Prayer for PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS) Retreat

Posted by tom | Oct 23, 2009

Pray for logistics of this weekend's PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS) Retreat to come together well. Pray for me to have the strength, energy, attentiveness, and discernment to offer my gifts of service well during this weekend. Praise God that we've had the opportunity to work out a schedule to serve Theresa and the girls well while I'm away.

*At last count 35 were registered for rest, unwinding, spiritual renewal, and two teaching sessions by a Christian physician on "Using your medical skills as a ministry: Should I? Why and How?" The second teaching session will focus on "Short term medical missions" and has particular pertinence as 20+ medical students are considering short term medical missions over spring and/or summer break. Note: several faculty mentor couples are not only involved in short term medical missions but are considering long term creative access medical missions opportunities in 'closed countries.' Pray for discernment in conversations between faculty and students.

Eating with the doctors

Posted by tom | Oct 20, 2009

As I mentioned the other day, Eden's been digging into God and Me: 365 Daily Devotions (Penny Boshoff, Authentic Media, 2005) over breakfast.  We've explored God and Me: 365 Daily Devotions several times before, but looks like we might give it a try to work through it.  I've found it exciting how she wants to read, discuss, and pray through at least two a day ... so we'll be finished with this book in half the time if not less ;-)

The October 17 devotional is about The doctor.  The piece briefly notes the training involved in preparing to become a doctor, rejoices in/prays for earthly doctors, and then points to Jesus as the best doctor (see Matthew 4:23-24).

Eden has met a lot of doctors and health care professionals through the years.  Her question for the morning was Do doctors ever get sick?  Great question!  I tried to share how doctors and health care professionals try their best not to get ill in order to serve their patients and that one day, in the new heaven and new earth, there will be no sickness.  I wonder if this is part of what led into our conversation regarding the care for Elise Faith, which occurred later in the morning as we paged through photo albums.

BTW, today I'll bring lunch for the PSU-Hershey Medical Center's Christian Medical Society (CMS) and help provide some food for their dinner outreach for first years who will be taking their 4th Anatomy & Physiology exam on Friday.  Praise God for the resources provided by followers of Christ committed to this mission which enable me to serve this meal.  Pray for the students (graduate, medical, and nursing) to be little Christs in their classes/exams/rotations/labs, for the number of students attending this weekend's retreat to continue to climb (last count I heard was 34), and for the Word and Spirit to guide activities sponsored by CMS in such a manner to impart a stronger clarity in the call to follow Christ in all aspects of their life.

IVCF/Groshes: October Events/Prayer Calendar

Posted by tom | Oct 2, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a joy to hear back from so many of you after our 9/21 update. Your encouragement, prayer, and support in so many aspects of our mission remind us that we are not alone as we seek to extend the Word of Life on campus.

Four items to highlight:

  1. October Prayer Calendar: Includes 2009-2010 Ministry Calendar (p2 of PDF). Note: Up-to-date prayer calendars can always be downloaded at http://groshlink.net/static/about. Please open/print for personal use and share with prayer meetings, small groups, mission committees, local congregations, etc. If you desire a personal update/visit, drop us an email so we can arrange a time to connect.
  2. Finances: If you have not already done so, prayerfully begin considering how you might support us financially at year end and/or in 2010. As you'll remember, God provided through His people at the close of last fiscal year. Although we've been tightening on ministry and household expenses, we are 20% behind on our budget for the new fiscal year.
    • Financial support for this strategic ministry should be directed to "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship," P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 53707-7895. Please enclose a separate piece of paper indicating that the gift is for the work of "Tom Grosh." On-line giving available at http://www.intervarsity.org/donate/to/Tom_Grosh
  3. October 7: visit http://blog.emergingscholars.org/ for ...
  4. October 11: 2nd Central PA Christian Scholars Network Lunch, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ, Elizabethtown, PA. Interested in learning more about the Central PA Christian Scholars Network? Let us know. ...
    • Topic: Jesus for the Academy: Freeing Christ from our Agendas, Stephen Nichols, professor of theology and church history at Lancaster Bible College, author of InterVarsity Press' Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to "The Passion of the Christ. For more visit http://www.intervarsity.org/gfm/esn/event/jesus-for-the-academy
    • [T]here is something peculiar about the tendency to contemporize in American evangelicalism. American evangelicals reflexively harbor suspicions of tradition. In fact, most tend toward being(rabidly) anti-tradition. Consequently, the past is overlooked as a significant source of direction. This leaves American evangelicals more vulnerable than most when it comes to cultural pressures and influences. In the absence of tradition, one tends to make up a new one, one not tested by time and one more or less constructed by individuals or by a limited community. This anti-tradition animus arises from what Sidney Mead once labeled historylessness, and what I have elsewhere called ahistoricism. This is the tendency of Americans in general to be not only amnesiacs of the past, but to be amnesiacs who aren’t necessarily looking to be cured. -- Excerpt from Stephen J. Nichols, Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to 'The Passion of Christ,' posted at http://www.ivpress.com/title/ata/2849-x.pdf.

