STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 08/07/2009

Letters to The Editor

To Dan and Kathy Russ (“Cancer and the Care of the Soul,” Spring 2009)
Dan, this morning I took time to read the article you and Kathy wrote on the journey you have been on for the past two years. I so appreciated reading it. Last night I was with a woman who after 25 years has had a relapse of her cancer. This has been going on for four years. She is tired of all the treatments, etc., which I think you understand. I am going to take this article over to her today. It is good that you did not hide things from others. We all need this courage to be open and share with others so we can be the beneficiaries of what God has planned for us—in the provision of love and support from His family.
—Sandra Bowden, past president of CIVA (Christians in Visual Arts)

Many thanks to Mike Gorman (Letters, Spring 2009) for questioning Gordon’s involvement in the ROTC program. The editor’s note to Mike’s letter stated that Gordon “has an obligation to prepare students for leadership in a wide range of vocations.” This truism begs the question and is not in itself a sufficient justification for the College’s support of ROTC. The note goes on to say that preparing military leaders “is not the same as supporting the military strategy of a given political administration.” I find this line of reasoning naïve and evasive. It is more the case, I think, that such action implies support of the military strategy of all political administrations and that such support is a good thing.

I suspect Gordon’s willingness to support ROTC is ideologically anchored in the traditional Reformed overemphasis of such texts as Romans 13:1–7; evangelical Christianity’s adoption of a theology that emphasizes God’s punishment of sin and our role as agents in that punishment; and the subconscious transfer of battle metaphors from the spiritual realm into the political (with an accompanying literalization of those metaphors).

Over the years I have read in STILLPOINT many mentions of military service by alumni. I don’t recall reading news about alumni, faculty or students engaging in peace ministries or criticizing the military policies of our government. If there are such, I’d like to hear about them.
—Larry Ruark ’58, active duty as U.S. naval officer 1958–1961, North Attleboro, Massachusetts

It was great to read about Richard and Carolyn Purchase ’35PBI (“Alumni News,” Spring 2009). They celebrated wonderful anniversaries last year, including Carolyn’s 100th birthday, and are both still living at the Quarryville Presbyterian Home in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. They were seniors at PBI [Providence Barrington Institute] when I entered, and both of them were exceptional witnesses to me. Richard was a student pastor, and he took me with him to church on one of my first Sundays away from home. I do not know if others from the PBI classes of ’35, ’36 and ’37 are still living. If they are, they will surely join me in giving thanks to God for the ministry of Dick and Carolyn.

Many years after I had entered the business world to become a bank officer, I served a number of churches as a supply and interim pastor. My last call was in 2001 to serve as senior pastor. Retirement came in 2006. My wife, Jo Anne, and I were able to serve these churches without compensation because our Heavenly Father had amply provided for us.

Dick and Carolyn have been at the top of my prayer list. How I wish I had been as faithful to God over the years as this dear couple.
—Donald MacDonald ’37B, Louisville, Kentucky

As a Nova Scotian and a Gordon College grad, I was rather amused by Michael Monroe’s comments in “Trips of a Lifetime” (Spring 2009). After visiting my province, he writes, “The people are French speaking. . . . Nova Scotia [N.S.] isn’t known for its history.”

Nova Scotia (New Scotland) is a peninsula on the eastern coast of Canada and is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Fundy. It is awash in history and culture. The first French-speaking settlement in North America was at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1603. We are proud of our Acadian roots; there are still pockets of Acadian communities in N.S., but these folk speak English as easily as the rest of us. Ours is an eclectic population made up of First Nations peoples along with those of Irish, Scottish, English, German, Dutch and African descent. We have a past as a seafaring people, and along with the fishery there is a long history in forestry, mining and farming that has involved exports to the New England States for the past 400 years.

The port cities of Halifax and Sydney; the coastal towns of Yarmouth, Shelburne and Lunenburg are unique and historic. The Highlands of Cape Breton are world-renowned. We have a proud history in education, religion, politics, music and sports.
Unilingual? Lack of a rich historic past?
Not MY Nova Scotia.
—Gordon A. Delaney ’61, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia

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