FALL 2010 | ISSUE 2 | VOL. 1
Teenager How Redeemer is serving the Millenial generation
OPENING LINES opening lines
Without a vision, we perish...Fail to plan and you plan to fail...Reach for the stars...Dream big...
hese are a few of the classic adages and admonitions that call us to prepare for the future. Such sentiments call us, as individuals and as institutions to look beyond the immediate and prepare for the future, even if we do not know what, exactly, the future will hold. Here at Redeemer University College, we look forward in faith, trusting God to guide us in our preparations and plans.
This is an exciting time for Redeemer – a time of joyful anticipation. We are looking forward to seeing our President, Dr. Krygsman, build on the work that was started by Rev. Dr. De Bolster and Dr. Cooper. We have seen unparalleled cooperation and support from all three levels of government, especially through the financing of campus infrastructure projects. We have more than 950 students, an all-time record number, enrolled this year. CLEAR, our continuing education program, has more than doubled both its programs and number of students -- many from the local community and who had no previous involvement with Redeemer. Plans are also underway to strengthen and increase Redeemer’s academic programs in a variety of areas. As Redeemer looks toward our future, however, there are factors that will shape our community in new and perhaps even unanticipated ways. Internationalization, the sheer growth of the student body, diversity, the decline of denominational loyalty, increased integration into academic and civic communities, the passing of the founding generation of supporters, amplified involvement of alumni and the changing face of today’s Christian youth (see pages 6-8) are just some such issues. If we ignore them or do not plan carefully for them, we do so at our own peril. Are these factors necessarily bad? Of course not. In fact, some present wonderful opportunities. But we do need to consider what impact they – and a host of other, as yet unknown factors – will have on every aspect of our operations.
Dreaming big is fun, and seeing even some of those dreams come to fruition is exciting. Looking at the future and seeing rosy predictions of increased enrolment and expanded opportunities to serve students and to impact our world is inspiring. And though we know that God is always with us, it is a lot easier to see His hand when things are going well. Because after the initial flush of excitement passes, there is still so much to do. Like the servants in the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30), Redeemer has been given much, and so in turn has a great responsibility to manage those talents effectively, in all circumstances. The Board of Governors and Redeemer’s executive team have been working diligently on plans, both to meet Redeemer’s immediate needs, and for our long-term future. Through this process they have been aided greatly by the many members of our support community who volunteer their time and talents in helping discern what may lie ahead. And we have also deepened our reliance on the Spirit’s leading and guidance as we venture into increasingly unknown territory. So what is in Redeemer’s future? How big will Redeemer grow? Only God knows. But in thinking about the future, it is good to see where Redeemer has come from. It is entirely appropriate and instructive that in the newly renovated Administrative Wing, immediately behind the Reception Desk and in plain view to all the many visitors to Redeemer, there hangs a painting of Redeemer’s original campus on the Beach Boulevard. Could anyone have envisioned then what Redeemer would be like today? Or, perhaps more importantly, would anyone then have dared dream the ways that God would use this place to advance His Kingdom? As we contemplate where we are going, let us never underestimate where He can take us.
Tim Wolfert is Redeemer’s Communications Director.
Redeemer’s Beach Boulevard campus, by Irene Keesmaat
Looking back at his first 100 days as President of Redeemer, Dr. Krygsman sees a community that is broad, strong and committed to the advancement of Christian higher education at Redeemer. He has also found a place that has been warm and welcoming to him and his wife, Nancy.
Redeemer’s primary focus has been on educating young people. But by most measures, both empirical and experiential, that group has changed dramatically over the years. What has happened to this group, and how is Redeemer responding to meet their demands and their needs, while remaining true to its mission and purpose. Also, Redeemer considers how to “pray without ceasing” as it mourns the loss of a beloved student.
In an increasingly global society, Redeemer alumni, faculty and students are working to improve communities around the world, and in their own neighbourhoods.
Record enrolment, renovated facilities, student engagement and community involvement all mark the new academic year at Redeemer.
The Alumni Council has an ambitious agenda, which includes providing more support for current students. Author Sam Martin returns for a reading.
Editor-IN-Chief: Doriel Moulton Editor: Tim Wolfert Designer: Juliane Van Huizen Copy Editors: Richard Van Holst, Adele Konyndyk Contributors: Michelle Drew, Maria Geertsema, Christine Giancola, Syd Hielema, Valerie Louter, Joel Span, Nathaniel VandenDool, James Vanderlaan, Micah van Dijk, Richard Wikkerink Photo Credits: All photos taken by the Redeemer Marketing and Communications Services Department unless otherwise noted. Editorial Advisory Board: Doriel Moulton, Tim Wolfert, Val Louter, Julie Van Huizen, Michelle Drew, Sharon Vander Meulen. Printed in Canada by BRC Agencies Inc.
Tangents is published four times per year by the Marketing and Communications Services Department of Redeemer University College in conjunction with the Alumni Association. Ideas and opinions expressed in Tangents may not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Alumni Association or Redeemer University College. Letters and editorial comments are welcome, however we reserve the right to edit submissions for content or brevity. Editorial communication can be sent to email@example.com. Issue 2 Volume 1 Redeemer University College is a Christian liberal arts and science university, offering courses and programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Redeemer serves more than 950 students on its 86-acre campus, located in the Greater Hamilton Area, Ontario. Publications Mail Agreement #40040898 Return Undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Tangents Redeemer University College 777 Garner Road East Ancaster, ON L9K 1J4 firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 905.648.2131 x4292 www.redeemer.ca/tangents
TANGENTS | JUNE 2010
Who We Are and Where We Are Going By Dr. Hubert Krygsman, President
Reflecting on One Hundred Days
ard as it is for me to believe, it has now been over three months—around 100 days—since I took office as the new president of Redeemer University College. In our media-heated political democracies, the “first 100 days” of a new administration or government are often viewed as pivotal, and are examined carefully by pundits for the accomplishments, tone, and direction of a new leadership. For me, I’d like to use this occasion to share with you, Redeemer’s support community, some of what I have observed about Redeemer during my first 100 days as president, and to share some of the goals that I have moving forward. Not surprisingly, my primary goal for these first 100 days was to get to know the Redeemer community, establish personal and working relationships with the faculty, staff, students, and supporters and to learn their hopes and struggles for Redeemer. To do so, I have “hit the ground running,” as it were, by holding town hall meetings with faculty and staff, sharing communal meals with students, having Sunday tea with the Student Senate members, attending Campus Visit days and events like New Horizons and visiting as many major donors and supporting church bodies as possible. Although this has been a hectic schedule, I have been deeply encouraged by the strong commitment and support that I have found. Our faculty and staff do excellent work, with a great deal of care and dedication, and they do so on shoe-string budgets. Our students deeply appreciate the learning, spiritual vitality, and community that Redeemer offers. And our supporters remain excited by what Redeemer is doing. Most encouraging to me is their commitment to continuing--as one supporter put it--to “take care of Redeemer” through prayer, donations, and participation in our Mission. To be sure, we have much work to do in sustaining and expanding our support base. But I believe that our foundational community, the group that former President Cooper calls the “great cloud of witnesses,” and which is absolutely essential to the success of our efforts, remains strong and committed. This strong community has allowed our leadership team to begin moving forward on several key goals that flow from our identity and from our Strategic Plan. To preserve and advance Redeemer’s credibility, I have met with officials from both government and civic organizations. One of the specific goals in that regard has been working with Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities officials to establish a Quality Assurance process for Redeemer and other chartered, privately-funded universities. We also have established a cross-
Both of these committees also reflect our efforts to improve our collaboration and common effort across the different divisions of Redeemer. These types of arrangements will be essential as we develop creative new academic programs. Along the same lines, we are also working to strengthen the collaboration between our curricular and Student Life “co-curricular” efforts. One example of that work is the Spiritual Formation project, led by chaplain Syd Hielema, which helps faculty identify and intentionally incorporate principles of spiritual development into the lecture hall and laboratory. Along with these new initiatives, we have worked hard to bring existing projects—especially improvements to our
divisional “International Engagement Working Group” mandated to explore ways that Redeemer can engage our faculty and students more fully with the global community and to recruit international students. And we have struck a cross-divisional “Enrolment Management Team” to explore ways we can better recruit new students.
“...I have been deeply encouraged by the strong commitment and support that I have found.” campus facilities—to completion. Thanks to funding from our supporters and the federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program, we have been able to complete several improvements to the building, including the muchneeded renovations to our Administrative Wing. Work on the soccer complex, funded in part by all three levels of government and in conjunction with the Ancaster Soccer Club, continues, with the hope of substantial completion in March 2011. And finally, we are blessed to have record enrolment, and we hope to realize our first balanced budget in many years. I am grateful for the efforts I have seen in these first 100 days, and for the evidence that God continues to “go before” and bless Redeemer.