One more day by the grace of God alone,

Tom & Theresa Grosh
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Mid-Atlantic Faculty Ministry Catalyst
Brethren in Christ World Missions Affiliate
http://www.groshlink.net
http://blog.emergingscholars.org/author/tomg/

Students and Faculty Transformed, Campus Renewed, and World Changers Developed.

IVCF/Groshes: Fall Mission Under Way

Posted by tom | Sep 22, 2009

In summary, the two things necessary to thrive in school and after graduation:  read/query the Word of God AND have fellowship with the people of God no matter the work load.  If you can’t do the two above, then quit school.  Don’t become narrow and seek accolades.  Before moving for your job, make sure there is a good match with a local congregation.  Don’t focus on making money, limit your hours to be involved with community, church, family.  Take time to interact with your patients -- From Tom's notes on Keys of Thriving (Not Just Surviving!), http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2009/09/keys-of-thriving-not-just-surviving/, a PSU-Hershey’s Christian Medical Society lunch outreach lecture by Dr. Joe Kearns, MD, Emergency Medicine.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We rejoice in your continued intercession! The LORD has sustained our family through a full August followed by the launch of the new academic year for our kids & those with whom I minister on campus. In addition to weekly visits to PSU-Hershey Medical Center (Tuesday lunch outreach, evening leadership team meeting, men's Bible study; Thursday noon time prayer) and Millersville (Wednesday faculty/staff lunch discussion of The Truth Project), I have the following on my plate:

 (More)

September Prayer Calendar Posted

Posted by tom | Sep 1, 2009

Join us in prayer for the fall mission by visiting our September Prayer Calendar.

Today (9/1/2009):

I'm attending the Lunch Lecture sponsored by PSU-Hershey's Christian Medical Society. Pray for solid new student connections to be formed as fall term rolls along. In addition pray for a clear and challenging talk by Dr. Joe Kearns, MD, Emergency Medicine.  Note:  Joe will present on Keys of Thriving (Not Just Surviving!) in Medical School and Beyond.

In addition, pray for the C. S. Lewis Seminar, a faculty/staff group at PSU-Harrisburg. They're beginning a series of conversations based upon the debate Is God A Human Invention? -- sponsored by the Free Thought Society at Tufts University.  The debate was between Dinesh D'Souza, author of What's So Great About Christianity, and Daniel Dennett, Tufts philosophy professor and author. The debate can be found on Youtube in 15 episodes of about 10 minutes each. I'll get you started, let me know what you think of the debate....

Brief Report on the Mid-Atlantic Undergrad RSC

Posted by tom | Aug 15, 2009

We rejoice in your prayers for our family during last week's Mid-Atlantic Undergrad RSC.

