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From Our Desk

From Alexander Carpenter, executive director:

As you may know, we launch a new, expanded website this year. We have brought together a strong team of designers, developers, testers, and editors to create a new online presence for Spectrum. This is possible due to the many donors who pledged and gave specifically for this project during our successful $1 million Grow the Vision campaign. Thank you!

As we move toward this upgrade, we want to be in touch with all of you so that this transition works well. Running from now to at least the launch, on each Monday, Carmen Lau, our board chair, and I will share a brief post with info about the life of this organization and what we’re reflecting on as the week begins.

We’ve got some great Spectrum articles coming this week. In addition, I’m paying attention to some reporting on Weimar University by our friends at Intelligent Adventist. A tragic suicide on campus has raised questions about the private program that school president Neil Nedley, MD, runs. Is he becoming a liability as a member of the General Conference Executive Committee?

Last Sabbath, Laura Wibberding, assistant professor of history at Pacific Union College, shared clips from her play The Radicals for Sligo Church’s Faith and Reason Zoom Sabbath school class. The play summary states that this “Anabaptist story is told by Menno Simons, the longest-lived leader of the movement, to a young woman who has been raised by Anabaptist parents, and is at the cusp of making her choice to be baptized.”

“The actors were a combination of academy students and college professors,” Wibberding writes. “One of the best parts of this experience was teaching history in an immersive way to young actors.” The play begins at the 39-minute mark if you’d like to watch a recording.

From Carmen Lau, board chair:

A gathering of Spectrum’s friends visited Alabama last week, so, Samuel Wells’s essay, “True Patience,” in the February 2023 issue of The Christian Century caught my attention. “It’s about ‘long obedience,’ not idleness or selflessness.”

Wells describes Christlike virtue as an active waiting that shuns passivity. Speaking of Bryan Stevenson’s choice, after a murder in the family, to live with revolutionary patience rather than in a spirit of retaliation, Wells sketches Stevenson’s journey to Harvard Law School, then, eventually, back to Montgomery, Alabama. In 2018, Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative established the the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. 

“Stevenson is a long way from reaching peace and justice. But his is a long obedience in the same direction. . . . Reflection on patience is, in the end, a meditation on God’s patience. God doesn’t wait idly. In Jesus, God is proximate with us, tells us a different story, gives us reason to hope, and finally bears in his own body the scars of his commitment to us. Jesus is God’s long obedience in the same direction. God’s patience is exactly this: God is impatient—passionately impatient, crazily impatient, devoted impatient—about one thing for a long time. That this is us.”

Title image: participants from the Spectrum Civil Rights Tour II in front of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  

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