Readers Share Their Thoughts

By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (September 16, 2010) – Hardly a week goes by that we do not receive a few comments from readers on stories published as part of the Covenant online news report.

We will share from time to time some of those responses generated through the “comments” link attached to each published story. This kind of feedback is very helpful to our Covenant News Service staff as we seek to identify and publish stories of great interest to a broad spectrum of online readers of this report.

Following are comments relating to recently published stories, edited in some cases for length. To read a particular story of interest, click on the headline.

Reflection: The Importance of Place

Bob Smietana of Nashville, TN, writes: Nice piece on the move and the memories being left behind by the move, and about how those experiences make a place sacred. (Editor’s note: Smietana is religion writer for The Tennessean in Nashville and formerly features editor for Covenant Communications.)

Everett Wilson of Ceresco, NE, writes: Thank you for making this eloquent statement about the transition. All of earthly life and history is pilgrimage, but markers on the way help us remember and anticipate – 5101 was definitely one of those. The Cross of Christ was more than a marker – it was an intersection of time and eternity, an end and a beginning continually reprised in sacrament. It gives point to all the other markers.

Nancy Carlson of Omaha, NE, writes: What wonderful reflections, Don! My earliest memory of my few brief visits to “5101” is when I was about 12 years old and came from South Bend, Indiana, to Chicago with my confirmation class. For some reason, I can still vividly recall sitting in the conference room and being welcomed and respected as a group of (quite) young “Covenanters.” It’s so great to know that after the meaningful places we come to hold dear on earth, there is yet to come that one final place he has gone to prepare for us!

Joan Hill of Safety Harbor, FL, writes: I read your story with interest, having also moved numerous times. “A building is a building” resonated with me as we recently left behind our church buildings, and yet “God is in this place” – a library, where we are now, and he cares about places. The challenge for us is to use those “places” he gives us for his purposes. How many wise mentors we have in the Covenant! Thank you, Lord!

George Elia of Yarmouth Port, MA, writes: Thanks, Don, for reminding us of the importance of “place” in our spiritual pilgrimage. It caused me to pause and reflect on all the places where God’s presence met me and ministered to me over more than three quarters of a century, including 5101 North Francisco Avenue.

Craig Pinley of Paxton, IL, writes: I wanted you to know I enjoyed your reflection on “place.” It also got me thinking of Covenant offices as place. The first time I went to Covenant offices, Paul Larsen was president. I remember talking to him about his call to that place and his vision for the denomination. I was with Heartsong at the time. I met
with Evelyn Johnson for the first time (she was heading Christian Education), so she was my big boss), and I got a chance to hear more about the Covenant and the start of the
Heartsong ministry. A couple of years later, I visited again, this time having decided on seminary and the possible call to ministry, and that place took on new meaning. And then, finally, I needed a place in 2000 and there was that building again, complete
with many people I had met in my past life. And, as I grew in my confidence, feeling a little better in my own skin again, I decided that I would do my best to provide a safe place for folks to tell their stories. And so 5101 will always bring a special smile to my face and a comfort in knowing how God helped me learn how to find “place” wherever I am, as long as he is with me. (Editor’s note: Pinley is a former staff writer for the Department of Communication.)

James Hawkinson of White Bear Lake, MN, writes: Really nice piece this morning, Don, on the transitions from 5151 to 8303. You wrote with passion, insight, and I believe inspiration, letting us into your heart. A Pietist heart, rooted and with wings. (Editor’s note: Hawkinson is executive director emeritus of the former Covenant Publications, now Covenant Communications.)

Covenant Offices Now Operating Out of Higgins Facility

Doug Wooten of Sierra Vista, AZ, writes: How wonderful that God and his churches have provided a new home for our entire Covenant offices. I’m sure it will be a true blessing to have everyone under “one roof.” I enjoyed watching the DVD and seeing a lot of folks I don’t get to see except at Midwinter normally. Hopefully, we will be able to visit the new Covenant offices during Midwinter next February. Lord, bless all those who work at these offices. Give them your continued vision and strength as they seek to serve you, our Evangelical Covenant Church, and the entire kingdom of God. In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen. (Editor’s note: Wooten serves as a Covenant chaplain in the U.S Army.)

