Readers Share Their Thoughts

Post a Comment » Written on December 28th, 2007     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (December 28, 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, click on the headline.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Joey Ekberg of Chicago, IL, writes: What a wonderful gift it was to me, and a true example of how Christ would have us spend our Advent energy. God bless you.

Flora Van Vranken of Bemidji, MN, writes: This gave me much to think about. Often at
Thanksgiving I give thanks to God for special people in my life, and occasionally I send a thank you to them. But this is such a good way to remember just how God has blessed me with these special people and their gifts. Such a little thing to do, but it will bring joy to others and to me. I will begin to pray that God will bring these people and their gifts to my memory. Thank you for your gift to me of this idea.

Covenanter’s New Book to Benefit Health Clinic in Haiti
Paul Lessard of Strathmore, AB, writes: It is excellent and the artwork outstanding.

Jackson Retiring After 30 Years as SCH Chaplain
Bill Bowen of Chicago, IL, writes: A very good story on Steve Jackson. Years ago, I attended classes for a few weeks (forgot the title) for laypersons on visiting in-patients. We had a book that stated something like “90 percent of the job is just showing up!” It was led by Roger Nelson, Ruthanne Werner, and Steve Jackson. We learned that compassion in the heart is enhanced by compassion in action. We expressed can-do attitudes. At the end, we were to accompany the chaplain as visits were made to new in-patients. My visits were with Steve. That was one day many years ago. I admired his sense of readiness, his calm, his open approach. Last week we chatted in passing. The calm, the readiness, the openness is still there. Guess it always will be.

Glen Heikes of Lindsborg, KS, writes: Steve! This brings back memories. You were very instrumental in our going to seminary and then on to the mission field. You invited me to go with you to Kansas City. Some of the seminary professors were there to present the seminary to those interested in going. On the way back you asked me if I would be interested in going to Chicago to attend the Conference on the Ministries (1971-1972).
I got the time off of work to go and you found the money for me to make the trip to Chicago. The next September I was in Chicago with my family, attending the seminary. You are a very important part of who I am and where I am. Thanks to you, Steve, for your part.

Mike Gillett of Woodstock, CT, writes: Thank you for being faithful to your calling. The chaplaincy can have many moments of severe emotional drainage. But I know you have been a blessing to many. Look forward to hearing about the next chapter God has in store for you.

Minnesota Youth Treated to ‘Wisdom of Age’
Dennis Carlson of Farmington Hills, MI, writes: Great story. Just wish we could have heard a little bit more. One of the women, Lillian Larson, in particular is amazing, still going strong at over 100 years of age. At an even 100 she would still write a letter to us as missionaries with details and reflective comments that shows she hasn’t lost a thing. Plus, her penmanship puts my whole family to shame! Another one (Doreen Lundeed I believe) is over 90 and served with my in-laws out in Congo in the early days of the work there. We served Little Falls for eight months during the 1991-92 evacuation from Zaire and have the fondest of memories of that wonderful congregation.

Refugees Express Their Love for ‘Mom Pam’
David Wenell of Surrey, BC, writes: Pam (as well as Bob) are wonderful examples of people who live out their faith. The blessing of that extends around the world.

Patti Iverson of Medford, OR, writes: I am truly proud of your wonderful church with elastic walls that stretch out to encompass everyone – sharp ears to hear God’s voice, deep pockets to share God’s blessings, big hearts that let the Holy Spirit in you slosh out all over the place. And best of all, you love our sister, Pam, and her wonderful husband, Bob. God had his magnificent plan to put all of you together! Keep on in him!

Kernals of Hope Collects Record Total for Aid to Liberia
Robert Huse of Strathmore, AB, writes: This is one of the best kept secrets the Covenant has for World Relief. Glad we could be a part of it.

Charles White of Colorado Springs, CO, writes: Great story. I will be passing this on to a friend who will be heading to Liberia in January 2008.

Record Class Honored During CHET Graduation
Katherine Shank
of Tacoma, WA, writes: Praise the Lord! Sure wish I could of been there. I am proud to be part of this wonderful denomination!

New Chaplain Installed During CHET Ceremonies
Wendy Batstone of Moorpark, CA, writes: Flor’s story is one I’ve heard piece by piece, since I’m a friend of hers. But it’s wonderful to see it all together in print. I thank God for Flor. Even this story cannot really illustrate her intense commitment to our Lord Jesus and joy in serving him!

Colorado Shooting Victim Had Ties to Covenant Family
Marilyn and Gene Grenat of Lafayette, IN, write: Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those who were injured as well as the families of the injured and killed. John Martz used to be our minister here in Lafayette, and the minute I heard the news I wondered if he might have known any of the victims. It’s very tragic and we are so sorry and offer our prayers for strength and some sort of peace from our heavenly Father. Many condolences from our Covenant family here in Lafayette.

Jeanie Patterson of PA writes: Only by the grace of God was my grandson not there and shot or killed also – he arrived home to see family before an overseas trip. He has said that much the media writes is not correct, as he is now back in Arvada with his students. But people have already accepted Jesus as Savior in the midst of this tragedy. He truly is Lord of all – life and death.

Eric Hedberg of Chicago, IL, writes: Another one of the shooting victims at YWAM grew up at Bethany Covenant Church in Richfield, Minnesota. His mother took care of my brother and I after school.

