Etown College Alum in the news

Posted by tom | Jan 3, 2008

Check out UCD provost Heckler leaving for Valparaiso. Why? The article highlights an Etown College alum's appreciation for Etown College's faith based education (of 1977) as he was announced as Valpraiso's new president.  Valpo's coverage is here, with links to his CV (including the various productions he was involved with on campus), and his acceptance speach. Praise God and may these testimonies continue!

Winter Retreat Preparations

Posted by tom | Dec 21, 2007

The semester has come to an end.  Christmas is but a few days away.  InterVarsity's National Staff Conference (in St. Louis) lies just beyond the new year. Before we know it, the annual Mid-Altantic Graduate & Faculty Ministry Winter Retreat will be upon us! Join me in prayer as I prepare to direct the January 25-27 gathering.


New Amish Studies website

Posted by tom | Dec 6, 2007

Yesterday, Don Kraybill passed along word regarding a new Amish Studies website developed by the Young Center with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The purpose of the site is to provide accurate information on the Amish of North America for students, scholars, journalists, and the general public. Hope you find it helpful!

Note: Earlier posts related to the Amish and the work of the Young Center include

The Amish in America (related to the conference sponsored by the The Young Center)
In Amish country
Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits
Amish: New Identities and Diversities
Bush Fever:
Call to prayer: (with regard to the Nickel Mines Tragedy)
From the Buggy to the Byte

Reminder: December 4 Dessert

Posted by tom | Nov 26, 2007

If you're planning to come to our December 4 Dessert please RSVP to us by email/phone ASAP.  Thanks.  We'd like to have a final count by Wednesday. 


God, Evolution, and Racism: A Perfect Storm

Posted by tom | Nov 7, 2007

Please join me in prayer for light of Christ to shine through in the conversation on F&M's campus relating to the removal of a recently recovered plaque (had been found in a F&M warehouse with other pieces of campus history and posted in a high visibility location in the newly opened Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building which houses a number of departments and interdiscipinary programs).

Controversial plaque at F&M, subject of God, Evolution, and Racism:  A Perfect Storm on 11/6/07

Last night, Michael Murray (F&M Philosophy Department Chair and the speaker for our December 4 ministry dessert) participated in an interdisciplinary panel discussion God, Evolution, and Racism: A Perfect Storm, which included the Provost who had the plaque removed.


A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

Posted by tom | Nov 5, 2007

As you may remember, Ed Larson visited F&M on October 18-19.  One of his presentations focused on his new book A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign, giving special attention to the role the gubernatorial race in PA played in the electoral college delegate selection and Adams' whistlestop tour through the area to garner in the votes.  Before you enter the voting booth this year and prepare for next year, take a moment to read this Books & Culture review/reflection on Larson's new book.  To whet your appetite, below is the conclusion (of course maybe that will be all some of you need to read):


Praying for upcoming events

Posted by tom | Oct 26, 2007

Saturday October 27th's Human Trafficking and Enslavement Symposium, Carlisle Theatre, Carlisle, PA.


Prayer: A week in mission

Posted by tom | Oct 15, 2007

Yesterday, our local assembly celebrated Mission Sunday.  The focus during the Sunday School time was upon Brethren-in-Christ World Mission's (BIC-WM) efforts in London, which by Muslims is considered the Gateway to the West, through a mission team raised up around Jay Smith's efforts. Pray for resourcing and staffing concerns in the areas of training/equipping, research/apologetics, and evangelism/church planting.

On the home front:  Pray for Tom's office work (the organization which he's for the most part put off for over a year) and his travels:


Don't need to worry about fatigue

Posted by tom | Oct 6, 2007

On Wednesday, it is my priviledge to participate in the C. S. Lewis Seminar at Penn State Harrisburg. This faculty and staff gathering began last fall by reading/discussing C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  Currently we're delving into Letters from a Skeptic by Gregory and Edward Boyd.  In Correspondence 16 (How an you believe that a man rose from the dead?), Greg responds to his father's concern about how his tiring objections affect him in a manner which reflects my sense of call as I not only identify, encourage and equip Christian scholars to be redeeming influences in higher education, but also hold forth the Word of Life to those being drawn into His Presence by the power of the Spirit:


What are InterVarsity and Tom Grosh doing now?

Posted by tom | Oct 5, 2007

Tom & Theresa Grosh invite you to come learn

how you can partner with us as we extend into new areas of campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate & Faculty Ministry team.