The very first day The first of those 100 days for Dr. Krygsman was Monday, June 14. After being appointed by the Board of Governors to be Redeemer’s third president in February, he had hoped to begin a quiet transition to the office, overlapping for a couple of weeks with Dr. Cooper. After the rigourous interview process that led to his appointment, he probably thought that he was home free. But, after the entire community was summoned to the Commons by the “College Crier” (Prof. Ray Louter, who looked dashing in leggings and a puffy blouse), Dr. Krygsman was told that he had to pass a test before he would be able to assume the office. Dr. Krygsman, an Ontario native returning to Canada after working the last 20 years at Dordt College in Iowa, nimbly navigated the lighthearted test that asked him, among other questions, if he could spell “colour” in an attempt to test his Canadian-ness. Other questions probed whether he preferred poutine over Iowa corn dogs (he does), and whether Krygsman, a historian, knew who had fought at the Plains of Abraham (Britain and France) and whether he knew the two-letter word that commonly follows a rhetorical question in this country. What good Canadian wouldn’t know, eh? After passing with flying colours, Krygsman enjoyed coffee with his new staff, who presented him and his wife, Nancy, with welcoming gifts that included Redeemer shirts and pins, a school ball cap, water bottle and coffee mug. “I guess I won’t forget where I’m working,” Krygsman joked. Dr. Krygsman will be formally installed as president as an Inauguration Ceremony on Saturday, November 6. All members and friends of the Redeemer community are welcome to attend.
“College Crier” Ray Louter welcomes Dr. Krygsman and presents him and his wife Nancy with a chocolate version of the Presidential Medallion
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
ver the past year, The Board of Governors has participated in a series of discussion sessions with the overall title of “Refreshing our Reformed Identity.” Designed to assist the Board in its strategic planning process, these sessions deal with Redeemer’s identity as a Reformed Christian institution that reaches out to the wider Christian community. At the November, 2009 meeting, the Board heard a number of presentations on the topic “Today’s Christian Teenager.” Who are these people that Redeemer educates? And what programs – academic and otherwise – does Redeemer offer to meet their demands and their needs?
Who are they, what do they believe, and how do they practice it? It will surprise no one that the influence of religion in general – and perhaps more pointedly, of Christianity in particular – has been waning for years. Although not surprising, we as followers of Christ cannot help but react to this decline, and seek to fully understand the facts behind the trend. University of Lethbridge sociologist Dr. Reginald Bibby, author of many books on religion and society in Canada, likens society’s increasing secularization to a devastating forest fire, “a blaze [that] has destroyed much of religion’s presence and influence.”
If anything, that trend has been accelerating among teenagers and young adults, at least when it comes to organized religion. In 1984, 35% of Canadian teens identified themselves as Protestants. By 2008, that number had dropped to 13%, which is substantially less than the 25% of the general population that was recorded in the 2001 Census. At the same time, the number of teens who indicated that they have “no religion” increased from 12% in 1984 to 32% in 2008. The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), a large US survey of teenagers’ religious beliefs and practices, saw similar results: those identifying themselves as Protestants decreased from 56% to 48% from 2002 to 2005, and the number of teens who reported no religious affiliation rose 8% to 24%. There are even fewer teens who are actually practicing religion. Only about 2 in 10 teens attend worship services on a weekly basis. Although that number has remained fairly constant since Bibby’s first survey in 1984, the percentage of teens who never attend worship services has increased
from 28% to 47%. The NSYR also points out there has been an almost across the board decrease in religious activities from 2002 to 2005. Yet, at the same time, those teens who do identify with religious groups are more likely to be actively involved than their counterparts of recent years. For instance, Bibby’s surveys reveal that in 1984, 77% of teens said they were praying privately at least occasionally, a number that had fallen to 56% in 2008. But, among those young people who do identify with religious groups, particularly conservative Protestants, solid majorities are inclined to pray privately, and are increasingly more likely to be actively involved than their counterparts of recent years. The NSYR also recognizes that trend: A higher proportion of respondents reported becoming more religious rather than becoming less religious, between 2002 and 2005. The authors of that study suggest that it could be that as adolescents develop and mature, they take more ownership of their own beliefs and practices, so that their religiosity feels stronger and more authentic—regardless of the levels of belief or behaviors they report. The Barna Group, another US-based group that has done extensive surveying of religious trends, noted that religious activities for teenagers were down in 6 of the 9 categories they measured. David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and the director of the research, pointed out that some of these changes may go unnoticed by church leaders because the most visible activities – teen church attendance and youth group involvement – have not changed much in recent years. Bible reading was also roughly on par with previous Barna tracking of teenagers, further obscuring a clear picture of teen faith. Kinnaman commented on the findings: “While there is still much vibrancy to teen spirituality, it seems to be ‘thinning out.’ Teenagers view religious involvement partly as a way to maintain their all-important relationships. Yet perhaps technology such as social networking is reconfiguring teens’ needs for relationships and continual connectivity, diminishing the role of certain spiritual forms of engagement in their lives. Talking to God may be losing out to Facebook.” There is what Dr. Bibby describes a “religious polarization” between those who practice religion and those who don’t. Yet, almost 40% of young people in his surveys who currently are not actively involved in religious groups nonetheless indicate that they are not closed to the possibility of greater participation. Bibby points out that “While the survey findings document fairly extensive openness, they also reveal that teenagers are highly pragmatic. They have to find that greater levels of involvement are worthwhile
“Talking to God may be losing out to Facebook.” – resulting in the enhancement of their lives and the lives of those who matter most to them. Otherwise, their outlook understandably seems to be, ‘Why bother?’” Proposing an answer to his own rhetorical question, Bibby quotes St. Augustine: “Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Thee,” as religion’s answer to those who are seeking purpose, or perhaps something that is merely worthwhile. Bibby concludes that if Canada’s religious groups can succeed in addressing “the restlessness” that seems to be felt at some times by so many, the chasm will begin to close. “Whether the current trend toward religious polarization continues, stops, or even reverses itself would seem to depend primarily on the performance of Canada’s religious groups – beginning with how they relate to young people.”
Other works referenced in this story include:
Over the past four decades, Dr. Bibby has been monitoring social trends in Canada through a series of well known national surveys of adults and teenagers, including a major study of religion and youth called the Project Teen Canada series. Material for this article was drawn from several of his online resources, including:
Youth Survey: Teens lose faith in droves (www2.macleans.ca/2009/04/07/teens-lose-faith-in-droves/)
Fragmented but Not Forgotten Gods: Religion in the Lives of Young People in Quebec and the Rest of Canada (www.reginaldbibby.com/images/Montreal_AAR_paper_2009.pdf ) Restless Gods and Restless Youth: An Update on the Religious Situation in Canada (www.reginaldbibby.com/images/Revision_Bibby_CSA_Presentation,_Ottawa_ May_09.pdf )
The National Study of Youth and Religion: Religion and Spirituality on the Path Through Adolescence (www.youthandreligion.org/sites/default/files/imported/publications/docs/ w2_pub_report_final.pdf ) The Barna Group: How Teenagers’ Faith Practices are Changing (www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/403-how-teenagers-faith-practices-arechanging)
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
Serving Today’s Christian Youth – Redeemer and the Millennials As a parent of three children who are part of the Millennial Generation (generally understood as those born between 1984-2002), and as someone who has worked with young adults for the past decade, I’ve come to appreciate the generation that follows mine. Their enthusiasm for learning, their confidence in the future, their willingness to engage in learning and their openness in relationships with adults is invigorating and refreshing. Yet their experience and way of working can be radically different than mine, and I and the entire Student Services team need to work hard at understanding these differences. This process is a key part of the educational journey at Redeemer.
Trying to Define a Generation As we attempt to build opportunities to maximize strengths or work through the shadow side of a characteristic of the Millenial generation, it is can be helpful to compile what we know about this particular group. We acknowledge, however, that such lists are generalizations and can therefore overlook many unique qualities in the individuals we know. There is also the danger that such generalizations can become negative definitions that fracture community rather than uphold it. So, before reading the following compilation of characteristics and the overall trends in Reedemer’s student body, we encourage you to keep in mind the Millenials in your life—friends, neighbours, family members, etc.—and consider carefully how the list may or may not fit them. Also, if you are a Millennial reading this, you way wish to Google a comparable list for Gen X or the Baby Boomers to better understand our demographic differences. Members of the Millennial Generation/Generation Y (those born between 1984-2002) are, generally: Conventionally Motivated: Millennials want a purpose and direction for their education Respectful: Compared to their parents’ experiences, Millennials have a more open relationship with their own parents, and they are used to having equal or less formal relationships with adults. Confident and Optimistic about the Future: They see themselves as the generation which will make the difference, and they have a well-developed sense of self-worth. Protected and Sheltered: Parents are often very involved in the lives of Millennials. University students, especially, tend to have had less exposure to difficult life circumstances than their parents, but they are better educated in terms of alcohol, tobacco and sex compared to earlier generations. Security and safety issues are a major concern for Millennials, who expect a black and white application of rules.
