Area churches recently came to campus for Gordon’s annual Church Fair.
Greg Carmer, dean of chapel, notes that Gordon students come from a broad range of church backgrounds; the largest percentage is nondenominational. The diversity, he says, “poses a challenge in that there are often traditions deeply embedded but unacknowledged (how Scripture is used, how services are ordered, even the meaning of corporate worship and the purpose of Sunday morning gatherings). But, it seems, some of the nondenominational churches are also doing a good deal to explore, utilize and reinvest with meaning, some ancient worship practices."
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Area churches recently came to campus for Gordon’s annual Church Fair.
The Discovery Channel filmed a special segment on the Gordon campus on Friday, August 29. The episode will air on the Discovery Channel’s new program Time Warp premiering in October. With a crew of over 20 Discovery staff members, 15 dogs and digital camera technology that shoots over 100,000 frames per second, the episode will focus on dogs and water. Even the producer flew in to oversee the filming after seeing photos of the ponds on campus. The shooting took place at Gull Pond and was the first time the Discovery Channel had visited the Gordon College campus.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Larry Mayes, chief of human services for the City of Boston, closed the first convocation of the 2008-2009 school year by saying, “I am going to be faithful to the God I serve and the people who have given me an opportunity to have an impact on their lives.”
Rev. Craig McMullen, director of the Gordon in Boston program, introduced Mayes and briefly explained what Mayes’ job as a government official entails: dealing with civil rights, homelessness, youth services and women’s issues, among many others that crop up in a city of 600,000 residents and two million commuters.
Mayes spoke of his job as a responsibility and gave an example of one of the legislative actions his office recently took against violent video games: just as it is illegal to sell pornography to minors, Mayes believes it should be illegal to sell mature-rated video games to minors.
One particular video game that stands out to him is the controversial Grand Theft Auto 3, which has a scene where a pimp and a prostitute have (implied) sex. The pimp apparently decides it wasn’t worth his money, beats the prostitute to death, and takes his money back.
Mayes said, “As government officials, when we see Grand Theft Auto 3, someone has to have the good sense to stand up for the . . . parents who are just trying to protect their children.”
Thursday, August 28, 2008
J. Larry Mayes, chief of human services for the City of Boston, will inaugurate Gordon College’s 2008–2009 convocation series Friday, August 29, with his talk “Public Life and Personal Faith.” The event is free and open to the public and takes place at 10:25 a.m. in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel.
Mayes is also the founding instructor for the Gordon in Boston program’s Urban Studies course and brings to the classroom a professional experience and personal wisdom that helps students understand the intersection of community and government service.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Faculty Forum is an opportunity for faculty to hear their colleagues make presentations and to participate in the discussion that follows. Staff and students are always welcome and often join the conversation. Presentations take place Wednesdays at 4:30. Most (but not all!) meet in Jenks 406.
Complete schedule follows. For further information please contact Suzanne Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fall 2008 Faculty Forum Schedule
September 10: Lawrence Holcomb
“Between Barack and a Hard Place: Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and the Sisyphean Task of Constructing a Positive, Afro-American Male Cultural Identity”
(4:30 in Jenks 406; refreshments available at 4:00, Alumni Reading Room)
September 24: Jim Zingarelli
“Host and Hunger: How Do You Make Art with a Social Conscience?”
(4:30 in BCA Cinema; refreshments available at 4:00 outside the gallery)
October 8: Myron Schirer-Suter
"Will You Be My Friend? Facebook as an Example of Social Networking in the Academic Library"
(4:30 in Jenks 406; refreshments available 4:00, Alumni Reading Room)
October 22: Mia Chung
“Form and Its Narrative Implications as seen in the Piano Works of Beethoven and Schumann” (4:30 in MacDonald 109; refreshments available at 4:00)
October 29: Val Gin
“Reversing the Curse: Practicing the Presence and Presents of God in Sport"
(4:30 in Jenks 406; refreshments available 4:00, Alumni Reading Room)
November 12: Dan Russ
“Flesh-and-Blood Jesus: Why Do Christians Diminish the Humanity of Christ?”
