Responding to Great Questions he best Gordon College students raise great questions. My colleagues in higher education tell me it is true on their campuses too. Gordon students also respond when asked great questions. So when ABC Television’s Dr. Timothy
T.S. Eliot, in his poem Four Quartets, refers to God as the “still point of the turning world.”
Johnson, trusted health commentator on Good Morning America and World News Tonight, spoke at Commencement a few weeks ago, he caught the attention of the class by asking “What common human experience is the only experience we all face every day?” Judgment. Then in the shortest commencement speech I can remember—just under nine minutes—he asked one of the most important questions any of us faces. In proposing the answer from Jesus’ own mouth, Dr. Johnson led the class toward knowing God in a deeper way. Taking his text from Jesus’ last parable in Matthew 25:40, he asked, “What does God expect of us—how does He want us to live?” In Dr. Johnson’s answer the graduates of the Class of 2005 found God: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” Dr. Tim urged the graduates to see the face of God in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick, the prisoner and the naked. I thought of the thousands of alumni who have read Jesus’ last parable and decided they wanted to see the face of God in the stranger, the hungry, the prisoner, or the sick. This is why A. J. Gordon founded the Boston Missionary Training Institute in 1889. And this is still the question and answer we leave with our students in 2005. As I looked out from the platform across the sea of faces in this class, I recognized the promise, the hope and the potential they represented for the Church, for our society and for the future. Just beyond them sat Gordon alumni, members of the Classes of 1945, 1950 and 1955. They heard Dr. Johnson’s words from the perspective of older adults who have already made their choices in life, and in doing so answered the question “What does God expect of me?” Many of them chose to treat the least among them with care, compassion and love—seeing them and seeing Christ as a reﬂection of the face of God.
Editor Patricia C. McKay ’65 Director of College Communications and Marketing Patricia A. Jones Publication Design Lora E. Maggiacomo ’92 Photography Director Cyndi McMahon Printer AM Lithography Corporation Chicopee, Massachusetts Stillpoint, the magazine for alumni and friends of the united college of Gordon and Barrington, is published three times a year and has a circulation of over 26,000. Send address changes to: Development Ofﬁce email@example.com Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website at: www.gordon.edu Reproduction of Stillpoint in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin.
Volume 20, Number 3 Summer 2005
Restore Creation IFC
Up Front by R. Judson Carlberg Responding to Great Questions
On & Off Campus by Pat McKay ’65
Commencement 2005 by Daniel White
Making Art . . . Feeding the Hungry by James Zingarelli
ABC’s Dr. Timothy Johnson posed three questions to the graduates and encouraged them to see the “face of God” in each person they encounter in life.
Professors Craig Story and Jim Zingarelli took students on a service mission trip to assist ECHO’s Florida farm through their labor and artwork.
Hearing God in C Major
Finding Music in the Words by Peter Bell ’93
Faculty Proﬁles Meet Gordon Faculty by Elizabeth Ross White
Theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie spoke at Gordon about the role the arts can play in a deeper understanding of the gospel.
Professor Peter Bell’s original composition Holy Sonnets was the centerpiece for the Easter Tenebrae Service: La Corona.
Professor Margaret DeWeese-Boyd enjoys community development and social policy. Professor Michael Givens is interested in the development of muscles and motor control.
The Clean Machine by Pat McKay ’65
Healing the Wounded by Stephen Price
Leo Cleary, Gordon’s locksmith and carpenter, has brought an ecologically important technology to campus—making and using renewable biodiesel fuel.
Former Gordon physician Dr. Steve Price spent six weeks in Sri Lanka assisting tsunami victims, particularly the children.
Gifts & Giving Amazing Gift by Laurel Tessmer ’77
The late Calvin Geary, longtime Gordon benefactor, befriended this alumna when she was a student and sponsored her education at Gordon.
New Sports Website Shows Positive Impact of Athletics
Raves & Rebuffs
“Faith Seeking Understanding” Lecture Series
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: KINDRA CLINEFF, COVER AND TOC OF STUDENT BETH ROLAND ’05; F. J. GAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY, PAGES 4–6, 9, 15, 21, IBC; MICHAEL NAIMO, MURAL PAGE 2; ANDREW SWAINE, PAGES 13, 14, 17.
On & Off Campus
PAT MCKAY ’65
Heart of Discovery Campaign Update Gordon received two important gifts toward the construction of the new science center. A $1 million commitment has been made by parents of a current student, and a bequest of $750,000 has been left to Gordon by a longtime friend of the College. Both gifts will be used to help meet the $1 million cash requirement for securing this year’s Stratford Foundation challenge grant. Gordon is in the third year of the Foundation’s generous $5 million commitment. This brings the total raised so far to $10,100,000— nearly two-thirds of the Phase I goal of $17 million. Construction can begin once the Phase I fundraising goal has been reached. We give praise to God for these generous gifts, a witness to the faithful stewardship of many. Please pray that the ﬁnal $7 million will be committed by December so construction can get underway.
Gordon Featured in Lilly Endowment Annual Report It is a tremendous honor for Gordon’s project “Critical Loyalty: Christian Vocation at Gordon College” to be featured in the Lilly Endowment Annual Report 2004. One of the ﬁve largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, Lilly receives wide national attention. Gordon is one of three colleges featured out of 88 schools funded for this particular grant. The report focuses on the Elijah Project and the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, two of the newest components of the Critical Loyalty program. The Elijah project combines classroom work with internship opportunities and a shared living experience in Dexter House, a Gordon residence hall. The Jerusalem and Athens Forum is an interdisciplinary great books honors program, which, the Lilly Report states, “refutes the perception that an evangelical education isn’t academically challenging.”
Gordon College Symposium 2005 This spring the Gordon College Symposium challenged the campus to look at our faith from new perspectives. “Global Christianity: Turning the World Upside Down” succeeded the visit of Dr. Philip Jenkins, internationally renowned author of The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. The symposium was comprised of 57 events and exhibits, organized by 41 students and ﬁve faculty members, and represented by several student associations. Symposium day was enhanced by participation of offcampus visitors, including the Bruderhof Community and Oakseed Ministries—AIDS Orphans Initiative. Approximately 1,700 students, faculty and staff attended events throughout the day. 2
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Lynn Initiative Partnership Celebration More than 140 Lynn leaders and Gordon faculty, staff and students gathered in May to celebrate the partnerships developed between the College and the City of Lynn through the Lynn Initiative established in 2002. The event recognized 19 community organizations in which over 400 Gordon students serve. Collaborations were highlighted including a mural designed by Gordon artists for a Lynn elementary school; a neuroscience week for Lynn High School; and recreation programming by Gordon students for Lynn adults with disabilities. The College is grateful for the learning experiences available to students in this inner-city setting, and Lynn leaders praise Gordon students for their impact on the community.
Professor’s Encounter with Pope Benedict XVI Dr. Marvin Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies and an expert on Jewish and Semitic studies, had an opportunity over a decade ago to meet then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI. At an international conference in Jerusalem for Christian and Jewish leaders in 1994, the two were among religious experts from 97 nations. Both men were speakers and sat side-by-side on the platform. “The thought of him never really left me,” Wilson says of Ratzinger, “and I was always curious what would become of him.” He believes the pope’s personal history as a German during the Holocaust is an asset to Jewish and Christian relations. Wilson has kept this photo of himself and the pope-to-be on his piano since their meeting.
Grady Spires Receives Honorary Doctorate On May 26, T. Grady Spires was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity at Commencement Exercises of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The citation honored his 42year career as professor of philosophy at Gordon, calling it a “model of Christian higher education.” This award is particularly gratifying since during the 1960s Professor Spires lost his doctoral thesis twice to ﬁres—in a ﬁre at his home and in the old student union ﬁre on campus—thwarting his efforts to complete his degree.