  1. Theresa pressed through with caring for the four girls and preparing for our road trip, we leave tomorrow.
  2. My supervisor and I received a hearty reception from Dakota, the regional director, and a number of the other staff at the Mid-Atlantic Undergrad Regional Staff Conference. I must comment that it is so exciting to witness and be a part of the growing alignment of vision with the desire to 'get practical.' God the Father is bringing greater unity and shared purpose as we invest in the call of being used by God on campus in extending the call of the Gospel to the whole campus. Students and Faculty Transformed.  Campuses Renewed.  World Changers Developed. 
  3. For those of you interested in more of the details:  I had a number of good conversations over meals, in the hall, and at the ESN/Faculty Ministry Table during which I passed along helpful resource materials in how to connect well with faculty/emerging scholars.  In addition, I explored the possibility of visiting several new campuses in the fall. In September, we'll seek to identify several 'pilot' ministry partnership campuses.  Can't wait to get this initiative going.  Hoping to build off of and replicate developing ESN opportunities such as Jesus for the Academy: Freeing Christ from our Agendas (Sunday, October 11) and last spring's How to Be a Culture Maker with Andy Crouch.

 

IVCF/Groshes: Summer Update

Posted by tom | Aug 9, 2009

Note: Sent to our Partners in Ministry e-list.  If you're not on the list and would like to be added, then drop us a line.

Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you.  Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you. Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life. -- Andrew Murray. The Secret of Adoration. Quoted in They Found the Secret by V. Raymond Edman (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1984), p. 118. Posted on http://www.groshlink.net at They Found the Secret -- Andrew Murray on waiting upon the Word/Spirit*

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Pray that above quote will be true for our family and those with whom we connect on campus as we prepare for and journey through the fall term. 

With regard to the summer, it has been full!  Full with family, friends, and financial provision.  As in our last email, we encourage you to visit our family blog http://www.groshlink.net, keep up with our posts on Facebook (if you'd like to be friends, let us know!), and pray through our August prayer calendar (click here. Tom's recent posts at http://blog.emergingscholars.org include Academics Coming to Faith, A Land Full of Mystery, Danger, and Wonder, and Dumbledore as a model admin?   Lots of good comments on a variety of posts.  Would anyone have something to add in response to Quote: Simone Weil on Studying?

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IVCF/Groshes: Funding update (6/27)

Posted by tom | Jun 27, 2009

Would that these [i.e., the Scriptures] were translated into each and every language … Would that the farmer might sing snatches of Scripture at his plough and that the weaver might hum phrases of Scripture to the tune of his shuttle, that the traveler might lighten with stories from Scripture the weariness of his journey. -- Erasmus, for more visit Tom's post Are you singing snatches of Scripture at home, work, & play?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In just over a month we have seen God provide $11,000 of the $13,000 of ministry budget still needed by June 30. We are so thankful and encouraged to see this provision. Please join us in praising Him for this answer to prayer. We look forward to seeing how He will continue to fund this work.

To keep in touch through the summer, we encourage you to keep up with Groshlink, stay connected on Facebook, and pray through the July prayer calendar. As for the Emergingscholars Blog, please check out the book discussion of John Stott’s InterVarsity Press classic Your Mind Matters and dig into yesterday's post Week in Review — Cultural Power, Galileo, Naivete. If your small group, local congregation, or ministry would have interest in having us share about our work over the course of the next several months, please be in touch.

One more day by the grace of God alone,

Tom & Theresa Grosh
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Mid-Atlantic Faculty Ministry Catalyst
Brethren in Christ World Missions Affiliate
http://www.groshlink.net/
http://blog.emergingscholars.org/author/tomg/

Financial support for this strategic ministry should be directed to "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 53707-7895. Please enclose a separate piece of paper indicating that the gift is for the work of "Tom Grosh." On-line giving available at www.intervarsity.org/donate/to/Tom_Grosh

Students and Faculty Transformed, Campus Renewed, and World Changers Developed.

IVCF/Groshes: Funding Update

Posted by tom | Jun 2, 2009
Comment: Since sending the below e-mail to our support team, we received confirmation from a donor regarding their continuing support.
God always pays for what He orders. ...
--------------------------------------
June 2, 2009 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A former pastor of ours likes to remind his congregation that God always pays for what He orders.  In 13 years of full-time ministry with InterVarsity, God has indeed provided for us: spiritually, through His people, and financially.  And we don't intend to starting doubting His provision now.  As fallen human beings our temptation is to have tunnel vision, yet God is (thankfully) so far beyond what we can ask or imagine.  Let us share our financial concerns with you and then please join us in praying for clarity of vision so that we can see where and how God is leading.