(4:30 in Jenks 406; refreshments available 4:00, Alumni Reading Room)
December 10: Sean Clark
“To Stumble and Not Fall: An Exploration in Balance and Mobility"
(4:30 in Jenks 406; refreshments available 4:00, Alumni Reading Room)
"The rift valley at Þingvellir is a dark gash in the moors of Iceland. Some 40 feet deep, the chasm stretches as wide as two miles in some places, but its most famous corridor is the narrow ravine through which the Oxará, or Axe River, flows out of a massive lake, an ancient spring trapped by hardened magma.
“A few years ago our family spent a summer morning walking through the narrow passage. We leapt between fallen rocks and hunted up the small waterfalls tumbling over the steep, charcoal-colored basalt of the canyon walls. The surrounding terrain is vast and unpopulated, unbroken grassy slopes and black soil climbing toward volcanic ridges. It is an open and unnerving landscape, frightful and strangely beautiful. I have never been anyplace where I was so conscious of living on a molten rock hurling through space.”
Read the full text of Provost Mark Sargent’s article “Heart of Discovery: An Overture” in the Fall 2008 STILLPOINT, in which he considers five ways a community of faith can “contribute to a more robust future for the relationship between science and democracy.”
Monday, August 25, 2008
Gordon’s new linguistics major, codirected by Dr. Gregor Thuswaldner and Dr. Graeme Bird (pictured,left and right), both from the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, will provide students with knowledge of the main pillars of linguistics, including syntax, morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics and pragmatics.
The new major reconnects Gordon with the work of Kenneth Pike ’33, a major pioneer in the field of linguistics and one of Gordon’s most famous alumni. Pike is also one of the founders of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize 15 years in a row.
Gordon’s new program will have significant links to the program at SIL, allowing students, especially those with an interest in Bible translation, to spend one or more summers studying at one of SIL’s campuses, and applying credit towards their Gordon major. Read more...
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Last Wednesday evening, faculty and staff and their families came to Wilson House for good food and good company. Many brought blankets and lawn chairs, and a casual game of softball kicked off the evening.
Food? Hot dogs, chicken, salad and corn on the cob. That was enough to draw the athletes away from the field. Dining Services staff—all wearing spiky straw hats—filled the dessert tables with juicy watermelon and chocolate cupcakes.
Entertainment? The country stylings of faculty and staff members: Graeme Bird on keyboard, Keith Gruen on bass, Steve Hunt, Norman Jones and Oliver Goodrich on vocals.
Other activities? Chatting, relaxing, and hula hoops and sack races for the kids.
Gordon's Recreation and Leisure Studies Department's newest addition is a sport study minor and concentration. Faculty and staff from various departments are joining in: David Lee, physics, teaches fly-fishing; Paula Cerulli, assistant to the provost, teaches a ballet class; Ming Zheng, biology, badminton; Stan Reczek, physics, canoeing; Barry Loy, dean of students, golf. Read more...
Friday, August 22, 2008
The Gordon College Wind Ensemble has taken several European tours over the last decade, even making a brief stop in Orvieto in 2006. But in May of 2008, the Ensemble made its base in Orvieto for five days, supporting the work of the Gordon in Orvieto program with concerts in the Duomo, the great cathedral of Orvieto (pictured above) and in nearby Assisi. Orvieto program director Prof. John Skillen and Ensemble director Prof. David Rox offer some reflections in this new photojournal on the important contribution of a Gordon College performing group to the cultural and religious life of the site of a "Gordon In" program.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"Two doorways, one leading up and out, the other down and in. What kind of contingencies of history led someone to build this type of arrangement of a bridge, stairway, and so forth? This appears to be a good place to leave one's mark on the wall, as many have done."
Craig Story, biology, along with Brian Glenney, philosophy, participated in the Venice Summer School on Science and Religion, an international conference sponsored by the Templeton Foundation. He took hundreds of photos and put together this lovely photojournal of their time in Venice—"one of the most photographable cities in the world."
