Letters to the Editor

Thankful for grace
I would like to thank Mike Van Denend for his article, “A word on behalf of the fallen …” (Summer 2008). I appreciated his emphasis on grace given and compassion shown to those who have fallen—all of us. Too often in our culture generally and in the Christian community specifically, those of us who are closely tied to admirable institutions (like Calvin), in positions of influence or power, are professionals, associated with the established church, and are in leadership roles, are judged the hardest when we fall. As individuals and as a community, we need to demonstrate loving kindness to all who sin, make bad choices, make mistakes.

Those of us who follow Jesus have a great responsibility to be compassionate and gracious toward one another, especially those who have slipped and fallen, including individuals and institutions and organizations. Only when we start with this attitude and put it into practice, can we work to alleviate suffering and regain creation. One of my favorite writers and thinkers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” We rise because of and in the atmosphere of God’s grace, and we require the compassion and kindness of others to keep walking.

Brian J. Seely ’80
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Report too low
As a committee member for the International Development Conference, I was happy to see an article on the conference in Spark (Summer 2008). But the first line reads, “More than 300 students from …”

This line is incorrect (well, it is correct in that we had over 300 students); we had over 500 students attend the conference and even had to close registration early because we were not prepared for such interest.

This conference is completely student-organized and should be something that the Calvin community and alumni take pride in.

Kelly DeVries ’10
Oakville, Ont.

In the summer 2008 edition of Spark, the names of Jacob Eppinga’s daughters and sons-in-law, Deanna and John DeVries and Susan and Michael McCarthy, were inadvertently omitted from the “In Memoriam” piece on Rev. Eppinga. We sincerely apologize to the family for this omission.

- Editor


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