Faculty Focus Steve Alter, history: William Dwight Whitney and the
Science of Language, his third book with Johns Hopkins University Press. Jennifer Beatson , Spanish: “Text-Based vs. The-
Stillpoint Brings Home Awards For the fourth year in a row Stillpoint received recognition by the Evangelical Press Association at its annual convention. A First Place Higher Goals Award in the Devotional Category went to Dr. Eleonore Stump’s article “Aristocracy and Obligation: The Medieval Lists of Almsdeeds” (Spring 2004). Stillpoint also received the Award of Merit in the Awards of Excellence for the year 2005—an overall evaluation of all three issues published in 2004.
A sampling of faculty accomplishments and activities outside the classroom “Baptist Historiography in the New Century: What Themes Should We Be Addressing?” Kenneth Phillips, music: “A Philosophy of Vowel Pro-
matic/Theological Activities for the Foreign Language Classroom” in the Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages.
duction” and “Five Steps to Energized Singing” in Massachusetts Music News; “Teaching Students to Sight Sing” in MCDA’s Newsletter; “Vocal Pedagogy for Children and Adolescents” in NewZats Bulletin.
Dorothy Boorse, biology: “Anti-Aging: Radical Longev-
David Rox, music: Elected president of the New England
ity, Environmental Impacts, and Christian Theology” in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. Margaret DeWeese-Boyd, social work, and Ian DeWeeseBoyd, philosophy: “Flying the Flag of the Rough Branch:
Rethinking Post-September 11 Patriotism through the Writings of Wendell Berry” in the Appalachian Journal. Roy Brunner, music: Published arrangements of Seven
Scriptural Songs for Voice and Organ with Paul Jones Music Inc. Mark Gedney, philosophy: “Jaspers and Ricoeur on the
Self and the Other” in Philosophy Today. Valerie Gin, recreation and leisure studies: Elected to
Executive Board for the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. Michael Givens and Peter Iltis, movement science: “EMG
College Band Association. Daniel Russ, director of Center for Christian Studies, and Mark Sargent, provost: “Moral Imagination at a
Christian Institution” in Christianity and the Soul of the University. Tim Sherrat, political studies: “Christian and Democrat:
The Trans-Political Character of Christian Democracy” in the Catholic Social Science Review. Stephen Smith, economics: Attacking Poverty in the
Developing World, a collection of 18 essays by Christian economists; coedited with Gordon trustee Judy Dean (U.S. International Trade Commission) and Julie Schaffner (Tufts University). Mark Stevick, English: 2004 prizewinner in the Baltimore
Characterization of Embouchure Muscle Activity” in Medical Problems of Performing Artists.
Review’s poetry contest; two prizes at the Friends of Poetry contest in Michigan; cowinner of New Theatre Workshop Festival for playwriting, Arlington Center for the Arts.
Russell Kosits, psychology: “Of Faculties, Fallacies, and
Dong Wang, history: “Narrating ‘A Century of National
Freedom: Dilemma and Irony in the Secularization of American Psychology” in History of Psychology. Craig McMullen, director of Gordon-in-Boston: “Urban
Ignominy’: Nationalism and Party Rivalry over the Unequal Treaties, 1928–1947” in Twentieth-Century China.
and Suburban Partnerships” in Contact.
Robert Whittet, youth ministries: Elected vice-chair
Richard Pierard, history: Winner of Norman W. Cox
of the Board of Directors of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators.
Award for best article in Baptist History and Heritage:
“I HAVE THREE QUESTIONS I WANT TO POSE THIS MORN ING,” said Dr. Timo-
Dr. Timothy Johnson encouraged graduates of Gordon's 113th Commencement to see the "face of God" in each person they encounter. BY
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
thy Johnson, medical editor of ABC-TV, as he addressed 388 undergraduate and graduate students on May 14. “What common human experience is the only experience we all encounter every single day of our lives?” Johnson asked the students. “I wish I could report to you that it is happiness, or love or joy. But we all know that is not true for so many in our world. There is one experience, though, that will be a part of our lives every day for as long as we live—the experience of judgment, or of being evaluated or assessed. “We are assessed in the womb and all through infancy and childhood according to developmental standards,” he said. “Later on through adolescence and high school we are judged in all kinds of ways—by our clothes, our hair, athletic ability, as well as by academic testing. Your college experience may have seemed like one unending assessment with all the testing and term papers, and friends and faculty evaluating what kind of person you are. After college, when you enter so-called adult life, there will be a whole new round of assessments, including by members of the opposite sex and your spouse and children. Of course, the most difﬁcult assessment of all is self-assessment. Most of us tend to be hardest on ourselves.”
Johnson’s second question concerned where God’s judgment ﬁts into all of this. He said sometimes “we think of an angry God who judges harshly. But often we are caught up thinking more about the immediate future than God’s ﬁnal judgment.” He counseled the students to live according to God’s will for their lives, keeping a sense of His judgment in constant view. Johnson called his third question the most important one: “What does God expect of us—how does He want us to live?” Referencing Matthew 25:31–40, he said Jesus gave a very complete answer about the ﬁnal judgment: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. . . . Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (NIV) “This is my gift of Scripture to you,” Johnson said to the students as he reﬂected on what he called Jesus’ portrait of ﬁnal judgment. “Notice what is not mentioned in this passage. There is no mention of correct thinking or knowing the right Bible verses or reciting the catechism—all things we have been taught since childhood. There is no mention of power, fame or fortune, or the hopes and dreams you might have at this moment. “There is also no mention of social or political issues, or moral values. There is not even the mention of religious activity, such as going to church, reading the Bible or praying. Now, before you run me out on a rail, I’m not saying these matters are not important. But when Jesus took the time to talk about what Judgment Day will be like, He left all of those things out.” In a powerful conclusion to his brief address, Johnson recalled that Jesus mentioned this criterion concerning God’s ﬁnal judgment: recounting how we treated those who were the less fortunate in our midst. “You are going to encounter so many people in your lifetime who are struggling, who are supposedly the least among us. Please, please remember, when you see them you are seeing the face of God.” Dr. Timothy Johnson is not only a well-known ﬁgure on network television but also associate pastor of a Boston area church. In his new book, Finding God in the Questions, he describes his own journey of faith that led him to conclude Jesus is the best example of how to live.
REVEREND BRUCE BORIA, senior pastor of Bethany Church in Greenland, New Hampshire, was the featured speaker at the Baccalaureate Service May 13. Boria told the graduating class that throughout their lives they will “see people in pain and witness a lot of disappointment. But don’t become nearsighted.” He referred to John 4 where Jesus saw the Samaritan woman as an opportunity for harvest, and counseled students to see others in a similar light. “Are you hungry?” he asked the graduates, highlighting Jesus’ words, “‘My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me.’ The work Jesus was engaged in was the food He was speaking of. My prayer for you is that you will seek out opportunities for harvest and be hungry for the food God has put before you.” Rev. Boria was selected by the graduates to be their Baccalaureate speaker after he spoke at the memorial service for a member of the Gordon community.
DR. ANN FERGUSON and DR. THOMAS (TAL) HOWARD were named winners of the Distinguished Faculty Awards for 2005 at Commencement. FERGUSON, recipient of the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award, is celebrating her 50th year of teaching at Gordon. Arriving the same year the College moved to the Wenham campus, this English professor’s love of language and literature and her encouragement and inspiration have nurtured dreams and planted conﬁdence. She has a gift for seeing the seeds of promise buried within students and was an early mentor and role model for women on campus. At a time when it was less popular among evangelicals, she bolstered inquiry and artistic courage in theatre and music programs. Cultivating the hopes of students and colleagues for ﬁve decades, Dr. Ferguson has been one of the faculty members most responsible for shaping the ethos and values of Gordon College. She holds degrees from Wheaton College (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A., Ph.D.). HOWARD, associate professor at Gordon since 1999, received the Junior Distinguished Faculty Award. One of the nation’s brightest young evangelical historians, Howard has published books on 19th-century religious and intellectual history with
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. He was a Lilly Fellow at Valparaiso University, won a research fellowship as a Pew Scholar and served a year as Senior Faculty Fellow in Notre Dame’s Erasmus Institute. Howard was instrumental in winning one of the College’s largest grant awards from the Lilly Endowment. He chairs the task force overseeing activities sponsored by this grant for the exploration of Christian vocation at Gordon, including the Elijah Project and the Jerusalem and Athens Forum. Dr. Howard consistently challenges all to embrace vigorous scholarly work as a vital form of Christian witness and calling. He holds degrees from the University of Alabama (B.A.) and the University of Virginia (M.A. and Ph.D.). Junior and Senior Distinguished Faculty Awards are presented annually at commencement. Nominations are received from faculty and graduating seniors with ﬁnal selections made from the top nominees by a panel of previous award winners. Criteria for the selections include teaching performance, scholarly and professional endeavors and service to the College and community.
