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Neff Advocates Love of Old and New Earth

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 29, 2010

At the biennial Longo Lecture, Christianity Today Media Group editor in chief and vice president David Neff presented "Earth Day and the New Earth: Is creation care in competition with second-coming Christianity?" Neff proposed that, as Christians who look forward to Jesus' second coming, "we can love both the planet as we know it and the world as God will remake it." The Longo Lecture was presented on the evening of January 28, but in the morning professor and lecture coordinator Greg Schneider and environmental studies major Molly Reeves interviewed Neff for the colloquy program. At that time, he talked about the founding of Christianity Today magazine by Billy Graham in the '50s and also opened discussion about environmental stewardship and how Christians do and should address it. At the lecture in the evening, Neff presented a more formal and thorough look at how the Christians with a strong eschatology (theology regarding the end of the world and the Second Coming, etc.) have viewed the environment and environmental stewardship throughout history, recent trends and movements, and "how people with that kind of a faith focus can think best about caring for the environment." Neff first talked about Christianity's theology about...
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Winter Revival Features Alums

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 29, 2010

The 2010 Winter Revival at Pacific Union College brought the annual series of morning and evening programs to inspire spiritual growth among students with a new twist: The speakers were all recent PUC grads who have gone into ministry. The revival took place during January and was themed "The Word from the Frontlines," with alums Beejay Wheeler ('09), Dustin Comm ('07), Brian Simmons ('06), Zach Reiber ('09), Godfrey Miranda ('05), and D'andre Campbell ('07) presenting. Each of the speakers brought PUC thoughts on where God is leading our church, especially through this generation's leadership. Comm, Pastor of Youth and Media for Calimesa (California) Adventist Church, talked about his basketball days at PUC, explaining that there's a "big difference between being a player and being a fan." In the three years since leaving PUC, he said, he's noticed that some people become "spiritual fans" who are supporters of the cause of Jesus, but fail "to engage him in the dynamic relationship that he calls us to." He posed a question to the PUC congregation: "Are you a fan, or are you a player?" Wheeler, a theology grad and youth pastor in Placerville, Calif., spoke on how Jesus condemmed religious leaders who,...
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Christianity Today Editor to Lecture at PUC

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 28, 2010

David Neff, editor in chief and vice president of editorial for the Christianity Today Media Group, will speak for the Longo Lecture at Pacific Union College on January 28. Neff will lecture on "Earth Day and the New Earth: Is creation care in competition with second-coming Christianity?" He will investigate questions about a Christian approach to environmental responsibility and activism that can affirm both care for the present earth and anticipation of the earth made new. Neff has worked at Christianity Today International for almost 25 years, where he has guided the editorial process for Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and Christian History magazines. During this editorial career, he has written articles on a wide variety of topics, including climate change, Middle East politics, the American presidency and the rule of law, and the church fathers' approach to the Bible. In addition to his publishing work, Mr. Neff has worked with Northern Baptist Seminary to establish the Robert E. Webber Center for an Ancient-Evangelical Future. Before coming to Christianity Today, Mr. Neff edited InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's magazine for university students and was a pastor and religion teacher at Walla Walla College. The Longo Lecture Series brings major figures to PUC...
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Endeavors to Help Haiti

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 22, 2010

The Pacific Union Community has watched in sorrow news of the tragic earthquake in Haiti. The campus rejoiced with our one student from Haiti, Pierre Julov, when he was finally able to speak with his parents and learned that they were alive and well. In the meantime, the community has endeavored to help in several ways, most notably when the Angwin Community Services pledged up to $10,000 in matched funds. Calls for participation were made at colloquy and church services and word spread across campus, resulting in the raising of $17,690 — totaling $27,690 with the matching funds. Another connection came in the form of a PUC alum. On January 14, Scott Nelson ('92) arrived in Haiti to set up an orthopedic surgical unit. Nelson works as a medical director for CURE International at a hospital in the Dominican Republic and has made numerous trips in the past to Haiti to perform corrective surgery for children. At Hopital du la Communitie Haitien, Nelson and his team found many orthopaedic cases filling the parking lot and patio, as people were too frightened to go inside the building. "One 3 year old child was about to get his arm amputated by an...
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Librarian Earns Honorary Degree

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 21, 2010

At Southwestern Adventist University's (SWAU) winter graduation this year, PUC director of library services Adu Worku spoke on "What a Difference Education Makes." He shared his own story of being a shepherd boy and not beginning school until the age of 15, going on to earn three master's degrees; he is now a great proponent of the value of Adventist education. "Seventh-day Adventist education is value-added education," he said during his address. "The education we provide is both timely and timeless. It is purpose driven with consequences for this life and for the life to come." Following the address and the bestowing of degrees, SWAU president Eric Anderson, a former professor at PUC, surprised Worku by presenting him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Anderson said that Worku's "life story is an illustration of the transforming power of Christian education,” adding that "today he is one of the most learned men I know.” Worku is a musician, poet, activist, teacher, and writer and has earned master's degrees in history, education, and library science. Worku and his family also have connections to PUC in addition to his role at the library. Worku received his undergrad degree at Avondale, but...
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Celebrating King's Legacy

