From the Parent Council Chair...


Thresholds. There are three definitions for threshold in Webster’s dictionary: the plank, stone, or piece of wood that lies at the bottom of a door, like a door sill; the point at which physiological and psychological effect begins to be produced, like your threshold of pain; and lastly, the place or point of entering or beginning, like the outset of an adventure.

I had the honor of catching a performance of George Fox University’s Players last year. The main theme of their performance was “Thresholds”. The collection of skits all centered on the different thresholds in the actors’ own personal lives as well as the general ones we all encounter. Their words, acted out so poignantly, have resonated in my heart and mind ever since. Again a couple of weeks ago – during the start of a whole new school year – their haunting and insightful words came to the forefront of my mind. Thresholds.

It may be the first college threshold your family has encountered. Your first born leaving the nest and making his or her home at GFU. Your family may have crossed the door sill of Pennington or Edwards or Le Shana and as you crossed back over that threshold to travel home what physiological and psychological effects came flooding into your heart, mind, and vehicle. I have heard everything from hand-pumping cheers and plans for date nights every weekend. I have also heard of mom and dad circling the campus debating whether they should make additional night reservations at the local hotel so they can be close (just in case their student needs them) – this discussion being accentuated by a stream of tears that distorts vision for driving (which encourages the parents that it really isn’t safe to be driving back home anyhow). Or perhaps you are like me, a parent with two Fox alumni, an MBA student, and an upper classman undergraduate. It may not be the first time we have crossed the thresholds of George Fox, but each year brings with it new emotions and thoughts and decisions.

No matter what the effect this crossing has brought your individual family one thing is certain, your student has entered and begun a new adventure. An adventure of life-long friendships with fellow students, professors, administrators, and coaches; a building of faith – a time of seeking and questions and discovery; a multitude of challenges and decisions with mistakes and victories all along the way; the recognition of a crossroad in their life – the intersection of independence and valuing the place in their family that no one else can fill; and of course the adventure of learning through books, people, service, and travel.  

A wise and dear friend always reminds me as I struggle with the effects of the thresholds in my and my children’s lives that each person’s journey is always different – embrace the differences and trust Christ that he is gently wooing each of us closer to his mind, heart, and the truth - so we resemble the image of Jesus more and more each day.

In closing may I encourage you to continue walking through the thresholds that God lays before you; encourage your students to do likewise and applaud them as they do; then go ahead and circle the campus one more time, have a good cry, and then make a date with your spouse to see one of the GFU Players performances (and dinner as well). 

Liz Kanen
Parent Council Chair