christians rightly affirm the importance of our gendered humanity—after all, as the Genesis account notes, our maleness and femaleness reflect the plurality and difference of the Godhead: “Let us make humans in our own image . . . and so male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26–27). Unfortunately, in our zeal to affirm the significance of gender, we can end up causing each other pain and injustice—both on societal and personal levels. Gender studies at Gordon has two main aims: the patient analysis of how our understanding of gender has been tainted by sin; and the healing and reconciliation that aims to recover the image of God in our maleness and femaleness. In part this means
correcting the individualizing emphasis of modernity, switching the focus from individuals to the Church, Christ’s body. In other words, our emphasis should be on asking how the Body of Christ (as opposed to my individual body) is gendered. Recontextualizing gender questions is a way of recovering a healthy understanding of the image of God. Peace, or shalom, can happen when we consider how ideas about gender have been used to deny the image of God in each other and how they may instead be used to invoke the image of God in one another. Lauren Swayne Barthold, Ph.D., is associate professor of philosophy and gender studies advisor. email@example.com
The Peacemaking Possibilities of Politics Paul Brink
If the old dictum is true that “war is the continuation of politics by other means,” we might expect to find the Christian peacemaker to be found anywhere but in the thick of political life. Yet politics presents peacemaker opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Indeed, politics is perhaps the only sphere of human life in which that task of conciliating difference is a primary purpose. Today opportunities are relatively rare to meet directly those with whom we disagree and those from whom we are different in fundamental ways—we prefer to hang out with people like ourselves. Politics’ role in peacemaking becomes more important the more we allow this encounter with those others to take place. Of course, politics is not simply about bringing people together; after all, we’re usually trying to reach a decision about some matter. But here is precisely where its peacemaking potential may be found: As we work towards that decision, politics does not demand that we all agree for the same reasons, and certainly not that we come to agreement on everything. The specific type of reconciliation that politics offers is not one that requires conversion: Political opponents do not need to agree “all the way down” in order for agreements to be reached. The political arena thus is especially valuable to the peacemaker the more it can allow participants to maintain and respect their differences as they come to agreement. Peace and the transformation of conflict become possible in politics when participants are enabled to speak from out of their differences rather than face the requirement that these be overcome or ignored. For the greater threat to peace—and to politics—comes not when citizens talk too much, but rather when they are not able to talk enough. Paul Brink, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of political studies. firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 21
Rebuilding Social Capital in Post-Communist Romania Dana Bates ’93
For the past 10 years, Dana and Brandi Bates have lived in Romania’s Jiu Valley working with youth, helping to rebuild social values that make for lasting peace.
Romanian communism ended with the execution of the dictator Ceaucescu on Christmas Day, 1989. Many say it was the best Christmas present they ever received. Now, 20 years later, are we in a position to assess the legacy of communism? To highlight why taking account of communism is so important, noted scholar Janos Kornai points out that in 1977 about 32 percent of the world’s population lived under the classical socialist system, whereas in the spring of 1991 the figure was 0.006 percent. What Kornai calls the “classical” system was a regime type that tended toward absolute control. Party leaders in the bureaucracy above gave commands to those below about virtually every aspect of life. The hope underlying Marxist-inspired communism—and this was its terrific appeal—was that this controlled economy could better meet the basic material needs of the working class. We now know it was largely a disaster on many fronts. By focusing excessively on the material conditions of existence, they destroyed even those.
22 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
But what of its current legacy? What are the “development” challenges in these contexts of post-socialist transition? I would like to argue that, among other things, communism undermined two core human values: agency and solidarity. Agency is freedom and the sense that one can make a difference in and shape one’s world. It is the Enlightenment value par excellence and is linked to a notion of individual dignity. But communism, ironically, also destroyed solidarity—the ties that bind, the sense of mutual responsibility. Common ownership meant common neglect, and this applied to responsibility no less than property. One consequence of communism today is that the associational life of youth is extremely low; some argue as low as 3 percent of youth in Romania have any type of club, whether that be Sunday school, Scouts, band or soccer. Furthermore, communism created a certain character type: that of the bowed head and executing orders, no questions asked. These character traits are ill-suited for democracy. Corruption remains rampant. As a recent NPR report said, “There is corruption, and then there is Romania.”
The Language of Peace
Under communism one strategy for coping was telling jokes. These jokes were illegal, but they persisted all across the communist system. Because of the dysfunction of the economy and constant shortages and standing in lines, jokes such as these were rampant: What happened when the desert became communist? Nothing for a while, and then there was a sand shortage! The truth is that when we wanted to offer a LaVida-type program to the youth of Romania, we had no idea how relevant experiential education (adventure education and service learning) would be for the post-communist trauma. We did not want to offer jokes, but we did want to offer fun, and fun with a purpose. Recreation for re-creation. In 1999, with the help of a Gordon team of students, we built Romania’s first challenge course. We have been taking almost 600 youth through the week of their lives since 2000. Viata (“The
these societies. For instance, John Chrysostom develops a theology of the common good: The most perfect rule of Christianity, its exact definition, its highest summit, is this: to seek what is for the benefit of all. This is virtually identical to the Apostle Paul’s “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We are made in the image not of a lone deity but of a Trinitarian God—a God Who is love, and love requires relationship. This notion of the human as both person and communion corresponds with values of agency and solidarity that are recognized by our community development practitioners. We stay in Romania, in a sometimes challenging context, because we have seen firsthand how experiential education contains the key to human flourishing. But Gordon College and the Gordon area and community are dear to our hearts—it is our alma mater; it is where our home church resides; it is where many of our
We did not want to offer jokes, but we did want to offer fun, and fun with a purpose. Recreation for re-creation. Life” in Romanian) is empirically proven to develop trust (social capital), agency (empowerment) and other values. Tears in the kids’ and leaders’ eyes at the end of the week are the real proof.
dearest friends and supporters of our work in Romania dwell; and it is where the initial inspiration for our work in Romania is located, the La Vida program.
We quickly realized that there were no follow-up programs; a summer camp by itself was inadequate, powerful as the experience might be. Yet many heavily funded organizations tried to rebuild “civil society” and volunteering via models imported from the West. By and large these failed because they presupposed that people were interested in volunteering but simply lacked meaningful opportunities.