Professors Craig Story and Jim Zingarelli took students on a service mission trip to assist ECHO’s Florida farm through their labor and artwork. ECHO—Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization— provides solutions for global hunger.
IT WAS WHILE I WAS DOING A WATERCOLOR OF A COLLARD GREEN THAT I BECAME ACUTELY AWARE I WAS SURROUNDED BY LIVING THINGS. THE SOUNDS OF TROPICAL BIRDS, THE BLEATING GOATS, THE RUSTLING LEAVES OF FRUIT TREES AND THE SCENT OF THE EARTH CONTRIBUTED TO THIS SYNAESTHETIC EXPERIENCE. BUT THE CONVINCER FOR ME WAS THE SHEER ABUNDANCE OF PLANT LIFE.
MORE OFTEN I HAD COME TO THINK OF PLANTS AS DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES TO A ROOM OR A GARDEN’S COLORFUL ACCENTS. UNTIL OUR JOURNEY TO ECHO, I HAD NOT THOUGHT ABOUT PLANTS AS BEING SO ALIVE—SUCH A SOURCE OF LIFE BIOLOGICALLY AND AESTHETICALLY. MOST OF US MOVE AND WORK IN A WORLD OF ARTIFICIAL THINGS. AT ECHO I WAS REMINDED OF GOD’S ABUNDANT CREATION AND OUR CALL TO RESPONSIBILITY WITHIN THAT CREATION TO CARE FOR THE WORLD WE’VE BEEN GIVEN, AND TO FEED INDIVIDUALS IN THE POOREST PARTS OF THE WORLD.
The Proposal Last fall Dr. Craig Story of the Biology Department invited me to serve with him as coleader on the annual mission trip to ECHO in Fort Myers, Florida. ECHO is a nonproﬁt Christian organization which networks with missionaries and agricultural workers in 180 countries, offering solutions for growing food under difﬁcult conditions. ECHO experiments with and provides seeds and plants, and trains workers in sustainable tropical agriculture. For 17 years
Making Art . . .
Feeding the Hungry
ELLEN DIXON ’07
PHOTOS BY CRAIG STORY ’89
Gordon has sent students and faculty for spring-break mission trips to work on ECHO’s seven-and-a-half-acre agricultural farm—planting, weeding, fertilizing, cleaning, serving. When Dr. Story approached me to go, I wondered how we might have art and biology students collaborate on this worthy mission. We formed an interdisciplinary proposal of ways biology and art might serve ECHO and, therefore, serve the needs of the world’s hungry in a meaningful way. We proposed that the students assist with farming chores at ECHO during the mornings and during the afternoons have signiﬁcant time to draw, paint and photograph various plants, seeds and tropical environments. With a portfolio of artwork generated from these experiences, we would hold an exhibit and a silent auction, and give a presentation during the College’s annual Student Symposium in April—focused this year on global Christianity. One hundred percent of the sales would go to ECHO. We believed the Gordon community would be eager to invest in art with the proceeds going to help some of the world’s neediest people.
The ECHO Project Dr. Story and I were joined by a committed team of 13 students (biology, art and other majors) who labored diligently on the farm—rain or shine. Some of us even milked one of the goats. The afternoons were spent making art: watercolors, pencil drawings, photographs and gouache paintings. The art dealt with everything from selected seeds to fully grown Moringa trees and ripened Loquats, to the unique landscape ECHO calls their Global Village—demonstration farming environments found in tropical climates: rain forest, rice paddy, semi-arid, and mountain terracing to name a few. Thanks to Dr. Grace Ju, ECHO’S seed bank manager and a Gordon adjunct professor, and other ECHO staff, members of our group were given freedom to wander about and choose individual areas to focus on each day. 8
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
RACHEL VANWYLEN ’07
The Gordon team shared meals with the farm’s interns, encouraged each other in words and prayer, and daily rendered new images, even into the late hours of the evening back in our dormitory’s common area. We did take a few ice cream breaks and ended our trip on Ormond Beach with some needed R&R. Even there, a number of us recorded the adventure with our watercolors and pencils.
The Exhibit, Silent Auction and Presentation The exhibit, silent auction and presentation were a huge success with 80 works of art raising over $2,000 for ECHO. All of the framing and matting was donated by David and Lisa Cardarelli of The Great Frame Up in Amesbury, Massachusetts, making for a very professional exhibit of ﬁne art. Participation was campus-wide and included parents and local churches as well. Dr. Story presented a comprehensive video on the trip, and many of the students gave reﬂections on their “life-changing” experiences. Several hope to return to ECHO. IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO WORK WITH ECHO IN SERVING CHRIST THROUGH SERVING OTHERS. HOW CAN I EVER AGAIN LOOK AT A PLANT AS MERELY DECORATIVE? I SENSE A GREATER KINSHIP WITH THE BOTANICAL WORLD AS WELL AS WITH THE WORLD’S NEEDIEST PEOPLE, WHO, LIKE OURSELVES, SEEK TO HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY.
Professor Zingarelli (right in the photo) joined the Art Department in 1996, specializing in sculpture. He holds a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute and an M.A. from Trinity College. His wife, Katherine, is a nurse at Gordon’s Health Center. The Zingarellis live in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and have two daughters, both at Gordon: Gina, a senior, and Erin, a first-year student this fall. Dr. Craig Story, a 1989 Gordon graduate, has been teaching biology at the College since 2002 and is director of the Health Professions program. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Brandeis University. His wife, Kelly (Mahuffy) ’88, a chemist, is a lab instructor at Gordon. The Storys live in Salem, Massachusetts, with their two children, Peter, 12, and Katherine, 10. As Gordon students, Kelly and Craig were signed up for the ﬁrst ECHO trip in 1987, but health problems for the late Dr. Tom Dent cancelled the trip. They were able to ﬁnally complete their goal by leading the 2003 trip together. HAILEY GUTWIN ’08
in C Major The “Critical Loyalty: Faith Seeking Understanding” lecture series hosted Jeremy Begbie at Gordon in the spring to talk about his ﬁeld of study—the integration of theology and music.
JEREMY BEGBIE, Cambridge University theologian and professionally trained musician, explains the vital role the arts play in seeing the gospel in new ways—ways not possible with the spoken and written word alone. He compares incorporating the arts into Christian faith to learning a new language. “To get inside a fresh language means I will discern more, understand more,” explains Begbie. He believes that when we “get inside” the arts and explore the Christian gospel from this “inside,” our discernment and understanding will be enriched and we will discover more. “Sadly, when it comes to discovering and ‘bringing to light’ the Christian faith, the Church has often left the arts to one side,” Begbie says. “The arts have played a massive part in the story of Christianity, and, for centuries, the arts have been recognized as powerful theological interpreters. . . . This is not to say that the arts should necessarily replace more standard and well-tested ways of pursuing theology, only that they have a legitimate place alongside and in conversation with those more familiar methods,” he says. He observes in the introduction to Beholding the Glory: Incarnation Through the Arts that “the urge to make and 10
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
enjoy art seems to be universal: the impulse to scratch out images on stone walls, revel in the delight of notes strung together, shape and re-shape words into patterns and so on. And for most people these activities are more than entertaining and ornamental, and more than means of expressing ourselves. They can also reveal, disclose, open up the world we live in, and in unique ways. In other words, they can be vehicles of discovery.” It sometimes takes the sensitivity of the artist to bring to light revelation that has been sitting there all along.