Each year we raise approximately $90,000.  This includes operating expenses, travel expenses, salary (including healthcare, etc.).  A portion of this amount is given through churches and the rest through individual donors.  Some donors give monthly and some provide a one-time or periodic gift as they are able.  The great blessing of raising support is seeing the surprising ways that the Lord provides.  We have learned SO many spiritual lessons through this experience and have the privilege of sharing those lessons with our children.  Our fiscal year ends June 30 and as we approach that date, we project a $13,000 shortfall.  We have identified two main reasons for this gap:  (More)

Culture Making Audios, Andy Crouch at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ

Posted by tom | May 6, 2009

On Sunday, April 19, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate & Faculty Ministry in Central PA partnered with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ in exploring Culture Making and launching the Central PA Christian Scholars Network.  Below are links to audio files from two of Crouch's presentations.  Comments (including criticisms/misgivings) and reflections on Culture Making are welcome, particularly since I'm writing a review on Culture Making for Brethren in Christ History & Life

From the Garden to the City (Sermon)

Culture Making (Sunday School)
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Conversation with two elders from the Church of Latter Day Saints

Posted by tom | Apr 27, 2009

I've adapted the below post from illustration regarding the importance of asking the question upon what is the church founded? -- see Review - Flickering Pixels.  My purpose in posting the story here is to address the re-occuring question of Now tell me again, just what do you do?  The short response is I bring the Gospel to the campus, a place very much in need of it!

As to my job description, I identify, encourage, and equip Christian scholars to be redeeming influences in higher education by blogging on issues related to higher education (http://blog.emergingscholars.org), leading (and participating in) conferences/retreats on topics of relevance to following Christ in higher education, and preparing for campus conversations (through prayer, the Word, networking, various weblinks/articles/books).  AND yes, I regularly visit a number of campuses weekly (Millersville, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Hershey Medical Center), 2x a term (Elizabethtown College, Franklin & Marshall College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College, Messiah College), as asked/needed (Carnegie Mellon, Dickinson, Penn, Pitt), and hoping to expand to 2x a term visits on a few more (e.g., Bucknell, Lancaster Bible College).

But just because I'm scheduled to go to a campus for a lunch discussion of The Truth Project with a small group of faculty, doesn't mean that I can walk past two elders from the Church of Latter Day Saints chatting w/a student on the sidewalk!  The two elders were standing in front of a mainline denominational church adjacent to the campus. Was it the Spirit, my compassion for the young woman, and/or my desire for dialogue (or should I say debate) which led me to turn around and enter the conversation even though I knew I'd be late for lunch discussion? Note: My 30 minute conversation caused me to be 25 minutes late for The Truth Project discussion, but the faculty were doing quite well on their own exploring the issues of being considered by Dawkins and company ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked) for not embracing evolutionary theory.  (More)

Press Release: Christianity Today Award Winner to Speak

Posted by tom | Apr 3, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     April 3, 2009

  

CONTACT:    TOM GROSH IV

                        INTERVARISITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

                        tgrosh4 @ aol dot com

 

CHRISTIANITY TODAY AWARD WINNER TO SPEAK

 

Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (EBIC) and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will co-host the award winning author Andy Crouch.  Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, and winner of Christianity Today’s 2009 Book Award for Christianity and Culture, will speak at EBIC on Sunday, April 19, 2009 during the 8:30 and 11:00 am worship services. He will focus upon our role in culture making and what that looks like.  He will challenge attendees to be salt, light and leaven in the world.  Crouch will also share during the adult elective time at 10:00 am.

 

Tom Grosh IV, on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and a member of EBIC explains that “rather than Christians separating themselves from the world in which we live, Andy advocates an approach where Christians participate in the culture in a Biblically centered, redeeming manner.  It’s really just about following Jesus’ call for followers to be salt and light in our world.”  He also notes that this topic fits well with how EBIC seeks to"engage Elizabethtown and the world with the love of Jesus Christ."