In keeping with our ongoing connection with Gordon, God has graced us with the amazing opportunity to pioneer a semester abroad program through the College. As we go to print with this issue of STILLPOINT, we are delighted to share the news of the recent approval of a Gordon in Romania program. There is perhaps no context that can better bring learning alive and demonstrate empirically how ideas matter than post-Communist Romania. We would treasure your prayers for this new endeavor.
The problem was much deeper. Volunteering was coerced under communism—what they called “communist Saturdays.” We had to dig deeper still and attract youth, and thus we set our faces toward developing a replicable model. We combined three factors: 1) the fun of adventure education with 2) what we call moral narrative (including Bible stories), and then 3) the community service projects. So fun, learning and service. This was the ticket. We are now the largest youth service organization or movement in the country. We opened our 170th youth club in March and have even gone international with a dozen clubs in Honduras. Our aim is to be the equivalent of the Scouts for the so-called developing world. We live and work in an Eastern Orthodox context. Most Orthodox countries are new to democracy. Communism compromised the Orthodox Church—a well-known fact. Yet it is not hopeless; the youth represent a positive wave of change, and there are profound strands of Orthodox thinking that can be leveraged to help rebuild
Dana was a philosophy major at Gordon and earned an M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2005. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Oxford Centre for Missions Study and serves as executive director of New Horizons Foundation, which he and Brandi cofounded. Brandi was an English literature major and serves as NHF’s administrative director and director of the summer Viata Program. The Bateses have a daughter, Briana, and a son, Gabriel Matei. www.gordon.edu/inromania www.new-horizons.ro email@example.com
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 23
Regenerating the Story Jeremy Simons ’97
As an ex-Marine turned pacifist, investment banker turned justice advocate, peace efforts have taken me back to the Philippines, where I grew up as a missionary kid. Throughout its modern history the Philippines has experienced wars and freedom struggles during and after successive colonization by Spanish, American and Japanese powers. Those struggles continue today, amidst widespread poverty and injustice. In the hope of living out peace and healing in the Philippines, my wife and I work with Peacebuilders Community Inc. (PBCI), an ecumenical, Mennonite-led ministry based on Mindanao island. PBCI organizes peace and reconciliation teams across the Philippines among Muslim, indigenous and Christian communities. As consultants and trainers, we have a small part in God’s story of peace, justice and reconciliation, engaging four dimensions of peace or shalom: harmony with God; harmony with self; harmony with others; and harmony with creation. Harmony with God, a Story of Spiritual Transformation
Last summer PBCI conducted a youth music and arts peace camp with high school age youth representing what we call the tripeople of Mindanao—Muslim, Christian and indigenous—with another group coming from the capital, Manila. Throughout the week the campers worked together on group challenges, games, role plays and team- and trust-building activities. They composed songs and wrote a dramatic production as their final project, and their preconceived notions and stereotypes were challenged. One student’s mother later related how her son returned a changed 24 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
person, got involved in their church and helped people displaced by fighting in their community. In unexpected ways God’s storyline of spiritual transformation was being written. Harmony with Self, a Story of Psychosocial Transformation
Every Christmas season some members of the Matigsalug tribe come down from the mountains to the cities to beg, hoping to benefit from the giving spirit of more wealthy and Westernized urbanites. Entire families walk barefoot through neighborhoods in their indigenous clothes, using their tribal identity as a commodity in exchange for a few coins. This past Advent a group of Matigsalug ministry leaders, both men and women, some illiterate and communicative only in the Matigsalug language, came down for a different reason: a three-day vision-setting process I cofacilitated. Our task together was to create a culturally based, indigenous vision for their communities and ministry. Participants shared, clarified and distilled their own conception of being an authentically Matigsalug community, articulating their indigenous cultural foundation for ministry rather than using one imported from outside—a psychosocial transformation. Harmony with Others, a Story of Sociopolitical Transformation
In January I was invited to the largest mosque in Midsayap by several Muslim students from a training I had facilitated on active nonviolence. The city of Midsayap is a mixed Muslim and Christian enclave in the region where the armed Bangsamoro
The Language of Peace
As consultants and trainers, we have a small part in God’s story of peace, justice and reconciliation, engaging four dimensions of peace or shalom.
freedom struggle is being fought. Just two months prior, a massacre of nearly 60 civilians by a political warlord led to the declaration of military rule in the neighboring province. Though the training had been planned months earlier, the context was now significantly altered, and I was unsure how that would affect the tri-people participants. As we shared the principles of active nonviolence, discussion was vigorous as most trainees are involved in both violent and nonviolent struggles for their communities’ rights. Yet it was a Muslim student, also the imam (worship leader) at the mosque, who spoke most forcefully of making peace in our hearts as part of making peace with others and God, backing it with a quote from the book of James: “Faith without works is dead.” As I sat in the mosque after the training, he preached to a purely Muslim audience; I couldn’t understand his sermon in the Maguindanao dialect except for three words that kept popping out: “active nonviolent approach.” Sociopolitical transformation was happening. Harmony with Creation, a Story of EcologicalEconomic Transformation
Recently two Filipino agricultural community organizers came to our office to pick up two nondescript plastic bags of coffee beans. They have been working with our coffee retail program, Coffee for Peace, to train indigenous farmers in organic growing methods and international coffee processing standards. The premium price these families get from selling to our fair trade distribution network goes a long way towards meeting their basic needs. With the four dollars the organizers collected from their subsistence
farmers, they bought high quality Arabica beans to plant as part of an agroforestry initiative that would protect the remaining forests of Mindanao. It happened that a Canadian investor in Coffee for Peace was visiting our office that day. She was moved to see and hear the stories of how her investment was benefiting some of the most marginalized people in Mindanao. As the money and beans exchanged hands, the organizers shared how they were urgently working to get the coffee seeds out to the remote communities so they would have alternatives to the economically and environmentally unviable practice of monocropping palm oil for biofuel. They expressed how timely it was that God had brought us together over the past year: “Truly this is coffee for peace.” Truly this is ecological-economic transformation. Thus we continue to be grateful for our part in God’s reconciliation story with the world, regenerating the themes of harmony and transformation in Philippine society. Jeremy Simons is a mediator and peace trainer, and Amy (Ludeker) Simons ’96 is a nurse practitioner. They have been serving in the Philippines since 2008. Jeremy and Amy will be back in the States in the summer and fall of 2010 and would be happy to share with interested groups and individuals more about their peacebuilding and health ministry in the Philippines. firstname.lastname@example.org immersionjournal.blogspot.com
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 25
Peace Efforts on Both Sides of the Wall Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04
Though there are many opinions on how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, few have an in-depth understanding of the issues, and still fewer are doing something practical about it. Four Gordon alumni—with firsthand knowledge of the situation, a feel for the pain of its complexity, and a commitment to small but necessary steps toward a peaceful solution—tell their stories.
