Readers Share Their Thoughts

Post a Comment » Written on November 20th, 2008     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (November 20, 2008) – 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.

North Park Gospel Choir Has Audience On Its Feet

Mary Bevis of Plymouth, MN, writes: Will the group be making a CD? Some of my favorite CDs are by the Olso Gospel Choir. I would love to have one from the North Park University Gospel Choir.

Elizabeth Norfrey
of Charlottesville, VA, writes: My daughter, Lisa, is a member of the gospel choir and the smaller ensemble. She is preparing to graduate in December, but convinced me to make the trip from Virginia for this special event. I was so blessed by the worship, witness and music. As a music minister, I also enjoyed the choral and piano master classes. It was a wonderful parental moment to watch my daughter full of joy as she sang this concert. Thank you North Park!

Terrance Woodson of Duncanville, TX, writes: Thanks so much for the article. I wish I could have been there. Was a DVD made of the event? It makes me proud to be part of the Covenant.

Homes Lost, Montecito Church Threatened by Fire

Lylas Klasen of Hector, MN, writes: My husband, Tom, and I minister at Palmyra Covenant Church in rural Hector, Minnesota. We and our church are praying for you and the areas where we have seen fire devastation in California. Trust in the Lord – he’s in charge anyway. Believe all will be well, and God will take care of you. We cannot imagine what you are all going through. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Covenanters Urged to Sign Congo Peace Petition

Marjorie Ramgren of Minneapolis, MN, writes: May God bless all the efforts for lasting peace in Congo.

Henrietta Conway of Emerald Hills, CA, writes: I plead for peace in the Congo and a halt to all violence and harmful behavior that violates the rights of innocent people.

Two Wary Pastors Tell Why They Joined the Covenant

Sue Rode of San Diego, CA, writes: How wonderful an example of how big our God is! He wants to reach all people and these pastors are bringing God to their congregations in a biblically and theologically sound way to answer their needs in Christ. We all benefit from the way the Covenant is maintained in our own churches because we seek to see “where is it written?” . . . the bible!

No Bible Story Allowed? Church Nixes Zoo Event

Kyle Kelly of Mead, NE, writes: Well done good and faithful servant(s)! Praise the Lord that you held steadfast in a caring, compassionate way. As chair of our Evangelism & Outreach Ministry, I thank God for you in my prayers.

Two Covenant Leaders Featured in Magazine Articles

Lynda Delgado of Downey, CA, writes: Thank you Lisa and Catherine for answering the call and being a voice in the wilderness. You encourage me to continue walking in my call.

Recovery Ministries – Effective, But Difficult to Grow

Timothy Stohlberg of Cromwell, CT, writes: For nearly 25 years our church has been home to a weekly AA meeting. While the attendance at this meeting is fluid, there are many nights (Wednesday) when the church parking lot is full of cars and motorcycles. Every year at their anniversary meeting I say a few words and am a familiar face to many of these dear, recovering people. Because of the esteem I have for AA, I don’t understand the need for Christian Recovery groups. Why recreate the wheel? Why introduce one more “labor-intensive” program into the life of the church when so many lives are already being “supernaturally transformed” by an already existing one? Frankly, I think the church is better served with Christians as part of a regular AA meeting, giving thanks to God for their recovery, rather than singing to the choir in a Christian recovery group.

Paul Hanson of Sequim, WA, writes: Great story! It refers to Saddleback Covenant Church and Rick Warren as pastor. Does this mean Saddleback in Orange County, in California, has joined in with the Covenant Church? Or is this a different church? Editor’s note: Saddleback Church, founded in 1980, is located in Lake Forest, California. Rick Warren is the pastor. The church is not affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant church.

Reflection: A Vision of A New Day

Herb Freedholm of Palentine, IL, writes: Many thanks to Catherine Gilliard for her moving reflection on the election of President-Elect Barrak Obama. As many have called it, the election was a transformational event in the life of our country and the world. There is no doubt that more needs to be done to fully realize the dream of Martin Luther King and so many others, and especially to realize the call of Christ to be, in fact, a community in the church that lives out the Good News that in Jesus Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, and neither black nor white of Hispanic, Asian, or whatever our race or color might be. Because of Christ Jesus we are one! I was, and still am, moved to tears by what I witnessed on Tuesday Night in Grant Park in Chicago!

Ronna Husby of Tokyo, Japan, writes: Amen, Catherine, what a hopeful moment and what a wonderful message to all our children.

Karen Jones of Chicago, IL, writes: After reading Ms. Gilliard’s post, it is obvious that Obama was elected and judged by factors other than the content of his character. His character does not line up with Christian principles on abortion, infanticide, and holy marriage between man and woman. Just because Obama has stepped up to his responsibility as a husband and father doesn’t make him qualified to be the leader of the free world. Time will tell with those he appoints to his cabinet and those he taps for U.S. Supreme Court justices. We need more than great oratory to move a nation forward.