 

In support of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Crouch will also speak at a luncheon on the same day with the intent to encourage the development of a Christian Scholars Network in Central PA. This group’s purpose is to support, bless and equip Christian Scholars to be redeeming influences in higher education.  For information regarding Crouch's visit, contact EBIC at 717-367-2651.

 

Christian Resources about Homosexuality and AIDS

Posted by tom | Mar 30, 2009

On Thursday, I had a conversation which wound it's way through a number of topics.  At it's foundation, we explored the question of how one pursues Truth as a follower of Christ in a context which embraces pursuit of all truths/realities in the process of self-realization, i.e., except the oppressive Truth of the Christian faith which tells other people how to live and stands in the way of self-actualization.  Note:  the specific context was Millersville University.* 

Not surprisingly, one of the topics which came up was the relationship of homosexuality to following Christ.  Since my conversation, I came across a new post by Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon (associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) on homosexuality:

What the Evidence Really Says about Scripture and Homosexual Practice: Five Issues

If this topic is of particular concern to you, I'd also recommend taking time to consider some earlier posts providing links to Gagnon's work

  1. What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?
  2. Gagnon on Homosexuality

AND visiting the home page of Messiah College Mathematics Professor Gene Chase and following the link to the Christian Resources about Homosexuality and AIDS.  If you'd have interest in discussing the materials further, post here or drop me a note.  (More)

Looking for the secret to changing the world?

Posted by tom | Mar 20, 2009

Here's a word to you from Andy Crouch, who will speak at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ on Sunday, April 19.

Interested in discussing Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling ? Let me know. Why? On-line opportunity coming shortly. Live conversation at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ on Thursday, March 26, 7pm. More on Andy's visit here.

Prayer Requests 'from the field'

Posted by tom | Mar 10, 2009

Yesterday, I received forwards of two Rod Dreher posts from friends in campus ministry.  Why?  The posts summarized pressing campus ministry concerns.  Please take a moment to read the posts and join me in prayer.  Note:  Pray for me as I visit PSU - Hershey Medical Center (today) and Johns Hopkins University (tomorrow).  And finish the week in Chicago for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate & Faculty Ministry Staff Meetings.

  1. Sex Positive week at Georgetown
  2. Tough love and faith -- take time to dwell upon for Lenten reflection
He is my Helper and Protector, and has become my salvation. This is my God and I will glorify Him.  My father's God and I will exalt Him.  For gloriously has He been glorified.  (Exodus 15:2,1; Psalm 117:14) -- St Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance

09 Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Winter Retreat Update

Posted by tom | Feb 18, 2009

Thank-youtoAmywhosuppliedthe'tableofplenty!'  

What is true hospitality? It’s a way of living that models God’s love and welcome of us. We love and welcome others because God has loved and welcomed us. But we also embrace others because God loves and welcomes them as much as he does us. (I know we all say we believe this, but it’s a radical notion when we really take the time to ponder it.) True hospitality tries to see others with God’s eyes, and when we do that we realize just how loving and welcoming God is! -- Quote from Hospitality From the Heart, by Erika Dekker

Dear Partners in the Campus Mission,

We rejoice in your prayers over Valentine’s weekend! God showed favor, even extended hospitality in and through, the Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Winter Retreat which Tom directed on the theme of Being Hospitable, (pictures posted at http://groshlink.net/album/09-winter-retreat). In addition to the provision of stamina, good decision making, and the ability to offer a hospitable learning environment/community through a Spirit-led staff team effort, some memorable moments include:  (More)

Launch of Central PA Christian Scholars Network

Posted by tom | Jan 30, 2009

 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Central PA Graduate & Faculty Ministry invites Christian scholars to consider

Culture Making on Campus

Featured speaker:

Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling (InterVarsity Press, 2008), a senior editor at Christianity Today International (CTI), a member of the editorial board of Books & Culture, a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute.

