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Spring 2003 | Volume 26, Number 2 | Letters to The Editor

Letters to the Editor

Thank you for your features, “The Faces of AIDS” and “Five Stories.” As a former member of the first SPU Care Team with Multifaith Works, I am thrilled to learn that the connection between SPU and Multifaith Works is continuing to thrive. I applaud the efforts of SPU students, faculty and staff in challenging and reshaping the Christian response towards those living with HIV/AIDS.

Almost immediately after graduating from SPU, I spent a year in Uganda working for The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), an amazing indigenous organization committed to providing psycho-social support to those living with HIV/ AIDS. Yes, I witnessed the illness and death of HIV-positive friends and colleagues — but I also witnessed an incredible amount of joy in those who chose to fight the stigma and chose to live life, in spite of illness.

The AIDS pandemic continues to present an incredible challenge to me as a current graduate student in reproductive public health. Over 20 years have passed since HIV/AIDS was first discovered, and yet I still find myself astounded by the ignorance, misinformation and prejudice which surround the virus. AIDS does not discriminate, and it has devastating consequences for every single person infected, regardless of the mode of transmission — and for this reason, I have dedicated myself to this field.

I hope that SPU will continue to foster passionate students ready to be a force for change and awareness, because AIDS has proven it is not a concern we can ignore.

— Mandi Larsen ’99
New York, N.Y.

Thank you for your recent Response feature about AIDS. What an excellent feature sharing both the reality of the disease and the response of the church. I remember, years ago, when I was working as a social worker in NYC and I met someone who was HIV-positive. She was a single mom, struggling to have her children returned to her from foster care. One day, happy that life was looking up, she reached out and hugged me. At first, I started to pull back; this was a new disease to me and I didn’t know much about it. But I realized that I DID know how I should respond … like Jesus. And I hugged back. Since then I’ve personally known only two others who were HIV-positive, and both increased my awareness of the disease and of the need to show Christ’s love and compassion. Thank you for encouraging your readers to do just that.

— Debra Mead MCM ’85
Whittier, Calif.

Thanks so much for your cover article on “The Faces of AIDS.” As a pastor, I often feel like I should do more and encourage my congregation to do more about this worldwide tragedy. Your article helped me not only understand the need for Christians to reach out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS, but also gave me a number of concrete ideas for how to get involved.

— Don Jaques ’91
Pastor, Christ the King Community ChurchOak Harbor, Wash.

Since REACH Ministries held the symposium at Seattle Pacific University, we have continued to be blessed. Your Response magazine is impressive, and it is with honor that I thank you for … placing on the front of this winter’s Response — an issue full of “big stories” — a REACH child, a child of God, boldly placed as a sign to all that unknown little ones, whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS, deserve our attention.

While I am inclined to worry about the money needed for this ministry, this month I asked myself, “If I should die tomorrow, what would I have most wanted from that symposium? Increased giving of monies or God’s little one on the front of the magazine and the lead story about children like her?” In reflection, I realize that the day at SPU achieved exactly what the Lord intended.

Now this year’s camp is being planned, the rent is due, and salaries need paying. I bow my knee with the Psalmist who said, O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” It is my privilege to watch God work through you in support of this ministry, and it is for that support that I thank you.

—Susan K. Slonaker
Executive Director, REACH MinistriesTacoma, Wash.

Applauding the Alumni of the Year

Editor’s Note: The following are a sampling of letters of congratulations to the 2003 Alumni of the Year, Steve and Myrna Anderson. The Andersons were featured in the Winter 2003 issue of Response.

Dear Steve and Myrna,
Ken and I are thrilled that you have been selected as the SPU Alumni of the Year. To think that you represent both of our classes — 1961 and 1964! We are certainly proud of you and of your work for the Kingdom, whether at Bethany Community Church in Seattle; KPMG Peat Marwick; SPU; The American Standard Company; or Bible Study Fellowship. You have also worked “behind the scenes” through prayer for and financial support of different people and ministries. We know the Lord is honored by your integrity, hard work and servant hearts, and by your close walk with God. It is a pleasure to see you be honored by SPU. If this is nice, just wait until you see the welcome banquet when you reach Heaven!

— Irene Pettengill Edgar ’64 and Ken Edgar ’61
Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Steve and Myrna,
We send you our heartfelt congratulations on being named Seattle Pacific’s Alumni of the Year. As you know, we are two of your biggest fans and are thrilled to hear about your special recognition by our alma mater.

