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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: March 8, 2011

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Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The early church determined that the Lenten period of fasting and renewal should correspond to Christ’s fasting (Matthew 4:2), and by counting forty days back from Easter (excluding Sundays, which remain “feast” days), arrived at the Wednesday seven weeks before Easter. Read more from this article, "Why Ash Wednesday?" from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) for the study and renewal of worship.  See also this Ash Wednesday meditation.

The CICW offers a wide range of practical resources and scholarly works for congregational leaders, pastors, teachers of worships, students, artists, and all interested in worship. The website provides free resources like articles, audio files, slide and video presentations, and links to purchase books, CDs, and hymnals.

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Prayers for Calvin

As you prayerfully enter Lent, please partner with us in prayer for Calvin College. As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, pray for the Calvin community:

"I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge so that you may be filled with the fullness of God." --Ephesians 3:14-19

See these specific prayer suggestions for the month of March.

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Sports updates, trips

Here are a few sports headlines: 

Many sports teams will be traveling south to train and compete during break.  The women's track and field team and the men's track and field team will be going to Gulf Shores, Alabama, competing in Tennessee on the way. The softball team and the baseball team will be in Tucson, Arizona. The men's tennis team and women's tennis team will be in Orlando, Florida, and men's golf is going to Port St. Lucie, Florida. The schedules of each sport are found on the respective team pages (as linked above).  However, bookmark the sports site which is always the best source of information about all these teams and the latest news from competition.

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Music ensemble spring tours near you?

Two music ensembles will be touring this spring.  Please support these students as they bring Calvin's message to many with their music.

Calvin College's Wind Ensemble is the concert band of Calvin and is conducted by Dr. Tiffany Engle. The Wind Ensemble performs regularly throughout the academic year, including the immensely popular Christmas Pops Concert in December.  You can find listening samples of the ensemble herePlease support these student musicians on tour in Ann Arbor and Plymouth, Michigan, as well as performing on campus, March 11-13, 2011. See the tour website

The  mission of Calvin College's Gospel Choir, directed by Dr. Charsie Sawyer, is to proclaim the word of God in song while representing the varied worship styles in a diverse, Christian manner. The Calvin College Gospel Choir will also provide a forum in which gospel musicians are able to transcend cultural differences, uniting all believers for a common purpose. You can find listening sample of the choir here. Please support these students while on tour in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Ohio during Spring Break, March 20-27, 2011. See the tour website.

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More spring trips!

Former college chaplain and current Calvin Institute for Christian Worship staff member Dale Cooper and his wife Marcia will represent Calvin College in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Alberta from March 24 through April 13, 2011. Check the church and community relations site for information and updates about their trip.

The students that signed up to go on service-learning trips will be working on a variety of jobs around the country (in Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and West Virginia) as part of a long tradition of trips sponsored by the Service-Learning Center.


Student health insurance

During the month of March each student is asked to submit information about their current health insurance coverage.  Students will be asked to submit this information through an online waiver system beginning March 1, 2011, on this page.  Paper versions of the enrollment and waiver forms are available for download here and may be submitted to health services anytime before April 15, 2011.
Students will have the opportunity to enroll in or waive out of the KnightCare Student Health Insurance Plan for the 2011-2012 academic year.  If a student chooses to waive out of KnightCare, they must be prepared to answer questions about their current health insurance coverage.  Occasionally, this insurance information is something that a college student will need to obtain from a parent or guardian.
Students who enroll in the plan and students who do not fill out a waiver form by April 15, 2011, will have the KnightCare premium posted to their miscellaneous account in June. Plan coverage begins August 15, 2011, and expires on August 15, 2012.
For additional information about student health insurance, visit health services here anytime!
For questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Moore or Jamie Klop in health services (616-526-6187, fax: 616-526-6548) or e-mail
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Distinguished Alumni

At its uKnight Weekend meetings, the Calvin Alumni Association Board voted to honor two graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Presented annually since 1966, the awards are given to alumni who have made significant contributions to their field of endeavor and manifest a Christian commitment, thus honoring Calvin College.

The 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend to Mary Vermeer Andringa '72, President and CEO of Vermeer Manufacturing Company, Pella, Iowa, and Robert Rooy '70, of Frederick, Maryland, and owner of Rooy Media LLC. Read more about them here.

To nominate an alumni for this award, read the award criteria and then fill out a nomination form. See past award recipients.

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News, stories from campus this week

Peru and other Open Doors
The new semester in Peru is one reason Calvin is ranked high for semester-abroad opportunities.

Women in Calvin History

Throughout March, in celebration of Women's History Month, we're looking at the women who have set significant milestones at Calvin. Read the full story »

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar and alumni and friends event pages to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:

March 11-13: Wind Ensemble concerts in southeast Michigan and on campus (see information above)
March 16: Tuition, room and board payment due
March 18: Spring break begins 5 p.m.
March 19: On-campus residence halls close at 10 a.m. for spring break
**If you have questions about housing on campus during spring break, contact Vicki Keenan (, 616-526-6702) at Knollcrest East, or Emily Nagy (, 616-526-6120) in the housing office.
March 27: Residence halls open at noon
March 28: Classes resume 8 a.m.
April 30: Calvin 5k Spring Classic & Karen Muyskens Family Fun Run