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
John Skillen writes:
"Italians talk a lot about food. Take the outdoor market days in Orvieto. An attraction for the visitor, but gird your loins as you approach Paolo's vegetable stand, and don't look around for the queue. Join the press of pushy local women jostling for Paolo's attention, when each customer must discuss the relative merits of this season's food in relation to prior years, of this or that melanzane in relation to the others in the crate, in relation to the recipes for which the food is destined, and, of course, with a final few words over the price, all of which stands in some obscure-to-me relation to how large a handful of parsley and other greenery gets thrown in at the end for free.
And hospitality. If you are invited to join the Lardani clan for dinner Sunday afternoon, for example, you better be ready to leave chronos (the time of the clock) behind and enter kairos (the time of occasion, of seeing an action through to its proper conclusion, no matter what the clock says). The meal—and the conversation that informs it—ends when it ends. The sequence of piatti courses and the pauses between them shape the time. No preplanned end-time pushes backwards to encroach upon the unfolding trajectory of the meal. Nothing is permitted to be more important than the communion of the community gathered around the table. For me, such meals give a little foretaste of the eternal now of the eschaton and the great supper of the Lamb.
Why cooking and dining are so heavily freighted with our deepest joys and fears and hopes and anxieties is the subject of Agnes Howard's essay, "Why Cook Dinner?" in this issue of PALIMPSEST, the online journal associated with Gordon's Studio for Art, Faith and History. This issue also includes Nicholas Wolterstorff's "How Did Eschatology Get Linked with Eucharist?" and Thomas Jones' "A Spasso con Gusto' and the Slow Food Movement."
Bill Harper, retired professor of history at Gordon, was interviewed by Alan Burke of the Salem Evening News on the recent Russian invasion of Georgia, and compared the current situation with the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian uprising back in 1956. Read Alan Burke's Salem News article...
At Gordon for nearly 40 years, Harper has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and taught courses on the region for many years. He was also instrumental in forging a "sister parish" relationship between his home church, Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, and The Church of the Icon of All Who Sorrow and its priest, Fr. Viacheslav Kharinov, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Dan Russ, director of the Center for Christian Studies, writes:
"This summer Kathy and I (pictured above in Grand Bazaar) traveled to Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey, to attend the wedding of our oldest child, Elizabeth, to Sabri Ates, a colleague of Libby on the faculty of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. Sabri is a history professor and Libby teaches Spanish. He comes from a Kurdish heritage in west central Turkey, but his family moved to Izmir, a port city of over two million people, when he was 10 years old so he could get more than an elementary school education. He completed his Ph.D. at NYU in Middle Eastern history.
Libby and Sabri met us in Istanbul, where we stayed in a small hotel with a view of the Marmara Sea and the Bosporus. We toured a number of mosques and the Grand Bazaar that contains over 4,000 shops (see photo), took a ferry ride on the Bosphorus, enjoyed coffee at the largest and most beautiful Starbucks we have seen—sits right on the Bosphorus—ate fish, walked the night district, and collapsed in bed at the end of the day. We left the next day for Izmir for the Henna party and wedding, where we witnessed the beauty of Kurdish dances both nights—boy can they dance for hours on end. It was an outdoor wedding with a seated dinner for 350 adults and 70 children. There were fireworks at the entry of the bride and groom, we danced, they pinned money on Libby and Sabri, we danced, ate, danced, ate, danced. . . .
We finished our trip back in Istanbul staying at a hotel built into the walls of the Topkapi Palace with a view of the Hagia Sophia. We toured the Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Bascilica Cistern, ate the fresh and delicious Turkish food, and came home wonderfully exhausted.
When Rick Warren—bestselling author, pastor and Gordon College's 2008 Commencement speaker—invited presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, to Saddleback Church's Civil Forum last Saturday, he was modeling a new and important type of citizen journalism. Read more....
