Readers Share Their Thoughts

Post a Comment » Written on July 20th, 2007     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (July 20, 2007) – Last week’s story announcing the retirement next year of Evangelical Covenant Church President Glennn R. Palmberg, along with this week’s sad news report of the sudden death of Trinity Covenant Church Pastor John Marks in Livingston, New Jersey, generated many comments from readers of this online news report.

Covenant News Service regularly publishes feedback from readers in an effort to broaden the discussion of important stories and topics of the day, share a wide range of perspectives and opinions, and provide a means for readers to share fond recollections of individuals and events featured in various stories.

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.

MarksPrayer Service Tonight to Remember John Marks

Marilyn Moore of Somerville, MA, writes: We are devastated by the loss of this wonderful pastor and friend. We have met at various annual meetings – East Coast and national. He never failed to help unload and later load my power chair. He never failed to pray with me and with Ruthie. We shall miss him dearly and especially his sense of love for people and his humor. We know that his dear wife Terry and family, as well as his church congregation, will grieve his loss. Rest in peace John. You have been a good and faithful servant of our Lord.

Tim Heintzelman of Westerville, OH, writes: John was a parishioner and a friend.
This is a shock.

New Disabilities Group Seeks to Network Congregations

Connie Wall of Batavia, IL, writes: Very interesting. We have a handicapped daughter who wants to live independently and would like very much for the Covenant to see the possibility of a residence in our area of the Fox Valley. She will be 18 in November and will start attending Elgin Community College the fall of 2008. As this committee matures and programs are developed, I hope and pray we hear more. I’ve often thought running something alongside the Holmstad could be a possibility.

Palmberg Announces Decision to Retire Next Year

Carl Ramgren of Spring Valley, CA, writes: Thanks, Glenn, for your wonderful years of service. You have been the man for the hour. I also thank you for your friendship through the years and your thoughtfulness. God bless you as you prepare for the future.

PalmbergLinda Forbes of Chicago, IL, writes: It is hard to express my emotions about hearing this news. My heart sank because I have so appreciated Glenn’s work and have respected his leadership. It seems like such a great loss. And yet his decision to retire and make way for new leadership is, for me, another example of his greatness as a leader. Realizing when it is time for a new vision is vital to the health of any organization. I am so thankful for the huge sacrifice that Glenn and our leaders make to see that the Church and the Covenant grow and are faithful to God’s call. I am sure that even now God is raising up a new leader for us. I pray that as Glenn transitions, his spirit and light will continue to inform and influence our denomination and the larger Christian community. I will be committing this to my prayers and know that my Covenant sisters and brothers will join me in that. May God continue to be glorified in all our lives.

David Wenell of Surrey, BC, writes: While I’m sad to see Glenn leave, I appreciate his sensitivity in knowing when to let new leadership guide. I appreciate all he has done for the church and his quiet, gentle guidance over the years. May God bless his next phase in service to him. And we pray for guidance in selecting new leadership as well.

Dan Whitmarsh of Lakebay, WA, writes: I appreciate Glenn and all his work for the Covenant Church. I appreciate him at a personal level, too. He is largely responsible for getting me into the Covenant. Glenn was the first “official” Covenant person I ever met, back when I had been fired by a non-denominational church and was looking for something new. The way a (conference) superintendent gave a couple of hours to a hurting young youth pastor, and his sensitive spirit in that meeting, impressed upon me that this is where I wanted to be.

Doug Bixby of Washington, CT, writes: Glenn Palmberg has been a strong and faithful leader. I hope he knows how much we all appreciate the time and energy he has invested into the Covenant. He will be missed and I hope we will find appropriate ways to celebrate all that he has helped us to accomplish together in Christ.

Ralph Sturdy of Lincoln, NE, writes: When I graduated from seminary in 1965 and took the call to the Aurora Covenant Church, little did I know that one of the first persons I would meet was destined to become president of the Covenant! For more than 40 years, I’m happy to have counted Glenn as a friend and confidant. When he became president, so too was my hope renewed for the Covenant. Glenn has blessed us with his passion for mercy and compassion. While I personally will be sad to see him retire, I nevertheless release him with the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Thank you, too, to Sharon and his children for graciously sharing Glenn with the Covenant family.

Hundreds Mourn Deaths of Two Small Boys

Jon Cardwell of Scammon Bay, AK, writes: Thank you all for your prayers. If you are sending in a love gift for the Uttereyuk family, please make your checks payable to “ECCAK” or to the “Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska.” Thanks again, and may our God richly bless you.

New Book Emphasizes Worth of Each Individual

Linda Forbes of Chicago, IL, writes: Hurray! I was working at North Park Theological Seminary when Tom and Dena were finishing up and had their son. To hear now about how they have dealt with their son’s Down Syndrome and the fruit that it has born is awe-inspiring. I can hardly wait to add the book to my collection. Praise God for how he works in our lives. And thanks so much for sharing such an important story.

Ann-Helen Anderson of Chicago, IL, writes: I am excited about this book and touched by the story – thank you for sharing it! Dena and I were colleagues at North Park years ago. I remember her amazingly positive spirit after Andrew’s birth.

Not Just Another Day at Beach for Mom, Daughter

Pam Darsie of Cambridge, MN, writes: Wow – how cool is that? How awesome it is to read of spontaneity in sharing Christ’s victory with some who weren’t on the roster or had taken the “preparation classes.” Praise God!

