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Calvin-Wire: July 1, 2010

World Communion of Reformed Churches has been formed

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The historic Uniting General Council that launched the new World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) met in Grand Rapids from June 18-26.  In a spirit of unity and cooperation, the newly formed WCRC made several decisions, "heard the Gospel of reconciling love," and prepared itself to respond "in joyful hope" to a range of issues in churches and the world, the WCRC said in a final message statement (.pdf) issued Saturday.

Watch a musical sampler of some of the events that took place at the Uniting General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

Tragically, Indonesian church musician, Christina Mandang, died from injuries sustained when hit by a car on the closing day of this historic gathering.  Read more about her life and work.  The organist and pianist was a lecturer in church music and worship at Reformed Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Learning Latin online and at Calvin; student researchers

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This fall, for the first time, Calvin will be offering Latin classes on campus and online. Students will be chanting “amo, amas, amat” in a Heimenga Hall classroom under the direction of classic languages professor David Noe. Around the same time, another group of students will be getting their basic Latin vocab from the same professor—via the Web.

A student working through the McGregor program is hearing the real stories of race in Grand Rapids.  Read more about junior Abby Koning, an English major and international development studies minor, and her summer project.

Biology majors Ben Konynenbelt, Susan Bardolph, Dan Mlnarik and Leah Koetje presented their research on the health of the cornea at the annual meeting of the most prominent ophthalmology and basic vision research meeting in the world: the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Read more.

Covenant Fine Arts Center

Covenant Fine Arts Center floor plan

When you come back to campus again after this summer, the Covenant Fine Arts Center will be completed and ready for reopening for the 2010-2011 school year.  Watch a four-minute video with highlights of some of the recent improvements.  And if you don't remember what it looked like before, you can see pictures from June 2009 before construction started, and the photos that have been posted this past year as progress was made

Join us as we celebrate the re-opening of the Covenant Fine Arts Center on October 20, 2010.  That week also marks Homecoming and Family Weekend on campus.

Birthdays, events on campus

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On campus, we are looking forward to John Calvin's 501st birthday which will be celebrated on Monday, July 12.  This year's birthday party will be at 10 a.m. in the Commons Dining Hall two days after John Calvin's actual birthday, which falls on Saturday, July 10.  Faculty, staff, students, guest researchers, and/or anyone on campus that day is welcome to join us! 

See this page for photos from past events and a video from the 499th birthday celebration.  There you can also read about how this tradition began, if you are curious.

If you want to learn more about John Calvin, especially related to his 500th birthday celebrated around the world last summer, read the following set of articles: "John Calvin at 500: Four Essays."

New, interactive estate and gift planning

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Good estate planning provides for your family or heirs, distributes your personal possessions as you have designated, and minimizes estate settlement expense and distress.  It also expresses your Christian values and convictions through special bequests.  And it can minimize taxes. Yet 55% of Americans have no will.

If you’re without a will, or your current estate plan needs a check-up, Calvin College’s new gift planning website has information to help, along with customized, interactive tools.  

On this site you’ll find a wealth of information, including:

  • Age-appropriate information about estate planning.
  • An estate planning toolbox and glossary of terms.
  • E-brochures and current estate and gift planning news you can read instantaneously.  
  • A gift calculator to immediately determine the personal, charitable and tax benefits that various types of charitable gifts provide you.   
  • Customized, side-by-side comparison of giving options.    

Of course, Calvin’s gift planning staff is also available to help you:  Sally Vander Ploeg or Ruth Vis at 616-526-8719 or

Alumni action, resources

Are you keeping up with alumni news and events?  In addition to checking the alumni website, try the other ways to connect with Calvin's active alumni network through these four social networking platforms: Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, and uKnight.

Here are two upcoming events for alumni, friends and families: the 41st annual Alumni Golf Tournament on September 11, 2010 and Homecoming and Family Weekend, October 22 & 23, 2010.  And do you know about Calvin Alumni Travel which is also for alumni, friends and families?  Trips planned include, "Paul’s Missionary Journeys in Turkey and the Seven Churches of Revelation," March 31 - April 12, 2011; “River Cruise through France,” May 15 - 22, 2011; “China: Past and Present,” Fall 2011.  Read more about these trips online and contact the alumni office at 616-526-6142 or e-mail

There are many excellent online resources available for alumni and friends of Calvin. January Series and Inner Compass video episodes can provide expert information about ethical, religious, and social justice issues. These resources can be accessed online: and


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