Debbie Drost, program manager for Gordon's Center for Christian Studies, writes:
"CCS is gearing up for a very exciting fall with the coming of FSU (Faith Seeking Understanding) speakers Wendy Murray in September and Os Guinness in October. Late September we look forward to hosting a group of Gordon scholars for an informal evening of conversation and guitar with Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, the evening before the Ken Olsen Science Center dedication. In preparation for this, students will be reading The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins. We are also working on strategies for promoting Symposium 2009: Resident Aliens: Public Life and Personal Faith. Browse upcoming FSU events. (Image from Hooded Hawk ).
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Jeff Miller, professor of theatre, writes:
When you meet someone who is enthusiastic about life, you understand the Greek origins of that word - “to be possessed as by the gods.” And Gordon alum and “lobsta” man, Steve Philbrook, '89, is nothing if not a man possessed.
In August, my wife Mary and I took an intense and all-too-short visit to Mount Desert Island, Maine, with mutual friends (Steve’s former RD and wife, Dave and Cec Horn) who made it possible for us to meet. Steve took us out to his lovely home on Little Cranberry Island via his lobster boat (that's us in the photo with Steve on his boat). We learned a little about his trade and lunched on the most delicious lobster stew and crab spread EVER with Steve, his wife Amy, and another Gordon alum, Marya Spurling, who is also a Little Cranberry resident, Philbrook-kid-wrangler and doctor-to-be. From them, we heard about the fascinating life on this remote and idyllic spot. The garden overflows with fresh produce, the boys freely roam the island at play, and Steve’s oldest, at 12, is already an experienced lobsterman with over 2,000 hours of experience and a profitable part-time job on his own. Steve and Amy frequently end their day “taking sauna” in the Finnish sauna he has built in their yard.
It’s a life very different from most of us but one they love and would not trade for anything. And Steve’s enthusiasm is almost contagious enough to make you want to drop everything and move there yourself—almost. On the mail boat back, an elderly couple, longtime Little Cranberry summer residents, spoke highly of the Philbrook family and the impact they have had, noting they are a big part of the success of that island.
It’s bracingly refreshing to meet people who have such a clear sense of God’s calling and love for the life He gives. Makes a director anxious to get back to production work, a teacher excited to get back to the classroom.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Nothing was on fire today on the Gordon campus, although the presence of a fire truck and its hoses snaking onto the quad might have suggested otherwise.
According to yearly requirement, the R.A.s for the upcoming academic year assembled for a three- to four-hour basic training course on fire safety. The 60 R.A.s, divided up into groups led by John Soucy of Physical Plant and the Wenham Fire Department, rotated through a variety of training exercises.
Nothing was on fire today on the Gordon campus although the presence of a fire truck and its hoses snaking onto the quad might have suggested otherwise.
According to yearly requirement, the R.A.s for the upcoming academic year assembled for a three to four hour basic training course on fire safety. The 60 R.A.s, divided up into groups led by John Soucy of Physical Plant and the Wenham Fire Department, rotated through a variety of training exercises.
One of the more fun, although less relevant, exercises included students racing against each other on the quad, donning firefighter equipment—trousers, coats and helmets—as quickly as possible. Students in this group also worked with the hoses, turning them on and aiming at objects farther down the field.
In the parking lot outside Drew, another gathering got a how-to on fire extinguishers. After a short verbal tutorial, the students practiced using the extinguishers on a flaming newspaper-stuffed trash can and a stovetop oven-cooking pan.
Inside Drew things got a bit more intense. Firefighters sealed the small dorm and filled it with "smoke" in order to create an experience similar to a smoke-filled burning building. In groups of three to five, the students were instructed to crawl through the hallway of the dorm until they reached the door at the opposite end. Relatively easy, it seemed. However, students watching on a monitor outside the building saw their fellow R.A.s struggle to make their way blindly through the dorm. One disoriented group of students actually veered off into one of the dorm rooms. "It's usually the smoke, not the fire, that kills people," Soucy said. "They get disoriented and then get lost or lose consciousness."
Soucy takes this aspect of his job very seriously, although the teaching methods he uses to train R.A.s are definitely creative.!