Human Trafficking and Enslavement Symposium

Posted by tom | Sep 15, 2007

On Thursday evening, I traveled to The John Newton Center, Carlisle, PA, to participate in a planning mtg for a Human Trafficking and Enslavement Symposium, Carlisle Theatre, 44 West High Street.  This free, open to the public, educational awareness/outreach opportunity on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, October 27, is organized by The John Newton Center, with a number of partners including InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Messiah College's International Justice Mission Chapter, and Messiah College's Gender Studies Project. Prepare yourself for


F&M Opens Big Today

Posted by tom | Aug 29, 2007

Great to read of the New life for sciences. One can visit F&M's own description of The new Life Sciences & Philosophy Building which will bring together three distinctive departments--Biology, Psychology, and Philosophy--and two interdisciplinary programs--Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind--reinforcing an established environment of interdisciplinary collaboration that mirrors the finest practices in scientific inquiry today here. I've enjoyed getting to know Michael Murray, a follower of Christ, chair of the philosophy department, and an active member of the project. Pray for insight for Michael and others to not only take advantage of the new resource to provide excellence in research and teaching, but also through the interdisciplinary programs give testimony to how the mind has been shaped by God, to be used to the honor of his glory.

Steps forward

Posted by tom | Aug 20, 2007

At InterVarsity's Mid-Atlantic Regional Staff Conference (RSC), I had good conversations regarding faculty ministry with staff from Bloomsburg, Dickinson, Elizabethtown, F&M, Millersville, Penn, U. of Delaware, a number of campuses in the Reading area, and the incoming regional director (Praise God for his vision for the whole campus mission!).  I'm refining materials (i.e., pulling materials out from visits to Duquesne, Penn State Behrend, Washington & Jefferson) to consult and assist undergraduate field staff on these campuses to integrate faculty into our whole campus mission.  


Mid-Atlantic Regional Staff Conference

Posted by tom | Aug 1, 2007

[update] In a few hours our whole family will jump into the car to travel to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Mid-Atlantic Regional Staff Conference at Camp Hebron. Ellen and Hayley are looking forward to reconnecting with friends from last year and having an opportunity to ride horses. Theresa's looking forward to catching up on some reading (see picked up some magazines at our local congregation and we're wrapping up Yancey's book on Prayer in the next several weeks) and swimming, which will also be what Eden will enjoy the most. But Mommy will miss Eden's morning nap time :( (More)

Work, Play, New House

Posted by tom | Jul 3, 2007

Yes, there is a lot of work and play at our new house.  Last Friday was filled with emailing (I'm not even close to the death stage as described by Nora Ephron in The Six Stages of E-Mail) and phoning for IVCF . . . and Monday was more of the same with Tuesday looking like still more before I hit the road for Engaging the University: Student Mission and the Christian Mind at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto.  Meanwhile 3 boys and 3 girls spin around and there's plenty of wiffleball, hoops, and biking to go around.

On Saturday, some other entertainment things crept into my life along with the responsibility of watching Eden when Theresa took Hayley and Ellen to Governor Dick (and saw the trees flutter w/gypsy moths), Dinosaur Rock, and the Jigger Shop with Karen and her boys. But a batting cage in the house for Angel outfielder Reggie Willits, with wife and young child, seems a little over the top. But maybe that's not much different than a home business where you go out on consignment.  And I guess a that could be quite fun as a kid, and soon it will be in the backyard to the new house.  It will take quite awhile for my operation to take over the house, although the library keeps expanding and searching for new places to rest its growing volumes.


Posted by tom | Jun 29, 2007

I just couldn't refrain from commenting on Hospitality: Now and Then. I confess that the thoughts I share are true blog comments, i.e., basically the typing out of verbal processing. But I'd encourage you to take some time to read through McKnight's post and the other comments. This quote from Peggy led me to prayer and affirmed our family's commitment to walk alongside young families seeking direction/encouragement/support:  

Hospitality, in the era of the nuclear family, is almost impossible when your children are young and you have no family nearby. All my time is taken up in surviving … there is little left over for ministry at church, much less hospitality. More to share, but it will have to be later as our families are in the midst of hosting.

Note: I focus on Arlene Miller's Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing in my first comment and also check out the related post at Women Authors: Christine Pohl. Note: To not loose the material I have cut-and-pasted the comments below.


The Amish in America

Posted by tom | Jun 7, 2007

A great first day at The Amish in America: New Identities and Diversities, hosted by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College.  To name a few things:

1. connected with GCC alum Loyal Hall (2000).  We had the opportunity to chat about urban ministry (he lives in Lebanon, PA), share pictures of our kids, and set-up a lunch appointment for tomorrow.

