Readers Share Their Thoughts

Post a Comment » Written on April 3rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (April 3, 2007) – Hardly a week goes by that we do not receive a few comments from readers on stories published as part of the Covenant online news report.

We will share from time to time some of those responses generated through the “comments” link attached to each published story. This kind of feedback is very helpful to our Covenant News Service staff as we seek to identify and publish stories of great interest to a broad spectrum of online readers of this report.

Following are comments relating to recently published stories, edited in some cases for length. To read a particular story of interest, search for the headline.

Spring Break for NPU Students – It’s About People, Not Parties

Sterling Mueller of Des Plaines, IL, writes: Good story. We know first-hand what our college students can do. For the last three to four years, I have worked with the NPU students at the Covenant Mountain Mission Bible Camp in Jonesville, Virginia. What great work they do. Sure saves an old man from a lot of aches and pain. Wonderful to work with someone with all their energy and willingness. The men of Schaumburg Covenant love to spend the week working with them.

Covenanters Reported Safe Amid Congo Violence

Kim Aliczi of Vernon, CT, writes: Curt Peterson was scheduled to be our guest speaker Sunday morning (3/25), but the congregation was instead informed of his unfortunate situation. I think that because it impacted our planned Sunday morning, we were all made aware in a stark “wake-up-call” sort of way just how dangerous overseas mission work can be. It helped us understand the heart of those whom God calls to the ministry of missions, and the ongoing need for both financial and prayer support. I hope Curt realizes that even in his absence, he profoundly communicated the importance and urgency of world missions.

Marilyn Moore of Somerville, MA, writes: We have followed with great interest and much prayer. We are grateful for God’s provision for men we have met and for whom we have respect. We continue to pray for Congo and peace to be present at all times. We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Congo.

Covenant Pension Plan Benefits to Increase April 1

Dean R. Erickson of Spring Valley, CA, writes: Thanks so much. We really need this increase to keep going here. God has answered our prayers. We have a wonderful group of financial men who are taking care of us. God bless you all.

J. Curtis Jennings of Longview, TX, writes: Thank you and God bless you.

Trip to Israel Broadens Perspective for One Covenant Pastor

Jim Bates of New York, NY, writes: Very informative and causes me to continue to pray for peace in Jerusalem. I was wondering if Pastor Anderle met with any Jewish believers and attended their services while in Israel, and had an opportunity to talk with them about Israel.

Unusual Art Provides Fresh Insight into Lent

Ruth Peterson of Lindsborg, KS, writes: Thanks. The Lindsborg Covenant Church has had a sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. A paper banner was made by Shelly Carlson using the Lord’s Prayer as the frame, including words from Jesus’ sermon. It has been a powerful work of art for us to contemplate each week.

Mary Gingrich of Wilmette, IL, writes: I really enjoyed seeing this article. At Winnetka Covenant we are trying to find ways to generate interest in the visual arts.

CBC Offers Additional Insight into Decision to Close

Rebecca Strand of Newcastle, WA, writes: In reading this story, I feel your pain at closing. Perhaps a change to a multicultural setting . . . would work. Young people are looking and searching. When they study, they come back to Jesus Christ.

Nancy Reed of La Coruña, Spain, writes: Thank you for the explanatory letter. I’m glad that in the Covenant “we can agree to disagree.” May I disagree that the “current form (of CBC) has outlived its effectiveness.” There are thousands of graduates of CBC who have shown how very effective the program is. There are even 250 Latin American young adult leaders that have lived the discipleship experience during six weeks who are effectively serving. It is interesting to see what graphs say and don’t say. The first graph in Paul Lessard’s letter shows that there were less than 60 students in CBC up until 1997. What happened in 1997? In 1998 the new Strathmore campus was opened. There was a jump in enrollment. There were already more than 60 students who had enrolled for the 2007-2008 school year. It still saddens me to think that there were that many students interested in CBC, and the school is closing. Although the lack of dollars seems to prove a salient point, somehow it seems that we just didn’t “care enough” to see the program go forward.

