Monday, February 24, 2014

New Chaplain Brings Gordon Lessons on Unity

By Sarah Tang ’16

This semester, Gordon welcomed a new member into its community. In a short period of time, he has already established many relationships with students, regularly meeting with them and mentoring them, ready for visitors to drop by his office any time for a conversation. This is our new chaplain, Tom Haugen.

Previously, Tom had served in churches in Atlanta, Georgia, on Boston’s North Shore, and most recently Zurich, Switzerland, for over 6 years. Why would someone living in beautiful Switzerland move back to the United States, I wondered. “I had sensed God asking me if I can dream big, what my dream job would be,” Haguen said. “And the one job that rose on top was to pastor a liberal arts Christian college.”

Tom prayed persistently and consulted his wife, who had attended Westmont College in California, and she told him he would be perfect for the job. Along with their three daughters, the family then decided to move back in 2010, having faith that God would provide them with the right opportunities.

For the next 3 years, Tom began working toward a Ph.D. in homiletics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In September 2013, the position for chaplain at Gordon opened up, and Tom went for it. He was chosen, and then began working part-time in November alongside then Dean of Chapel, Greg Carmer, who has since taken on the dual role of Dean of Christian Life and Theologian-in-Residence. To this day Tom says he still has Dr. Carmer on speed dial and has learned immensely from him.

“What excited me the most was the opportunity to invest in and pastor college students at a place in their lives where they are hungry for someone to teach them and point them to Jesus,” Tom continued to say, “being able to shepherd students to do what God has put on their heart through pastoral counseling and mentoring is exactly what God has put on my own heart to do here.”

Tom’s first task was to come up with a chapel theme for the semester, and as he prayed through the themes, one concept kept coming into his mind: unity. “I am committed to this: I believe that God has created us to be joyful beings glorifying God and enjoy him forever, and I want to bring this idea to campus through my genuine commitment to it and have it overflow,” Tom explained. Combining unity and joy with Tom’s commitment to preach through God’s Word, Philippians emerged as the perfect book to build the semester’s chapel program: Together as One: A Walk through Philippians. Written by the Apostle Paul, Philippians addressed the first congregation in Europe. In the text, Paul aimed to encourage and guide this church to grow as one in the name of Jesus Christ—just the same as Tom’s vision for the Gordon community.

The semester’s chapel schedule interweaves Tom’s series on unity with many other speakers and themed weeks. The seven separate messages on connection, purpose, humility, compassion, hope, joy, and contentment will work together to empower and motivate the campus to go through scripture together and trigger conversations and reflection.

In his sermon on Purpose, Tom focused on the teaching that God’s purpose is bigger than our circumstances. “Paul understood that hard things would come his way,” he preached, “But whatever happens, he says live a life that gives Jesus Christ the honor and the glory that he deserves; whatever happens, hold firmly to the truth of Jesus Christ; whatever happens, represent Christ well; whatever happens, allow God to use your suffering to advance the gospel; whatever happens, stand firm striving together as one, for the sake of the gospel.”

“I want students to come into chapel not knowing what to expect,” Tom said. He has done just that—whether through fresh expressions of corporate faith, like moments of silence for the student body to confess to the Lord together, or fun community experiences like a recent free t-shirt giveaway. And these small moments—praying together, noticing a couple classmates wearing the same t-shirt—will work to build the unity Tom is preaching about. Through his chapel sermons and outside of chapel, through Tom’s interactions with students, he is encouraging the student body to see the bigger picture of the Kingdom, together as one.

To watch follow Chaplain Tom Hauguen's chapel series on unity, visit the Gordon College YouTube channel here.

Sarah Tang '16 is a sophomore sociology and communication arts double major at Gordon from Hong Kong, China, and a writer in the Office of College Communications. She is a member of the Campus Events Council and works as a barista in Bistro 255. She is passionate about human trafficking and special needs orphans and has a burden for Southeast Asia.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MOMA Gallery & Pop Up Event—ACCESS, NYC

On Thursday, members of the Gordon community will head to New York City, where the Accessible Icon Project—an advocacy project to update the current International Symbol of Access—will go on display in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

As a thank you to Gordon College, a select group of Gordon College art students have been invited to an exhibit preview, and will observe as MOMA curators handle the final details prior to the gallery opening. Two faculty members, Brian Glenney (philosophy) and Tim Ferguson Sauder (art), will receive lifetime memberships as artists in MOMA's permanent collection as a result of their work as artists for the AIP icon.