2. attended the first screening of the new documentary Amish Backroads to Heaven which had the most direct footage of Amish which I've seen and significant interview time with Don Kraybill, Elizabethtown College, and Steve Nolt, Goshen College.

3. talked with the director of Amish Backroads to Heaven and I'm in the process of securing a copy of Amish Backroads to Heaven to share at the upcoming faculty conference.

4.  met and reflected upon public expressions of faith with a Baptist preacher who is now a public servant..

5.  discussed the relationship of faith-vocation with several nurses.

Time to rest up for tomorrow (note:  the house is quiet as Theresa, Hayley, and Ellen are camping out in the yard tonight).  Expect thoughts on the below items and more in the next several days: group decision making, communal structure, the idealization of Amish (the Arcadian myth), the value of having models to live up to, one's whole life expressing one's faith versus conversionism, the complexity of the simple life, wide is the road that leads to destruction, Mission to Amish People (MAP, Joe and Esther Keim) . . .

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

Posted by tom | May 10, 2007

On Wednesday morning I participate in a prayer gathering with youth ministry leaders at the Center for Parent & Youth Understanding (CPYU) coordinated by Derek (one of the staff members). This week, he shared some quotes from the first chapter of Philip Yancey's Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? The focus was on the prayer warriors of the past and where are we at w/prayer in our own lives and ministries? I've already been digging into this book, as Theresa and I will be co-leading a Fellowship Group/Adult Elective time of Yancey's book with another couple from our local congregation. Nate, our local congregation's youth minister, shared a quote from Mother Teresa regarding prayer which he heard on a talk show (p.65 in Yancey's book)

My secret is a very simple one:  I pray," wrote Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a modern master of the skill:

Prayer is simply talking to God.
He speaks to us:  we listen.
We speak to him:  he listens.
A two-way process:
speaking and listening."

--Mother Teresa, Everything Starts from Prayer (Ashland, Ore."  White Cloud Press, 1998), 35.

As one participant pointed out, it is hard to picture Mother Teresa on a talk show. Yes, nothing like members of the popular press/media placing the religious on stage and trying to expose their secrets.  It takes a strong relationship with God to humbly testify to the power of God in such an arena.  AND there is something so countercultural about the unvarnished, real Gospel which exposes the charade and brings the true Light in an uncomfortable manner for those seeking to consume a product.

But she was first in the Presence of God
Second on the talk show

But she was first in the Presence of God the Father, by the work of the Son, and the continuing power of the Spirit.
Second on the talk show reproducing the likeness of Jesus in our world, letting the Spirit transform lives as the Light of the Gospel is spoken in word, life, and deed to the glory of God the Father.

Amish: New Identities and Diversities

Posted by tom | May 1, 2007

Interested in learning about the Amish? Come to Elizabethtown College on June 7-9 for a conference which will explore Amish health, history, gender roles. I'm not going to miss this opportunity to learn more about followers of Christ in my neighborhood (saw a number of buggies on Sunday, Church must be assembling somewhere close by, including a courting buggy)! In a related article, An open invitation to a closed culture, Stephen Scott shares about his conversion to the Old Order River Brethren Church in 1969. Stephen works at Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, which will be hosting the The Amish in America: New Identities and Diversities Conference.

Note: Earlier posts regarding the work of the Young Center.

Young Center Connections

Posted by tom | Apr 9, 2007

As you've probably noted by the volume of postings regarding the Anabaptist movement (e.g., Power of Forgiveness Preview, Lessons of Love, From the Buggy to the Byte, Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits, Bush Fever: Amish & Old Order Mennos in the 2004 Presidential Election), I've taken advantage of a number of the offerings provided by Elizabethtown College's Young Center

Over the course of the past several weeks, I've had brief conversations with Ron Burwell, Messiah College's Sociology Department chair and coordinator of the Brethren-in-Christ Profile (note:  overall I'm excited about the findings), and Musa Mambla, Provost of Theological College of Northern Nigeria who gave a presentation on the relationship of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria (Praise God for the choice of the path of reconciliation/forgiveness by the followers of Christ!). I blessed to learn that they both have positive connections with IFES/IVCF which extend back a long way. Looking forward to following-up with them.  I'm meeting with Don Kraybill, the Senior Fellow of the Young Center later today. Pray for opportunities for partnership to emerge.  Hoping to arrange a presentation series by him in Pittsburgh on the Amish, Forgiveness, and From the Buggy to the Byte (at CMU).  Maybe I should encourage book discussions of his recently updated The Upside-Down Kingdom on campus and as part of Adult Education. Upon a quick review, the new discussion questions at the back of the book and the on-line study guide appear to be quite helpful.