Talented Achievers: Having grown up with computers, they are adept at multi-tasking, particularly with technology. They are heavily involved in co-curricular activities, and they expect to move up the career ladder quickly. Cooperative and Team Oriented: For Millennials, relationships are incredibly valuable. This can be seen in the way they work and learn, often with peers who substitute as advisors or family. They enjoy collaborative learning experiences, and develop decision making skills which are peer focused. Pressured: As achievers, they expect a lot from themselves and are often highly committed to a variety of activities. They expect good grades and are not familiar with failure. As a result, Millennials may more often experience being overwhelmed.
How are we serving this group of students? At Redeemer, we work on holistic student development and see students as integrated “whole beings.” The education we provide endeavours to engage the heart, mind, body and soul. While the focal point of the university is the work in the classroom, much of the learning and growth happens outside it. We take seriously the co-curricular aspect of a student’s experience: residence life, chapel, learning communities, athletics, small group ministries, clubs, theatre and music productions, internships, volunteer activities, and much more. The co-curricular doesn’t just entertain, it is an integral part of the student experience and begins the day that students arrive at Redeemer with our first-year orientation program (see pp. 21-22). The goal at Redeemer is to build a vibrant Christian academic community by weaving together the curriculum and co-curriculum in such a way that it engages students in faith, learning and living. It is essential to meet student needs in order to engage them in the mission of the university. Just as the rotary dial phone I used in my first year of residence has been upgraded to a cell phone, so too has our programming and our work in providing a vibrant co-curriculum. The Student Services team has been setting priorities to meet the needs of millennial students and creating an environment which facilitates the development of the whole student. The following is an overview of how our co-curricular programming is addressing millennial needs. At Redeemer, we are currently working to: Engage students in seamless learning in and out of the classroom: 70% of our departments include some form of experiential education in their program. Be it through internships, co-ops, volunteering or incorporating service learning in their summer employment, students are finding ways to serve.
...We work on holistic student development and see students as integrated “whole beings.” Foster positive peer mentoring: Our residences, learning communities, intentional spiritual formation activities, and athletics programming all have a specific focus on establishing positive peer relationships. Provide more, and more accessible information for students: Students access their records and institutional information through the university’s website, as well as online course materials. The library hosts a good range of electronic databases which allow students to have scholarly journals at their desks at all times. Make space available for community building: Residence life brings students into interaction with groups of six to nine, with community building features such as shared porches and common areas. The main academic building features a variety of spaces to allow students to interact. Commit to safety and security: This year we will be implementing a lockdown process and adding to our security with emergency phone call stations. Strengthen vocation/career advising services: Our focus is on helping students to understand their calling while discovering career paths that connect to their academic preparation.
Develop wellness programs: This entails not just minding students’ physical needs, but also addressing their spiritual and emotional concerns through pastoral counseling, worship, spiritual retreats, campus recreation, medical services and counseling services. Provide inspiration to make a difference: Students’ optimism about the future is invigorating – and they willingly engage in opportunities to make a difference. Green initiatives at Redeemer, such as the development of recycling and energy efficiency programs, are just a few examples of the collaborative work between students, faculty, and administrators. Engage parents in the process: Our recently released parents’ e-newsletter provides stronger connections for parents (visit www.redeemer.ca/parents for more information). Explore housing options that will meet the changing needs of students: Residences are full this year and planning for new spaces will require careful discernment. Serving students requires that the university remain focused on its role and purpose while remaining relevant when engaging students in learning. Redeemer has a unique place in the Canadian post-secondary landscape which allows it to fully engage students in an education which encompasses their whole being: mind, spirit, body, and soul. We are committed to providing an environment that provides space for students to succeed, learn, and grow, all for the purpose of equipping them to live fully in the service of Jesus Christ—from one generation to the next. Richard Wikkerink is Associate Vice-President, Student Development and Registrar at Redeemer.
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
S chool T h e m e 2 0 1 0
Pray Without Ceasing
hy would a university adopt “Pray without ceasing” as its theme for an academic year? Shouldn’t a theme relate more to our principal activities – activities such as teaching, studying, reading and writing – rather than prayer, which happens in chapel, at the beginning of a class or before dinner in the dorms?
At Redeemer, we believe that prayer is not only an activity that we do, but a way of life. We believe that Paul’s command to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5: 17) builds on David’s declaration that we are always in the presence of God, no matter where we go or what we are doing (Psalm 139). Yes, we do set aside times of prayer, but prayer is both a specific activity involving active communication with the Lord and a state of heart in which one lives in continual awareness of walking before the face of God. Our desire at Redeemer is that all the activities which we do – including our teaching, studying, reading and writing – flow from hearts that are in tune with God’s faithful presence in our midst. And so we seek to pray without ceasing. We seek to live prayerfully. We who work and study at Redeemer are profoundly aware that our university is thriving today because of its prayer history. Redeemer is a modern day miracle! Imagine beginning a university from the ground up in the early 1980s. A university needs many different majors in order to attract a critical mass of students and it needs government accreditation in order to grant Bachelors degrees. The task seemed impossible. Yet, step by step during the past three decades, doors opened, mountains were moved, and a strong university was established. And at each step of the way, a trusting community on its knees prayed for the Lord to make the path straight. Our theme this year is simply stating a reality that has a long history at Redeemer.
How does one put into practice the theme, “pray without ceasing?” In two primary ways. First, a wide range of prayer activities are woven within campus life. A sampling of these activities includes various forms of campus worship, dorm devotions, a weekly faculty prayer group, a biweekly discernment prayer group, student prayer teams, a week of 24/7 prayer early in the school year, weekly devotions emailed to the entire community every Monday morning, department prayer times, and more. In addition, our campus includes three prayer rooms that are available for groups and for individuals. But a long list of prayer activities doesn’t give us permission to pat ourselves on the back with the assumption that now we are living out what it means to pray without ceasing. Each of these activities is intended to point to something that underlies it: a prayerful ethos that shapes our community’s way of being together. Our dream and our prayer is that we would walk together before the face of God as a community in submission, trusting in the Lord with our entire hearts and leaning not on our own understandings (Prov. 3: 5). We desire to be a teachable community, living out repentance and openness to the Spirit’s transforming work. The gap between dreams and desires on one hand and realities on the other hand is wide. Through God’s grace and faithfulness we pray that this gap will be narrowed just a little as we explore this theme for a year.
Dr. Syd Hielema is Redeemer’s Chaplain and Associate Professor of Religion and Theology.
Remembering Amber Applegate
n late November 2009, second year student Amber Applegate from Utopia, ON was diagnosed with leukemia. She passed away at the Juravinski Cancer Center in Hamilton on September 18, 2010. Amber was a passionately committed follower of Jesus who loved life to the full. Her friends at Redeemer had this to say about her: “One of the things I’ll always remember about Amber was her huge smile, and the way it would light up a room. Her infectious laugh, caring spirit, cheerful personality, and great hugs are part of what made her a valuable friend and an amazing person to know.” “Amber was probably the most spirited, strong-willed person I ever met. She had a great sense of humour and was
How long, O Lord? always willing to join me in a prank. She wasn’t opposed to covering herself in marker from head to toe to study for an anatomy test, or chasing after people who appeared in our window wearing masks.”
“She definitely painted a real picture of what it means to be a Christian. She was sponsoring a young girl and had a large glass jar under her bed that she was putting her loose change into. Her plan was to use this money to fund an adoption of a third world child in her future.” “One thing about Amber that will always stand out in my mind was her amazing and powerful voice. Amber loved to sing, and it was not unusual for me to be walking back from class and hear her singing in the shower long before we reached the dorm.”
Her memorial service was a powerful testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness through her during her entire life, in health and in sickness. Towards the end of the service her parents shared that one of the last things she said to them was, “don’t be mad at God.” We certainly thank the Lord that we had the opportunity to know and love Amber as we also miss her terribly, grieve her death, and long to see her at the final resurrection. As a Redeemer community, we continue to pray for her friends and her family: Greg and Darlene (mom and dad), and her younger siblings, Karen and Clinton—that they will continue to take comfort in Christ and be filled with His enduring peace (Philippians 4:7).
In his discussion of this year’s theme – Pray Without Ceasing – Chaplain Hielema talks about some of the ways prayer is becoming an intentional part of life at Redeemer. One of the practices that helps the community realize this is a weekly devotional that is emailed to all faculty, staff and students each Monday morning. This is the devotional that he distributed the Monday after Amber passed away.