A concrete wall and barbed wire fence separates Israel from the territory of Palestine. Erected in 2002 during the Second Intifada (uprising), it was meant to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel illegally. Although Israel claims the wall is a defensive, temporary measure, it has led to de facto results—the confiscation of Palestinian land and the worsening of the Palestinian economy. West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to enter Israel without permission from the Israeli government, whereas Israeli citizens are free to live in most of the West Bank (called Judea and Samaria by Jewish settlers) and cross the Separation Wall at will. Josh Korn ’05 and his wife, Julie (Kopp) ’02 (pictured left), live on the Israeli side of the Separation Barrier. Josh works with Musalaha (an Arabic word meaning “reconciliation”), a nonprofit organization that first strives for reconciliation among Palestinian 26 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
and Israeli believers and then extends its work to surrounding communities. The Korns are dual American and Israeli citizens; because of this they can interact more easily with people on both sides of the conflict. “More than anything the wall symbolizes the division, mistrust and hate that plagues this land, and stands as a testament to our inability to live together in peace,” says Josh. “We have literally cut each other off and will not be able to truly reconcile until we can reach out to each other again.” Jessica (Tress) Hulsey ’02 and her husband, Trey ’01 (pictured right), agree; both the physical and unseen walls placed between these people groups must be brought down. Though they recently moved to the United Arab Emirates, the Hulseys lived for two and a half years on the other side of the wall in the West Bank city of Bethlehem and worked for the Mennonite Central Committee
The Language of Peace
Not only are we to look for peace—to look for ways to move ourselves and those around us towards peace—but we’re to “pursue” peace, which is why we’re doing the work we’re doing. (MCC), a small humanitarian aid organization helping to facilitate peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Hulseys supported a wide variety of Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilding initiatives, including conflict resolution among Palestinians, education among Israelis on injustices to Palestinians, and dialogue between the two. On a day-to-day basis, the Hulseys worked with partner organizations in community development, wastewater treatment, agriculture, microfinance and microloans, and peace work, attending their events and meeting with them. They spent a fair amount of time educating their constituency back home about the political situation through writing, advocacy efforts with Washington, D.C., and Ottawa offices, and leading tours in Palestine and Israel—trying to give a more wholistic view of the region than the media often portrays. Josh shares a story from summer camp with Musalaha: For many Palestinians and Israelis, going to a Musalaha camp or youth event is a completely new experience, and the idea of reconciliation is new to them. Most have never met anyone from the “other” side and usually have very negative connotations associated with them. Many are surprised and excited to see that they are similar to one another; they like the same things: soccer, music, movies; and want the same things: to live in peace and have security. At camp this year there was a Jewish Israeli boy named Yakov from Nazareth Illit. Nazareth is one of the biggest Palestinian cities inside Israel, and Nazareth Illit is a mostly Jewish suburb of Nazareth. Although they live right next to it and are technically a part of the same city, most of the Jewish residents of Nazareth Illit avoid going into Nazareth itself. Because a number of campers were arriving from Nazareth, Musalaha arranged for a bus to leave from the city, and Yakov was invited to join them. Yakov’s parents expressed apprehension about his riding on the Nazareth bus but consented. Yakov was assigned to my cabin. A Palestinian Israeli boy, Farid from Nazareth, was also assigned to my cabin. They hit it off immediately and spent the whole week developing a beautiful friendship. They played soccer together, did crafts together, and spent a lot of time just hanging out. It was evident a special bond had been created between them.
On the last day of camp I overheard Yakov excitedly explain to someone that he and Farid were riding home on the same bus and would be dropped off in Nazareth. Although this may seem small when set against the scope of the conflict, it was amazing to watch. This child, whose parents were not comfortable letting him go to Nazareth, was now excited about going because he had a friend there. Once you know someone, the place you fear is no longer a faceless, scary place; it is a human place. Both couples agree that in spite of their organizations’ efforts toward peace, things are still strained between Jerusalem and Palestine. “On a macro level, governments are tense—when we encounter people who are acting as agents of their respective governments, they can often be hostile towards one another,” says Trey. “On a national and political level our work doesn’t make a difference,” Josh concurs. “But on an individual level it makes a huge difference. If we can reach enough individuals, eventually things will change for the better.” Trey and Jessica say Gordon taught them to bring God’s Kingdom into the world as part of the Christian faith. “There’s a reason Jesus tells his followers in Luke 13 to ‘strive to enter at the narrow gate,’” says Trey. “It’s not easy to live the way God has called us to live in the world. Psalm 34 reminds us to ‘seek peace and pursue it.’ Not only are we to look for peace—to look for ways to move ourselves and those around us towards peace—but we’re to ‘pursue’ peace, which is why we’re doing the work we’re doing. It’s hard work; peace doesn’t come easily. But we’re learning that walking the way of Jesus and living in God’s Kingdom is part of the reward, the goal.”