Following the invitation-only viewing, the art students, under the director and curation of Peter Morse (manager, Barrington Center for the Arts), will create a one-day exhibit titled ACCESS in a New York City gallery on Saturday, February 15. The opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. at Ludlow Studios and the exhibit will remain open to the public until 10 p.m.

Throughout the trip Gordon alum Daniel Stevens '07, owner of In the Car Media—a video production company—will document events and travels of the Gordon crew by taking over the College's social media (SM) pages. Stevens will guest author Gordon's social communications Thursday, February 13 through Sunday, February 16. In addition to updates, he'll spread the word that on Sunday at 11 a.m., a Gordon representative will be at the MOMA entrance and will provide Gordon-sponsored free admission tickets (quantity limited) to anyone who says "Rush the MOMA 2/16." 


For twitter users, hashtag #RushtheMOMA216 will also provide updates through the weekend. 

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Photo: AIP co-founder Brian Glenney (philosophy) 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Audience with the Emperor

By Nora Kirkham ’16

The A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel traveled to imperial Japan on January 24 and 25, its stage transformed into a Japanese courtyard complete with rice paper doors and luminous red and orange lanterns. The occasion for this transformation: Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous comic opera, The Mikado.

The event was a collaborative effort presented by Gordon’s Theater Arts and Music Departments. Directed by Professor of Theater Arts Jeffrey S. Miller and Associate Professor of Music Michael Monroe, The Mikado featured both gifted musicians and skilled actors.

The comedic genius of Gilbert and Sullivan has been a favorite for Gordon’s winter productions in recent years, with the successes of 2011's Pirates of Penzance and 2012's H.M.S. Pinafore. The quick wit and improvisational freedom that infuse these scripts find a natural home amid the talents of Gordon’s Music and Theater Departments.

The opera follows the antics of Nanki Poo (John Cunningham ’14), the son of the Mikado (meaning "emperor," played by Ben Tuck ’16), who runs away from court to avoid marrying a frightening woman, Katisha (Mary Speta ’14). Disguised as a wandering minstrel, he pursues the young woman he does love, Yum-Yum (Christiana McMullen ’14), who is tied into an arrangement with the Lord High Executioner (Ryan Coil ’14). These characters’ fates become more and more entangled as the play progresses with quirky dialogue, song and dance. Naturally, the play was highlighted by impressive performances delivered by both cast and orchestra. The characters belted out a variety of ballads and humorous songs, and entertained us with their ability to improvise banter. Noble lords were played by Daniel Alvarado ’14 and Jonmichael Tarleton ’14.

Set in imperial Japan and first performed in 1885, The Mikado explores a ninteenth-century European fascination with Asia. Thanks to the production’s creative team, the stage was beautifully designed to reflect the culture of old Japan. The costumes, however, took on a contemporary edge. Characters sung and danced in an eclectic blend of colorful kimonos and modern Harajuku statement outfits, fluttering paper fans with Hello Kitty backpacks slung over their shoulders.

While the opera’s original object was to serve as a satire of British society, Gordon’s actors and directors were able to relate its content to a contemporary audience through minor script manipulations. One song in particular shed humorous light on Gordon’s core curriculum, Facebook and pop culture.

The Mikado’s cast and crew dazzled the audience with their sheer musical, theatrical and creative talent, and the play's finale was met with a well-deserved standing ovation. 

After the smashing success of The Mikado, we have Gordon's next theatrical production to look forward to: In April, Jeffery S. Miller will be directing Metamorphoses. Scripted by acclaimed playwright Mary Zimmerman and based Ovid’s epic poem, the play takes place in a real pool!

To view the full Mikado cast, orchestra and creative team members, visit

Photo: The Mikado, performed by Gordon College student actors and musicians, transported the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel to imperial Japan.

Nora Kirkham ’16 is a sophomore history major at Gordon College and a writer in the Office of College Communications. She loves Portuguese culture and plants.