Unceasing Prayer and Death
n the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express… Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us…I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8: 26, 34, 38-39 Last December second-year student Amber Applegate was diagnosed with leukemia, and I have witnessed unceasing prayer from the Redeemer community and many others on her behalf since that time. This past Saturday, September 18, she went to be with the Lord after a very difficult ordeal. Our prayers for healing and protection have changed to Psalm 13 prayers of sorrow and confusion: “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (vs. 1-3). What’s the point of praying without ceasing if diseased children of God pass away, if injustices harm the lives of millions around the world, if sin and evil seem more powerful than God’s grace, if, well – let’s be honest – we wonder if God is paying attention to all of our prayers. There were moments when my own trust in God wavered as I prayed for Amber. The Apostle Paul experienced the brokenness of this world and the confusion of living a “praying without ceasing” life first-hand. Several years after he encouraged the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, he wrote the thoughts about prayer quoted above to the church in Rome. And it’s as if he says, “Yes, continue to pray without ceasing.” Why? 1. The unceasing reality that defines our lives is not our prayers but the love of Jesus. No matter what happens for good or for ill, nothing is able to separate us from that wondrous love. 2. Of course our prayer life is going to be wobbly. Life is often very difficult, and when a beloved friend and daughter dies, our prayers quickly turn from urgent beseeching to pained confusion and questioning. So be it – we are free to let our wobbliness be surrounded by our Lord’s steadying love. 3. Not only are our prayers wobbly, at a certain point we run out of words even though we are not finished praying what is in our hearts. When our words are done, both the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ continue praying to the Father on our behalf! A Trinitarian prayer service in the heavenly throne room completes what we cannot say. This is a week for weeping inside the love and hope that flow from the Father, Son and Spirit; words are secondary. We can simply let the Father, Son and Spirit cling to our trembling hands and weak knees; that too is a form of praying without ceasing.
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
Let there be
lthough Dr. Henry Brouwer has been retired as a Chemistry professor at Redeemer for two years, the diversity in his scientific endeavours has only increased. One of these projects has been developing a system that will be used to bring light to classrooms in rural Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, 80% of the population lives in rural areas and only 1% of the population has access to electricity. This has a significant impact on their education: by seven o’clock in the evening the classrooms are already too dark to use, leaving students and teachers unable to meet together. “Adults in the villages have been working together to build schools so that their children could receive an education. These adults also want to learn how to read and write,” explains Brouwer. Ethiopian volunteer Ato Abraham and Brouwer have been working together to create prototypes for lighting systems. Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Derek Schuurman, and Maurice Veldhuis of Drayton, ON, have been helping them by developing ideas for the electronics, as well as by designing and building circuit boards. They are working toward building a low-maintenance system that can be assembled and maintained by locals for a cost of $150 or less. “Our goal is to have people in Ethiopia put the final systems together so they will be doing some welding, assembling, hooking up all the lights and that kind of thing,” states Brouwer. Keeping the capital and maintenance costs low is a challenge. Batteries cannot be used because they are so expemsive they need to be replaced every few years, and they can be a problem to dispose. And without batteries, wind and solar power are also out of the question. “I’ve always been interested in technology and trying to solve problems – so this was a good challenge for me,” Brouwer continues. “I think the fact that we could help people in Africa was intriguing. The challenge of coming up with a system that could be used in Africa using available technology was interesting as well. Of course, helping the
Bible League spread the good news is also important.”
Brouwer was first approached about the project by Dick Kranendonk from the Bible League of Canada (BLC), who is working together with Christian Horizons Global (CHG) to coordinate and fund the project. In early June, Brouwer had the opportunity to travel to Assela, Ethiopia to further assess the specific needs for the project and witness the work already being done by the BLC and CHG. “It was wonderful to see how the two organizations were working together to bring the gospel in its fullness,” states Brouwer. Together, they are establishing schools in remote villages, training teachers and pastors, generating employment for the handicapped, providing a safe environment for children who are orphaned or suffering from HIV/AIDS, and developing a micro-loan program. Christian Horizons Ethiopia alone operates nearly 30 education centers in Ethiopia, and none of them currently have lights. After visiting Ethiopia, Brouwer and Abraham decided on a revised system that would be more versatile then their original prototype. “Our current prototype system uses the rear portion of a bicycle to turn the alternator through a belt driven by the rear wheel,” Brouwer explains. The two decided on a pedal-powered model which would allow the person pedaling to participate in class. “Once we have a final prototype, we are looking at several thousand units that will be distributed throughout Africa and possibly China and India. Our goal is to light up a classroom using human power so that the instructor can teach students to read and write using the Bible as a textbook.” The Redeemer community is delighted to see God working through Dr. Browuer and the team, and we look forward in faithful anticipation to seeing the light of His Word continue to go forward to our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and beyond. Michelle Drew is Redeemer’s Web Communications Specialist
(left): Welding the system (centre) Dr. Henry Brouwer (second from left) and some of his colleagues in Ethiopia. (right) From the school in Ethiopia that is now powered by Dr. Brouwer’s system.
& Rice Bags
Conference inspires student to serve in Cambodia By Michelle Drew
orking overseas is nothing new for Joel Span, who spent his youth as a missionary kid in Guinea, West Africa. But after working in a greenhouse for a summer, the third-year accounting student decided to return to his roots for something more adventurous.
Many students feel they need to spend their summers making as much money as possible, but Span encourages them to shift from the ordinary. “There is a lot more out there than southern Ontario, and there is no better way to best understand Canada’s diverse immigrant population than through cross-cultural experiences. This experience has made me appreciate that I have more. I realized that we have so much here, whereas in Cambodia, their most basic needs are not being met. The outpouring of love and generosity from donors really reinforced my faith, showing that God takes care of me.”
After attending the annual Faith & Social Justice conference in January, Span’s interest in volunteering for a humanitarian aid organization was piqued. “It’s too easy to attend a conference, get excited, and then come back and do nothing. I wanted to actually be involved in some kind of change and make a difference.” Span recieved the Redeemer University College Missions Bursary, which further solidified his plans for mission work. The bursary, provided through Student Senate, paid for a portion of his expenses and gave him the encouragement he needed to seriously pursue a service opportunity. Wanting to commit to more than just a few weeks, Span decided on a two-and-a-half-month endeavour in Cambodia with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). His project involved working with a Christian radio station called Family FM as well as doing some web design, production work and filming for CRWRC Cambodia. The work was a good match for Span, who had volunteered in a radio station when he was in high school. His role at the station in Cambodia was primarily to research and assist in the production of 26 episodes about the environment, and to work with the budgeting committee. The episodes were targeted at youth and children: the first 13 for a rural primary school audience, and the last 13 for an urban teen audience. Each radio program included a portion dedicated to interviews and teaching, as well as a few jingles to keep the interest of the listeners. Span’s most treasured experience, however, was participating in a CRWRC rice distribution project. He notes, “It was the first of its kind from CRWRC Cambodia. This region hadn’t had enough rain for the rice crops to grow, and last year was a particularly bad year. Between what they ate and what they stored up to plant, they didn’t have any left over. The late arrival of rains this year has led to a shortfall in the food supply. The CRWRC gave rice to 370 families just to tide them over until their crops were ready. It was a really humbling experience.”
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905.397.6838 Partners: From the top:Ostrud magnim venissequisl essenismodit vero doloreet la facil Janet deVries, CFRE illan vullutpat autat. Ut lutat, quat. & Julie Wirtanen, CFRE
Your Path to Growth in Giving TANGENTS | FALL 2010
n a m Hu
Trafficking A response to the injustice occurring towards our most vulnerable citizens
hen we hear the phrase, “human trafficking,” we may think of women and children in countries such as India, Thailand or Cambodia, and the many brothels that are blatantly visible to all. It is tragic, no doubt. Women and young children enslaved because of a small debt they owe, or simply to feed their families. It can make our petty, everday problems seem…well, petty. However, human trafficking is not just a third-world problem; it has become a global crisis and an overwhelming concern in our world today.
Human trafficking is the equivalent of slavery, and there are more people enslaved in the world today than there were during the entire transatlantic slave trade. Human trafficking is the second-largest organized criminal activity worldwide and it generates $32 billion annually. Canada is not immune. In fact, Canada was reported in the 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report to be a source, destination and transit country for human trafficking. Canada is also considered a source country for child sex tourists. Unlike places like India, Thailand or Cambodia, where these crimes are done openly, Canada has an entire underground world of human trafficking that is largely unseen. The problem is huge, and some would say, impossible to eradicate. However, there are a number of organizations and individuals who are standing up against this scourge. One those organizations is Canada Fights Human Trafficking (CFHT). Its founder, Ms. Naomi Baker, began her work out of sheer obedience to God and a burning desire to see those gripped by such evil be released and restored. When asked why she started this organization, Ms. Baker stated that “Canada had no organization fighting this crime in Canada, and something had to be done about it.” The task is daunting. Not only is CFHT attempting to build a national organization to combat human trafficking, it is being overwhelmed by the immense needs involved in supporting victims of it right here in Canada. CFHT’s main priority is victim rescue and care, and it is often called upon
by police to step in and provide safety and basic needs for these girls. This service is costly and can be dangerous. It is impossible to fight this horrible crime when the vast majority of Canadians do not believe that human trafficking even occurs within the nation’s own borders. CFHT’s second priority is therefore to educate and raise awareness, with the hope that once people are informed they will be encouraged to the next step: action. Many people, when they first hear about human trafficking in Canada, ask “But how does someone get caught up in this sort of thing?” The answer is not always simple, nor will it be the same for each person. Canadian girls who are victimized by this sort of crime are often lured in by seemingly respectable men (pimps) who spot them at the mall, bus stop and other such public places. These men then groom the girls to become prostitutes. In one particular case with which CFHT became involved, the victim was a young girl from western Canada; she met a woman who befriended her, and told her they could make a few hundred dollars a day at a job she had found in Toronto. Once they arrived in Toronto, however, they met up with a “gentlemen” who immediately took the girl in. For the next several months, this young woman was sold repeatedly for sexual purposes. The “friend” was never found again; she, in fact, was a “recruiter.”