THE SOUND OF INCARNATION Begbie believes that “when we try to probe the depths and wonder of the incarnation, we automatically fall back on certain habits of thinking”—in much the same way computers have default settings. “Troubles start if our preprogrammed mental settings cannot cope with whatever we are trying to understand or articulate,” Begbie says. He reminds us that whatever the mind forms of the music we hear—classical, rock, bebop or hip hop—it mixes sound. Or to be more accurate, it combines two or more notes. While much music in the Western tradition has not mixed its notes—Gregorian chants,
for example—most of the music we encounter today involves at least two notes being played or sung at once. When we look at a picture, however, two objects cannot occupy the same space. Red painted over yellow either blocks the color beneath or, if still wet, becomes orange. The object in front obscures the one behind it either partially or wholly; you cannot have the same patch of color in two places at the same time. Begbie contends that “problems emerge when we allow these visual patterns of thinking to dominate the way we imagine God’s presence to the world. To begin with, it is hard to conceive of God as fully God, upholding the universe of space and time, while at the same time being active in the world. . . . It is hard to resist the conclusion that the more active God is in the world, the more restricted the world is going to be, the less ‘room’ it will have to be itself. “What is said of the world at large can easily apply to humanity,” Begbie says. “If God is to be active in this world-space, anything already in the same space must either be pushed out or get swallowed up. If that ‘anything’ is you and me, it is a short step to believing that the more God is active among us, the less room we will have to be ourselves.” This notion often leads to two false concepts for dealing with our limited perceptions. The “more of God, the less of us” competitive concept contends that God “must either force me aside or swallow me up,” he says. Another common reaction to this, “God is everything, we are nothing,” plays the same game, presuming God and humanity are fundamentally opposed and must somehow be merged. Humanity is seen as intrinsically part of God, or salvation is seen as a process in which humans are made divine.
NOTES AND SPACE To explain his premise, Begbie suggests that we allow ourselves to consider the sound of the musical notes that form the C Major chord as a metaphor for the Trinity. When a single note is played—middle C for example—it ﬁlls the whole of the “heard” space. You cannot identify some zone where the note is and where it is not. It ﬁlls the entirety of the aural space. When a second note is added—say the E above middle C—along with middle C, that second note also ﬁlls the whole of the heard space. Yet you can hear it distinctly. When the G above middle C is added, a complete chord is heard, an integrated sound yet with distinctive notes. “What could be more apt than to speak of the Trinity as a three-note-resonance of life, mutually indwelling, without mutual exclusion and yet without merger, each occupying the same ‘space,’ yet recognizably and irreducibly distinct, mutually enhancing and establishing each other?” asks Begbie. “Many depictions of the Trinity have been essentially static and still, whereas to speak of three strings mutually resonating instantly introduces a dynamism which is arguably far truer to the trinitarian, living God of the New Testament.” He proposes that “conceiving ‘God’ as the eternally resonating chord of Father, Son and Spirit encourages us to be far more faithful to these biblical currents. . . . Instead of thinking of Christ possessing a ‘human nature,’ we can conceive Him as the one in whom humanity has been restored to its created destiny, ‘tuned’ to the Father through the Spirit, and of you and me being ‘tuned in’ to His humanity by the same Spirit.” Excerpts and ideas in this article are taken from the Introduction and Chapter 8 of Beholding the Glory: Incarnation Through the Arts, edited by Jeremy Begbie, ©2000. Used by permission of Baker Books, A Division of Baker Book House Co.
Finding Music in the Words
PETER BELL ’93
Gordon professor and composer Peter Bell wrestled with John Donne’s Holy Sonnets and found music in their subject and structure. His composition was the centerpiece for last Easter’s Tenebrae Service: La Corona.
I sat in the darkened A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel waiting for the premiere musical performance of Holy Sonnets. The Tenebrae service of self-reﬂection leading to Good Friday was ﬁtting for the culmination of a long compositional journey. Listening to John Donne’s Holy Sonnets dramatically read aloud for the ﬁrst time, I reﬂected on what brought me to that moment—anticipated since discovering the poems more than a decade earlier. Now the audience would hear those words and wrestle with their meaning, and I had the privilege of assisting through the musical setting. Tenebrae—a time to reﬂect on the darkness of the cruciﬁxion, a time to meditate. My journey had given me much to think about.
IN THE FALL OF 1993 I SPENT AN AFTERNOON IN THE LIBRARY OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, where I had just begun work on a master’s degree in church music and music composition. Looking through volumes of poetry for a text to set for a choral anthem, I came across Donne’s seven sacred sonnets. Their subject and structure drew me: each sonnet explored a point in the life of Christ, linked together with the ﬁnal line of one sonnet becoming the opening line of the next. Mirroring that structure in a musical setting was a challenge I began to ponder. I made a copy of the poems, periodically reading through them over the next 10 years, thinking about their meaning and the musical possibilities.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
THE CROWNING, © BRUCE HERMAN 1991
In 2003, as I contemplated a dissertation topic for my doctoral degree in composition at the Hartt School of Music, I remembered the Donne poems and read them again. I talked with Tom Brooks, chair of Gordon’s Music Department, about setting the texts for the orchestra and choir. It would be appropriate for use at a Tenebrae service, and we agreed on a plan for the 2005 Tenebrae. With the approval of this project for my dissertation as well, it was time to write some music. What I want to do most when setting a text to music is enhance the meaning of the text while being faithful to it. The Holy Sonnets were particularly challenging because they are in a form of English unfamiliar to most people. My job was to understand what Donne was saying and translate for the listener. At the same time I wanted to be faithful to the concept of the language while engaging the text through a different medium than words. I wasn’t looking for an easy approach to the music, but to encourage the listener to struggle to comprehend our relationship to the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ—not something we understand in simple terms. The musical setting of these ideas had to be equal with both Donne’s expression of them through words, and the ideas themselves. I completed the piece mid-January 2005, then quickly prepared the parts for the instrumentalists and a keyboard score for the choir with the help of Robert Bradshaw, who teaches trumpet at Gordon and is a freelance composer, and Ken Steen, my doctoral advisor. Then rehearsals began. The piece was a challenge for the choir since they were simultaneously preparing for both a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah and their spring-break tour. I worried they might not be able to learn Holy Sonnets in time. But they amazed me; practicing during their tour, they found not only the right notes to sing but also the music within those notes. It was clear they had wrestled with the meanings of the text and the music and grasped both to make music. That was one of the most thrilling moments for me as a composer.
AS THE BASS DRUM BOOMED OUT THE BEGINNING LINES I wasn’t nervous about how the musicians would do; I knew they had come to an understanding of what Donne had to say and how I had joined my voice with his. I wasn’t worried about how the listeners would perceive my music; I had been faithful to the representation of the text and thus to the truths presented there. I understood the audience would struggle to understand both the verbal and musical languages; I was privileged to assist them in their reﬂections and help them wrestle with the meaning of Christ on the cross. Though the piece was ﬁnished and the performances would come to an end, I knew grappling with the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ would take the journey of a lifetime, and I had had some part in walking with them down that road. Peter Bell received a B.M. in vocal performance from Gordon and an M.C.M. in church music and music composition from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His master’s thesis, “Reﬂections of Advent: A Program of Music, Scripture, and Poetry Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ,” earned the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in Composition. He is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, Connecticut. Bell returned to Gordon full-time in 1999 as assistant professor of music and teaches music theory and composition as well as courses in church music. He and his wife, Joyce, live in Rowley, Massachusetts, with their two children, Naomi, 3, and newborn Josiah. OF THE PIECE,
Building Excellence in Music Dan White caught up with Music Department Chair C. Thomas Brooks to ask a few questions about the department and its tremendous growth and maturity over the last several years. Q. What has been your greatest challenge as chair of the Music Department?
A. Getting the program where it needs to be in overall quality, enrollment and programming. We are operating at 85 percent of what we are capable of, and it is a challenge to achieve that extra 15 percent. Recruitment efforts help us in a very competitive environment for attracting quality music students. The Gordon College Music Guild launched last fall helps draw more funding that we need in order to grow. Q. What do you consider to be some of the department’s greatest accomplishments in the past 10 years?