All your past achievements aside, we know that you are exactly where you want to be today — serving abroad, reaching men and women in London through Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Wow! Exciting stuff! Myrna, I was fortunate enough to be involved in your pilot Bothell BSF group — just one of several BSF groups that you began — and to sit under your teaching leadership. You led with authority. Everyone sensed that. When you said, “Ladies, listen up!” we listened, because we knew you lived what you taught.

We will never forget your kindness to us when you returned to Seattle in approximately 1988. I personally recall a circumstance in which Steve and Alvin were rehearsing a duet at our home, with Myrna accompanying. We’d been in the process of updating our humble abode and were in a mess. At the same time, we were preparing for a Christmas party in our home the following evening. When you saw that we had much to do to bring everything together, you rolled up your shirtsleeves and hustled to help us get ready. ... Your help energized us. What an unselfish act of Christian love!

Steve, when you took over as chair of SPU’s Board of Trustees at a critical time in the school’s history, we knew they had the right guy for the job. Your quiet generosity and humble spirit, your integrity in every aspect of your lives, your leadership, and your over-all modeling are reasons we feel that the two of you are deserving of this special honor by the University.

— Sherrill Wilson Kroon ’64 and Alvin Kroon ’65
Lake Forest Park, Wash.

Yancey and the Promise of Grace

I have enjoyed the Church Leaders Forum series hosted throughout the year by SPU. The speakers are always engaging; we have not been disappointed. I especially enjoyed Philip Yancey at the November session. Not only did he share from his own experience of living life and then writing about it for the benefit of the rest of us, but we were also introduced to other inspiring works such as Chesterton’s Orthodoxy through Yancey’s illustration of “furious opposites.” Another point that will stick with me for a long time came from Romans 5:20: “Grace, like water, flows to the lowest point.”

I and others appreciate the opportunities provided by Seattle Pacific to hear significant thinkers and be challenged to join with SPU in engaging the culture through the ministries of local churches. Thank you for providing these excellent presentations; we eagerly anticipate next year’s slate.

— Bob Card ’84
Staff Pastor, Shoreline Free Methodist Church
Shoreline, Wash.

Falcon Legends Live On

Thank you to Athletic Director Tom Box for his many acts of support and kindness [at the Falcon Legends Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony]. His planning and leadership assured an occasion most special and unforgettable. I’ll treasure this memory for the rest of my life.

— Loren Anderson ’59
Falcon Legends Hall of Fame Inductee
Ferndale, Wash.

It was my pleasure to attend the Falcon Legends luncheon in January, the initial event in the establishment of a Falcon Athletic Hall of Fame. I want to loudly applaud the organizers. The event was first-class. It was well-attended and an excellent kick-off to what I hope will become a great tradition at Seattle Pacific.
Each of the recipients was well-deserving, in my opinion, and it was great fun to hear them, and their presenters, reminisce about their time at Seattle Pacific. It was especially gratifying to hear them tell of the positive Christian influence Seattle Pacific has had on their lives. I would like to congratulate them all.

— Wes Lingren ’52
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Bellevue, Wash.

Response Then and Now …

My complaint about the new Response format is: It is so interesting and provocative that I want to read it all, which takes a lot of time.

— Virgil Holman ’63
Fairbanks, Alaska

The new format [of Response] is flat-out good. Not that the old format was bad by any means, but the smaller size is easier to handle, and I don’t have to resort to awkward folds as I did with the tabloid, as I usually make my way through Response in installments (dutiful alum that I am, it takes two or three sessions to get from one end to the other). The writing and editing continue to be top-notch, as well.

I have taken issue with perspectives at the school from time to time, but realize that the very analytical abilities that give rise to those differences were to no small extent shaped and sharpened by my studies there. The workings of the divine hand are, or at least should be, evident in the life of every Christian, and I am thankful for the school’s part in this process, both then and now.

— Ron Boydston ’73
University Place, Wash.

Thank you for the Response with the wonderful features in each issue. Compared to the SPC I knew, SPU has come a long way. It is exciting to see what students now can experience and what SPU is contributing to the community and the world — a real witness for the Lord.
— Miyoko Masada Uzaki ’53
Fresno, Calif.

What Do You Think? Don’t be shy!

We’d like to hear your opinion about Response or any articles printed in the publication. To tell us what you think, send e-mail to, or visit You may also write Editor, Response, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, Washington 98119–1997. Letters must be signed and will be printed as space permits.