Trey and Jessica Hulsey just finished their work with MCC in Bethlehem and are now living in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, working with CURE International. They continue to hope for a peaceful solution in Israel and Palestine and look forward to building new relationships with people in the UAE. www.mccpalestine.blogspot.com Josh Korn continues to enjoy his work with Musalaha, and Julie is nearing completion of her master’s in art therapy. They hope to continue to be used by God to be a blessing to the Israeli and Palestinian people. www.musalaha.org
We realize this is a controversial subject. We welcome additional thoughts you may have. email@example.com
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 27
John Perkins Photo John Keatley
28 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
The Language of Peace
John M. Perkins: Peacemaker, Mentor, Friend Learning the Language of Peace from a Man of Peace Jo Kadlecek
My writing career began in part because of Dr. John Perkins. Of course, I’m only one of the many white, suburban, middleclass, educated folks—as he affectionately calls us—whose lives have been changed because of him. I’d come to Christian faith during college in the 1970s and found Christ’s message of justice and compassion a balm to the social wrongs that had always troubled me. But I didn’t necessarily know what to do in response. Then I picked up a copy of Dr. Perkins’ book When Justice Rolls Down and devoured it. Suddenly I had a language for justice I hadn’t heard before. I moved into Denver’s historically African American neighborhood known as Five Points, once considered the jazz capital of the West, and recruited college students to help me plan Jammin’ with Jesus day camps in the summer for the children in our community. I began to write about what I saw: the heroism, tragedies and beauty of city life. At first I wrote for a few local newspapers, then for Christian publications I admired. After a hot summer day of Jammin’, I pushed the button on my answering machine and heard a voice I had only read on paper. It was Dr. Perkins. He had seen my articles in some of those Christian magazines and wondered if I’d be interested in writing a book with him, one that told the stories of the churches across the country who were living out the three R’s—reconciliation, relocation and redistribution. The next week I was sitting beside him in a meeting with his editors, where he insisted that my name appear on the book with his. “I want to help Jo’s career,” he told his editors. “And I won’t do the book unless you do.” They did, we did, and 15 years later I can say that because of that meeting I’ve been able to explore the themes of passion, justice and reconciliation in other books and more articles. Coauthoring a book with a spiritual hero was a daunting task. But without him I imagine I’d still be wondering what to do about doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God.
Jo Kadlecek, M.A. (pictured left), is senior communications writer at Gordon. Dr. Perkins has received honorary degrees from Gordon for his work in reconciliation, and for many years Gordon students have traveled to Mississippi, to work with his ministry, Voice of Calvary.
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 29
A Peace Offering of Blueberries Charles Marsh ’80
In 1980 I finished Gordon College, and through a series of circumstances having embarrassingly little to do with interest in social justice, I accepted a job for the summer in the inner city of Atlanta. In preparation for the months ahead I read a book by John Perkins called Let Justice Roll Down. Perkins has been a longtime friend of Gordon, and my first exposure to him was there, even though he lived and worked just a few miles from my grandmother’s home in Jackson, Mississippi. While vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina after graduation, I picked up the book and began reading: I remember when it happened like it was yesterday. Only it wasn’t yesterday. It was summer 1946. The war was over, and it was cotton-picking time in New Hebron. That was the summer Perkins’ brother, Clyde, returned from the war with a Purple Heart, a military hero. And that was the summer John watched Clyde bleed to death after being shot twice
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in the chest at point-blank range by the town’s white deputy. The book pounded me at every level. I called Perkins from the cottage in North Carolina and told him I was coming to Jackson the next weekend. He and his family lived in an intentional community called Voice of Calvary, which ministered and built community among the poor neighborhoods. I told him I was enjoying his book and hoped we could get together for a visit. In his friendly manner and inviting drawl, Perkins said he would be happy to meet with me. I should just call when I got to town. Perkins asked me to pick him up around five o’clock in the afternoon. He wanted me to drive him to a town called Yazoo City, where he was scheduled to speak at a youth rally, and I said that sounded fine—that I was looking forward to it; and I tried not to let on how uneasy I felt about the assignment. Aside from a few times in high school when I drove a teammate home after basketball practice, I had never been in the same car with
The Language of Peace
I had never told anyone—certainly not a black man—about my family’s racial views, and I told him a lot more that night than I’m telling you now. a black person. Perkins’ idea was that we would talk on the way up—about an hour’s drive—and after the youth rally stop at the Shoney’s Big Boy near his house for a piece of their famous hot fudge cake.
I drove back to my grandmother’s house carrying a plastic bag of sweet blueberries from a man who had grown up under the ironhard rule of Jim Crow racism, to a white lady whose grandparents had been founding members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Later, with two heaping plates of the famous dessert and a pot of coffee between us, I told him about my grandmother, who lived in the elegant Belhaven neighborhood.
I didn’t realize then what Perkins was showing me, but I now see that evening was something like an altar call, a moment of grace. I was the recipient of a gift that marks you as a new kind of person. I haven’t been the same since I accepted those blueberries.
“You know, Dr. Perkins, the first thing she does every morning is open her Bible and read her devotions. She’ll pray. She’ll listen to a sermon on tape. But she won’t give an inch on her racial views. She thinks Martin Luther King Jr. was nothing but a troublemaker.” “He was a troublemaker!” Perkins said. “Yes, I know, but that’s not really what she meant. I’ve heard her say that slavery wasn’t so bad. Lots of blacks had it good then, better than they do now.” I had never told anyone—certainly not a black man—about my family’s racial views, and I told him a lot more that night than I’m telling you now. I told him so much I felt like I had come clean with a dirty secret and that Perkins had become my confessor. When I stopped talking—finally—I braced for the worst. But his response was bewildering. Or perhaps it was just the kind of response a wise confessor should make.
Dr. Perkins didn’t hit me with guilt and judgment—as he might have and which I no doubt deserved. He surprised me with mercy; he exemplified to me the miracle of forgiveness and justice that spring from new life in Christ, from the deep and abiding gladness of the Easter world. I deserved thorns and lashes; and I was offered blueberries. I deserved a No, but I received a Yes and an Amen. The great atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said—in one of his seething rants against the Church—that Christians “must sing better songs” before he would believe in their redeemer. I wish the angry, tragic Nietzsche could hear the beautiful songs sung in love and compassion; I wish he could hear the songs that I so often hear; and I wish he could have experienced the simple, life-changing grace of blueberries.
Charles Marsh, an English major
“What does your grandmamma grow in her garden?” he asked.
while at Gordon, is professor of
“What do you mean?”
religious studies and director of
“What does she grow? Does she have cucumbers, or tomatoes? I have the sweetest tomatoes in my garden this summer. You can eat them like apples. Your grandmother like tomato sandwiches? I bet she does. Let me ask you another question: Does she like blueberries? I love blueberries,” the then-50-year-old Perkins said excitedly. And in great detail he described all the ways he loved to eat blueberries: freshly picked, over ice cream, in blueberry pie, with syrup.
at the University of Virginia in
“I always keep blueberries in my refrigerator. When we get to the house, I’m gonna give you a bag of blueberries, and I want you to take them to your grandmother and tell her they’re a gift from me.”