A. The faculty who have joined the program are some of the most accomplished musical artists in the country, including a renowned Grammy nominee. These men and women have caught the vision of offering a ﬁrst-rate music program at a Christian college in the Eastern United States. They bring exceptional skills and dedication that beneﬁt our students. As a result we’re attracting higher caliber students—our national reputation has grown substantially. Q. How would you summarize the core mission of the Music Department?
A. To produce graduates who will restore integrity to the music industry. So much of the industry today is focused solely on entertainment value—true in many schools and churches as well. We hope our graduates can help inﬂuence a societal shift toward a deeper appreciation of music as a language to humanity. We teach our music students to discern what is good musical art and sound aesthetic judgment. We also engage the community with performances that feature music as art, not entertainment. Probably our greatest heritage as a department is in music education. We have a strong record for placing quality music teachers in public and private schools. We want to see integrity brought back to musical instruction so young minds learn to appreciate the artistic value of music.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
MEET GORDON FACULTY Professor Margaret DeWeese-Boyd enjoys addressing issues in community development. Professor Michael Givens is interested in the development of muscles.
MARGARET DEWEESE-BOYD Originally from the Appalachian foothills of east Tennessee, Margie DeWeese-Boyd delights in both teaching and learning. At Gordon for the past six years, this associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work says, “The students always surprise me—I’m inspired and challenged by what they’re doing. Being a teacher also involves learning from the people you’re privileged to teach.” She continues to be in touch with her students after they graduate. Two former students are working with children who live on the streets of Lima, Peru. Others have pursued careers in community organizing, hospice care, or work with persons who have mental illness. Dr. DeWeese-Boyd has a background in political science and enjoys addressing issues of community development and social policy. She recently wrote an article about land use and development policy in Vermont, forthcoming in Community Development Journal. She and her husband, Dr. Ian DeWeese-Boyd, who is assistant professor of philosophy at Gordon, presented a paper in June at the annual Conference of the Justice Studies Association in Hartford, Connecticut. The paper addressed topics of consumption and sustainability utilizing Plato’s Republic. When she’s not teaching, DeWeese-Boyd enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Jesse, 4, and Aida, 2. The family loves participating in the Community Supported Agriculture program at Appleton Farms in Ipswich. “Visiting the farm each week is a treat with its fresh farm produce and gorgeous ﬂowers,” DeWeese-Boyd says. —Elizabeth Ross White
MICHAEL GIVENS Since he played basketball as a youngster Mike Givens has been fascinated with the twists and turns of the body. “Muscles work for us in so many ways,” he says, “whether in the ‘whispering of a syllable or the felling of a forest,’” quoting the 1800s physician Sir Charles Sherrington, a pioneer in neuroscience. A movement science professor at Gordon since 1979, Dr. Givens says his greatest joy comes when students understand how the study of movement crosses boundaries into other disciplines. He describes as “absolutely spine-tingling” the work of a double major student in art and movement science as she developed her senior art project on how people with disabilities learn to optimize body movement. His research interests are in motor control. He recently copublished, along with movement science professor and French horn player Dr. Peter Iltis, an article about embouchure dystonia, a problem with facial muscles in instrument players. During his sabbatical next spring, at Gordon’s Center for Balance and Mobility Givens will examine neuromuscular strategies used by patients coping with loss of balance. His favorite pastime is enjoying the beauty of God’s creation by biking or meandering on drives along the coast with his wife, Ann. (“There are few roads in New England we haven’t traveled!”) Gordon is a family affair for the Givenses. Their two sons are Gordon graduates—Scott ’88 and Eric ’96. His wife, Ann, and Eric both work at Gordon. Scott and grandson Braden, 9, live in Texas. —Elizabeth Ross White
Elizabeth Ross White is a freelancer with 18 years of newspaper writing and editing experience.
Staff member Leo Cleary has whetted the appetite for using renewable fuels at Gordon, on the North Shore and all the way to Boston.
PAT MCKAY ’65
LEO CLEARY, Gordon’s locksmith and carpenter, has been a leader in bringing an ecologically important technology to campus—making and using renewable biodiesel fuel. Thanks to his efforts the College now has its ﬁrst green machine, a 1981 diesel Volkswagen that runs entirely on biodiesel made from vegetable oil discarded by Dining Services. Previously Gordon paid more than $100 per month to dispose of the French-fry byproduct. Now Cleary gets 50 miles to the gallon. On staff since 1997, two years ago Cleary became part of round-table discussions concerning campus-wide waste management following a routine audit for the College’s compliance with federal and state environmental standards for hazardous waste removal. When he discovered what Gordon paid to remove used cooking oils, he remembered an article he’d read years ago about using vegetable oil as fuel. With a bit of online research, the purchase of a book and an offer from chemistry professor Ron Kay to use his lab, Cleary began experimenting in the summer of 2003. This research launched his work to encourage the College to use renewable fuel. “I knew it would be a huge undertaking,” Cleary says. The father of seven, ﬁve of whom are still at home, he did not take the time involvement lightly. “I sat on the edge of the bed one night and told my wife, Pauline, we needed to really pray on this,” he says. “Her response was, ‘It sounds like something that needs to be done.’” Cleary and his wife believe God has given him this task to do. “That has been conﬁrmed over and over,” he says. “Doors just kept opening all along the way.” One door Providence opened was in the person of Dr. Ken Brown, a retired medical doctor who is a visiting scholar in the natural sciences as well as a member of the President’s Advisory Council at Gordon. Brown was on campus that summer and heard of Cleary’s experiments. A longtime proponent of ecologically sound practices, Brown brainstormed with Cleary and offered to buy a project car to experiment with Cleary’s biodiesel replacement fuel. Brown purchased the Volkswagen from E-Bay, and Cleary ﬂew to Ohio to drive it back to campus. Dubbed the Clean Machine, the car now sports original artwork by Gordon students to announce it’s an earth-friendly vehicle. “I am convinced biodiesel is a good temporary ﬁx to the issue of overconsumption of petrodiesel,” Brown says. “But even in countries where people are much more concerned about energy efﬁciency, it is clear biodiesel could only meet about six percent of each country’s needs. Other alternative fuels are of interest in cleaning up the environment but are not as attractive as solar power, electricity from tidal power, etc. There is much more work to be done.”
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
With the Clean Machine in residence at Gordon, Cleary and Brown wrote a proposal for a project for biodiesel exploration—just one component of an ecological education program they envision—and the President’s Cabinet approved the proposal for the Gordon College Biodiesel Project. The goal is to prepare Gordon students to be involved in outreach and demonstrations to educate surrounding communities about the need for and viability of alternative fuels. Last year Cleary himself worked with two Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School students on a science project, and this year he’s working with a Gloucester student who plans to do educational demonstrations. “A sense of accomplishment will kick in when surrounding communities start thinking in terms of
renewable fuels,” Cleary says. “Many people believe there’s a government and big-business conspiracy to prevent the production of renewable fuels, but I don’t believe that. If people insist on renewable fuel, it will happen. Government and big business go where the market takes them. Any species will gorge itself on a plentiful resource as long as it can,” he says. Cleary the amateur chemist began his experimentation in ﬁve-gallon pickle buckets and progressed to a more sophisticated processor made from a 30-gallon water tank, which is enclosed in a heated trailer built by Cleary the carpenter. The tank, Cleary says, keeps to a minimum the emission of any volatile organic compounds and is easily heated. The processing unit was put together for about $500 with monies donated by Brown, Cleary and the College. Cleary was assisted by student Rebecca Copty ’04, then a senior looking forward to a career in water resource management under civil engineering. Copty ﬁrst heard about the project when the student newspaper did an interview with him. “I was interested in helping him build the processor,” she says. “He gave me materials to read and showed me how to make biodiesel fuel in a blender. We discussed how to adapt existing designs for processors and went on trips to hardware stores to ﬁnd products we needed. He showed me how to use an array of tools. I learned a lot about biodiesel, but my favorite part of the experience was working with Leo. His initiative and commitment are inspiring.” The process itself mixes various vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and methanol; the substance settles into two layers—the top is biodiesel and the bottom unreacted fatty acids and glycerin. The biodiesel fuel is waterwashed to rid it of impurities, then poured through a ﬁlter and into a fuel tank. The use of biodiesel fuel results in a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions, including carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Though unprocessed vegetable oil could be used in diesel tanks without chemical modiﬁcation, the impurities would eventually cause problems, according to Cleary. Diesel engines can run for 500,000 miles. From the byproducts glycerin and unreacted fatty acids, Cleary makes soap scented with citrus or essential oils— “since most folks don’t want to smell like French fries,” he laughs. “It’s a very easy process, and this is just the beginning of what we can do,” he says. “I see this 17
A media rush for Leo Cleary’s Clean Machine came in March when three local papers ran the front-page story. That was followed by a visit from Channel 5 WCVB-TV in Boston with well-known reporter David Boeri, who did a piece that ran throughout the weekend. These news stories prompted a myriad of inquiries, including a call from the Environmental Protection Agency to use posters of the Clean Machine for their educational sessions in local schools. Leo continues to make presentations to school groups and other organizations.