Friday, August 15, 2008
An article that Karl Giberson, director of Gordon's new Forum on Faith and Science, wrote for salon.com, titled "What's Wrong with Science as Religion?" is currently at the top of the "Most Active Letters" list with 481 responses. The article takes scientists to task for being so intolerant of religious beliefs while at the same time using science as if it were a religion. To see hundreds of people saying nasty things about Karl, check out the comments following the article. The article was posted on Richard Dawkins' site, where it has also generated a lively discussion.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
If his daughter hadn’t cared about issues like sustainable agriculture and hunger in developing countries, Jim Zingarelli’s artwork might look very different. But her volunteer efforts as a college student prompted the Gordon College art professor to respond to the same concerns in the language he knows best: sculpting.
The result is Zingarelli’s newest solo exhibit, “Host & Hunger,” opening August 30 and running through October 11 in Gordon College’s Barrington Center for the Arts, just 30 minutes north of Boston. The collection includes 20 carved heads—each with open mouths—in marble, ebony, granite, limestone and serpentine, most of which were originally discarded or mis-cut stone and came from countries throughout Africa, Greece, North America and Italy. The carvings incorporate influences as diverse as pop art and ancient African sculpture, the smallest being only three inches and the largest 31 inches and weighing 250 pounds. But for Zingarelli each represents a much bigger issue he’s become passionate about changing—world hunger.
“When my oldest daughter Gina (a Gordon sophomore at the time) decided to travel and learn about agricultural work in developing countries, I began to realize how unfamiliar I was with the same faces and issues she was seeing,” Zingarelli said. “It began to raise a question for me: How do I make art out of a social conscience without it becoming propaganda or overly sentimental?”
So the father followed in his daughter’s footsteps and three years ago began working with the same organization she had—ECHO, a nonprofit interdenominational group based in Florida whose mission since 1981 has been to network with community leaders in over 180 countries and together, “seek hunger solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions.”
Zingarelli spent his spring break in Florida, and along with biology professor Craig Story, helped students create over 100 botanical drawings, photos and paintings that were later sold at a silent auction to benefit the hungry. That fall during his sabbatical, Zingarelli went with ECHO to Honduras to work with farmers on a sustainable tropical agricultural project, and last year he traveled to South Africa as part of a Gordon team where he worked with Black African sculptors. He and his wife also volunteered recently at an orphanage in Morocco, where he taught art; each trip, Zingarelli said, had a strong impact on his life and his work, helping him reconcile the issue of art and justice. “Host & Hunger” is an extension of each experience.
“Jim’s tragicomic heads are compelling images of the basic human dilemma,” said colleague Bruce Herman, artist and founding chair of Gordon’s Art Department. “Despite our bids for immortality, we are weak and frail creatures who need to be fed. We can’t live on ideas and art alone, but require bread, water and other humble creaturely necessities.”
As a result Zingarelli has decided to donate 50 percent of everything sold from “Host & Hunger” to organizations such as ECHO, Heifer International and to individual sculptors and farmers he worked with in Honduras, South Africa and Morocco.
“I’d hope that (this work) would raise an awareness of the enormous need for hunger relief—that it’s a problem we can solve,” Zingarelli said. “Maybe this can be a small way we’ll make a difference in the lives of some of these farmers and artists I’ve met. And maybe these carvings will also help others wrestle with the same questions of art and social awareness.”
WHAT: “HOST & HUNGER,” by Jim Zingarelli
WHERE: The Gallery, the Lobby and Room 138, Barrington Center for the Arts
WHEN: August 30-October 11
Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Labor Day (Sept. 1)
Zingarelli will discuss his work in a special lecture and reception Saturday, September 6, from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at Barrington Centre for the Arts, Room 138. His artwork will be displayed in the gallery and lobby. Catalogs of “Host & Hunger,” along with the artist’s statements beside many of the images, will be available during the show.