The Project on Lived Theology Charlottesville. He is the author of six books including Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community, which he coauthored with John M. Perkins. His book God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. He is currently writing a new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Marsh is also the recipient of a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellows in the Creative Arts Award. firstname.lastname@example.org www.livedtheology.org
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 31
La Vida: Celebrating 40 years
God’s faithfulness in the wilderness
Begun in 1970 at Saranac Village in upstate New York, La Vida (“The Life”) got its name from an early group of campers who saw the connection between their wilderness experience and their life in Christ. Hundreds of alumni later, it’s a connection that continues to bear fruit.
Her first La Vida experience was so moving that Cay Anderson-Hanley ’88 later wrote her doctoral dissertation on the effects La Vida has on its participants’ identities and spiritual development. La Vida revealed to her that “true community is ‘raw and real.’” On her trip she dealt with challenges and struggles but through it came to realize she could overcome them with the help of her peers and her faith. What she learned, in fact, has helped her press on through life’s challenges, including graduate school, the birth of a baby, and holding her grandfather’s hand as Alzheimer’s stole his mind. “I never forgot the words spoken at the final celebration about how La Vida wasn’t really ending, but rather it, ‘the life,’ was just beginning,” Hanley says. “I have
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realized how important it has been for me to look back on my experiences so I can move forward in facing life’s challenges.” The sense of community Hanley found in La Vida became a goal for her in her relationships, molding who she is today. Hanley was excited to learn that this October the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education will celebrate its 40th anniversary during Gordon’s Homecoming. Adapted from Outward Bound, La Vida came to Gordon in 1978 through Rich Obenschain, who continues to direct it today. Since then it has grown into six programs, including the Adirondack Expeditions, Discovery, GORP, the Rock Gym, Adventure Camp, and an outdoor education Immersion Semester, offered in conjunction with
the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department. La Vida’s purpose has always been to offer Christian community to students like Hanley, to help them overcome personal challenges, develop skills as servant leaders, study and apply Scripture, and meditate on God’s calling for their lives. La Vida still offers opportunities for students to appreciate and enjoy creation while developing stewardship and relationships that lead to teamwork, trust, support, vulnerability, and personal and spiritual growth. “In a busy world it’s hard for people to find time to clear their heads of distractions and of all the messages in our culture that define who we are,” says Obenschain. “La Vida takes people away from distractions
Story Heather Trapp ’10
In a busy world it’s hard for people to find time to clear their heads of distractions and of all the messages in our culture that define who we are. and puts them in a community where they can witness God’s creation, experience His love, and grow through the silence, solitude and simplicity.” La Vida started in 1970 at a Young Life Camp called Saranac Village. A group of teenagers from the lower East Side of New York City were the first to participate. La Vida’s name took hold as the group sat around the campfire talking about how their trip was “the life” because they were away from the gangs and violence at home. They continued to connect their wilderness experience with their “life in Christ” and to understand that the Christian life is “The Life.” From 1970 to 1980 Scott Dimock, Jim Kielsmeier, Dean Borgman, Steve Oliver and many others had a significant impact on the program. Because of their vision Rich Obenschain was able to carry its philosophy to Gordon, where La Vida eventually became a component of the Core Curriculum. Because of his persistence and faithfulness La Vida grew into the program it is today. And as 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of La Vida’s existence, many acknowledge this benchmark with gratitude. “Kids need adventure in order to discover, grow, and reach their full potential,” Obenschain says. “La Vida’s staff has been well-equipped to encourage students and model that adventure through Christlike lives, which is why I think La Vida has been successful at impacting the thousands who have participated in the program.”
In the future La Vida hopes to continue to work more with international organizations to develop adventure ministries. Building on their partnerships in numerous countries including Ecuador, South Africa, Kenya, China and Romania, the program hopes to expand in new regions just as alumni Brandi (Anderson) ’92 and Dana ’93 Bates have done by creating Romania’s largest youth service organization, Viata (“The Life”). “Students in La Vida dig down deep and find out what they’re made of. They begin to work on their character by being out in the wilderness setting,” Obenschain says. “La Vida has always helped young people to be problem solvers—to persevere under challenges, work together, communicate, be team members, and to be people who can serve others. That’s what keeps us going.”
La Vida starts at Young Life’s Saranac Village, Saranac Lake, New York
Scotsman Adventure School begins
Project Interface and La Vida merge at Gordon College
La Vida becomes a graduation requirement; Discovery Expeditions core class created
Through the vision of Eric Wilder ’85, La Vida purchases 74 acres in upstate New York as Adirondack Base Camp
2000 La Vida Center for Outdoor Education includes Adirondack Expeditions, Discovery, GORP, Adventure Camp, La Vida rock gym
La Vida’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Saturday, October 9, 2010 Outdoor activities for the whole family, and Celebration Fundraising Dinner, Dessert and Program Washington, D.C., Area Gathering October 23, 2010 Heather Trapp is a business administration major and communication arts minor with a passion for the outdoors and La Vida. She also loves the North Shore, running on the beach and Captain
Barbeque dinner at the home of Chris ’92 and Wendy Moody, Damascus, Maryland For more information: www.gordon.edu/lavida/40th
Dusty’s ice cream. email@example.com
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 33
books: Jim Belcher and Christian Smith On Deep Church and Souls in Transition
Christianity Today annually selects finalists for its featured Christian book awards. Out of 472 titles considered, 12 made the cut for 2009, among them Gordon graduates Jim Belcher’s Deep Church and Christian Smith’s Souls in Transition. Belcher’s ministerial writing and Smith’s sociological work caught the judges’ attention for the categories of Church and Pastoral Leadership and Christianity and Culture, respectively.
ministry. Deep Church is a handbook for them. Finally, it is for veteran pastors who are discouraged in their ministry and need a shot in the arm—something to inspire them. For those new to the dialogue, can you tell us what the emerging church is?
Jim Belcher ’87 What does Deep Church mean?
The phrase comes from an interview C. S. Lewis gave in 1952. The deep Church is the “mere” Christian Church. It is rooted in the Great Tradition, going back to the early creeds and confessions. Others, like Tom Oden, have called it the rebirth of orthodoxy. Who is Deep Church written for?
