Mentoring the mentors in elementary school
A $405,000 grant will enable the School of Education to provide mentors to Christian educators throughout the region for the next three years.
The university received the first installment ($63,000) of the grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in December. Designated the “K–12 Christian Schools Capacity Building Initiative,” the project will provide professional support and mentoring services to Christian school leaders, potential school leaders and beginning teachers who work in organizations with a Christian mission.
“This grant is a significant investment by the Murdock Trust, showing its commitment to the future of Christian education,” said Scot Headley, project co-leader with Gary Kilburg, both professors of education at George Fox.
This spring, the university is identifying and preparing mentors while also identifying schools and individuals interested in receiving mentoring support for the 2009-10 school year. Mentors will be current and recently retired Christian school administrators and teachers. These services will be offered at no or minimal cost to the individual or school.
Make a swish
Joanna Johnson attended the National Basketball Association’s All-Star game in Phoenix thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in February.
So how does it feel to have a wish come true?
“It was pretty rad,” said Johnson, a sophomore. “I could not have picked a better wish.”
Johnson traveled in stretch limos, slept in four-star hotels and hung out with the stars. Her favorite moment from the weekend was spending time with the Boston Celtics’ Big Three: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Garnett, her favorite player, even let her wear his championship ring.
She also has dozens of photographs of her with other celebrities: American Idol’s Jordin Sparks, Terrell Owens, Chris Tucker, Chamillionaire, Ludacris ... the list goes on.
Johnson suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. Her father and her doctor nominated her to the Make-A-Wish Foundation about three years ago.
In January, a film crew followed Johnson on George Fox’s campus as part of a television segment that will air on NBA TV. Film and camera crews trailed her during the All-Star weekend as well, and Johnson said she eventually got used to the constant entourage.
An avid basketball fan, Johnson said she may use this experience to pursue another wish – if her health will allow it: trying out for the George Fox women’s championship basketball team next year.
Spiritual discernment conference teaches unified leadership
George Fox University will host a panel of leading Christian thinkers for a national pastoral leadership conference May 31 through June 3.
“Spiritual Discernment as Christian Leadership” will address the issue of how Christ effectively leads the church in unity. Workshops and panel discussions with pastors, teachers and authors will provide Christians with a vision for unity and the tools to practice this leadership style.
“Scripture offers a vision of the Christian movement being able to be led by Christ,” said Paul Anderson, director of the George Fox University Congregational Discernment Project and professor of biblical and Quaker studies. “Christian leaders need to have that as their goal.”
The conference will help leaders use a Quaker decision-making process within their own denominational tradition.
Anderson said the discernment model of leadership is central to Scripture and the movement of the early church. He points to Acts 15 as an example of how leaders addressed a controversial subject by taking the time to gather input from all sides, worship and pray together, and then distribute the discussion in letter form to everyone.
“If it’s really Christ leading, then believers can attend and discern and obey. This is the way Christian leadership ought to happen,” Anderson said. “The question is how do you help that happen, that consensus of the faithful?”
The conference is the result of work by the George Fox University Congregational Discernment Project, which began in 2004. Anderson received two Lilly Grants for two discernment projects.
Anderson also has created a Discernment Leadership Initiative Program that will award 15 grants in 2009 to Christian leaders who implement discernment-based leadership.
“The discernment model could work for politics, academics, businesses,” Anderson said. “It’s amazing that George Fox is becoming a central place for the vision to develop.”
The discernment conference is open to everyone. For registration information, visit discernment.georgefox.edu or contact Paul Anderson at 503-554-2651 or
'Ordinary Radicals' on campus
Best-selling author Shane Claiborne visited the George Fox campus for the university’s fifth annual Kaleo conference in February, challenging youth pastors and students to fulfill God’s dream for the world.
Speaking on the conference’s theme, “Ordinary Radicals,” Claiborne called for Christians not to simply be bel ievers in Christ, but to be disciples – “ordinary people living radically in the love of Jesus so that his kingdom will become a reality among us.”
Claiborne, author of Jesus for President and The Irresistible Revolution, co-founded The Simple Way faith community, located in a row house in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Philadelphia. He shared stories at the conference of providing food to homeless people in Philadelphia — even in defiance of city laws — and of his time in Calcutta working alongside Mother Teresa.
Claiborne said they call themselves “ordinary radicals” because they attempt to live like Christ and the earliest converts to Christianity – a way of living that brings real hope and real change to the world. “If you want to find your life, you have to give it away,” he said. “Jesus didn’t come just to prepare us to die but to teach us how to live.”
More than 500 attended the one-day seminar. The conference also included worship led by Aaron Strumpel, a Louisville, Colo.-based artist who just finished a 40-state tour playing more than 400 shows.
Additionally, youth pastors, professors and mentors led 16 breakout sessions, covering topics that included “Discipling a Godly Student Living in an Ungodly Home Environment,” “Come Follow Me: Inviting Seekers to Be Servants,” “Bringing Resolution to the Detachment of College-age People,” and “Discipling Students in a Hook-up Culture.”
Gregory rejoins Fox
Fred Gregory (G66) joined George Fox in February as the special assistant to the president. He is a seasoned executive with more than 40 years of experience in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors. Gregory, who earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon in 1970, is experienced in executive leadership, financial management, personnel management and fund-raising in locales all over the world including Asia, China, East Africa and Central America.
Gregory was with World Concern for 12 years, the last eight as president. He worked for Mercy Corps from 2005 to 2008, serving in Guatemala, China, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. He also worked as country director for the U.S. Peace Corps in Uzbekistan and Bangladesh (2002-2004). Most recently, he was executive director of PeaceTrees Vietnam, an organization that removes and destroys live, unexploded ordnance and replaces them with trees.
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