A friend regularly passes on his old New Yorkers to us, and, besides the cartoons, there are always some gems and surprises. For example, Gordon alumnus Kenneth Pike '33 is mentioned in John Colapinto's fascinating article about Dan Everett, a linguist who has done extensive work among the Pirahã tribe in the rain forest of northwestern Brazil:
"Everett and his wife were welcomed by the villagers, but it was months before they could conduct a simple conversation in Pirahã. 'There are very few places in the world where you have to learn a language with no language in common,' Everett told me. 'It’s called a monolingual field situation.' He had been trained in the technique by his teacher at SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics], the late Kenneth L. Pike, a legendary field linguist and the chairman of the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan. Pike, who created a method of language analysis called tagmemics, taught Everett to start with common nouns. 'You find out the word for "stick," Everett said. 'Then you try to get the expression for "two sticks," and for "one stick drops to the ground," "two sticks drop to the ground." You have to act everything out, to get some basic notion of how the clause structure works—where the subject, verb, and object go.'” Read the entire article...
Wednesday afternoon a crane parked just outside the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. As the crane slowly lifted two men to the height of the steeple, onlookers speculated—Was the steeple in need of a good spring cleaning?
Jim Bagley of Physical Plant says no. "The activity you saw going on at the chapel steeple was Verizon Wireless. They installed a cell site in the steeple last year and found that it was not performing to the desired level and required some rework." Verizon is not the only cellular carrier in the steeple; Sprint and T-Mobile also have a share in the hidden antennae.
Bagley explains what looks like a complicated process: "They are removing some of the original metal steeple exterior sheathing and replacing it with custom-made RF transparent panels to match existing siding. They will then re-aim the antennas already in place to improve their signal coverage." He expects this project to be completed by Monday, September 18.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
For two recent Gordon College graduates, life in graduate school just got a little easier. . . . Aside from Notre Dame, Gordon is the only school in the nation where two students were given the prestigious award. Read more...
No, it’s not a new “adventure learning” challenge for
Gordon’s Discovery program. According to Mark Stowell, director of Gordon’s Physical Plant, “a roofing company has been replacing the roof on the main, front section of Frost Hall. This requires a crane, chute and also a dumpster to be located on the lawn and in the parking spaces up around the front circle. There have been a few restrictions on using the walkway in front of Dr, Carlberg’s office. The project and cleanup will wrap up on the 20th.”
Friday, August 8, 2008
With the international spotlight on China this week and the XXIX Olympic Games underway, many are waiting to catch a glimpse of a country that has often seemed bleak or secretive. But Gordon College economics professor Stephen Smith, who toured China in May and June along with 11 Gordon students, believes the attention has already been a healthy thing for the Chinese people.
“As we visited six cities in 18 days, we saw a deep national pride that the Olympics were coming to Bejing,” Smith said. “Factory workers, tour guides, business men, everyone we encountered was excited. There’s great significance attached to the Games.” Read more...
Thursday, August 7, 2008
From Francis of Assisi and Reinhold Niebuhr to perspectives on power, genomics and globalization, Gordon College’s Fall 2008 Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture Series promises a host of thought-provoking topics with prominent guest speakers. Each lecture is free and open to the public. Read more...
“Questions about the compatibility of Islam and secularism are misleading unless the researcher is aware of diverse interpretations of these two concepts,” shares Ahmet Kuru, referring to his upcoming lecture at Gordon College. “In the Muslim geography—from Turkey to Tunisia, from Uzbekistan to Syria—what people have experienced has been assertive secularism, which does not tolerate religion in the public sphere.”
Gordon welcomes Amhet Kuru on Thursday, August 28, at 4 p.m. Read more...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
As the summer rain comes here in New England, so often does the fog. But Nathan Baxter, assistant professor of communication arts, believes fog doesn’t have to limit our vision. In fact, he sees it as a gift:
“Fog. White wisps wrapped gently around the shoulder of a hill, or slipped around the hands and arms of threadbare trees in late November, or of the wakening trees on an April morning.
For me, fog is a paradox of revelation.
I’ll admit fog can be frustrating. Especially when you’re late for work and traffic is slow, or when you’re driving at twilight in a new area, trying to make out road signs that disappear before you can read them. . . . ” Read more of Nate’s article in the online journal, Provocations.