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PUC Finding Perspectives in One Light

by Julie Z. Lee
Pacific Union College, entering its 117th academic year, began the fall quarter with Week of Prayer, celebrating "One Light, Many Reflections." The theme, signifying the many way in which we all reflect God, was a collaborative effort that came about after several meetings with all the scheduled speakers.

It is an appropriate title for more reasons than one. The majority of the speakers were professors, and each came from a different area of study or campus department, offering varying perspectives on one fundamental truth. Another interesting element involving perspective surrounded the fall week of prayer is the series featured all women speakers.

In the past PUC has used a series format when planning the week of prayer. Last fall the religion department headed the week of prayer and the previous year welcomed a group of successful business people. Each group provides a unique perspective on what is familiar ground to all.

"We've had different series like this in the past, and they have always worked well," says Mike Dunn, chaplain. "This year we realized that we had never heard from our faculty and staff women, so we thought it would be a great way of continuing the series."

None can deny that having only female speakers is an uncommon occasion. Week of Prayer speakers are difficult to come by, and female speakers are even more rare. In the context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, women have only begun to enter the realm of preaching and ministering.

"When I was in college we didn't have women pastors," say Nancy LeCourt., English department chair. "But slowly the expectations for women are changing, and many young women are thinking about going into the ministry to serve."

Despite the fact that the week welcomed only female speakers, the women were careful not to choose topics that strictly addressed female concerns. They spoke of no gender issues in their representation, stating that they were just a group of speakers that happened to be women. As Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti, Modern Languages department chair, stated, the focus was to emphasize "the message, not the messengers."

Ginger Ketting, associate professor of education, feels that when it comes to the bigger picture, spotlighting gender issues is unneccessary.

"When there are spiritual things to be learned, those of us who are hungry for God will go to find what food we can."
Note: This is an archived article and does not necessarily represent current issues at Pacific Union College.