...how do we, as Christians, respond in faith to this atrocious reality?
Many of the victims in Canada are relatively wealthy girls who simply fall for the trafficker’s most common technique: making the girl fall in love with him. The trafficer then manipulates her into prostitution “out of love” and forces her to give him all of the profits – she literally makes nothing for herself. If she refuses, she is beaten, and often even gang raped by the pimp and his other pimp friends. Pimps will also often brand their girls with a a tattoo so that others will know to whom the girls belong. The abuse they endure is horrifying and relentless. The average victim suffers rape 10 to 40 times a day. Many of them are just children under the age of 16.
Rachel Brouwer ’09 also works to reduce human trafficking. She explains how she became involved in the field. “What does it look like to tangibly seek justice?” That was a question to which I continually returned in my final year at Redeemer as I struggled to find ways to actively live my Christian worldview outside of the classroom. It’s clear from Scripture that justice is part of the heart of God as He requires us “to act justly” (Micah 6:8) and “[s]eek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). At Redeemer’s Social Justice Conference in the winter of 2009, I was introduced to an organization that was doing just that. International Justice Mission Canada, an affiliate of the American-based IJM, is a Christian human rights organization that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression. IJM is comprised of a multinational team of law enforcement professionals and highly qualified legal staff who conduct criminal investigations and collect evidence to rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice. IJM partners with numerous national organizations to bring aftercare to our clients, and works closely with local governments to help train and educate police about these crimes. Three specific things drew me to the work of IJM. First, the work that they do has tangible results. Victims are being rescued, are receiving aftercare and are being integrated back into society, and perpetrators are being prosecuted under local laws and are paying for their crimes. Second, IJM works to bring about structural transformation through education, training and accountability rather than providing a temporary band-aid solution. Finally, as a Christian organization, IJM staff around the world spend time daily in prayer for our clients, casework and colleagues as a reflec-
So how do we, as Christians, respond in faith to this atrocious reality? For followers of Jesus, the mandate is clear: to save those caught in trafficking and restore to them the dignity of being human, created in the image of God. CFHT fulfills this call by giving victims a new hope and a new future. And although the task is daunting, the CFHT team is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those suffering in this way and being their voice to the Canadian public. Christine Giancola ‘09 is a University Rep at Redeemer and the CFHT Public Relations Director
tion of our reliance on God to move our work forward. So many times we have seen God move in miraculous ways as a result of the unified body of Christ bringing our requests to Him. The movement also has connections at Redeemer through a student club called Be the Voice, which is dedicated to raising awareness about global slavery. As a club, we travel to high schools and churches to inform others about the reality of slavery in our world today. Through multiple fundraisers, we aim to raise money to support organizations already on the front lines abolishing slavery. We are a voice for the voiceless trapped in the chains of slavery. So what can we do? As Christine Giancola of CFHT notes, “Although the task is daunting, realize that we can crush evil with good.” Here’s a list of ways you can help:
1. Be a watchful eye in your community: Begin to look around you and if you notice things that don’t line up, call Crime Stoppers @ 1-888-222-TIPS. 2. Write to your local MP, MPP or city counselors: Tell them that more must be done in our country against such heinous crimes – let them know this is important to you. 3. Educate those in your sphere of influence: Tell them that human trafficking exists in Canada and it is rampant in our world. Education is the first step. 4. Join our team: We are looking for volunteers of all kinds, and need your help! 5. Contribute financially: Your donations can be used to fund safe houses and transition homes all across the nation to ensure the rehabilitation of former victims. You can also donate toiletries and gift cards to various stores. 6. Pray: That victims will be released and restored, and that human trafficking will come to an end.
These are the free hands of a former slave. Nagaraj is one of 138 people who, with the help of IJM, were rescued from slavery in a brick kiln. As a free man, he and his family now own and operate their own brick kiln. : Photo courtesy of IJM
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
The Redeemer Fund: Preparing the Next Generation
he 2010-11 academic year marks an exciting new chapter in the history of Redeemer University College. It is the first year for our third president, Dr. Hubert Krygsman. We have a record enrolment of 915 full-time students, including the largest ever first-year class. Intensive construction activity made possible by stimulus funding and matching gifts from donors has resulted in facility improvements, including updated laboratories, security enhancements, and a renovated administrative office area that consolidates student services on the first floor in a new Welcome Centre. We thank God for His blessings! What has not changed is Redeemer’s dedication to preparing the next generation of Christian leaders. By integrating the transforming power of the gospel into every aspect of life and learning, Redeemer equips students to serve in many areas of influence, such as media, government, education, business, religion, arts and culture and family. To achieve this goal we are committed to providing: • Excellent Christ-centred university education in an environment that nurtures and equips the whole person; • Dedicated faculty to teach, mentor and engage with students on a daily basis; • Effective and current technologies and equipment to support scholarship and research initiatives; • Various types of financial aid for needy students. The value of a Redeemer education goes well beyond monetary cost. Its true value lies in the transformation that happens in students’ lives and in their impact on our world. Redeemer’s many faithful supporters - our alumni, businesses and churches and individual donors – know that carrying out such a commitment does not come cheap, and they know that as
an independent faith-based university, Redeemer does not receive government funding for the operation of the university or its programs. That is where the Redeemer Fund comes in. Each year we are able to rely on the amazing generosity of our support community to keep a Redeemer university education as affordable and accessible as possible for our students. For Redeemer to be able to continue preparing the Christian leaders of tomorrow and to benefit future students for generations to come, this year the Redeemer Fund will need over $2.2 million in gifts. Please prayerfully consider how you might contribute to Redeemer’s mission of preparing Christian leaders. Feel free to check out Redeemer’s website at www.redeemer.ca/support for more information.
Redeemer Sees Record Enrolment
t’s been a great start to the new year -- 955 full and part-time students have enrolled at Redeemer for the Fall Term. This calculates to 915 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students. In September of 2009, 918 students, representing 866 FTE, were enrolled. Both of these numbers are records for Redeemer, and well above the university’s original projection of 867 FTE students. Richard Wikkerink, Associate Vice President, Student Development and Registrar attributes the increase in part to the unique program offered at Redeemer. “There is a growing recognition of the value of our holistic approach to university education and to our integrated Christian worldview. Students from wider and increasingly diverse backgrounds are finding the type of education that we provide compelling.” Some other facts and figures regarding Redeemer’s 2010 Fall enrolment: • Of the 298 new students, 268 are first-year (freshmen); • Students at Redeemer come from 49 different denominations; • Students come from 9 different countries, 5 US states and 9 Canadian provinces (no one from Saskatchewan is enrolled at Redeemer this year); • More than 54% of first-year students were automatically awarded scholarships for outstanding academic achievements in high school. The total value of those awards alone was more than $400,000. Commenting on the numbers, President Krygsman said, “Thanks to all who worked so hard to bring these students to us. That starts with our Recruitment Team, but extends to all those on our campus who strive to make this such a wonderful, caring community. Thanks also to the students and their families for this show of confidence and support. Finally, thanks above all to God for blessing us so extravagantly. May we have the grace, strength, and inspiration to serve all of these students well.”
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
Redeemer Celebrates Reopening of Administrative Wing
our months of intense construction activity and upheaval came to an end as David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, and President Krygsman marked the reopening of the school’s administrative wing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 10.
The renovations were funded in part by the federal government through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP). “We are pleased to have the federal government partner with us on this important project,” said President Krygsman. “We also want to acknowledge our support community who gave generously to this project.”
Recruitment, the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid and Student Life are now all on the main floor, with Development, Financial Services and senior administrative offices moving to the second floor. “When this campus was built in 1985, enrolment was less than 300 students, and our facilities have not been able to keep up with the rapid growth that we experienced in the last 10 years,” noted Dr. Krygsman. “This will allow us to better serve the more than 900 students who are attending Redeemer this year.” The renovation of the administrative wing is one of the more than thirty projects undertaken with Knowledge Infrastructure Program funding as part of the Academic Complex Renewal project. Other projects that have been completed or are still in progress include the refurbishing and enhancing of several science laboratories, the installation of solar panels, and creating vestibules around the entrances to improve energy efficiency. Photos of the renovations can be found at Redeemer’s Flickr account, www.redeemer.ca/flickr.
A contemplative journey for the heart, mind & soul
A CHANGE OF KEY Be still and know that I am God... Psalm 46:10
Compline by Candlelight: “Creation” Sunday, 28 November 2010, 7:00pm Carols by Candlelight: “Incarnation” Sunday, 19 December 2010, 7:00 p.m. Compline by Candlelight: “Holy Spirit” Sunday, 23 January 2011, 7:00 p.m. Compline by Candlight: “Community” Sunday, 27 February 2011, 7:00 p.m. Compline by Candlelight: “The Saints” Sunday, 27 March 2011, 7:00 p.m. Bach by Candlelight: “The Cross” Sunday, 10 April 2011, 7:00 p.m. Freewill offering at each service Compline: A service of contemplative music, prayer and reflection at the end of the day. Themes based on “The Rhythm of Life: Celtic Daily Prayer” by David Adam Music by Compline Choir & Soloists (top): MP Sweet and President Krygsman cut the ribbon opening the new Administrative Wing; (mid): Student Senate President Joel Vansteenbergen comments on the renovated space; (bottom): Receptionist Jane Haanstra and students will greet guests to the new Welcome Centre.