First, it is for those who like aspects of the emerging and traditional churches but sense there is a third way. Second, it is for those who have heard about the emerging church but don’t know anything about it. Next, it is for seminary students and young church planters who are formulating their own philosophy of
34 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
I use Ed Stetzer’s description of the three camps that make up the emerging church: the relevants, the reconstructionists and the revisionists. The relevants have the most in common with the traditional church, sharing much of its theology but wanting to be more contextualized. The reconstructionists share similar theology but are really interested in changing the church to more represent first-century Christianity. The revisionists are the ones who have challenged the traditional church’s theology the most. Why are they unhappy with the traditional church?
I found seven protests that were common in their critique: captivity to Enlightenment rationalism; a narrow view of salvation; belief before belonging; uncontextualized worship; ineffective preaching; weak ecclesiology; and tribalism.
What do you hope this book accomplishes?
I hope it gives people a deep passion and love for the Church. Second, I hope it brings unity to the Body of Christ—because without it our witness to the watching world is compromised. Finally, I hope it inspires people to move confidently into the future with a roadmap in hand; to participation in what God is doing in His world. How does this book reflect your personal story? Where is Jim Belcher in the Deep Church?
Deep Church is about my own quest to discover what God wants for the Church; a Church that is rooted in the transforming gospel; has deep, meaningful community outwardly focused in mission; and teaches that God cares about all areas of life and that we are called to be agents of shalom. I hope my readers not only join me on my quest but make it their own.
Jim Belcher, Ph.D., was a political studies major at Gordon. He is the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport, California,
How is Deep Church a third way?
I first let the emerging church explain its protest; then I give the traditional church a chance to push back. After appreciating what we can learn from both sides, I present a third way that can get us beyond the stalemate and bring unity to both sides.
founded in 2001. The church’s vision is to “seek the shalom of Orange County through the good news of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom in a way that brings personal conversion, transforming community, social healing and cultural renewal to our county and to the world beyond.” www.redeemerpres.com
Interview Joshua Hasler ’09
to trace teenage-era influences that shape their lives five years later. One chapter in the book also specifically follows up with many teenagers whose stories were featured in Soul Searching, showing both the continuity and changes in their lives and some of the reasons for them. Is Christian education a factor in your findings?
Christian Smith ’82 What were your goals in Souls in Transition?
The book pursues multiple goals. One is to contribute social scientific knowledge about an important aspect of religious life to help build my field and discipline. Another is to help educate the general public, especially people who care about young people, about their religious and spiritual lives and about the social forces and cultural influences that shape their lives. How does Souls in Transition build on your previous work on American teens?
Methodologically it follows the same sample of teenagers as they have grown into their emerging adult years, ages 18– 23. This means in this book we are able
The influence of parents and other adults turns out to be one of the most important factors shaping their religious and spiritual lives during the ages of 18 to 23. If by Christian education you mean attending a Christian primary, middle or secondary school, that’s harder to analyze well, since very different sorts of students are sent to those schools for very different reasons that tend to associate with different outcomes. Education in Christian schools can be powerful in strengthening the faith lives of youth, but almost always only when it functions as a reinforcement of parental and family influences, not as a replacement. We have not yet had the chance to analyze our data on the effects of attending Christian liberal arts colleges, like Gordon; that is still in the works, and I hope the findings will be coming down the line soon. What implications does this book have for the Christian church?
The book spells out a number of findings that have clear implications for the church, but some of the most important I can summarize here are these. If church leaders want to “produce” youth who as 18- to 23-year-olds are strong in and practicing their faith, they should
concentrate on certain key factors. The first is promoting in their teenagers prayer, Scripture reading, basic theological understanding, believable responses to doubts about faith, and personal religious experiences. The second is equipping and motivating parents of teenagers to proactively model for and talk with their children about the importance of Christian faith. The third is equipping and motivating spiritually mature nonparental adults in churches—including youth ministers and youth group volunteers; but also simply other adults who take the initiative to get to know and share some of their own lives with some teenagers in church—to build real relationships of care and concern with youth during their teenage years. All of those tend to exert powerful influences on teenagers that carry on even after they have left home during the early emerging adult years.
Christian Smith, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, as well as the director of its Center for the Study of Religion and Society. Smith’s research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism and culture. Besides Soul Searching, he is the author or coauthor of 10 other books.
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 35
Journey: Our Fractured Wholeness Making sense of disability
Story and photo Katie Thompson ’12
Ventura went on to receive her master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Temple University in 1991. She then pursued her love of theology and received her M.Div. from the University of Chicago in 2002. Ventura is currently working at Harvard University conducting data analysis while obtaining a doctorate in practical theology and spirituality at Boston University. Through her studies at Boston University she is hoping to integrate her interests in theology and disability to help others make sense of their own experiences of brokenness. Diana Ventura ’88 never knew words on a piece of notebook paper would change her life. That paper contained her handwritten admission essay submitted to Gordon College in 1984.
Academics did not come easily at first. “I finished my freshman year with a GPA of 1.96,” she says. “I needed professors who would take a real interest in me if I was going to succeed.”
After graduating from high school in 1982, Ventura hardly considered herself college material. She’d attended a vocational school that did little to prepare her for college, and, on top of that, had low SAT scores. “My life has been filled with miracles, and getting accepted to Gordon with that essay and those scores was one of them,” Ventura says.
One of those was Peggy Hothem, professor of recreation and leisure studies, who provided both support and inspiration. Today Hothem is humbled by Ventura’s success. “Diana was like a sponge; she soaked up everything I said and all of the readings I assigned. When I wonder why I do what I do, she inspires me.”
Perhaps the very first miracle Ventura experienced was surviving her birth—she was born two months premature and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As a child she used crutches, and her movement and balance are still distorted today. Despite her disability, Ventura wanted more for her life. She decided to take a chance and send in that application to Gordon. She was accepted, and declared a physical education major with a minor in recreation and leisure studies.
36 STILLPOINT | Spring 2010
As she continued at Gordon, Ventura wanted to help others with disabilities become more involved in recreation and leisure activities. She focused her attention on the La Vida program, which takes Gordon students to the Adirondacks. At the time, this program was unavailable for the disabled, but Ventura helped start the La Vida Voyager program, which took a group of disabled students, including herself, into the wilderness on a canoe trip.
