Readers Share Their Thoughts

By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (March 22, 2011) – Every week we receive comments from readers on stories published as part of the Covenant online news report.

Readers have the opportunity to post personal reflections and responses that are attached to individual stories, and can also post comments on our Covenant Facebook page.

Reader feedback is helpful to our Covenant News Service staff as we seek to identify and publish stories of interest to a broad spectrum of readers.

Following are comments gleaned from recent stories, edited in some cases for length. To read a particular story of interest, click on the headline.

Haiti: How to Sustain Rebuilding Effort

Kelly Johnston writes: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences of Haiti with us through this series of stories. May God bless and multiply the efforts of Covenant World Relief, Medical Teams International and so many others who are partnering with Haitians for real transformation – however long it takes.

India Rehab Center for Freed Sex Slaves Dedicated

Rhonda Egging writes: Wow! Praise God!

Lois Bridges writes: What a blessing to read what Women’s Ministries has done to help other women. God bless you, Ruth, for your leadership.

Covenant Pension Plan Recovers from Market Plunge

Mark Andrews writes: I’m so proud to be a part of a denomination that cares for and plans for our future needs. Way to go ECC!

Japan Update: Missionaries Remain Safe

Luis and Flor Retamal write: We are very concerned for the people in Japan, at the same time, trusting the Lord that he will give wisdom. May God give our missionaries words of encouragement for the Japanese people in the midst of this tragedy.

Japanese Missionaries Fear for Loved Ones

Dennis Carlson writes: Praise the Lord! We received word Monday evening that Masako had contact from her brother in Sendai!

Spiritual Direction Focus of March 23 Live Webcast

Chuck Eklund writes: Will this be available for later viewing? I’ll be on an airplane during the event.

Editor’s note: Yes, the session will be taped and posted on the Covenant website for later viewing.

Missionaries Safe in Aftermath of Quakes, Tsunami

Cathy Zimmerman writes: Keeping you all in our prayers.

Linda Anderson writes: We are so thankful that our Covenant missionaries are safe. We are wondering about the Bible camp area. The country is not big, so all areas most likely experienced something.

CWR Providing Assistance to Libyan Victims

Safy Jacob writes: I am so happy that the Covenant is helping North Africa/Middle East. This has been my prayer, that we get out of the box and join others working in this region.

Memorial Service Planned for Pastor Dan Dungan

Harvey Drake writes: Dan was a good man. It was obvious that he loved God and people. He was an outstanding teacher as well – he taught both of my sons when they were in middle school. When he retired, he left a huge hole to be filled on their campus. He served because of the way he led and taught students. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Dan was a Covenant pastor. I will miss Dan.

Covenant Churches, Retirees to Share $1 Million ‘Surprise

Cathy Zimmerman writes: Wow! What a blessing – that is wonderful news for a change!

Nelson Recovering Nicely Following Transplant

Jim Schwalm writes: So glad to hear that your recovery is progressing nicely and you’re following doctor’s orders. From personal experience, I know complete recovery takes time. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you in his tender, loving care. Praise God for new mercies everyday!

Memorial Service Saturday for David Peterson

Timothy Stohlberg writes: I had the privilege of being David’s pastor for 10 years. In that time, he faithfully supported both me and my family with his friendship and prayers. He was faithful to his Lord, his calling and the Church. He was also a passionate supporter of the UCONN women’s basketball team and for a time many pictures of the team and its players decorated the walls of his room in the nursing home. Peace to David and Nancy.

Surprise Awaits Blogger in Visit to Covenant Church

Bob McGrath writes: Thank you so much for covering my project on your website. I hope that your readers will be inspired to engage their own neighborhoods as well!

Church Recreates Classic Radio Christmas Production

J. Donley writes: I’m interested in the script you used. We’ve performed “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” for the past two years at Roseville Covenant and are looking for a different radio show script. Where did you acquire “Little Town of Bethlehem?”

Hundreds Gather for Prayer Service for Family

Dana Manning writes: Rodney and Cindi have a long recovery, so please write them down on your prayer list so we continue to pray for them in the months to come. They are awesome God-like people. Love and blessings.

Shelly Irvin writes: Rodney and his family are very kind and sweet people. Our family continues to pray for them and we know that the Lord will take care of them!

Art Emerson writes: Don’t know the current status, but do know that this family is being covered in prayer by many people. Pray for them for healing, strength, and recovery. Even though I have never met this family, I consider it a special privilege to be able to join with many in praying for them.

Bluegrass and Theology – What’s the Connection?

Glenn Kaiser writes: Sweet! And true. And good! So glad to read and hear what the Lord is doing via Paul in this area! Thanks for including this news story.

Mideast Peace: Are We Making a Difference?

Jim Anderson writes: A wonderful story! Wayne and Ruth are learning the heartbeat of suffering people. I hope this story will get major coverage in Covenant print and thinking. Wayne and Ruth, if you have a chance, check out the historic Quaker Center in Ramallah – long history of caring for Palestinians even before the existence of modern Israel. I’m quite sure you must be in touch with Sabeel in Jerusalem as well. Please continue to share your stories.

Russian Authorities Close One New Life Radio Affiliate

Chuck Anderson writes: The Covenant radio station in Russia is in monthly crisis of going off the air for want of funds. This is our chance to reach atheist Russia for Christ. Most of it is done via satellite and costs a lot. They send the signal to Israel and then out to half the world. Help if you can.

Curtis Ivanoff Recommended to Lead Alaska Region

David Oseland writes: This is great news – a wonderful choice for this important post. God’s richest blessings on Curtis and his family.

Services Pending for Franklin G. Hagberg

Randy Surey writes: As a young pastor fresh out of North Park Theological Seminary and in Warren, Pennsylvania, in 1980, I found myself being mentored by Frank Hagberg (Scandia Covenant Church) and David Vennberg (Sugar Grove Covenant Church). These two men of faith imparted their love for the people of their congregations and their commitment to Christ in a way that greatly shaped the direction my ministry would unfold. As we would travel together to district and conference events, they each shared insights on ministry that greatly helped me focus on following God’s call rather than furthering a “career.” Neither ever pastored a large congregation, but they served the Lord in all they did. And they gave of themselves to a series of first-call pastors in the area to help us grow and mature, not only in our ministries, but also in our personal faith.

Elizabeth Jensen writes: Frank Hagberg also served as the pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Venice Isle in Venice, Florida. The records indicate he was the pastor here May 1994 to 1996. There are still some here who remember and thank God for his ministry and his friendship.

Chuck Anderson writes: One of Franks’ members lived in Renovo, Pennsylvania, during the week and would go home to Margaret and Jim on the weekend. He often would strongly disagree with Frank; but he would always end his diatribe with the words,”Frankie’s alright” – and he was. He sure is now!

Mike Gillett writes: Thank you Randy for your note about Frank’s gentle and wonderful mentoring of young Covenant pastors. I came out of seminary in 1984 without a clue of how to pastor. Frank was always there in his faithful ministry of grace and mercy. The Great Lakes Conference pastoral meetings were a great support. There are many times I’ve needed to be encouraged to focus on the important issues rather then human structures. Frank had a wonderful gift to help ask questions to help me redirect my energy. I always felt that he understood me and could challenge me directly. Sounds like he did that for many people. Thanks be to God for the gift of our friend and brother.

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