MacNab Street Presbyterian Church • 116 MacNab Street South, Hamilton Minister: The Rev. Thomas J. Kay • Director of Music: Dr. Christian Teeuwsen Telephone: 905-529-6896 • www.macnabpresbyterian.com
Redeemer Orientation: A perspective from the inside The first week of university is a time of change and challenge for both the university and its students. At Redeemer, Micah van Dijk, of the Student Life Department, is responsible for developing activities and events designed to welcome students, especially first-year students, to campus. Although often synonymous with fun, orientation activities are designed with a purpose.
our years ago, when I first started as Activities and Orientation Coordinator at Redeemer, I felt I was planning a smorgasbord of events without any clear purpose. Slowly, with the help of the Student Life Department, I identified a strong vision for these events and last year we re-branded our entire program as LAUNCH.
The vision of LAUNCH is to give a complete welcome and intentional introduction to new students in four areas: their physical surroundings, their new social situation, their academic challenges and the greater community. Often these introductions were already happening, but in a fragmented and compartmentalized way. Although many of the LAUNCH activities were designed to address one of those areas, there is often overlap with all four goals. We also try to mask these goals with tonnes of fun. At all these events, LAUNCH Teams can earn points towards having their names etched into Redeemer’s version of the Stanley Cup – the Cooper Cup. Physical surroundings: This year we planned a campus-wide hunt for hidden orientation leaders. We strategically placed students in key departments and locations so that the new students were learning locations and faces while completing their mission. We also planned our social events in a variety of locations on campus, such as the Cafeteria, Black Box, Auditorium and Rec Centre, so that new students would feel more comfortable with them. Social Situation: Paradoxically, this is both the easiest and the hardest goal to accomplish. Order some food, invite the students and the fun will make itself. However, because of the diverse interests of new students, there is no formula that can ensure that all new students find their comfort level. One of the ways we addressed this was to plan a wide variety of activities so that every student can find an event with which they are comfortable. For example, this year’s events included a games night hosted by a local games store, a swing-dance evening, a rock concert, a sports night, a worship evening and
more. The one traditional social event that most students at Redeemer enjoy and remember is the mud-pit tug-of-war at the end of the week. Academics: Students receive a lot of academic information in their first few classes, but we also try to ease that transition by providing venues for students to meet professors through activities such as a new student/faculty lunch. We provide information about Learning Communities, classes, academic advising and so much more. Although new students initially interact with Student Life and student leaders, we are intentional about introducing them to the academic aspects of university life. The Greater Community: I believe that community service involving all new students during orientation was an area where Redeemer had been lacking. Last year we started a food drive in the community for the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, a Hamilton social service agency. Again this year, new students walked routes throughout the Meadowlands (the neighbourhood immediately to the north of Redeemer’s campus), collecting food in paper bags that had been dropped off the week before. This year, Redeemer students collected an amazing 6700 pounds of food for the food bank. Our MP David Sweet, who has been extremely supportive of this initiative, addressed the students before they made their rounds. The importance of the orientation program can be seen in the investment that Redeemer makes in it. One student was hired this summer to prepare for the LAUNCH events, and eight students formed the Mission Control team which hosted all the orientation events. All together, Mission Control volunteered more than 300 hours hosting, planning, and cleaning up after events. Another thirty-six students formed the LAUNCH Crew which led twelve LAUNCH Teams throughout the opening week. Faculty, staff and even a number of alumni assisted in many of the events, a recognition from the entire community of just how important it is to provide a warm, meaningful welcome to new students. However Redeemer’s orientation program still has lots of room to grow. The needs of new students are constantly changing and we must be listening, learning, and adapting so that we can meet these needs as well as to challenge new students to make decisions that will lead to a positive and God-centred university career. Micah van Dijk is the Activities & Orientation Coordinator at Redeemer.
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
A Newsworthy Project “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” - Karl Barth
his is the call that Petra Zantingh, Sessional Instructor in Art, is answering in graphic expression through The Newsworthy Project. Starting this past May, Zantingh has posted entries on her blog in which she reflects on articles she reads from a daily newspaper and from her Bible. She also interprets what she reads in the form of sketches, drawings and paintings. “I plan to create a collection of sketches and draw parallels to what I read in each. From these sketches I hope to produce paintings that encompass the things that I've learned,” she explains. Using pencil and watercolour pencils, her sketches are done on the right side of a 7.75 X 7.75 " sketchbook, along with some notations. On the left side, she tapes an excerpt of the newspaper article that inspired her. The intersection of scripture, news and visual art often leads Zantingh to wrestle with hard questions about suffering and injustice. It also leads her to praise and prayer. An entry from this past
CLEAR Continues to Grow Last year, Redeemer launched its continuing education program, CLEAR. More than 2000 participants, many of whom were new to Redeemer, took part in a host of lectures, workshops and part-time and non-degree courses. Now in its second year, CLEAR continues to attract interest. “We’ve more than doubled the number of events that we’re offering,” notes Rachel Hofing, Continuing Education Coordinator. “We’ve launched more than 40 different interest-based courses or lectures, many of which are based on some of the feedback that was received last year.” Besides the lectures, CLEAR is also sponsoring a series of cultural excursions and conferences. Response to the program also continues to grow. “There seems to be a real desire for people to take advantage of what we are offering,” says Hofing. “Registration for most events has been strong, with one event requiring a waiting list.” January marks the unofficial second half of the CLEAR calendar, and there are many activities and events that begin in the new year. Some of the highlights include: • The Faith and Social Justice Conference • Parenting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder • Trends, Traditions and Transitions in Christian Worship
summer, for example, features a sketch she created after reading three “astonishing, sensational, fantastic, and unbelievable stories” -- God coming to Elijah in a gentle whisper, the angels freeing Peter from prison and an article about the 1985 Air India crash in which 331 people were killed. “Lord, be with those whose lives are changed forever because of mistakes,” reads the last entry’s line. A graphic designer and art director, Zantingh worked in the newspaper industry before she came to Redeemer. Although she loved the newsroom, she was concerned that “only certain people get to tell public stories.” Through the Newsorthy Project, she is excited to be able to consider, through artistic expression, how perspective shapes the telling of a story and explore what it means to be a maker of culture in God’s world. You can find out more about Professor Zantingh’s The Newsworthy Project by visiting petrazantingh.blogspot.com.
After the Popcorn: Engaging Film, Engaging Culture Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts
For a complete list of all CLEAR programs, and registration information, call 905.648.2139 x4292 or visit www.redeemer.ca/CLEAR. While there, you can also sign up for the CLEAR eNewsletter, so that you can receive updates directly in our inbox.
The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) has announced that Redeemer University College will be home for Synod, the denomination’s annual assembly, in 2012. Ancaster Christian Reformed Church will be the host congregation for the week-long session, which will meet from June 9 – 16. Doreen Gringhuis, Redeemer’s Director of Campus Services, has worked with the CRCNA’s Synod Office on securing Redeemer as the venue for Synod: “Campus Services staff is excited about working with the CRCNA and is confident that Synod 2012 will be a successful experience for the delegates and guests.” More than 185 delegates, along with 21 advisors and about 50 staff and committee representatives took part in this year’s Synod at Trinity Christian College in Chicago, IL. Several hundred guests are also expected over the course of the event. Most of Synod’s deliberations will take place in Redeemer’s Auditorium. Breakout sessions and meetings will be held in the classrooms, and delegates will be housed in Redeemer’s townhouse-style residences and fed in the campus dining halls. Redeemer was the venue for Synod in 1999, and is pleased to be able to welcome the CRCNA back to campus. “There is a very strong relationship between Redeemer and the CRCNA,” notes Dr. Hubert Krygsman, Redeemer’s President. “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the denomination in this way, and we look forward to sharing with delegates all that southwestern Ontario, and Redeemer, has to offer.” One of Hamilton’s largest conference service providers, Redeemer welcomes a number of church groups each year to its campus for retreats and conferences. In 2007, more than 650 delegates of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students spent two weeks on campus for their quadrennial World Assembly.