Her most recent accomplishment is her first book, Our Fractured Wholeness. “I want to positively influence society’s attitudes toward people with disabilities and allow people to meet the everyday challenges of living with brokenness with hope, dignity and love,” she says. She hopes her story can provide yet another miracle, this time for someone else.
Katie Thompson is a communication arts major from Long Valley, New Jersey. firstname.lastname@example.org
Connections: Alumni and Students
Explore professions, build networks
security company with $45 billion in sales. “I was hoping Gordon grads would be helpful, and they have been— extremely,” he says. “I’ve spoken to five Gordon alumni so far. . . . Their advice and connections have been diverse and insightful.” The mentoring program contains a database of hundreds of alumni who represent a wide range of fields and expertise, and are willing to talk to students by phone or email about their career interests. Students search for potential mentors according to their majors or career interests. In the spring of her senior year Jane Eisenhauer ’09 neatly sidestepped the perennial problem college grads face: how to get a job without experience, and how to get experience without a job. The Gordon math major knew she had a lot to offer Raytheon—and the worldwide technology company knew it too. In the summer between her sophomore and junior years, Jane had used an alumna connection to land an internship at Raytheon, where she proved herself capable and trustworthy—key to the security-driven company, which specializes in defense and homeland security. Raytheon rewarded her with a job offer in the spring of her senior year. “It was incredible,” Jane says. “And it made the last few months of college a lot more fun because I was able to relax. I knew where I was going after graduation.” Gordon College alumni are helping Gordon students get connected—and hired—through Mentoring/GordonLink, a program now in its second year at the Career Services Center. There are over
400 students using its services and almost 400 alumni willing to serve as mentors. “There’s been a lot of early excitement and success,” says Pam Lazarakis, director of career services, which administers the program through Boston-based vendor Experience. “Our Experience representatives have been very surprised at how fast people have become involved.” That’s the advantage of the Gordon community, which fosters an atmosphere of connectedness that lasts long after graduation, Lazarakis says. “Students come to us wondering how to get their foot in the door of these companies. We reassure them that there are people who’ve been in their shoes, who’ve shared the Gordon experience and who want to help them get started. This networking will speed along the job process.” Thanks to the mentoring program, Greg Thonsen, a Gordon senior and double major in finance and international business, landed an interview with Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global
The mentors explain—sometimes in one connection, sometimes in several—what their work and responsibilities entail to give students an idea of what to expect in their fields of interest. The ideal goal is for students to get referrals for internships or jobs at companies of their choice. Thonsen’s initial database search for a mentor led him eventually to a Gordon alum in Washington, D.C., who was able to get him an interview at Lockheed Martin. “We’re very excited about this program’s growth,” Lazarakis says. “Every day we are encouraging students to contact GordonLink mentors to explore professions, build networks and learn that a Gordon education is a solid foundation upon which to build a career, profession or ministry.” More information on participating as an alumnus/a mentor is available at: gordonlink.experience.com
Spring 2010 | STILLPOINT 37
Gift Annuities: Good for You, Good for Gordon Alumni and friends of Gordon who are in retirement or approaching retirement often find charitable gift annuities a prudent option
Walter E. ’49B and
Margaret Clare Alsen ’54
David L. and Carolyn Ames
Ellen Joy Anderson ’77
Christine Hodgman ’53
Harold R. and
Pearl E. Homme ’47
Roy D. and Beverly Honeywell
Richard C. ’53 and
Joyce P. ’58 Anderson John F. ’82 and Jan B. Anderson
Nathan C. Hubley Jr.
Kenneth G. ’70 and
Edward R. and Ellen Huff
Janet S. ’68 Arndt
Audrey J. ’53B Rice
Dorothy H. ’50 Rung James O. ’60 and Merlyn Rutherford
Manuel C. Jr. ’47 and Madelyn Avila
Elizabeth Janet Hunter ’75B
Edwin T. and Sharon Schempp
Charlotte A. Baker ’64
T. David ’53 and Margaret Jansen
Charles L. Jr. ’48 and
John M. Barbour
Philip and Judith M. ’60 Johnson
John ’53 and Beverly A. Beauregard
Gordon A. ’85 and
William E. ’78 and Jane Keep
William H. Shepard
Robert D. Jr. and Miriam Kenyon
Thomas and Madelyn M. Shields
Andrew M. Jr. ’50 and
George W. ’36 and Jean L. Smart
Barbara X. ’83 Becker
that benefits both the College and
David A. J. Belman
themselves over time.
Ruth E. Bennett ’65B
Mary L. ’70 Kilpatrick
Ida Margarit Schenck
Edith D. Smith ’33B Frederick R. ’53 and
Margaret Ann Bentley ’78
Richard T. Jr. ’93 and Sherrie Klein
Kenneth R. and Dorothy Bernard
Daniel ’57 and Ronnie Jean Klim
gift is made to Gordon, resulting in
Diane E. Blake ’58
Madelyn C. ’47 Klose
Mark A. ’80 and Jill Smith
predetermined income payments
Phillip M. ’64 and Linda ’65 Bonard
Judith S. Krom ’63
H. Sue Snyder ’78
Cecil C. ’52 and
Daniel Michael ’74 and
T. Grady and Tine Spires
With a gift annuity, a lump sum
that are received by the donor on
Florence E. ’51 Breton
Darlene Anne ’74 Kuzmak
Margaret C. ’58 Smith
Peter F. ’88 and
a quarterly basis. These payments
Elin Meffen Bridgham ’51
Veronica H. Lanier ’54
become a contractual obligation
Tori Jaye Britton ’84
Mary A. Lark ’54B
Barbara Steeves ’40
Ralph E. ’50 and
Priscilla Ferrin Leavitt ’62B
Edward L. and Marjorie Steltzer
Raymond C. and Priscilla Lee
Carl F. ’50 and Caroline Burke
David C. ’71 and Lynda F. ’72 Linker
Charlotte S. Stuart ’54
Marsha K. Littler ’63
Jeannette Spinney Stuart ’52
Frank A. and Ruth E. Butler
Douglas F. MacDougal ’85
Robert A. and Jean Svoboda
James R. ’54B and
Charles Sherrard ’46 and
of the College and are backed by institutional assets. The payments are made for life, and the portion of the gift not distributed to the donor goes to support College programs and, if desired, can be designated for a specific purpose. Payments can begin immediately or be deferred—making gift annuities an excellent retirement planning tool. Typically, individuals with assets of $5,000 to $25,000 or more in
Pauline A. ’50 Brown
Gertraud ’52B Campbell R. Judson and Janice Dawn Carlberg
LaVonne MacKenzie Ronald P. ’81 and Jerilyn ’82 Mahurin
Elizabeth J. ’89 Stahl
Elizabeth Gordon Thompson Lester E. ’53 and Ruby M. ’53 Tufts Russell L. and Jean Tupper
Carl A. and Randi Carlson
Raymond C. Mann ’61
Daniel and Andrea Tymann
Paul R. ’54B and Myrtle Carlson
Don Lee ’51 and Cora Marcum
William Bradford ’52 and
Richard and Lois Carlson
Graham E. Mason
Roy C. Carlson Jr.