Gil Friesen of Westminster, CO, writes: North Park University President David Parkyn and his wife, Linda, fill in for YWAM staff at Christ Community Covenant Church in Arvada. A YWAM staff representative was scheduled to speak to the High Impact (youth) worship service on Sunday morning at Christ Community Covenant Church (4Cs) in Arvada. Needless to say, no one showed up. The Parkyns were in Colorado for Linda’s scheduled presentation to the annual Ladies Tea on Saturday at 4Cs. They were also planning to present North Park University to the youth as an opportunity for them to consider. The service, under the leadership of Amanda Kingry, 4Cs youth pastor, became a memorial service for the fallen YWAM missionaries. The YWAM office where the slayings occurred is a couple of miles from 4Cs. The Parkyns were both able to share some meaningful thoughts about death and grieving from their own personal experiences.

Covenanters Help Lead Worship During AIDS Conference
Paula Coyle of Hutchinson, MN, writes: Does the Evangelical Covenant Church have any discernment whatsoever anymore? Seems like no stupid thing Rick Warren (or other popular false teachers) does is looked at critically by the Covenant anymore. Ichabod!

Veteran Chaplain Helps Other Nations Develop Programs
Douglas Johnson of Chicago, IL, writes: Bernie and Esther Windmiller are a most remarkable couple with a global witness for Christ. They have represented the Evangelical Covenant Church with distinction in some very challenging situations. God bless the Windmillers!

Challenge: How to Better Connect Seminaries, Churches
Carol Lytch of Pittsburgh, PA, writes: We at ATS look forward to Steve Graham’s leadership and are grateful to North Park for giving him experience as a dean and for cultivating in him the skills that will enable him to serve the wider community of theological education. This appointment is a compliment to North Park as well as to Steve.

Willie O. Peterson of Coppell, TX, writes: It’s exciting to see the gifts and influence of Stephen extended in his new and important role with ATS. Having worked closely with him, albeit for a short time, I say his departure represents a significant resource loss to the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Lois Guertin of Cranston, RI, writes: The local connection with the seminary is vital to a healthy view of the importance of this training. One thing done years ago (when Rob Reed was in seminary) was to assign a student to a local church for prayer support. Rob was assigned to our church. This was very effective in connecting our small congregation to Chicago in a meaningful way – perhaps the first step for many individuals to realize the importance of seminary training and our commitment to prayer! We continue to uphold Rob and Nancy in prayer.

Jim Black of Boynton Beach, FL, writes: Steve, congratulations on your new position. Thank you for your service at NPTS – you had a great influence on my life and ministry. And thanks, too, for the passing grade in Church History (if ever grace was extended . . .)!

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.

Men’s Soccer Team Earns Academic Award
Hollis Bensen of Greensboro, NC, writes: What a great story about scholar/athletes. North Park should be very proud of its men’s soccer program.

Showing Christ’s Love – One Tile At a Time
Jim Black of Boynton Beach, FL, writes: Good job, men of Dearborn! You have connected the Gospel to real needs, and that is the hope for the future of the Church. You don’t need me to tell you this, but when you see Jesus, I’m guessing that you will hear something like this: “Well done . . .”

Phil Carlson of Golden Valley, MN, writes: What a great story! A wonderful idea, which may well be picked up in many other Covenant churches!

Mike Gillett of Woodstock, CT, writes: I have thought that this type of ministry would be very attractive to the men. Thanks for sharing the story.

Special Needs Camp Broadens Focus for 2008
Sheli Hayes of Warrenville, IL, writes: Wow! As a lifelong Covenanter, I’d never heard of Covenant Enabling Residences. As a parent of a bipolar child and also of a quadriplegic child, I’d love to learn more about these ministries. How can we make these – the Thrive camp and other special needs ministries – more visible within the denomination? This is such an underserved group, and the single largest unchurched group in the world!

Marilyn Grenat of Lafayette, IN, writes: This is a really nice idea! Families who do have special needs kids at home (without a group home) need a break, and so do the kids. Camp is always a wonderful idea for special kids. We have them here locally as well and they’re a big hit. I’ve always loved Covenant Harbor and went there 50 years ago, and so did my kids 20-plus years ago. My son, while at North Park University, did his internship at Covenant Harbor, and one of my daughters worked there a summer while she was in high school, so our family knows it’s a beautiful place for families to spend time. God bless you for having a vision for these kids and their families.

Journey to Mosaic Filled With ‘Unplanned Moments’
Thomas Robinson of Renton, WA, writes: It does a body good to see that the vision for the Northwest J2M has finally formed legs and has been such a rich time for all involved. As someone who has participated in past Sankofas and J2M, each experience brings its own story. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey.

Services Pending for Dr. Jerry Mosby
Molissa Wheeler
of Baltimore, MD, writes: There simply are no words that can express the loss we are feeling now. Jerry was a very special uncle to me. I am convinced that heaven has been enriched because of his presence there. Until we meet again.

Advent Devotion: Keeping Our Hearts Focused on God
Howard White of Portland, OR, writes: This was a warm and reassuring story of God’s grace and the lasting effects of a grandfather’s faith and example. It was just what I needed on the first Sunday of Advent.

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