Gordon Community Encourages Good Stewardship of Resources
experiment as a springboard to other types of recycling of the biomass on this campus.” For information on biodiesel and other environmental issues go to www. tourdesol.org/ and www.nesea.org/.
• Mark Stowell, assistant director of Physical Plant, has been a champion of recycling at Gordon since 1989. Initially just paper was recycled; now a dozen different products are processed. He is assisted by Liz Hurley ’84 in placing and processing clearly marked bins for speciﬁc recycling all over campus. Fortyone percent of the rubbish waste stream was recycled in 2004, an unparalleled achievement according to the waste management contractor Gordon uses. (The national average recycling rate is 25–27 percent among educational institutions making an effort.) The College implements everything from water-saving shower heads to energy-efﬁcient light bulbs, to a computerized energy management system that controls heat and air conditioning. Improvements are made continually.
Dr. Ken Brown’s medical career has been focused on infectious diseases, both for American Mission in Ethiopia in the mid-70s and with Merck Research Labs, where he was responsible for clinical development of antibiotics and vaccines. Since retirement in 1998 he has been a consultant for World Health Organization, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Health, particularly in developing drugs for tropical diseases. He and his wife, Dr. Polly Ann Brown, became interested in efﬁcient cars and environmental issues after returning from Ethiopia to ﬁnd gas-guzzling cars galore. They have owned diesel cars since 1977 and sold one of their cars “to force us to use public transportation.” The Browns purchase wind-generated electric power through a co-op in Pennsylvania. They are active in their church on the environmental sustainability task force and assist another church “whose parishioners are too poor to worry about environmental issues.” The Browns are the parents of four sons, including two Gordon grads— Steven ’85 and Daniel ’95. Dr. Brown currently works with Gordon’s biology professor Craig Story on a project in southern Ethiopia with patients who have an unusual form of elephantiasis. 18
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
• Professors are teaching students to be good stewards in a variety of areas. For example, Dr. Dorothy Boorse ’87 involves her students with aquatic ecology and controlling invasive plant species on campus; Professor Irv Levy’s students are learning about green chemistry, ﬁnding alternative ways to produce materials without using hazardous substances; Dr. Dwight Tshudy’s ’83 analytical chemistry class is assisting Leo Cleary in chemical testing for his biodiesel process. And the Art Department has drastically reduced toxic chemicals traditionally used in printmaking. • Jack Lawrence, director of Dining Services, has long encouraged students and staff to use their own mugs instead of disposable paper products. All cardboard used to ship food is broken down by his staff, and they recycle tin and plastic as well as glass. • Physical Plant’s diesel maintenance vehicles, including backhoes, some snowplows and tractors, also use biodiesel fuel, purchased in Chelsea. Another donor has given a truck for further experimentation with natural gas fuel. Restore Creation Day is an environmental awareness event held each spring at Gordon. Among other activities, students and staff are reminded of stewardship responsibilities for God’s creation by voluntarily planting ﬂowers and picking up trash in areas surrounding the College. SUMMER 2005
Healing the Wounded BY
Dr. Steve Price, husband of Gordon professor Stella Price, assisted victims in Sri Lanka following last December’s devastating tsunami. Stillpoint asked him to write about his experiences.
IT WAS OBEDIENCE that took me to Sri Lanka. I felt an ache, a void in my being—the Holy Spirit calling me to go and serve. God prepared me through previous mission experiences for that moment, and I had to wait on Him to open the right door. I hoped to join a Christian organization for support and encouragement. A key person in opening the door was Shelley (Davis) Thomas, a 1991 Gordon graduate working for North West Medical Team International (NWMTI), a Christian disaster relief organization in Portland, Oregon. NWMTI was introduced to me by my pal and former patient Rich Stearns, now president of World Vision. A month after the tsunami, details were completed and I joined NWMTI for my mission. My wife, Stella, and I decided four weeks would be the extent of my stay. It was great being part of a Christian organization, but we were not there to evangelize; we represented thousands of Americans who gave much to aid tsunami victims. Team member Cindy Binkley expressed what many felt: “We are carried on the shoulders of those who cannot see the landscape we describe, but we owe them far more than our weight.” I was team leader to doctors and nurses working with other relief organizations. One group was operated by young Muslim men whose townships had been almost wiped out. The death toll in their district accounted for almost half of the 37,000 deaths in Sri Lanka. Muslims had been warned by their religious leaders to avoid contact with Christians since they believed our intentions were to convert them. But this group of men recognized the needs and accepted medical care. Mistrust was replaced by mutual respect and love as Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists worked undividedly to bring healing, food, clothing and shelter to those in need.
Prior to the tsunami, in that region hundreds had been killed in interethnic ﬁghting. Many were executed as they worshiped at temple or mosque, and the Singhalese government responded with random killings and curfews. Our team emphasized the need to reach everyone and became the catalyst to establish clinics treating all who came. With the aid of the Japanese Disaster Team we set up a “boundary clinic” between partitioned Hindu and Muslim communities. We collaborated with Asian Medical Doctor Association (AMDA), a Canadian relief organization, to establish pediatric medical service at Kulmunai North Hospital. Daily we saw 120–160 sick children with conditions resulting from absent hygiene and lack of facilities in refugee camps: pneumonia, dehydration, tsunami wounds, malaria, asthma, skin infections, meningitis, scabies, ear infections; also birth trauma defects and congenital conditions. Families cannot afford a physician’s fee or the 14-hour journey to seek specialist advice in Colombo, and government-provided resources are grossly inadequate. Most of the children were cared for at the outpatient clinic, but each day we admitted six to 10 very ill children as inpatients. The pediatric ward was always full. As I undertook my ﬁrst ward-round duty, I could not believe the piranha-like feeding frenzy of media, screaming adults
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
and bewildered nurses, all focused on a small baby—Baby 81, who, though we were unaware of it, was making international news. He had been found in a garbage heap by one of our translators while removing bodies from the beach just hours after the tsunami. “I thought it was a chicken,” he recounted to me, “and being very hungry, I went to investigate.” Nine different mothers claimed the baby as their own, screaming at each other while ﬁlmed by TV crews from around the world. A courageous Canadian physician, Dr. Darlene Fandrich of the Adventist Relief Organization, stood in the midst of this inconsiderate rabble and appealed for my help. Where the audacity came from I do not know, but I ejected the whole lot from the hospital, perhaps frightening them with my high-decibel Welsh anger! As the world focused on Baby 81, a 7-year-old Hindu boy was placed in our care. Rukshan had Fallot’s tetralogy, with heart failure and septicemia. He desperately needed surgery to survive. His condition improved following treatment and we transferred him to a private clinic in Colombo, hoping he would survive the arduous journey. Within days Christians from all over the world provided the $4,000 for the surgeon’s fee. Sadly, Rukshan developed several brain abscesses, and the day before my return home I assisted in taking Rukshan, his parents and uncle from one hospital to another for further investigations. I later received news that Rukshan died following opencraniotomy surgery. Rukshan’s uncle told me by phone how as a Christian minority he had tried so hard for so long to share God’s love with his Hindu family. He thanked us for being willing to show Christ’s love through all we did to help his nephew.
