Monday, August 27, 2012

ACTS 2012

Greetings to all you loyal followers, Covenant College students, and others who have somehow or other stumbled upon this post!

After a brief (not really) hiatus, classes are back in full swing here on the mountain. Students going to class, chatting on the lawns, sitting 3+ to a hammock designed for one 5'3 person's a weird, beautiful sight.

However, one thing you may NOT be aware of is what happened over the summer. While there are many camps, meetings, and conferences hosted on campus while most of the students are away, this year our campus played host to a meeting of special significance. 

The Association of Christians Teaching Sociology, or ACTS, chose to meet at Covenant this year. Started in 1976 by Russell Heddendorf, a mentor and friend of our own Dr. Matthew Vos and a professor at Geneva College, ACTS seeks to provide a community and a place of dialogue for Christians teaching in the social sciences. They meet annually at a college where a member teaches, spending a few days each summer reconnecting with friends and colleagues, discussing current issues in the field, and seeing some of the host college's local area (this year they went to the Chattanooga Aquarium).

You can learn more about ACTS, including their purpose, history, and upcoming events at their website, which you can reach by clicking here.

Below are some photos from this year's meeting. Enjoy!

At the Vos' home in Chickamauga.

From the overlook pavilion on Covenant's campus.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Diversity vs. Attendance

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that Sunday morning was the most segregated time in America. While the amount of progress we have made since the 50s and 60s is arguable, it is undeniable that there are certainly many religious groups in America (Christian and otherwise) seeking to amend the wrongs pointed out by King and other Civil Rights leaders over the years.*

While weeding out things like racism from the church seems like a noble idea, anyone who thinks that it is a clean, painless process is sadly mistaken. Take, for example, a recent article tweeted by Patrolmag discusses some of the negative side effects of a conscious effort to diversify the church. The article, which can be found here, details some of the struggles of the Episcopal Church when it comes to diversity.

While the Episcopal Church may be somewhat controversial among Protestant Christians for its stance on things like female ordination and homosexual marriage, it is hard to deny that it has not been more active than most other denominations in combating racial discrimination in the church and society. As such, it is recognized by some to be one of the most diverse denominations in the United States. However, its aggressive stance on diversity seems to be driving many of its members away, which is sad but interesting. If you missed the link earlier, you can read the full story here. It is an opinion article, but a good entry into such a complicated issue.

Also, here's a picture of the arms of the Episcopal Church.
Yes that's right, this church has a coat of arms.

If you want to read more about the Episcopal Church in America, click here and here. The first link is to the Wikipedia page if you're into freefalling (look it up), and the second is to the homepage of the Episcopal Church, which has links to all of their official statements and histories. Check it.

*Random: did you know they were planning to cut a chunk of the MLK Memorial in D.C. out to fix a phrase they didn't like? Yes, they really are. Seriously guys wasn't it just put in, like, a year ago?

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