Bob Songer of Salina, KS, writes: Our hearts and prayers go out to all at CBC who have worked so hard in the past bringing young people to the Lord. Especially to Brian and Lenora Friable, who my family knows and loves dearly. Much of my strength in the Lord can be attributed to experiences with them and the young people in our church years ago. Our last contact we had with them was at the Covenant annual meeting at Keystone a few years ago. I know they loved bringing their young girls up in the area around CBC. I think I read that they would be given the opportunity for relocation in the Covenant (a definite asset to the Covenant Church). They are an “AWSOME” family.

Dave Ericson of Maple Grove, MN, writes: I understand. However, why can’t the Covenant denomination subsidize the school through assessments? I believe all Covenant churches are expected to help support North Park University. This is truly a mission and should be the responsibility of the denomination.

Linda Chandler of Wasilla, AK, writes: We have been sponsoring a child in Quito through a Christian children’s organization. We had hoped that she might be able to go to CBC if she got her education. Now where is that hope? Why can’t costs be cut, but not the whole program? Very Sad.

Danny Martinez of Los Angeles, CA, writes: I feel sad about CBC closing. I had hopes for my son Eric to attend in the fall of 2008. After visiting, I realized how special the school really is and its wonderful staff. CBC will be sorely missed.

Pastor Interrupted, Told to Sit and Listen

Nancy Reed of La Coruña, Spain, writes: Congratulations, Bruce. How great. Wow! Twenty-five years of service. Loving greetings from Jerry and Nancy.

Brian Barsalou of Surrey, BC, writes: Very touching. What a lift!

Memorial Service Tuesday for Kathryn “Kay” Sundstrand

Dean Erickson of Spring Valley, CA, writes: Kay Sundstrand was a beautiful person from the inside out. My wife Donna and I enjoyed several years of being her neighbor in the Mount Miguel Covenant Retirement Center. She was always happy to see everyone and always had a smile on her face. We will miss her.

Marian Johnson of Golden Valley, MN, writes: I have to respond to Susan Olander who remembered handing hot fudge sundaes to Kay through the screen. I didn’t know that this had been a long-time treat for Kay. While Kay was living in Kinshasa, and I went to buy books and other supplies for our bookstore “up country,” we just had to go and have a “dame blanche.” When our favorite place closed, we hunted for another, which wasn’t easy and never the same. It was just as wonderful for me to be with Kay “in retirement” as it was for you in her beginning years of ministry, I’m sure.

Gidai Duale of Nottingham, UK, writes: Miss Kay was among missionaries who were very committed to their work in Congo. She was and still is a good example of faith and love, working hard for us in Congo. Her latest work on religion books will continue to be a great blessing for generations. May she rest in peace.

Older Stories

Occasionally we receive comments about stories published some time ago. Most often, readers come across them while topically perusing search engines or when visiting the online Covenant News Archive maintained by Covenant News Service. We appreciate reader comments at any time about any story that has appeared as part of our online Covenant news report.

Miericke Stepping Down – ‘Time for Younger Leadership’

Mick Murphy of  Hutchinson, MN, writes: While I applaud the ministry of Kurt Miericke, I was disturbed at his reason – that he was stepping down because it was time for “younger leadership.” I talked to Kurt about this because I felt this kind of statement makes it hard on older pastors who are trying to make a move to a different parish – and can’t because of what might be perceived to be an age bias that is growing. As the article pointed out, Kurt shepherded the conference through many changes, including hurricanes and tornadoes. While others were losing their heads, Kurt kept his. I would like to think that was experience talking in his life – and experience, not always but often, comes with the simple act of gracious aging. In a youth-obsessed culture, gracious aging is an art and even a gift. Perhaps someday the Companion will address this issue. For now, however, Kurt is to be celebrated, not because he is stepping aside for younger leadership, but because he has paved the way for effective leadership, no matter what the age.

Unexpected Illness Opens Unexpected Door

Lucas Mackasmiel of Blackasburg, VA, writes: I agree with the story that misdiagnosis of diseases in developing countries may be contributing to more deaths than is being realized. Most of the people involved in treatment of diseases in small clinics do not have adequate training or instruments to help in accurate diagnoses. In most cases, children have died because they were treated for malaria instead of measles – the same occurs in malaria versus typhoid treatments. I therefore believe that those people in the developed countries who are trying to help the poor in the developing world should buy these diagnostic kits and ship them through missionaries or governments. Science with a Mission is doing a good job that should be supported by anybody who is passionate about helping the “poorest of the poor” in third world countries. Remember, we are all God’s children!

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