Pam Haukom of Minneapolis, MN, writes: I thought this was one of the most insightful articles I have read during this historical week. I am an African American woman who was raised in the South in the fifties and sixties and the “dream” has come to life. My children and grandchildren no longer have to just dream, but they can aspire, because the ceiling has been broken.

Doug Bixby of Attleboro, MA, writes: I am thrilled with the images of healing that I saw on television Tuesday night from Chicago. This is a new beginning for race relations in the United States. It does not matter how you voted on Tuesday. What Catherine points out in the article is that we have a great opportunity here for even more healing as we move into the future together. Electing our first African American president elevates our nation to a new level and redeems some of the darkness that has plagued us in the past. There is still work that needs to be done in our hearts and on our relationships, but I also hope we do not miss the significance of this moment in history. And may we all be in prayer for our nation as President Obama and our government seeks to lead our nation in these very challenging times.

Paul Lessard of Fruita, CO, writes: The breadth of opportunity Catherine presents to us is awe-inspiring. What a privilege to live in these times. Thank you, Catherine, for the breadth of your wisdom, which clearly emanates from both your life and call.

Jane Gillis of Rochester, MN, writes: Ms. Gilliard is overlooking one very important issue that needs to be addressed, and that is Obama’s lack of conviction for the Christian ideals that have been central to the Evangelical Covenant Church. “Where is it written?” It is easy to be selective in what we choose to believe, but God’s Word has been given to his people in its entirety. “Thou shall not kill” does not give exception to unborn children or children that are born live after enduring a horrible procedure meant to kill them. Today as I was reading in Ezekiel 16:49, I was struck by the similar situation that we find ourselves in as those living in Sodom. Usually we point our finger at Sodom for its terrible sexual sins. Ezekiel reminded Judah, however, that Sodom was destroyed because of pride, laziness, gluttony, and ignoring the needy within its reach. If we do not commit such horrible sins as adultery, homosexuality, stealing, and murder, we may think we are living well enough. But what about sins like pride, laziness, gluttony, and ignoring the needy? These sins may not be as shocking as the others, but they are also forbidden by God. When did we give up something that we thought we needed so that others could just have enough for their daily needs? I would say that we have unleashed a whirlwind and our country is on the verge of judgment. Obama is going to need our prayers in a very big way, for the change that is coming will be something we do not even want to imagine.

William Anderson of North Branford, CT, writes: Though I appreciate a different point of view, I am dismayed by the leadership of my church supporting this man. I cast my vote for the lives of the unborn and the partially born. What does it say to a person’s character that they do not have respect and love for Gods greatest creation? My vote gives me a clear conscience. When I face my day of judgment, at least I won’t have to answer for this. Content of character indeed.

Laura Gumina of Southfield, MI, writes: I wish our pastor had preached on this on Sunday.

Wayne Smith of Tacoma, WA, writes: Thanks for Rev. Gilliard’s thoughtful and personal reflections on the election of Barack Obama. As a pastor, I am encountering many who are devastated that a “liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Israel” candidate was elected. I would love it if our new (Covenant) president, Gary Walter, or the dean of our seminary, John Phelan, would write an article of guidance to the church acknowledging that Christians could in good faith vote for Obama or McCain and advocating for “Covenant” diversity to triumph over the many disquieting comments that are coming my way.

Congregation Surprised During Worship – Moved a Week Early

Phyllis Wildeson from Minnesota writes: Tell me that it was a mistake! Did you really offer $20,000 gas cards? Editor’s note: the collective value of all of the gas cards that were distributed totaled $20,000.

Palestinians, Covenanters Join in Leadership Project

Allan Barsema of Belvidere, IL, writes: Several from our Church (First Evangelical Covenant in Rockford, Illinois) have visited Palestine and have fallen in love with the people. Several of us are working on a project, in close cooperation with Palestinian professionals, to help create gainful employment opportunities providing professional services through the Internet. I would be interested in communicating with anyone of like mind that might be interested in helping with developing such a project.

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.

Website Content Calls for Action to Combat Human Trafficking

Bridgette Claudio of San Jose, CA, writes: This story is very upsetting. I hope this girl is healing. I can’t imagine what it was for those people who went through it. Maybe you can help them heal – at this time they need someone that understands them and what they went through. You can be a very big help to them!

Judy Howard Peterson Named Campus Pastor

Rozella Pearson of Rochester, MN, writes: Please let me know where I may find a schedule of Judy Howard Peterson’s speaking engagements.

Autistic Ministry Increases Impact of California Church

Diana Guyton of Norfolk, VA, writes: We have recently welcomed a family with a child who displays some symptoms of autism. I was wondering if someone can give me some tips for activities (individual and group) to help the child learn about Christ and the bible.

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