Redeemer to Welcome CRC Synod in 2012
Comings and Goings Dr. Karen Cornies has joined Redeemer as the new Dean of Students. Karen comes to Redeemer after serving as Dean of Students at Bethany College, at The King’s University College (Edmonton), and most recently at Emmanuel Bible College. She has a wealth of experience in Student Life and Student Development and is excited to lead the Student Life department. Karen typifies the life-long learner and holds several graduate degrees, including a Masters degree in Student Development and a Doctorate of Ministry in Transformational Leadership. Her strengths are in leadership development, integration of the co-curriculum with the curriculum, sustainability, and growing community. Dr. Ryan O’Dowd, Associate Professor of Religion and Theology, has left Redeemer to take up a position at Cornell University in New York. Dr. John Bertone, who has previously taught at Concordia University and Houghton College, has been appointed as a Sessional Instructor in the Religion and Theology Department. Redeemer was disappointed to learn that it will not be possible to get the government authorization required to allow Dr. Gewn hi Park to come to Canada from the United States and to take up a position in our Psychology Department. Redeemer will continue the search to fill the vacancy in this department. Michelle Drew, who has been a big part of developing content for both Tangents and the Redeemer’s website, has left to take up a communications position at the Immigration Women’s Centre in downtown Hamilton. Her contributions will be missed (especially by the team putting together this magazine!)
Golf Tournament Nears Quarter-Million Raised for Scholarships The Fifth Annual Redeemer University College Golf Tournament was another wonderful success. More than $60,000 was raised for student scholarships this year, pushing the total to almost $250,000 over the 5 years that the tournament has been held. Held again at Copetown Woods Golf Club, this year’s tournament featured 132 golfers, a wide range of generous sponsors and donors, an enjoyable dinner program and a time of fellowship in the evening. It was also a great opportunity for President Krygsman to meet a wide cross-section of our supporting community and others in a relaxed summer setting. One of the unique aspects of the tournament is the use of tee-hosts from a variety of administrative departments at Redeemer. Several guests commented on how enjoyable it was to see the range of people who work at Redeemer, and on the warm reception they received at every hole. “A special word of thanks goes to all our colleagues for their participation in making this event a unique showcase for Redeemer in the broader community,” says Bill van Staalduinen, Vice President (Advancement). “And most importantly, thanks to our golfers, sponsors and donors for their generous support of our students.” Photos and information about next year’s tournament can be found at www.redeemer.ca/golf.
TANGENTS | JUNE 2010
Elizabeth Doxtader and some the dolls that she uses to tell stories of her life and her people’s culture.
Local Six Nations Storyteller shares history to preserve it
By Michelle Drew
everal years ago, Elizabeth Doxtader, a storyteller from the First Nations of the Grand River First Nations was hit by a truck in a head-on collision. She had long and difficult recovery. During these bedridden months, Doxtader, spent her days crafting corn husk dolls that were used in narrating many of the First Nations traditional stories. This summer, with these corn husk creations in hand, Doxtader visited Redeemer’s Storytelling class to tell students about the impact of the art of storytelling—not only on her life, but on the endurance of her culture. In traditional oral culture, storytellers were responsible for upholding the values and history of the people and were known as the knowledge base for the community. Today, Doxtader finds profound significance in being a storyteller and understands it as an essential role in her community. She began telling stories while the residential schools were still closing in Canada and has since continued to share her First Nations experience through storytelling. “It was illegal for First Nations people to tell stories or express indigenous culture,” said Doxtader, demonstrating the importance of storytelling enduring today. “This is a country where the public has never learned that we couldn’t own land, hire a lawyer, or leave the reserve without a permit. This is not ancient history; this happened in my lifetime.” She also shared how she now finds significance in sharing not only traditional stories, but also stories from Canada’s often ignored colonial record. “I think it is important for Redeemer to know who its neighbours are,” says Professor Louter of Redeemer’s Theatre Department, who organized the visit. “That is the question Jesus floats in the story of the Good Samaritan. It is
especially important in our context because our neighbours are oppressed. We are the beneficiaries of this oppression. All of these things we now take for granted came at a price.” At Redeemer, Louter hopes to see more storytelling, more discussion, and more invitations to people of Six Nations to come and talk about their experience. He would like them to “feel that the door is open wide and that they can come speak here and share their stories.” “My hope for Redeemer is that we will engage more people, be open to more surprises and build alliances. Institutionally, we should stand up and call injustice what it is. The Haldimand Tract needs to be looked at. There needs to be some compensation to Six Nations with no strings attached. There is only one thing we can’t do: and that is to give up, to despair.” Redeemer’s Storytelling class was originally created by Professor Louter and former education professor Johanna Kuyvenhoven in order to bring a wider appeal to the theatre courses. This summer, it was taught as a two week intensive course by Louter and was primarily attended by teachers looking to upgrade their credentials. Louter is encouraged that it has already proven itself to be a transformative way for students to engage the experiences and culture of others. “Having Elizabeth come speak is just one thing that we did,” says Louter. “But if that’s all it is, then she is a storyteller who came and did what we asked her and said goodbye. But something more than that happened; you can’t hear a story of someone’s culture and life, her joy and her suffering, and not react to it. And the students were deeply moved.”
Graduate Receives Major Award
Joel Faber with English professors Deborah Bowen and Benne Faber
Redeemer graduate Joel Faber ‘10 has been awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship worth $17,500. The Canada Graduate Scholarship is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), which seeks “to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students in the social sciences and humanities who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.“ Applicants for the scholarship “must have achieved a first-class average, as determined by [their] university, in each of the last two years of full-time study.” Faber will be pursuing his Master’s degree in English at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
RAMP Kicks Off The Alumni Office partnered with the Psychology Learning Community to kick off the new year with a career/education exploration evening on September 28. The event brought together 30 students from across the years and six alumni working in diverse careers in the field of Psychology for dinner and conversation. One student wrote, “The event was very enjoyable and certainly a help to students in terms of applicable information on potential education/career decision.”
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
The Redeemer Alumni Association Report
nticipation, excitement, development—these are a few of the words that come to mind when thinking about Redeemer these days. Be it through a new president, announcements of grants, record enrolment levels, or continued and increased support and involvement from the greater community (which is certainly inclusive of our ever growing group of Alumni), God continues to show His faithfulness to Redeemer and to create the context which causes us to think of such words and to be thankful. With this as the backdrop, it is with great enthusiasm that we as the Alumni Council reconvened this year to re-position and re-energize ourselves to be in the best spot possible to achieve our mission of building relationships that foster community. In order to do this in the upcoming year, the Council will be involved in a number of initiatives and communications aimed at building relationships between alumni, students, Redeemer faculty and administration and our community. Some of these include: hosting alumni events (such as reDiscover Redeemer), hosting RAMP (Redeemer Alumni Mentorship Program – where Alumni meet with current students for career mentorship), sponsoring one Leadership Award and two Leadership Bursaries through the Redeemer Alumni Association Student Awards Program (RAASAP), distributing alumni e-newsletters, evaluating our current structure in conjunction with our relationship with the University, and reviewing our brand for marketing purposes. Now that you know some of the specifics about what we are engaged in, we would ask that you as our fellow Alumni renew your commitment to come alongside us in our joint mission to build relationships that foster community. First and foremost, the Council asks for your prayers so that we might be wise in our decisions and actions as representatives of all Redeemer Alumni. In addition, where you are able, we also ask that you join us by promoting Redeemer and its Alumni in your communities, keeping in contact with us, sharing your news and developments and providing us with any feedback or new ideas. Finally, where it is possible and you feel called to do so, please consider volunteering for mentoring opportunities, attending Alumni sponsored events and contributing financially to ensure the sustainability of RAASAP. Please note that if you are interested in learning more or would like to get in touch with us you can do so by contacting the Alumni Office at Redeemer or by obtaining contact information at the Alumni website. We look forward with a great deal of eagerness to hearing from you and to continuing this journey with you! Nathaniel VandenDool ‘08 President, Alumni Council 2010-2011
Redeemer Alumni Association
Alumni Council 2010/2011: Nathaniel VandenDool ’08, President Bill DeJong ‘93, Vice-President Jack VanDorp ’06, Secretary Brian Harskamp ’04, Board of Governors Rep Margaret Gassanov ’00, Academic Senate Rep Nathan Martin ’11, Student Senate Rep Valerie Louter ’95, Alumni Office Rep
Members-at-Large: Vanessa Chiang ’05 Sharon Vander Meulen ’89 Jen deVries ’01 Matt Byl ‘06 Leanne Van Bostelen ‘00 Rod DeKoter ‘88 We are pleased to welcome 4 new Council members: Leanne Van Bostelen graduated in 2000 with a Religion major. She completed her BEd. in 2009. Leanne teaches at a Christian high school in Hamilton. She and her husband Wade live in Brantford. Matt Byl ’06 was a Physical Education major. He and his wife Tiffany are active in the Hamilton community and are the proud parents of Elijah. Rod DeKoter graduated in 1988 with a Biology major. After working in Cincinnati for several years, Rod, his wife Marietta and their family have settled in the London area. He works in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Western Ontario. Nathan Martin ’11 is our Student Senate Representative. He has a double major in Political Science and History and plans to teach Political Science at the university level.