The family of Christ played another pivotal role in my recent mission. A few days before I left for Sri Lanka I met Prashan De Visser, a freshman at Gordon whose parents, Rev. Adrian and Ophelia De Visser, are leaders in the Christian Church in Sri Lanka. They experienced opposition as they reached out to meet the needs of the Muslim community in their Colombo area after the tsunami, but God opened a door in North East Sri Lanka—an 11-hour journey from their home. I relayed to the De Vissers the need for a photocopier to assist university students who had lost all their notes and texts. The De Vissers’ church—not knowing how they would pay for it—sent a new Canon photocopier to Kulmunai to an exuberant welcome from students and leaders of the Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist communities at a special ceremony. The De Vissers’ act of faith was rewarded when the president of NWMTI, Bas Vanderzalm, paid for the copier and requested that the De Vissers’ church supply ink and paper so the relationship forged by our team could be ongoing there. At the end of my four weeks we discovered the physician who was to replace me could not come. If I did not stay there would be no pediatrician. I wondered how my wife would react when I asked if she would be willing for me to stay two more weeks. In our homeland, the United Kingdom, the term “grass widow” traditionally referred to a woman whose husband was away for an extended time on business or military service (wives were sometimes sent to cooler, greener spots to wait). Those on Christian missions today often leave behind grass widows and widowers who are deprived of companionship and support, contributing in their own way to the mission effort. I realized Stella was making such a sacrifice with her own personal struggles. She later showed me what she had written at this juncture. I am beginning to understand that in suffering the loss of my husband’s companionship and love, I was
indeed participating in God’s glorious justice. Not the justice that metes out punishment for crimes committed, but the justice that heals the sick, feeds the hungry, and cares for the downtrodden. The very justice that drove the nails through the wrists of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross! When we spoke on the phone Stella responded, “It isn’t about you or me, but about the children who are sick. God has shown me His will, and that has brought victory for me.”
The six weeks I spent in Sri Lanka were like walking hand-in-hand with Christ—as if He came alongside in an Emmaus Road experience and knew my heart and needs. It is not ours to understand all the mysteries of life, of death, of tsunamis or other disasters. What I do know is that Jesus had a tender heart, and our loving God expects us as His disciples to show love in action. It’s all about Him!
A Man Who Did More than His Best “Dr. Stephen Price is a man of humility who exhibited the love of Christ to the Muslim people, which has attracted their hearts. He not only cared for the patients but also helped even in physical labor. He did not refrain from praying for people, telling the villages that God had sent him to them. A Muslim leader told me if there are angels living on earth Dr. Price is one of them. He was an example to all Christians who live in this land—he loved the people with the love of Christ and served them.” —Rev. Adrian De Visser, Colombo, Sri Lanka
From 1980 to 2004 Dr. Price served as a physician on the North Shore of Boston—22 of those years also as Gordon’s physician. Now retired, he lives in nearby Essex with his wife, Stella, a 1989 Gordon graduate who currently teaches in the English Department. Receiving his Doctorate in Medicine at the University of Bristol, UK, in 1969, Price practiced both in his homeland of Wales and the Cotswolds of England before his
family emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1976. The Prices have three adult children and two grandsons. Steve describes his present work as being “an odd-job man” for the Lord. He served short-term medical missions in war-torn Congo (1997), Kosovo (1999), and more recently in North East Sri Lanka, where on his ﬁnal day he was honored by Muslim brethren with a certiﬁcate of appreciation and a golden shawl of respect.
Student Heads Disaster Relief Organization Freshman Prashan De Visser was at home in Sri Lanka on Christmas break when the tsunami struck. The experience gave Prashan the passion to establish a student ministry on campus to respond to global suffering in love, compassion and long-term commitment, especially in times of war, persecution and natural disaster. Already numbering 17 members, the DRO is raising awareness by • meeting for daily morning prayer • planning fundraisers with the sale of T-shirts and Sri Lankan tea • collecting clothing and toys for tsunami orphans • sponsoring an orphanage for children who lost their parents • soliciting sponsors for Sri Lankan orphans—$20 a month Four other Gordon students joined Prashan in helping at the orphanage in Sri Lanka for two weeks this summer. It is hoped an annual mission to the orphanage will become part of Gordon’s Summer Mission Program. The DRO is putting feet to the exhortation of I John 3:18 (NIV): “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 21
Gifts & Giving
The late Calvin Geary, longtime friend of Gordon, funded the education of a student he barely knew and they became lifelong friends. Following are excerpts from the eulogy she gave at his funeral.
Amazing Gift BY
y friendship with Calvin Bernard Geary—whom I always called C.B.—began in 1974 when I was living in Boston and working to save money for my education at Gordon. At Park Street Church Cal and his wife always seemed to gravitate toward the college students, taking us out to eat and giving us rides. At the end of the summer of 1974 I had enough money for one more semester. When the Financial Aid Ofﬁce asked how I planned to pay for spring term, I said conﬁdently, “I’m trusting God for that.” God, of course, did have a plan. “Laurel,” C.B. said to me shortly after the fall term, “I sense God prompting me to ask if you will allow me to pay your way through college.” Astonished, I stared at him, unable to think of anything to say. But I graduated three years later without owing a penny, thanks to the kindness of a man I had hardly known at ﬁrst. And I graduated with so much more than no debt. It was his friendship and practical care of me that meant the most. For the ﬁrst time in my life I came to know what an earthly father’s love might be like—unmerited and unconditional—thereby drawing me more deeply into what the love of my heavenly Father was like.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Woven into the fabric of our unique friendship were the threads of a shared faith, made richer and deeper by C.B.’s unwavering love for the Word of God. Sometimes we would recite verses of Scripture together. C.B. would always say to me, “Remember who you are,” which was my signal to respond, “A daughter of the King!” He loved me, you see, and wished for me to walk in the fullness of life as a child of God, with all the strength, courage and integrity that God supplies. C.B., my heart and life have been crowned by your love for me. I truly am the daughter of a King. At Gordon Laurel (Nixholm) Tessmer ’77 felt compelled to become a history major because of a single lecture by Dr. Arno Kolz on the Opium Wars in China; she wanted to understand the power and impact of ideas in every age and culture. This perspective has served her well in writing, graphic design and ministry roles, including her volunteer work with international students, particularly from China. Her original puppet shows in recent years have won multiple awards in puppetry competitions—a continuation of her senior independent study in puppet theatre with advisor Dr. John Burgess. She resides in the Pittsburgh area, is married and has two daughters.
LAUREL TESSMER ’77
Cal Geary’s legacy lives on through his generous b e q u e s t to G o rd o n , enabling future students to pay for their education. The College joins with his widow, Barbara, in missing his friendly spirit and involvement with the campus.
NEW SPORTS WEBSITE SHOWS POSITIVE IMPACT OF ATHLETICS www.gordon.edu/athletics
This summer Gordon’s Athletic Depar tment launched an exciting new sports website. The new online home of the Fighting Scots brings together sports information from Gordon’s other sites, but it also has interesting new features. Athletic Director Joe Hakes says, “When we got the chance to redeﬁne our site, I looked at scores of other Division III sites. I was struck by how few value statements there were on athletic websites. Through features such as the ‘Coach’s Corner,’ ‘Away from the Game’ and ‘Mission in Action,’ we hope to communicate the important and life-changing events taking place in the lives of folks in our department.” The new website allows the Athletic Department to effectively communicate the positive impact our programs are having both on and off the ﬁeld. The site is an attractive source of information with an improved format that is being well-received by fans, recruits and alumni of Gordon College.
