August 21, 2006

Web Letters

At the Breaking Point

Thank you for having the courage and kindness to run the article, “Pastors and Wives at the Breaking Point” .
I am the daughter of a Seventh-day Adventist preacher. I was married to a Seventh-day Adventist preacher for 20 years. We split 20 years ago. It was hard on all of us, but especially on the kids and me.
Both my children are active church members, and so is my ex-husband; but the experience left me without faith. When I asked for my membership to be dropped from the conference church where I moved it after leaving my husband not one person from that committee called me. I received a letter that said my request had been granted. That is a sad commentary on the pastoring ability of the members of that conference committee.
My story, of course, is much more complicated. But I’m glad to know that someone is noticing that there is pain and, as the article mentions, no one to confide in and ask for help. I wish I had known of a ministry like this 30 years ago.
Eva Garlyn

Articles for Real Life

I appreciated the article by Randy Fishell, “Seven Things I Hope You Tell Your Kids” (Aug, 10, 2006). Having known Mr. Fishell for a number of years, it’s clear to me that his comments are presented with a real world background that comes from partnering with his wife to raise three outstanding sons. I believe many will be helped by this practical piece.

Thanks to the Adventist Review for providing this type of material in the magazine. We need more articles like this one and others printed recently, such as the piece by James Nix, “Growing Up Adventist.”
Larry Becker
Grand Terrace, California

The Best of Our Past

Bill Knott's editorial tribute to his grandparents, “Fireflies” (Jul. 27, 2006), struck a responsive chord in my heart. Although the locations of their farms are as far apart as could be and still be in the United States, the similarities of their experience to that of my grandparents is striking in many ways. They both moved to their country homes more than 90 years ago. Their formal education was the same, and their belief in Christian education resulted in many missionary teachers, ministers, and educators.
My parents and grandparents, along with several other related families, moved at about the same time to Arizona, the newest state in the union that had just opened up to homesteaders. They started the Somerton Adventist company that became the organized Yuma church and church school.
During the Depression my parents sacrificed to help me attend Southern California Junior College (now known as La Sierra University), where my uncle, Jim Robeson, had been the first principal and my uncle, Erman Stearns, Sr., was farm manager. The help of family and Christian teachers saved my life; spiritually, socially, and probably even physically.
I loved the drawing on the cover but I couldn’t find any credit given to the artist. The artist put personality into every face. And those school desks were marvelous; they were the best-built desks ever made. Was there a real Hilldale Adventist School, or a Mrs. Wilson?
Edward W. Graves, Sr.
Lake Elsinore, CA
The credit for the cover illustration (listed on the lower right of page 2) goes to Ralph Butler, one of many talented illustrators whose work often appears in the Adventist Review.--Editors
Bill Knott’s editorial, “Fireflies” (July 27, 2006) touched my heart. It slowed me down and reminded me of my own barns, fields, woods, fireflies, and family stories--those shared with me, and those I have shared with my children. It also reminded me that I still need to pull away and have those times--even though my children are grown now.
I wasn’t surprised that Knott wrote about such things this time of year, but I was surprised at the direction he went with the illustration--surprised and powerfully moved! Thanks for reminding us of the dedicated teachers who have blessed our lives, and who are getting ready to bless tens of thousands more as this school year starts. They are about to begin the largest, longest running, most comprehensive evangelistic series in the history of the Adventist church. It will meet in thousands of simultaneous locations around the world, impacting hundreds of thousands of children and families, and lasting for nine or ten months, five days a week, six to eight hours a day.
May God be with these dedicated evangelists; and with the Review staff as you continually challenge and remind us of our needs and of what is happening in the church.
Homer Trecartin
Silver Spring, Maryland
Bill Knott’s editorial stirred so many memories. Except for a few changes it could have been the story of my roots. The farm, the grandparents with no formal education but lots of smarts, the Adventist value system passed down from one generation to the next, and the liturgy of descendants who have taken to the halls of learning.
Thanks for the well-worded trip down memory lane.
Clarice Flower
Riverside, California

How Will We Answer?

William Johnsson has done a great thing by opening up this discussion (“Four Big Questions” May 25, 2006). I am pleased that people responded with such forceful thoughts and opinions. Johnsson has taken the discussion even further by opening himself up to criticism from people who had a chance to do the same as he before they retired, but chose to take the “company line” and report that all is well.
Johnsson may not have been totally right in all his assessments regarding race in Adventism, but he has given us all a challenge that has yet to come from any other leader. In essence Johnsson is saying the problem of race rests not with the Black constituency, but that Adventist leadership of all colors has been guilty of pursuing their own interests.
Gregory L. Moore
Pasadena, California