Faith of our fathers
Did America have a Christian founding? More than a dozen authors and scholars from Stanford, Georgetown, Colgate, Texas Tech, and other universities visited George Fox in March to debate the question and other church-state issues at a “Religion in the American Founding” conference.
About 120 attended the event, sponsored by the university’s political science department. Scholars presented papers on religion in the lives of the founders, and included a formal debate on the Christian founding question.
Many of the papers delivered at the conference will be published in a forthcoming book, The Forgotten Founders on Church and State, edited by George Fox Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science Mark Hall and fellow conference organizers Daniel Dreisbach and Jeffry Morrison.
“We brought together some of the top scholars in the country working on these issues to discuss and argue about them in a serious manner,” says Hall.
For nearly 30 students this spring, vacation or the search for a summer job had to wait: The university’s annual May Serve program took priority.
Led by Andrea Crenshaw, director of outreach and service learning, and alumnus Matt Johnson (G04), 14 students traveled to Brazil for three weeks. They partnered with an English school in Londrina to host an English camp, helped a community finish work on its health center, and organized a Vacation Bible School program at four day centers in Sao Paolo. The team also learned some Portuguese and visited a coffee plantation.
“May Serve has been one of the most defining experiences of my life,” Johnson says. “My hope is that these students experience that as well.”
In June, a team of 14 students travels to India with Campus Pastor Sarah Baldwin and her husband, Clint, an assistant professor of political science. The trip includes two weeks in Calcutta, where students will work in the homes of the Missionaries of Charity, an organization founded by Mother Teresa.
The group also will visit nongovernmental organizations to learn about their work with victims of human trafficking. The trip concludes with a stop at an orphanage in Gaya that has never had a visit from a missions team.
Now in its 18th year, the May Serve program allows students to spend a month in volunteer service in cross-cultural settings. Students pay their own way for the trips. Previous May Serve trips have gone to Ukraine, India, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Romania, and the Philippines.