Rita's Free Ice Day!

Posted by tom | Mar 21, 2007

I'll be in Carisle to get-to-know Bob Ives, the interim teaching pastor of Elizabethtown Brethren-in-Christ and Stephen Hague, the director of the John Newton International Center for Christian Studies right next to Dickinson College. I may also take the opportunity to visit a few bookstores in Carisle: Banner of Truth, Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service, Whistle Stop Book Store.

But the girls day will be made by free Rita's Ice after a hair trim. I became familiar with real Pennsylvanian Italian water ice in 'da Burgh. Hope there's one near you. While I'm at it, I'll pick-up a free one to top off a stimulating day of conversation before joining the family for a meal at Elizabethtown Brethren-in-Christ.

Power of Forgiveness

Posted by tom | Mar 20, 2007

Last night I had the opportunity to preview The Power of Forgiveness at Elizabethtown College. Wow! Still processing through my response, particularly as to how I would introduce the concept of evil and critique self-help/positive thinking, when I schedule a discussion of this quite provoking piece after it shows on PBS this fall.

The evening began with some jokes to warm-up the audience, Don Kraybill declared E-town a major city due to it's hosting one of the 25 prescreenings of the film and Martin Doblmeier commented that his mom knew he was successful when Oprah expressed interest in the piece. Wink  Through 7 short stories of personal and collective forgiveness, Doblmeier intends to make the point that forgiveness in itself runs counter to our culture and there is not conformity of thought by those who think about forgiveness. Some highlights of the material presented included:

1. U. of Wisconsin Madison's Bob Enright's educational material which seeks to plant forgiveness beginning in primary education and workings way up through Irish schooling, a long-term approach hard to imagine in the U.S., but after the film we learned there was interest in Milwaukee!

2. E-town College's Don Kraybill's sharing of how the Amish's profound ability to absorb adversity . . . to not argue with God . . . to not need to retaliate . . . as the community support helps them to deal with the anger they might have . . . while the school is gone, the memory remains and they have to work with it every day.
3. Elie Wiesel's remembrances of being A7713 in Auschwitz where he lost his family and challenge to the German government in 2000 to ask for forgiveness from the Jewish people, which they did.
4. Much more to share, but this will do for now. The film ended with the challenge to stretch your imagination. If all the conflicts in the world could be resolved like one of the reconciling relationships highlighted in the film.

Related, I'm looking to register for the Young Center's Conference on the Amish this summer, June 7–9, 2007. Note: It looks to be so good, Theresa would like to attend one day. Maybe you'd be interested too, check out the flyer.

Love By All Accounts

Posted by tom | Feb 26, 2007

Michael Murray welcomed the attendees to F&M's 11th Annual Philosophy Symposium: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Love, briefly sharing his enthusiasm for next year's collaboration of Biology, Philosophy, and Psychology.  We then quickly moved to Eleonore Stump's, Philosophy, St. Louis University, presentation Love By All Accounts.  Below are some notes.  I found the whole conference quite stimulating (more posts en route), but this talk was most helpful for me personally.  In particular, the consideration of Aquinas' understanding of Love.

Eleonore opened by comparing two popular competing accounts of love:



Posted by tom | Jan 21, 2007

Looking forward to hearing Eleonore Stump, Philosophy, St. Louis University, speak on Love By All Accounts at a faculty conference on Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Love sponsored by Franklin & Marshall College's (F&M) Philosophy Department. For more on check out Stump, check out Looking into the Mirror of Evil: A Review of the Moral Philosophy of Eleonore Stump. She's posted a few pieces on her faculty page and here's the link to Aristocracy and Obligation: The Medieval Lists of Almsdeeds. This conference looks to be quite stimulating, I've also heard positive reviews of the work of Jeffrey Schloss, Biology, Westmont College, who will be addressing The 'Matter' of Love: Evolution, Religion, and the Internalization of Altruism. Let the conversations flow forth to greater insight, understanding and love directed in a helpful manner!

Questioning Evangelism

Posted by tom | Nov 25, 2006

Randy Newman's Questioning Evangelism

Beginning on December 3, I'll co-facilitate an Adult Elective based on Randy Newman's Questioning Evangelism. Looking forward to working with Jim and starting afresh at a new location. I had the opportunity to hear Randy at our Baltimore/Washington Graduate & Faculty Ministry Fall Conference. Check out the notes below. They're rough. I'll try to sharpen them up in the future.


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