Sunday, April 19, 12:30 pm

Lunch hosted and provided by Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ, 996 East High Street, Elizabethtown, PA.  Click here for Mapquest directions.  Note:  A freewill offering for the lunch will be accepted.

Booktable provided by Hearts & Minds Bookstore

RSVP by April 5 to Tom Grosh, tgrosh4 @ aol dot com
Click here for 2-sided postcard invitations (PDF) and here for a poster to share with others.

Note: Andy will be sharing more on the Biblical theme of and the general application of Culture Making during Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ's 8:30 am worship service, 10 am adult elective, and 11 am worship service. No need to RSVP to join us for these sessions, but Tom would appreciate knowing of your interest so that he can welcome you.

Looking to discuss Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling?  Several opportunities will be available, the first of which will be on Thursday, March 26, 7pm, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ.  Part of the fruit of these conversations will be a piece for Brethren in Christ History and Life on the applicability of the Culture Making Model to the Brethren in Christ, with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ serving as a case study.

Culture is what we make of the world -- we start not with a blank slate but with all the richly enculturated world that previous generations have handed to us.  So when I go to the kitchen to make dinner or when a screenwriter sits down to write a script, the first requirement of us is that we be sufficiently acquainted with our cultural world.  To cook well I need to be familiar with the proper use of knives, the qualities of spices, the properties of stainless steel and cast iron pots.  I need to understand the culinary tradition I am joining -- am I making Italian or Chinese or Mexican food? --  Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling (Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 2007, p.73).

So good to see the people of God gathered

Posted by tom | Jan 26, 2009

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."  He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." -- Luke 8:19-21 NIV

What a joy to begin another term of identifying, encouraging, and equipping brothers and sisters in Christ to be redeeming influcences on campuses across the Mid-Atlantic Region (DC, DE, MD, PA).  Last semester, while serving a gathering of Faculty at Penn State Harrisburg, I had the opportunity to speak into and provide some support to the beginning of an undergraduate fellowship group on campus.  Just before Thanksgiving, I visited the undergraduate ministry's Bible study where I participated in manuscript study of Luke 8:19-21 NIV, led by Bret (an InterVarsity undergraduate campus staff member). 

During the walk through observation, interpretation, and application of the passage, I sat silently giving praise to God for assembling His people for encouragement and equipping.  Today I ask you to join me in prayer not only for the multiplication of this ministry, but also the influence of followers of Christ at Penn State Harrisburg.  In specific, join me in prayer to Father for the Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday Bible studies to be blessed with godly leaders incarnating the Word and filled with the Spirit as they teach and send forth others to ministry/witness/culture-making on campus (and beyond).

Knitting culture-making into our way of life

Posted by tom | Jan 24, 2009

What did you think about as you ate breakfast?  Theresa and I discussed Knitting as a cultural artifact. Why? 

With Andy Crouch's visit to Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ less than three months away (Sunday, April 19), Theresa and I have been regularly discussing material from Culture-Making. We've particularly appreciated Andy's Five Questions as a starting point for conversation regarding what it means for followers of Christ as individuals and a community to connect with the current form(s) of culture (Note: Andy defines culture as what we make of the world) and respond by creating and cultivating culture which reproduces the likeness of Jesus. How? By firmly embedding our way of life as the Body of Christ in the Biblical story and articulating this message with clarity in an age of pluralism/multiple cultures.

If you have thoughts to add to the conversation on Knitting as a cultural artifact, post some here and on Andy's page.  Also, if you're interested in discussing Andy's book on Culture-Making, drop me an email and stay tuned.  For those that would like to get a jump start, I have a ESN blog post on Culture-Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling.

Culture is what we make of the world -- we start not with a blank slate but with all the richly enculturated world that previous generations have handed to us.  So when I go to the kitchen to make dinner or when a screenwriter sits down to write a script, the first requirement of us is that we be sufficiently acquainted with our cultural world.  To cook well I need to be familiar with the proper use of knives, the qualities of spices, the properties of stainless steel and cast iron pots.  I need to understand the culinary tradition I am joining -- am I making Italian or Chinese or Mexican food? --  Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 2007, p.73).