15th Annual Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament On a gorgeous late summer day, 67 eager golfers arrived at Knollwood Golf Club in Ancaster for an early morning start. The 15th Annual AFGT saw a significant increase in the number of golfers from last year and in the number of women golfers (8). After an enthusiastic round of play and with energy restored by a delicious barbecue buffet, golfers were ready to receive greetings and a brief University update from President Hubert Krygsman. Our tournament concluded with giving some praise to the star golfers of the day. Greg Vanwingerden took the prize for the Longest Drive contest and Ron Oppertshauser ‘93 for Closest to the Pin. A new foursome to the tournament thrilled all by coming in with a score of 10 under par – congratulations to Ron Steiginga, Karl Vander Meulen, Mike Lyklama and John Dorsman! We’re looking forward to next year’s tournament scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011. Mark your calendar!
Hamilton Fringe Festival Features Alumni and Student
he Hamilton Fringe Festival is intentionally informal, inexpensive, and accessible, aiming to break down traditional boundaries between audience and performer. The 11-day unjuried theatre festival is rooted in a philosophy encouraging companies of all sizes to participate, empowering emerging artists to take the stage.
Among the emerging artists at this summer’s festival were a number of alumni and a current student from the Redeemer theatre program. The End was written by alumna Sara Weber-Van Barneveld, while inbetween.places was co-written by alumni Ryan M. Sero and Aaron Joel Craig and directed by Scott Fairley under their company name, make.art.theatre. The Ontario Arts Review credits inbetween.places as being “clever, imaginative and fast-moving.” The play focuses on an office-worker who has given up on his dream of writing and is visited during the night by four strange beings who claim that they want to help him recapture his childhood aspirations. Among the cast were alumni Kaitlyn McGee and Joy Johnson as well as fourth-year student Steve Siemens.
THE E By Sara
The Ontario Arts Review credits inbetween.places as being “clever, imaginative and fast-moving.”
The End is a story of a married couple expecting their first child. As they are approaching the critical time of delivery, their marriage has also reached an impasse. Fringe critic Tom Mackan notes, “[Weber’s] latest work, The End, reinforces her command of dialogue and situation… I can recommend this production wholeheartedly to Fringe audiences for its uncanny grasp of how marriages evolve, and particularly as to how they devolve, as in deteriorate.” Theatre Professor Ray Louter has been encouraged by Redeemer’s increasing presence in the Hamilton theatre community. He notes, “People are seeing students and alumni doing good work and are impressed by it. They will say to me: ‘Oh, there are a lot of people from Redeemer; you must be doing something right.’ They are creating good work and it is pleasurable to watch. I am honoured to see them become good, professional artists.”
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
“These stories deal with both the rundown aspects of our humanity, but also with the redeeming love that can hold a community together when tragedies threaten to make it crumble.” – Samuel Martin
he spotlight drew the attention of the audience to man perched on a stool, dressed in a red plaid shirt. Introductions had been completed, and welcoming applause proffered. He opened his book and began to read. On September 20, 2010, alumnus Sam Martin ’05 visited Redeemer’s campus, the place which cultivated his passion for creative writing. He shared a story from his book, This Ramshackle Tabernacle, published earlier this year, holding the interest of the audience with witty humour braided with the “serious stuff” of religion, tragedy, and relationship in the lives of characters with all too recognizable personalities and relatable struggles. The collection of short stories is set in and around the fictional villages of St. Lola and St. Olga in northeastern Ontario and took Martin on a nineyear journey from start to publication. Martin shared with the audience that once the stories were completed, he submitted his manuscript to smaller publishing houses across the country with no positive result. Undaunted, Martin presented his work to Breakwater Books, not 30 minutes from his home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where This Ramshackle Tabernacle finally found it’s home. When the floor was opened to questions, Sam gave insight into how he wrote, why he wrote and sharing about his hard road to publication. After an engaging time of questions and discussion, Sam left the audience wanting more with a selection from Crafty Old Dragon. Here is a taste: And when she reaches the doorway to the dining room Dick stuffs the cracker into his mouth, forgetting about the swig of tobacco juice stewing behind his lips. Brown spit dribbles down Dick’s unshaven, stubbly chin as he faces the Dragon with his cheeks puffed out like a greedy chipmunk. Everything in Dick’s body tells him to spew but when Vicky takes another step towards him he swallows. His face immediately blanches white and he feels the gears in his stomach flipping to reverse. But he swallows hard and blinks away a few tears as he watches the Dragon puff herself up, he thinks, to belch sulphur and spit brimstone. Maria Geertsema ’12 is an English major at Redeemer, and Valerie Louter ’95 is Redeemer’s Alumni Director.
This Ramshackle Tabernacle is available at the Redeemer Campus Book Store and online at chapters.indigo.ca and breakwaterbooks.com. For an in-depth interview with Sam Martin, visit The Bookshelf at www.redeemer.ca/english.
CLOSING THE CIRCLE
Around the Corner H
ere’s a look at upcoming events and activities at Redeemer. For updates and more detailed information, please visit the News and Events section of Redeemer’s website at www.redeemer.ca.
Redeemer’s Arts and Culture Calendar is on the back cover of Tangents, and at www.redeemer.ca/arts.
10th Annual Business Community Open House Celebrating 10 years of partnering students with businesses Thursday, November 25, 2010 from 4:30 PM - 6:30 pm Discover why businesses are partnering with Redeemer at the 10th Annual Business Community Open House. This business event, sponsored by the City of Hamilton, Economic Development Department, brings businesses together to discover unique partnerships which impact students’ lives through scholarship and bursary sponsorships, co-op placements, research projects, and the hiring of new graduates. To RSVP or to reserve an exhibit space, please contact Janet McKenzie in the Advancement Office, either by phone, at 905.648.2139 x4493, or via email at email@example.com r 25, ovembe day, N Thurs p.m. sinesses 25, ber 0 Novem day, m local bu students, 6:3 Thurs 4:30 exhibits fro and
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The World and Our Calling January 12, 2011 Dr. Steven Garber, Director of the Washington Institute, will be the featured speaker at this year’s lecture series. Dr. Gerber will explore the way faith and vocation and culture fit together. All are invited to this free event. A Fistschrift for Theo Plantinga January 21, 2011 Former Redeemer faculty member Dr. Plantinga carried to Canada a brand of Calvinism that had begun to flourish in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Netherlands. Those topics of which he taught as a philosopher at Redeemer University College for a quarter of a century, in philosophy of history, hermeneutics, ethics, worldview, Christian education, and others, are covered in a book of essays called Reformational Thought In Canada: Essays In Honour of Theodore Plantinga. The book, authored by colleagues, friends and former students, and edited by one of his students, Dr. Jason Zuidema, will be launched at an event that will also celebrate his life.
TANGENTS | FALL 2010
REDEEMER UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
ARTS & CULTURE
at Redeemer Redeemer University College is home to a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Poetry readings, theatre productions, concerts and art exhibits are all part of our dynamic and creative community. Contact Redeemer’s Box Office at 905.648.2139 x4211 or visit www.ticketwindow.ca for tickets. A complete event listing can be found at www.redeemer.ca/arts.
Theatre Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas An all-seeing narrator invites the audience to listen to the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of an imaginary small Welsh village. November 23, 1:00 pm (preview) November 24-27, 7:30 pm Can You See Me Yet? By Timothy Findley A look at life within an Ontario asylum in 1938, in a world on the brink of a war. March 22 at 1:00 pm (preview) March 23-26, 7:30 pm
VISUAL ART Exhibits are located in the Art Gallery on the second floor. The Gallery is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and admission is free.
Clothed Like These: Images Of Divine Affection Semaphore Institute artists celebrate the organic architecture of the creation. Curated by James Tughan. October 30 – Nov 26, 2010
POETRY & BOOK READINGS All the readings listed below are free.
Ken Babstock November 25, 2010, 4:30 pm* Jeanette Lynes January 27, 2011, 4:30 pm* David O’Meara February 17, 2011, 4:30 pm* Evelyn Lau April 7, 2011, 4:30 pm*. *Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts and the Hamilton Poetry Centre
MUSIC Faculty Artist Concert November 5, 7:30 pm The performing faculty of Redeemer, along with the Redeemer Sinfonia will present a gala concert of inspiring music. Christmas Kaleidoscope December 4, 7:30 pm Redeemer presents its large and small ensembles and student soloists in a colourful collage of music to bring in the season. Sinfonia Chamber Concert February 4, 7:30 pm The Sinfonia orchestra presents an evening of chamber music including our resident piano trio, Amis Musicaux.
Senior Student Fall Exhibition Works by graduating art students Aaron Both and Rubi Garyfalakis December 3 - January 8, 2011
Concert Choir Home Concert April 1, 7:30 pm The touring choir of Redeemer University presents an evening of beautiful music.
Fire Is Not The Only Story Works by Phil Irish www.philirish.com January 13 - February 26, 2011
Sinfonia Masterworks April 8, 7:30 pm The Sinfonia presents its yearly masterworks concert featuring student soloists in concerto performances.
Forget-Me-Nots Works by Tina Newlove www.tinanewlove.com March 4 - April 2, 2011 Senior Student Spring Exhibition Work by graduating art students Scott Aasman, Bonnie-Lee Ross and Stephen Siemens April 9 - May 6, 2011
777 Garner Road East, Ancaster, ON L9K 1J4 T. 905.648.2131 | F. 905.648.2134 | 1.877.779.0913