Letters to the Editor
I wanted to thank you for the article in your Autumn 2006 issue about a young heroine, Akemi Takahashi [“Akemi’s Garden”].
As executive director of Northwest Harvest, her inspirational story has great meaning
for me. Akemi’s work represents a giving
spirit that our agency, partner food programs, and clients across the state depend upon
every day. In her wonderfully forthright way, Akemi took it upon herself to solve a complex problem before her — because her very
young friend Calista was frequently going hungry, Akemi decided she would help feed hungry children.
Akemi’s mother, Kathy [Kathy Kestle Takahashi ’94], has imparted her own compassion so honestly that her 6-year-old daughter understands the situation more clearly than most adults: Many of our neighbors struggle, and we all have the power to help.
It is not only our responsibility as human beings to support each other in times of need; it is greatly rewarding to do so.
I hope that every parent can give this gift of empathy to their children. I know Akemi takes great satisfaction from her remarkable efforts. An accomplishment of that kind can mean everything to a child, and can show them they have the power to positively affect the lives of others. That is a great reminder
for all of us.
Executive Director, Northwest Harvest
Sleep, Scrolls, and More
I want to congratulate you on the beautifully presented issue of Response [Autumn 2006]. The articles on sleep and learning, resulting from studies in your Brain Center for Applied Learning, were absolutely fascinating and challenging. I look forward to future updates on what will be accomplished by John Medina and his colleagues. In addition, “Secrets of the Scrolls” was a great reminder of the treasure we have in that extraordinary 1947 discovery.
As a Board member of my local Food Bank in Oxnard, California, I found “Akemi’s Garden” a charming and heart-warming article of what even children can do to address hunger in their own neighborhoods. Both
our staff and volunteers are reading that delightful article and saying “Hooray to Akemi’s parents!” for encouraging her to share, even at her tender age.
Jan Thornton ’63
Port Hueneme, California
Enjoying The Lemon Tree
I just finished reading The Lemon Tree. What an outstanding book. I especially liked the way Sandy Tolan interwove the beautiful relationship between Dalia and Bashir into the story. Thank you so very much for sending it to me. I now feel I have a deeper understanding of the very complex problems in Israel.
The book [The Lemon Tree] arrived this week, and I look forward to reading it. I think this is a wonderful idea. … I will also take advantage of this opportunity to tell you
how much I enjoy the Response. The makeover is awesome, and the contents are always stimulating. I read it from cover to cover shortly after it arrives. As a now-retired
alum, it is encouraging to know SPU continues looking for creative ways to embrace our needy culture with the good news, and
the Response is a fine tool to communicate how SPU is doing so.
Vi Frederick ’61
A Passion for Urban Community
Once again the arms of Seattle Pacific
University reached into the urban community and embraced the city with a passionate heart to bring God’s Kingdom together. With
the wisdom of Dr. Barbara Skinner and the powerful leadership of Dr. John Perkins,
the Coalition for Community Development and Renewal (CCDR) and SPU’s John Perkins Center opened the hearts and challenged the minds of the culturally and religiously diverse crowd in attendance. [See “John Perkins Ministers to His ‘Adopted’ City”] We truly believe there is more to come and thank President Eaton for his commitment
to walk with us as friends and co-laborers.
Senior Pastor, Restoration Christian Center
Interim President, Coalition for Community
Development and Renewal
Weigel’s Grasp of the World
I just finished the second of three George Weigel books I immediately bought after hearing this remarkable Catholic theologian speak during the recent President’s Symposium.
[See “Perspectives on the 21st Century”] Even though I am not a Catholic, I had read occasional columns of his in the Catholic Northwest Progress, on the Internet, and elsewhere. When I heard him in person, I was blown away by his knowledge, insights, and grasp of movements that are shaping our culture and the world’s as well. He is far more than an adept writer; his is a voice that must be heard if one buys into SPU President Philip Eaton’s urging to “engage the culture and change the world.”
There are points in time when players walk on the stage whose roles help us define and clarify what Hamlet called “enterprises of great pitch and moment.” Weigel is one of these. His presence at the President’s Symposium is a tribute to the sense and sensibilities of a university that makes a difference, and
to its outstanding leadership.
President, Dick Paetzke Creative Directions
Awed by the Sound
What a thrill it was to be inspired by the Seattle Pacific University Gospel Choir and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by
Dr. Stephen Michael Newby and Gerry Jon Marsh, at the Sunday morning Gospel
Brunch of the Northwest Division Conference of MENC [Music Educators National Conference] recently in Portland, Oregon. … [See “New Sound"]
Your group was a true model to all in attendance of the beauty, expression, and inspiration that is possible when quality teaching and collaborative teamwork are combined with the challenge of expanding the realm of understanding and pushing beyond self-inflicted limits. I sat with tears in my eyes, awed by the group’s sound, its ministry, and ability to communicate each musical nuance.
MENC Northwest Division President
Response to Response
We really appreciate the variety and caliber of articles in Response. It not only keeps us informed about campus news, but also includes informative articles of cultural interest and concern reflecting the institution’s seriousness about engaging the culture — the first step in “changing the world.” Kudos to your staff!
Doris Liebert ’56
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