A New Year of Central PA Pioneering

Posted by tom | Jan 5, 2009

Pray for me this week as I

  1. celebrate 13 years of marriage with Theresa Ann Ginder (January 6).  What a joy our years together and growing family have been and continue to be!  Remember the snow storm ;-)
  2. bring a new computer on-line.
  3. connect with Nate Yoder, Bishop of the Brethren in Christ's Atlantic Conference, to discuss possible shared ministry opportunities.
  4. develop materials for the Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Winter Retreat, February 13-15
  5. dig into Emerging Scholar Network and Faculty Ministry Catalyst resources and how I might use them in the Mid-Atlantic
  6. explore faculty ministry opportunities at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
  7. read-up on the Oracles of Science for next week's study as part of the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science
  8. bring some of these items and more into the next week ;-)

Having good conversation

Posted by tom | Dec 1, 2008

Not too long ago a friend shared with me the value of

turning down the volume on the firehose or at least spending more time in a given room before climbing through the window into the next room and the next room. ...

 (More)

A Flurry of Campus Activity

Posted by tom | Nov 16, 2008

We rejoice in your prayers for last week’s campus visits:  

  • On Tuesday, Tom followed up with some connections at PSU - Hershey Medical Center’s Christian Medical Society. He was particularly encouraged by his reconnection with the student president, lengthy conversations with 3 graduate students, and learning about a monthly Doubt Night outreach hosted by a physician.
  • On Wednesday, toward the end of the first Johns Hopkins University gathering of Christian graduate students & faculty, a Hubble Space Telescope researcher confessed how little astrophysicists discuss God. He asked to meet again. Another faculty received a consensus when he suggested monthly gatherings. The graduate students present were excited about the opportunity for further conversation and the possible emergence of a mentoring community.  Pray for follow-up to the Veritas Forum which took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • On Saturday, Tom connected with a number of faculty through an American Scientific Affiliation Conference on Science & Faith at Eastern University.
    •  
      • On Monday: Loyola College, MD, to take the next step in forming a faculty ministry.
      • On Tuesday: PSU - Hershey Medical Center’s Christian Medical Society
      • On Wednesday: PSU - Harrisburg for the C.S. Lewis Seminar's discussion of Screwtape Letters
      • On Thursday: PSU - Harrisburg for the newly established undergrad fellowship which Tom helped catalyze.
  • In the coming week pray for insight & direction for the below campus visits:

All About the Brain. ... E = 2R

Posted by tom | Oct 16, 2008

Yesterday I mentioned that John Cleese's The Scientists became a topic of conversation over dinner with Stephen Barr and several members of the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science.  We also had a good laugh regarding All About the Brain

Enjoy, but don't eat your brain (or anyone else's for that matter) while doing such ;-)  For those which know me well, I am going somewhere with this and it relates to Chapter 11 of Screwtape Letters and Retelling the Story of Science.  Anyone have a copy of Screwtape Letters on hand? 

John Cleese's The Scientists

Posted by tom | Oct 15, 2008

Over dinner with Stephen Barr and several members of the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science, John Cleese's The Scientists became a topic of conversation.  Enjoy. 

Note:  More on Retelling the Story of Science coming later as the rest of the day is full starting with a conversation about the real world at Penn State Harrisburg, the basis of which will be Chapter 11 of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.

Family as the basic unit of culture

Posted by tom | Oct 9, 2008

Below's another the daily asterisk underscoring the importance of the family, a topic which I recently discussed w/Pastor Steve from Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ in relationship to the transition from high school to young adulthood.  Looking forward to upgrading Next Steps material to re-contextualize and address these concerns in the spring.

Back to the quote, which comes from Andy Crouch's Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling. You may remember I posted some material on the new book at the Emerging Scholars Network Blog. And I have even bigger news, Andy will be preaching at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ on Sunday, April 19. If you're in the area, mark your calendar as he'll give a sermon at the first and second service followed by a launch of InterVarsity's Christian Scholars in Central PA.  Praise God for the partnership with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ!  Feel free to drop me an email if you would like to receive more information when it's available.

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