STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 04/16/2008

Letters to The Editor

I enjoyed reading through the recent issue. I hope you will share with all of us Dr. Boorse's response to bryan parys regarding a sustainable method of dishwashing!
-Mark D. Taylor, President/CEO, Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

Editor's note: STILLPOINT recommends a dishwasher, run at full load, or the two-basin method. Read more on sustainable choices. Dr. Boorse's response can be found at the bottom of this article.

As a parent of several Gordon grads, I read STILLPOINT regularly. "SPORKS: What Would Dorothy Do?" (Summer 2007) caught my attention because I have known Dr. Boorse for quite a while and am interested in how her teaching affects others. Bryan, I'm glad she haunts you. I'm not really sure if she does bottle the cold water coming out of the hot water tap, but I know her father does. It's easy: Just keep a couple of wide-mouth wine bottles by the sink, and every time you want hot water, fill the bottle until the water turns hot. Use that water to water the plants.
Of course the real fauxlosophical question is: "Is it fair/right for rich Americans to give high quality, potable water to plants while humans in the Third World are drinking noxious polluted water, dying from dehydration or thirsting to death?" So there you have it: the problem with college is that it teaches you to think, which can be dangerous or debilitating. Good luck! Thanks for your enjoyable, creative writing.
-Dave Boorse (Dorothy's dad)

I just read Gabriel John's article "A Refugee's Heart for Darfur" (Summer 2007). I have done work for Darfur for the last eight months, and one of my projects was selling T-shirts that say "Stop Genocide in Sudan." My friends and I raised over $4,000 this way to give to World Vision in Darfur. I want to give one of the last ones we have to Gabriel as a sign of appreciation and support for his testimony and presence here.
-Peter Morse

Please let Gabriel John know that my congregation has prayed for and donated to Save Darfur internationally, and we did so last Sunday. In addition, I quoted from the STILLPOINT article about him at worship last Sunday. We hope the president of our country follows through with words he said at the United Nations, but churches need to take the lead. We thank God for those like Gabriel John, those who believe in prayer and unity and that it's never too late to save lives.
-The Reverend Edward R. Schreiber '69, Atonement Lutheran Church, Saugerties, New York

I loved the In Focus section. Fascinating glimpse into people's lives. Thanks for all your good work that brings glory to our Savior.

In Christ's service together,
-Cindy Weinrebe

We were glad to read the interview with Tal McNutt in the recent STILLPOINT. He and Wayne Porter '49 have an incredible story of how the Lord worked in their lives during World War II. Tal, with other GIs and a chaplain, was instrumental in starting a Youth For Christ program in Tokyo after the invasion. Some time ago we had lunch with the Porters and the McNutts, and Tal and Wayne talked about their experiences. I had known some of it in bits and pieces but was really amazed and blessed just being reminded about how the Lord worked in those years. Someone needs to write a "Greatest Generation" book about Christians the Lord raised up during the war years and how He used them in so many ministries all over the world. Most, including Gordon alumni, were just ordinary people who spent their lives translating the Scriptures or ministering and preaching in the hard places of the world. Others, like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Chaplain Leonard Sweet of SEND International, started organizations that are still at work around the world.
Ralph and I read STILLPOINT from cover to cover and even fight over who gets it first!
-Polly (Kolodinski) Brown '50

Editor's note:
Polly Brown was the author of "Billy Graham Takes Boston--and Gordon--by Storm" (Summer 2007).

In response to the last installment of Sporks we received the following letter from Dorothy Boorse:

Dear bryan parys,
I now know why I have been so tired recently. Instead of sleeping peacefully, I've been running around as a sort of moonlighting conscience, giving you advice on your daily environmental choices. Not only that, I'm getting emails about dishwashing. In fact, offering you advice while you brush your teeth and attempt to buy fairly traded, low-impact belongings is not something I knew I had agreed to when I signed up to teach. Who knew it would be such a long-term thing?

Seriously, I loved your piece in STILLPOINT and was really humbled to hear you remembered so much from our Environmental Science class and that it is affecting your life now. That is my dream as a teacher. I am thrilled to see you continue with care of creation.

However, I felt slightly uncomfortable with the image of myself looking over anyone's shoulder. That image highlights a dilemma: I do know more than many people about the effects of our life choices on the environment. I do have a lot of opportunities to exhort people to care about the world God created and has left in our care. But I have decided  not to spend a great deal of time judging the environmental decisions of everyone else. I am a flawed and failing human being, and my conscience is working hard enough just on me. There are many people around here way more environmentally conscious than I am. In fact, I have my own other person--M--sitting on my mental shoulder making me ask "What would M do?"

Ideally I want to live in a world where people don't wonder "What would Dorothy do?" and where I am not asking "What would M do?" I want to live in a world where people all want to do the right thing by the created world because God made it, loves it and has tenderly placed it in our care.

I do understand why a professor of environmental science would end up being the voice on someone's shoulder. But my voice is just a stopgap--like a Band-Aid or a piece of duct tape. The real question should always be "What would God have me do?"
And remember the other thing I said: Don't give in to the twin temptations to avoid knowing about the real problems of the world, or to be in despair about them. You are quite wise to just enjoy learning about the natural world and trying to do the right thing. You are more than welcome to my wisdom on solutions, just as I seek wisdom from others on the things I can't figure out. But I'm ready to turn it over to you--hoping to hear someday that your friends are asking "What would bryan do?" as a reminder to ask the better question "What would God have me do?" Then, perhaps, I can have my poor voice back and will get the sleep I need.

Dorothy Boorse

P.S. Oh, and if anyone sees bryan, can you ask him where around here you can donate clothes that are too worn to be donated to a thrift store but could still be used in paper manufacture? I've been working on that one for awhile.

Editor's Note: We thought this was a great question and did a little research. Top recommendations:
The Salvation Army and similar organizations often recycle worn clothing as industrial wipes or as mixed-textile scrap for carpet padding and padded mailing envelopes. Animal shelters appreciate worn towels and sheets for homeless cats and dogs. Towels are helpful after oil spills to help clean birds and other wildlife--check with wildlife rescue/rehab places as well. And at garage and rummage sales, people will readily buy old sheets and towels for rags and drop cloths.

For more on how the Gordon community is thinking about sustainability, visit

In "A Biotech Apprenticeship" (Summer 2007), the name of Cliff Mathisen's employer is FEI company--Tools for Nanotech, not Financial Executives International.

In "Billy Graham Takes Boston--and Gordon--by Storm," the New Year's Eve Crusade took place in Mechanics Hall, not Boston Garden.

STILLPOINT regrets these errors and omissions.


Summer Cover 07