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 18, 2010

In its annual Martin Luther King Jr. memorial colloquy, Pacific Union College celebrated the legacy of this civil rights leader in several ways on January 14, 2010. PUC president Dr. Heather Knight opened with a brief background on Dr. King and thoughts on his legacy, which influences our own campus as a "dynamic multicultural learning community," she said. "We owe a lot to Dr. King." She also shared a little-known fact about King's name: His father was named Michael Luther King and named his son Michael Luther King Jr. After a family trip to Germany, the family was so impressed by the life and legacy of Martin Luther that King's father changed both his and his son's names to Martin. The program featured several beautiful and energetic songs from a recently formed PUC gospel choir, who, said Dr. Knight in her intro, "are truly embodying our living out of the 'Beloved Community' here on campus." One of their songs, "Bless Me (Prayer of Jabez)," was dedicated to those suffering from the recent earthquake in Haiti. Dr. Norman Knight, PUC's outreach chaplain, delivered a sermon – "a message that I believe Martin Luther King would bring to college students today." He...
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Womens Basketball Team Reaches Beyond the Court

By Doug Wilson & Lainey S. Cronk on November 25, 2009

In between games, a group of basketball players took time for a different kind of endeavor — one that involved getting in the spirit of the holiday season and giving back to a community. It was November, and the Pacific Union College women's Pioneers basketball team traveled to Southern California to play in a Thanksgiving tournament. The competition included La Verne University, Pomona-Pitzer University, Whittier College and Cal Tech University. Playing four games in four days, the PUC team finished with two wins and two losses. But the Pioneers also made a point of getting involved in the community in another way. In between their games, the team took time out to visit a senior living facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. For over two hours the players and coaches mingled with the residents, playing chair volleyball and other games, singing songs, and enjoying each others' company. The atmosphere was filled with energy, laughter and smiles. Several of the highlights included the basketball team helping the residents beat their “total hits” record in chair volleyball by over 200; singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas” in the lobby to over 50 residents; and a solo, performed by team member Vanessa Felder,...
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"Shuffle" Plays to Full House

By Lainey S. Cronk on November 17, 2009

The second annual 24-hour theater festival was a big hit on Sunday evening, with people lining the walls of Alice Holst Theater and even watching from the lobby. Produced by the Pacific Union College Dramatic Arts Society, the festival was titled "Shuffle" and showcased four short plays created entirely in 24 hours. Four playwrights were given titles (from songs) at 9 p.m. on Saturday evening, November 14. They wrote through the night and handed off their plays to directors the next morning. The directors and their teams of actors spent the day rehearsing. At 8 p.m. Sunday evening, the theater was packed with an expectant audience. PUC film & television program director Rodney Vance wrote "The Final Slowdance"; current PUC student Peter Katz contributed "All the Things That I've Done"; San Francisco playwright Enrique Urueta wrote "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making"; and former PUC student Tim Wolcott wrote "Don't Blame it on Elvis." Five directors, 20 actors, and a crew of six brought the four brand-new plays to life. "Shuffle" producer, PUC student, and drama program intern Timothy Widmer explained that "last year DAS produced the first 24-hour festival and it was so much fun we decided to do...
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David R. Williams Speaks for Inaugural Lecture Series

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 28, 2009

David R. Williams, a Harvard professor and an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health, will speak at Pacific Union College on November 14. His topic will be "Religion and Health: Findings, Challenges and Unanswered Questions." Williams is a professor of sociology and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections, and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He is one of the most cited researchers in the social sciences. Williams' lecture is the first in the Presidential Inaugural Lecture Series, which will bring major speakers to PUC during the inaugural year of Dr. Heather Knight's presidency. Williams will speak on Saturday, November 14, at 4 p.m. at the Scales Chapel on the Pacific Union College campus. Admission is free. For more information, call 707-965-6303....
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Seven Performers Take the Stage for Piano Fantasia

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 14, 2009

The second annual Piano Fantasia concert, hosted at Pacific Union College on October 11, honored noted philanthropist and Napa Valley arts patron Margrit Mondavi. It brought to the stage world-renowned pianists Daniel Glover and Thomas Hansen, internationally-recognized music prodigy Nathan Chan, dancer Jeraldine Mendoza from City Ballet School-San Francisco (who has been invited to finish her studies at the Bolshoi academy in Moscow), and violinist and PUC music professor Rachelle Berthelsen-Davis. "I'm delighted to be back," said Glover, who also played at last year's inaugural event. "It's been a fantastic experience." Several pieces brought the audience to their feet, including the 15-year-old Chan's performance of a "classical crossover" piece by contemporary composer Mark Summer, "Julie-O," a cello solo that includes the use of the instrument as percussion as well as being played with and without the bow. The event is a tribute to the music arts in the Napa Valley and the people who make it so rich. As PUC president Heather Knight said at the beginning of the program, this is an area celebrated for its arts culture, and as a Christian liberal arts college, PUC's role is "to add intellectual capital, spiritual capital, but certainly also cultural capital."...
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