Ruth Frakes of Roseville, CA, writes: What a miracle of God to see my friend Donna Chapman (see picture page in story) with arms raised in praise to the Lord at her baptism in the lake. Her daughter is rejoicing with God over this.

Stan Johnson of San Jose, CA, writes: What a wonderful story to hear about. May God continue to bless Bayside Covenant Church.

Glynn Roberts of Lords Valley, PA, writes: This is a great story! I was baptized in the Sea of Galilee while on a trip to Israel last year. It was a re-dedication since I was baptized as a child. But this was very special and meaningful. Your story should be an inspiration to people and pastors. I surely hope so.

Covenant Resource Center Celebrates 20 Years of Service

Steve Bilynskyj of Eugene, OR, writes: I echo affirming the great work the Resource Center does and how they go the extra mile. A year and a half ago, I asked about obtaining an old Inquirer’s Class video “What’s a Covenant Church?” in DVD format for use in teaching in the Covenant External Orientation Program. Phyllis Snodgrass answered my call and told me it was not available (the VHS format was so old). But she said she would continue to look into it. Time went by and I forgot about my request. But lo, a few months later, Phyllis calls to let me know that the Resource Center has found the original video and then facilitated the transfer of the VHS to DVD. A disc was on its way to me. Wow! That is marvelous service, and I too am very grateful for this Resource Center, which has helped me and my congregations many times over the years.

David Noreen of Westminster, CO, writes: Congratulations to Millie Lungren and staff who have provided 20 years of exceptional service to the Covenant. Millie was a valued colleague in the (former) Department of Christian Education before assuming this post, and has always given her best to the continuing ministry of our Church.

Kansas Teen Revisits Tornado-Ravaged Town

Charlotte Kraft of Wichita, KS, writes: We are so proud of our granddaughter, Sarah Reece, going back and helping others clean up after the storm. It was not an easy choice as to what direction we should take, but all three of our daughters are in this area and it will be easier to visit our grandchildren. It just seemed the right thing to do. We have been so blessed through all of this – words cannot express our gratitude to all that have helped us through this hardship. Thanks to all of the youth who have participated in this major cleanup effort.

Kids Raise $400 to Buy Sandals for Sudanese Children

Veronica Stoneall of Harrisburg, SD, writes: What a blessing to watch children get excited about providing shoes to others in need. Helping others is what Christ is all about. Praise God when we can open the young hearts to the gift of giving!

Rosanne Herman of Sioux Falls, SD, writes: Great story. Where are the churches located in Sudan? Who is a contact in Sudan and what is his/her email address? Congratulations to this endeavor for needy children. Having been to that region, I speak from experience.

Tim J. of Harrisburg, SD, writes: Wow! Great job kids!

Castaway Kid: Some May Find It Hard to Believe

Don Schiff of Princeton, IL, writes: I too had a very hard life growing up – have been on my own since age 14. Mother gave up three kids for adoption, including me. I went to 11 different schools until 8th grade. My mother and stepfather were both alcholics. It was a very hard time growing up; however, it made me a much better person, and I also thank the Good Lord for the experience.

Bob Anderson of Sacramento, CA, writes: I was absolutely thrilled to read about Robbie Mitchell’s book, Castaway Kid. Robbie worked on my waterfront staff at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp in 1972 and I came to have great respect for him. When I later worked at the Covenant Children’s Home in Princeton, it was his story that inspired me and kept me going when I occasionally lost hope that anything could change the lives of some of my boys there. Robbie helped me then more than he could possibly know – and now it is just so gratifying to see what he has accomplished with his life.

BlueBlue Elected to Compassion, Mercy & Justice Position

Muriel Jean Culpepper of San Antonio, TX, writes: This is a beautiful article about my little sister. I’m very proud of her and it is very evident that she will have the support of many of her brothers and sisters in Christ. It will take the efforts of all of us to make a difference in our world. I’m very happy that my sister, Debbie, was chosen by God to be one of the leaders to direct the efforts toward ensuring compassion, mercy, and justice for all, as we are all children of God.

Resolution on Creation-Care

J.D. Mitchell of Gresham, OR, writes: This is really a resolution on environmentalism rather than creation-care. In this resolution, there is an insufficient sense of the political agenda that is behind much of the rhetoric for “global warming” and other one-world-state arguments. It is another instance of the Evangelical Covenant Church following liberal social justice leadings, and at the same time trying to say that the Bible is paramount. This is an inconsistent worldview.

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.

Peterson Recounts Harrowing Hours in Congo Conflict

Mary Lou Campbell Miller of Gothenburg, NE, writes: Thanks be to God for safety. We were there in 2006 and felt very safe at that time. I could visualize you coming over the walls there! I look back with fond memories of Dr. John’s and my time at Tandala and the kids at UBAC in Karawa! We always appreciate news and happenings from Congo.

Covenant Pastor Wins Amy Writing Award

H. Maxine Brooks of Lakeland, FL, writes: I was thrilled to come across a December 2, 2001, Power for Living paper and see the article, “The Pen is the Sword,” and to see Jim Russell was from Lansing, Michigan. We were from that area – Mason, Michigan – and very much acquainted with the area. It was exciting to read about the Amy Foundation and what the Lord is doing through it. May the Lord continue to use that ministry to his glory! I don’t expect to be here to see the fulfillment of the “dream,” but be assured of our prayers until he calls us home (we are 89 and 92 years of age).

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