Back to School
“The Reluctant Schoolteacher” (Aug. 25, 2011) was so inspiring! I finished the article with tears in my eyes, overwhelmed at how God has led in the building of our church’s educational system. I am deeply touched by the self-sacrificial, godly examples of those who have gone before us, such as Alma McKibbin. They continue to serve as an inspiration to all of us teachers around the world who strive to uplift the Bible in the classroom and point our youth toward heaven.
May we never lose this fervor!
--Heather Zinke Darnell
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Thanks to Stanley Hickerson for his interesting story about Alma McKibbin. I remember using her academy textbook in my 1949-1950 senior Bible class.
In the summer of 1960 I fondly remember a Friday evening visit to McKibbin’s Mountain View, California, home. I saw her theme-book filled with signatures of her more than 1,300 students. She read some of the names for me, and I recognized many of them as denominational leaders.
I learned about the miniature Palestine she created in her backyard at Angwin. She would take her students there to experience what it was like in Jesus’ day. She said that some of her students who later traveled in Palestine told her that her creation was very accurate and it prepared them for their tours. She shared with me a bit of what it was like to be a teacher. It was a good and much-appreciated introduction to teaching.
Days Creek, Oregon
Thank you for the article about Alma McKibbin. I met McKibbin when I was a young boy cutting lawns and helping with yard work.
One frosty morning when I came the lawn was still too wet to cut. McKibbin came out, picked up the newspaper, and almost with tears in her voice commented about the news pointing to Jesus’ soon return. That’s when I began to understand that she was like what I expected Ellen G. White must have been. In later days when I helped McKibbin with the yard work, I understood more as she talked lovingly of Jesus Christ.
Further, she blessed me as a young boy when my father had to open the church early on Sabbath mornings. He often took me with him, and I would sit and listen to McKibbin teach the teachers class for the Sabbath school teachers in our large Mountain View church. How she knew the Bible and loved it!
May all of us be the blessing to our youth that she was to this young boy.
Herbert E. Perrine
Looneyville, West Virginia
An Overlooked Resource
Regarding “A Resource for Preacherless Churches” (Aug. 18, 2011): I am delighted to hear that the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary is spearheading the preparation of sermons available to churches that rely on local elders to fill in for pastors who cannot be in two or three places at the same time.
However, many of us still prefer to listen to a preacher who is present in person, one with whom we can relate. Listening to a vibrant message read, or one that comes through the electronic gadgets, is still somewhat impersonal.
Another resource is within our reach: a “mine of preachers” that is untapped, or simply overlooked. Every senior pastor knows the makeup of the congregation’s board of elders--their background, their talents, their potential, and their commitment as spiritual leaders. For example, some have conducted successful evangelistic outreaches overseas. If they happen to be members of a good-sized church that has a strong pastoral staff, the talents of these lay preachers will likely turn dormant for lack of opportunity to use them.
Why not have a pool of lay preachers as a resource to fill the need, not just in his or her local church, but in any church within the conference. This will help “preacherless churches” become “preacherful churches.”
An Invitation to Better Living
How can I express my appreciation for Grant Leitma’s piece “God’s Psychology” (Aug. 18, 2011)? While the material is not necessarily new, ways to harmony and happiness in health of body, mind, and spirit are so nicely put together that they just sing with the love of God and an invitation to a better life for all.
I can never plead an excuse for making any existing problems in the church worse by what I do or say.
The Story Behind the Story
As a constituent of Atlantic Union College (AUC) who lives in Massachusetts, I read “Atlantic Union College Temporarily Shuttered as State Flunks Approval Deal” (Aug. 11, 2011) with keen interest. But it left me more than a bit disappointed.
My disappointment started with the title: Who flunked? Was it the State of Massachusetts, or the deadline? Or is it possible that it was AUC and the Atlantic Union Conference administration that oversees AUC that flunked?
The article needed a lot more information. Is there any possibility that an editor could do an in-depth article examining the several decades of events and decisions that led to this situation? AUC constituents, as well as the church at large, could benefit. There may be lessons that other institutions could profit from.
Thanks for your consideration. Courage to you as you ponder the administrative flak you could get from publishing such an article.
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts