Monday, January 24, 2011

Part of Something Bigger-- Faculty and staff get involved with local churches

In spite of urban myths portraying New Englanders as cold, solitary, and indifferent, we can't seem to find those traits here. Quite the opposite actually. Gordon faculty and staff see it as a duty and privilege to engage with the local and broader church community. We've seen this commitment recently through the contributions of faculty in the North Point Evangelical Presbyterian Church video series Every Square Inch; at the annual Symposiums on Youth Ministry, as in our home churches and personal ministries.

It was in this spirit of service that Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian ministries, and  Daniel O'Connell, director of student financial services, drove to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Norfolk to speak at a Financial Aid and College Transition Seminar this month. The event aimed to help parents and graduating high school students gain a better understanding of the college transition process from both financial and personal perspectives. "We went to provide a service," explained Whittet, who heads Gordon's Church Relations Office. "It wasn't a commercial for Gordon College but rather a time to share our knowledge." Whittet and O'Connell spoke in general terms aimed to help families preparing for the college search process. And by all accounts, they were tremendously successful.

Emmanuel's youth pastor, Mike McGarry, followed the event with a glowing endorsement to others employed in the youth ministry field. "This really was a great night--a total win for our youth ministry and families. If you're looking for an opportunity to give practical help to families and to connect with parents, seriously consider contacting Gordon College about inviting some people to your church for something like this. One of the best parts: I only had to buy some snacks and unlock the doors . . . they did the rest (for free!)."

Whittet welcomes the possibility of other invitations (they have already received a new request to speak at a church in Bolton, Massachusetts). "It's important to be reminded that we are part of something bigger; we are part of the Body of Christ. Gordon College has talents to share. We are not a church, but we can impact and come alongside churches by providing support and leadership."

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