Covenant Deeply Involved in Christian Development Conference

Andrea Johnson writes: A mustard seed grows into a tree! Not only CCDA, but also the Covenant’s growing awareness of the scope of the gospel.

Mossai Sanguma Elected to Head Medical Work Initiative

Toni Schwabe of Wyoming, MN, writes: Congratulations to President Sanguma. May God go ahead of him to keep him well and safe.

Covenant Offices Facility Officially Decommissioned

Matt Kelly writes: For several decades, three generations of my family have had our mail sent to Covenant headquarters, and as such, simply referred to it as “5101.” I don’t think it will be quite the same calling it “8303,” but it is time to move on to bigger and better things!

Creating Multi-Sensory Worship for People with Alzheimer’s

Paula Rasanen of Rockford, IL, writes: I loved your story on worship. I work at Fairhaven in Rockford with Norm Collins. When I had students at a facility, we would give the residents scriptures in big letters. They loved it. And, of course, they loved to sing and recite scripture.

Gabby Tringali of San Francisco, CA, writes: This is so awesome! I always wondered if there were ministries like this.

Time Capsule Found Inside ECC Cornerstone

Saad Akbar Khan of Milwaukee, WI, writes: I came across this story in an unrelated Google search. It is very exciting to find a time capsule! I am very interested to see what will be inside it. Please do share when you find out.

Terry Peterson of Grand Rapids, MI, writes: This is so cool! I will be excited to hear about what is inside this time capsule. Thanks for sharing so many great stories across our denomination and best wishes in the move.

Michigan Covenanter’s Team Sets Paralympic World Record

Nancy Carlson of Grandville, MI, writes: Thank you for this coverage. Elizabeth is also active at First Covenant and recently was baptized at our church. Just last Sunday she was voted into membership along with several others.

CEUMA President Ordained in Bangui Ceremony

Duncan Ngoima of Nairobi, Africa, writes: It is truly a step towards contextualizing the CEUMA. Jesus raised leaders of the same geographical orientation and prepared them to the challenges of ministry. How true it is for the CEUMA to raise pastors to the same. Pastor Jean, welcome to where you belong – to service.

News in Brief: Covenanters Making Headlines

Gayle Franck of Batavia, IL, writes: Covenant Harbor walk for Break the Chains: What a creative and innovative idea! And what a great witness to others who might have seen the signs as they hiked around the lake!

Covenant Offices to Relocate in Mid-September

Dave Bos of North Fort Myers, FL, writes: Very impressive! Looks like the coordination is being done WELL!

Serving Those in Need – No Ordinary Internship

Dave Woods of Ridgway, PA, writes: Does evangelism take place through these efforts? A testimony of someone becoming a Christian would be so welcome in this article. Is there a presentation of the gospel message in the midst of nail pounding and painting? Just curious?

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.

Sisters Recovering Nicely Following Kidney Transplant

Dawn (Perry) Nagata of San Ramon, CA, writes: Wow – shocked! But I always knew God had great plans for you.

Two CHIC2K3 Performers Win Dove Awards

Kouadjip Leonidas of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, writes: I think that it’s very interesting to see how gospel music is a good way to bring a message of God to the people. You are blessing.

Cartoons and Ministry – An Unusual Mix of Callings

Stephen Plate of Wading River, NY, writes: It was nice to read about Roger Palmquist again, but sorry to hear that he has passed away and is with the Lord now. I still have one of the “award plaques” that he drew for winning ping-pong doubles with my brother in 1973 at Pilgrim Pines. It’s the only one I ever got and I sure worked hard for it! I like remembering Roger and the good times at Pilgrim Pines whenever I see that plaque. Thanks for the history of his life.

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