Response Online


Mailbox Letters From You

No Ordinary Jobs

Thank you for the recent Response issue [Autumn 2012] dealing with our jobs. I passed it on to our pastor. It was so timely.

We have men and women throughout our community and our church congregation who are trying to make a difference. I wonder how different it would be for them to realize that the tasks they face each day are actually part of their ministry — a ministry that is significant to God.

Imagine students realizing that they can go to school and expect God to make their future work life meaningful. Imagine a mother seeing her job of raising children as a cooperative effort with God to bring them into all that he created them to be. Imagine a backhoe operator full of the joy of the Spirit of God. …

We all are participating in a ministry God has given us, and God is with us in our work. There are no ordinary jobs. … We are involved in something God is doing, and we can look for his presence with us in the work he has given us to do.

Mike Williams North Bend, Washington

Immersed in Puget Sound

Your article “At Work: Seven People Immersed in Their Jobs” [Autumn 2012] was great. I liked the “First-person” style, especially the pictorial pun. How did your photographer get the Taylors to pose in that frigid water without shiver-ripples?

Fred Zoeller Everett, Washington

Editor's note: John Keatley's “behind-the-scenes” reply:

"Actually, I was quite warm because I was wearing denim jeans and thick rubber waders. Oh, you mean the subjects?

Well, that is a good question! I am sure part of it had to do with the fact they are somewhat used to being out on the water and in the cold because of the industry they work in. But we did walk around in the water for 10 minutes or so before we started shooting. And we were in a shallow area, so the water was actually a bit warmer there than it would have been further out.

That being said, the most difficult thing about these types of situations is often convincing your photo subject to do something that does not sound very exciting to them. In this case, the Taylor brothers were wonderful to work with, and there was not really any convincing involved. That is pretty rare."

Thank you for your piece on the Taylor Brothers in the latest issue of Response [“The Oyster Brothers”]. Although I've never had the privilege of meeting Bill or Paul, their contributions to the communities of South Puget Sound and their commitment to improving the quality of our local environment are exemplary and deserve to be known more widely.

One example among many: I serve on the board of directors of the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group. For many years, the Taylors have partnered with our organization along with the Mason Conservation District and the Squaxin Island Tribe in making possible the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail. KCST is a nationally recognized environmental education project that enables thousands of schoolchildren and their teachers, as well as adults and families, to witness the miracle of wild salmon on their native spawning grounds.

The Taylors have been generous supporters of this project since its inception. … They embody Christian vocation at its best.

John Rosenberg Olympia, Washington

A Mentor's Impact

I loved seeing Leif Hansen featured in the latest issue of Response [“Play Without Ceasing”]. I will be forever grateful for Leif's contribution to my life. …

I lived next door to him on Sixth Ashton, where I had plans that year to walk further away from God and have some “fun.” Leif, as our student ministry coordinator, held Bible studies, to which he regularly invited me. I held him off for several months (having “fun” evidently), but I finally relented, mostly to get him off my case.

Alas, I found a guy who genuinely cared about me, listened to my questions, and always pointed me to Scripture. Now, as a Christian school administrator (Bellevue Christian School), I am doing for teenagers what Leif did for me all those years ago.

He even helped me sort out my confusing feelings about this girl from Third Hill — who is now my wife. What a guy!

Mike Olson '94 Bellevue, Washington

Preparing Students for Work

I so appreciate reading Response every time it comes out. Thank you for producing a magazine we can all be proud of.

I wanted to share with you one thing that struck me as a real missed opportunity in the latest edition on “Faith and Work.” I was surprised and disappointed that there was not a mention of SPU's Center for Career and Calling.

I was a graduate student intern in this office last year, and I can tell you firsthand that the work led by director Jacqui Smith-Bates and her team is extremely relevant to this important conversation about vocation and meaningful employment.

This office has much to offer students in helping them “find purpose on the job” as your cover mentions.

Sarah Thomson '91 Associate Director of External Relations, Career Services Seattle University

Editor's note: You're right, Sarah! We plan to feature SPU's Center for Career and Calling in a future issue of Response.

A Format Question

I really enjoy reading Response. The themed issues are thoughtful and inspiring. The fall edition, “Faith and Work”, was extra special. I love how all the text features work together to create a satisfying whole.

Each time I read your magazine, however, I am a bit confused with the format of features like "Mailbox" and "The Question." The narrow vertical line beneath the letter seems to separate it from its author. I wonder if it would be more readable to place the line after the letter and its author. Do you see what I mean?

Keep up the exemplary work on the content!

Barbara Myhre Sumas, Washington

Don't be shy! We'd like to hear your opinion about Response or any articles in the magazine. To contact us, email