Margaret E. Mattison ’79
David Vander Mey
G. Lloyd ’64 and Gwendolyn Carr
Peter ’65 and Patricia ’65 McKay
James E. and Barbara Vander Mey
Carolyn J. Cassidy ’63
Billie S. McKinney
Donald P. and Barbara S. Chase
John L. and Jacquelyn E. Meers
Violet E. A. Vogel ’47B
Wendell B. and
James D. Meffen ’49
Nance C. Ware
C. William Jr. and Pat Meyer
Joan M. Welsh
Mary C. ’49 Chestnut
Nancy L. ’55B Udall
a money market account, CD or
Margaret Clark ’70B
Derek ’93 and Sara ’93 Mogck
Daniel S. and Beth M. ’87 White
savings account enjoy a financial
Francis F. and Betty W. ’49 Crisci
Evelyn C. Nelson
Eleanor C. Wilson ’61B
Bernice M. Niles ’43
Florence M. Winsor ’56
John G. ’71 and Karen Den Bleyker
David C. ’78 and
Joyce P. Witherell ’52
benefit and tax advantages from converting those assets to
Joyce B. Duerr ’58
Joyce L. ’80 Nystedt
a gift annuity.
Kenneth B. Durgin
If you desire predictable income
Ethel N. Fern ’53
Ida H. Parker ’50
Eric S. ’76 and Robin M. ’80 Feustel
H. LeRoy Patterson ’41
Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler
Ronald A. Perry ’65
David L. Furman ’57B
Leonard J. and Judy Peterson
Mary L. Gibbs ’64
Charles N. and Sarah Pickell
Robert Walter Goodwin ’59
Marc A. ’95 and Emily J. ’96 Pitman
Robert E. ’81 and
Lois D. Pollard
for life while also supporting the mission of Gordon College, a gift annuity may be right for you. Learn more. For information or a customized financial illustration today contact: Dan White 978 867 4843 email@example.com
Harry M. Durning
Barbara ’81 Grinnell Judson C. II ’69 and Joan L. ’74 Guest
Kathleen A. Owens
Elinor Pouliot James R. ’70 and Patricia L. ’70 Rahn
Brian E. ’87 and Johanna C. Habib
Caryl A. Reid
Eldon C. and Grace Hall
Barry D. ’66 and Yetta J. ’66 Relyea
Glenn L. ’64 and Marcia Harrington
Frank S. Jr. and
Grace Lorraine Hawkins ’38
48 STILLPOINT | Spring 2009
Wayne L. ’56B and
Ruth F. ’49 Replogle
Walter R. Wood ’47B Alda H. Young ’45 Elmer Edwin Young ’49 Thomas E. ’68 and Linda H. ’69 Zieger John III and Sara Zimmermann
Photo Katherine McClure
“Now that Jan and I have been at Gordon for nearly 35 years, we find ourselves thinking more often about the legacy we hope to leave.” R. Judson Carlberg, President
Gordon’s future is being planned today Did you know the future of Gordon College is being planned today by people like you—people whose stewardship and planned giving decisions include the College? Planned gifts provide life income to you, may reduce your family’s future tax burden and will directly impact and benefit Gordon College students. When you support our students, you’re not only helping worthy young men and women receive a quality Christian liberal arts education, you’re making an investment that will multiply. I’m continually gratified to hear about the visionary, productive Christian work Gordon graduates are doing worldwide. Planned gifts to Gordon are wise, pragmatic investments in a needy world. What could be more exciting? Now that Jan and I have been at Gordon for nearly 35 years, we find ourselves thinking more often about the legacy we hope to leave. Among the decisions I’m glad we have made over the years is including Gordon College as a beneficiary of our estate. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us in helping ensure the College’s future through a planned gift. Including Gordon in your estate plan can make a world of difference.
Clarendon Society The Clarendon Society recognizes all who designate gifts to Gordon College through planned gifts or provisions in their estates. If you have already named Gordon as your beneficiary in your will or estate, please contact us so we can welcome you into The Clarendon Society. Giving For more information on how to include Gordon in your will or estate plan, please contact Dan White. Contact Dan White Director of Special and Planned Gifts 978 867 4843 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gordon.edu/clarendon
255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984-1899 www.gordon.edu
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Surface Detail, Second Adam oil and alkyd resin with 24kt gold leaf on wood, 18 x 24 inches © 2009
Bruce Herman painter
The surfaces of my paintings contain their deepest meanings. I realize that can sound confusing—especially since I’m obviously committed to the story, to the human presence, and to creating images that record light, and form, space and recognizable objects. But the surface, the face or skin of the painting, contains the history of its making—all the marks of adding and subtracting the paint, the texture, and the mysterious afterimages of other layers of the painting. The surface of the painting is the site of the image’s birth. My sense of calling as a painter is tied irrevocably to my love of color, form, light, and maybe even especially of paint itself. Somehow it is the material, the matter, the thing-ness of things that must be loved into form. Absent a love of paint, the painter would be little more than an illustrator of verbal ideas. Bruce Herman, B.F.A., M.F.A., is Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in the fine arts at Gordon. For over 35 years he has lived in West Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he finds “an irresistible, almost tidal pull; a stability in the midst of the constant change.” www.bruceherman.com