Raves & Rebuffs In this column our readers can respond to articles in STILLPOINT or voice thoughts about Gordon in general. Reserving the right to edit for space, we will attempt to publish a balance of positive and negative comments. We hope to hear from you. Write to Editor, STILLPOINT, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984, or email: email@example.com. Anonymous letters will not be published. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO HAVE EXCERPTS OF YOUR CORRESPONDENCE PUBLISHED, PLEASE NOTE THAT. Letters written to individuals other than the editor are forwarded to those persons whenever possible.
commend you for hosting a conference to explore stem cell research. My husband is alive today due to bone marrow/stem cell transplantation. At age 31 Michael was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with an inoperable football-sized tumor in his chest. After months of chemo his tumor shrank to the size of a golf ball, but a PET scan showed the chemo was unable to kill all the active cancer cells. Our next step was a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. There was immediate uncertainty as to whose stem cells would be used. Like most Christians, we were not educated on the subject—we just knew of the moral debate over the use of embryonic stem cells. But Michael received an autologous stem cell transplant—stem cells taken from his own blood. After 17 days in isolation with 12 days of more than 50 times the amount of chemotherapy he had previously received, the transplant took place. Though the healing process and continued isolation was not easy, my husband emerged a new man (quite literally). Still to this day uneducated believers immediately bristle when “stem cell transplant” comes out of our mouths. I commend you on the conference because a lack of knowledge not only causes fear and resentment, but because we need to be educated before we judge others and technology’s advancements. As Preston Mason stated [“Protecting the Sanctity of Life,” Spring 2005], the use of adult stem cells is on the rise, and I believe God will use this medical advancement for His glory in the healing of His children and the protection of the unborn. Thank you so much for helping to further advance our understanding of this subject. Christina (Vanderhorst) Assante ’96 ■ ■ ■
enjoyed reading the Spring  Stillpoint. Impressive. The growth and maturity of the
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
campus make the old days seem an embryonic era. Two comments: An additional accolade for Dr. Nicholi is that he taught a course in the Psychology Department 1959–60. Also, I wonder if Professor Beatson realizes the publisher of her review, Christian Scholar’s Review, started out as the Gordon Review, which was founded on Evansway and published for a few years by ﬁve members of the faculty—Dean, Franz, Keen, Leith and myself. Don Tweedie Jr. ’50 (professor and ﬁrst chair of Psychology Department, 1952–64) ■ ■ ■
hank you for the Spring 2005 issue covering a topic of keen interest to me. I watched the PBS series The Question of God and read the book by Dr. Armand Nicholi. Both impacted me profoundly. I have been wrestling with these concepts since “Winterim, 1968” at Barrington, when under the tutelage of professors Wilson, Buehler and Fullam we had great debates on science versus religion. After reading Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man as well as Lewis’ books, I joined the NOW discussion boards at PBS. Words which Christians may take for granted such as “apostle,” “belief,” “religion,” “atheism,” “fact” and “knowledge” are debated into near meaninglessness. The Scriptures are under constant attack as either ﬁctitious or politically motivated. The evils visited upon humanity over the past 2,000 years are generally traced to the feet of our (mythical) Lord or “religionists.” One might assume the level of discussion on PBS Internet boards would rise above such hostility. Unfortunately, people of faith rarely participate in the discussions because they are savaged in the process. Both Lewis and Freud, to say nothing of Dr. Nicholi, would, I think, be disappointed. I remember with fondness Drs. Marvin Wilson, Roger Green and
William Buehler, and our classes and discussions during the turbulent late ’60s. I also enjoyed Dr. Wilson’s PBS special Our Father Abraham. (He has aged very well, and now vaguely resembles a rabbi!) David N. Davidson ’71B ■ ■ ■
Letter to Vivian Fransen, “Waking Up,” Fall 2004: read your article with my morning coffee and thought, “Here is my exciting thing for today . . .” and now feel ready to do not only the day but tomorrow as well. Thank you for your clear writing and succinct message. I have photocopied the Face-to-Face section “so I can take it out whenever I need the reminder to ‘be strong!’” Your article gave me the clarity I have been searching for these past few months. Those words of Barbara Jordan were the very ones I have felt deep in my heart but could not express. Thank you for not giving up, and for helping me to “wake up”! Geri Scarpa ■ ■ ■
Open letter to professors from a Gordon student: am a transfer student, having been a history major at three different colleges. The relationships and experiences I’ve had here are vastly better than at the other two. The knowledge level is very similar, but there is a greater love for students here. All the professors I have spoken with in my three semesters here have a genuine care for the person to whom they are talking. Even when there may be a clear intellectual advantage, the student is not talked down to. The student feels his opinion is honestly being evaluated for the idea itself. Please continue this interactive mindset that you all have. Joshua M. Jenkins ’07
For information, updates and tickets, call 978.867.3400 for music events and 978.867.4282 for theatre productions. Music events are held in Phillips Recital Hall (PRH), located in Phillips Music Center; in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel (GC); in Lane Student Center (LSC); or in the Presidents Dining Room (PDR) in the LSC. Art exhibits and theatre productions are in the Barrington Center for the Arts (BCA). Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 9 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, NOON to 4 P.M. Go to www.gordon.edu/arts_music/gallery.htm for updated gallery information; to www.gordon.edu/music/ for updated music events; to www.gordon.edu/arts_music/theatre.html for updated theatre performances.
AUGUST 27–OCTOBER 15 Art Exhibit—Icon and Logos: The Art of Sandra Bowden, a forty-year retrospective; gallery opening reception September 10, 4–7 P.M., BCA
OCTOBER, CONT. 22 22– Dec. 1
Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band; 7 P.M., GC Art Exhibit—Sacra Conversazione by Tanja Butler and Tyrus Clutter; gallery opening reception October 29, 4–6 P.M., BCA
Faculty Recital: David Patterson, guitar; 8 P.M., PRH
8–10, Theatre: Tarantara! Tarantara! The topsy15–17, turvy tale of Gilbert and Sullivan, told through 22–24 their own lyrics and songs; by Ian Taylor, directed by Jeffrey S. Miller; BCA 16 18 23
Thompson Chamber Music Series: Daedalus String Quartet with Don Weilerstein, viola; 8 P.M., PRH Faculty Recital: Susan Hagen, string bass; 7 P.M., PRH
HOMECOMING—50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CAMPUS MOVE TO WENHAM
Homecoming: Jazz Ensemble; 4:30 P.M., Phillips Courtyard
Homecoming: College Choir; 7 P.M., GC
Gordon Symphony Orchestra; 3 P.M., GC
11, 12, Holiday—lawn ornaments and family values, a 15–19 world premiere comedy; by Jon Busch ’03, directed by Norman Jones; BCA 17
Jazz Ensemble; 8 P.M., GC
Thompson Chamber Music Series: David Deveau, piano; 8 P.M., GC
Thanksgiving Festival: Symphonic Band and Symphonic Chorale; 7 P.M., GC
Chamber Music Recital; 4 P.M., PRH
Faculty Recital: Alicia Didonato, ﬂute; 7 P.M., PRH
Annual Christmas Gala; 8 P.M., GC
Annual Christmas Gala; 7 P.M., GC
Art Exhibit—Senior Thesis Exhibits
FAITH SEEKING UNDERSTANDING An Ongoing Lecture Series
KENNETH ELZINGA | September 16, 2005 Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics, University of Virginia; “Called to the Marketplace” THOMAS KIDD | October 3, 2005 Assistant Professor of History, Baylor University “Islam in American Protestant Thought” JEANNE HEFFERNAN | October 10–11, 2005 Assistant Professor of Humanities, Villanova University “What Does It Mean to Be Free? Reﬂections on Citizenship” PEGGY WEHMEYER | October 20–21, 2005 World Vision Reporter/Former ABC Religion Correspondent “The Global Church through the Eyes of a Journalist” DEBRA RIENSTRA | November 15–16, 2005 Associate Professor of English, Calvin College “Pregnant with Meaning: Exploring a Theology of the Vocation of Motherhood” JOHN E. HARE | March 23–24, 2006 Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University; “Ethics with/without God” SUSANNAH HESCHEL | April 5, 2006 Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College; “My Father Abraham: Reﬂections on the Life and Thoughts of Abraham Joseph Heschel” Hosted by the Jerusalem and Athens Forum and the Center for Christian Studies, made possible by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment For information contact 978.867.4227 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gordon.edu/jaf
Free and Open to the Public
Nonproﬁt Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Gordon College
255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 978.927.2300 www.gordon.edu CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Published on Jan 22, 2010
Published on Jan 22, 2010
Restore Creation Photography Director Cyndi McMahon by asking “What common human experience So when ABC Television’s Dr. Timothy In proposin...