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Fresno Pacific President Merrill Ewert Endorses the Carson Center

March 16, 2009

Categories: General News

Such was the world view of the Carson MB Church of Delft, Minn., a small, rural congregation known for sending far more than its share of great missionaries and servant leaders into the world — that even in the process of closing its doors, the congregation made one more mission-minded decision, assuring that the church’s work would go on after the church was no more.

In a final selfless act, the congregation gave a third of the proceeds from the closing of the church to Tabor College, in 2006. This led to the creation of the new Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education, providing opportunities for students to participate in mission and service projects around the world.

Several past members of the former Carson Church, including a number of gifted leaders from a single family, the Ewerts, visited the campus for a full schedule of Carson Week activities held from March 13-18, in Hillsboro.

Dr. Merrill Ewert, President of Fresno Pacific University, was the keynote speaker at the Carson Center banquet held Saturday at the Hillsboro MB Church. The banquet was the highlight of Carson Week activities held at the college, March 13-18.

Dr. Merrill Ewert, President of Fresno Pacific University, a Tabor college graduate who grew up in the Carson Church, was the keynote speaker at a fund-raising banquet for the Carson Center held Saturday evening at the Hillsboro MB Church.

Merrill was joined by his brothers, Lowell Ewert, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University; and Dr. Norm Ewert, associate professor of economics at Wheaton College, and their sister, Elaine (Ewert), Kroeker, a driving force behind the creation of the Carson Center and a member of the Tabor board of directors.

Also in attendance were Bob Ewert, from Mountain Lake, Minn., and sister Phyllis (Ewert) Stucky of Lancaster, Pa.

“Tonight we celebrate the legacy of this little church in Delft, Minnesota,” Merrill said. “We honor and we thank those who have shaped our lives. We dedicate the Carson Center here at Tabor College to service in the kingdom, and we commit ourselves to support this college and the Center.”

“As president of Fresno Pacific I ask you to join me in supporting Tabor College and the Carson Center, that it may be a place that calls people to lives of missions and service.”

While introducing Ewert, Tabor Provost Lawrence Ressler said, “I want you to know that Tabor provides great education, it provides great leaders, and here’s the evidence: we even provide presidents for other universities.

“Merrill you are a great alumni and we are proud of you.”

Ewert has led Fresno Pacific University since 2002 and was awarded the Tabor College Alumni Merit Award in 1978 and 2007. He earned his bachelor’s in Social Science from Tabor College in 1967.

During his speech, Ewert said growing up in a mission-minded church and attending a mission-minded college had had a profound impact on his life. He talked about his own call to the mission field, a call which came during his last semester at Tabor, in the form of a note written on a paper he’d turned in for a class on contemporary world religions taught by longtime professor Dr. Clarence Hiebert.

“On the paper were just two comments, one said ‘A’ and that was a good thing; the second one was, ‘Come see me,’ and I wasn’t so sure,” Ewert said. “But I did go to see him, and at the end of that conversation, I found myself not on the way to the University of Minnesota for graduate school as I had expected and planned, but on the way to the Congo to be part of the Tabor Congo program, circa 1967.”

Ewert went on to spend seven years in Africa working in the areas of relief and community development with the Mennonite Brethren Church, the Mennonite Central Committee and MAP International.

Kroeker, a 1972 Tabor graduate, spoke about the history of the Carson MB Church, which she attended her entire life until it closed on November 27, 2005.

“We were not a perfect church, but somehow despite all of our weaknesses, we made a team that ended up giving Carson the reputation for having sent out a lot of missionaries around the world,” Kroeker said. “A large percentage of the money received in the church offerings was sent away to support missions, and without this giving spirit, the list of missionaries serving from the church would be far smaller.”

The creation of the Carson Center assures that the missional legacy of the church will continue, she added.

“Elder Heinrich Voth set the tone for the church,” Kroeker said. “I wonder if he had any idea of the large number of young men and women who would leave from this congregation in a steady flow to remote areas. Or, if he could have possibly imagine the impact yet to be made with the birth of the Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education.”

Elaine (Ewert) Kroeker, a driving force behind the creation of the Carson Center and a member of the Tabor board of directors, provided a history of the Carson Church during the Carson Center banquet.

The goal of the banquet was to increase awareness of the Carson Center Endowment, which provides ongoing resources for the Carson Center and provides funds for operations and student scholarships.

Students Brandon Voth, a senior from Lynden, Wash., and Tasheena Ruzinsky, a junior from Hillsboro, spoke about their transformative experiences on Carson Center trips.

Carson Center Coordinator Matthew Cox added, “We have other stories we could share with you, from Japan, from poor neighborhoods in New Orleans, from India, and from Europe. They are stories of lives transformed, touched through service. For us that’s the real end goal of the Carson Center. Not miles, not more trips.”

“What we offer is a chance to be transformed, to be enriched, to return with a heart and mind that has been challenged and changed by participating in Christ’s global kingdom,” Cox added.

Brandon Voth, a senior from Lynden, Wash., shares about his mission experiences during the Carson Center banquet held Saturday at the Hillsboro MB Church.

More than 200 Tabor students have participated in Carson Center trips since 2007. During the January Interterm, 59 students and 22 guests traveled to five locales, to restore life and property to storm-affected areas on the Gulf Coast, to Belize, to Southeast Asia, to Europe, and to Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Current Carson Center efforts include:

  • Tabor College’s growing connections within India, including the Mennonite Brethren Church of India, the Centenary Bible College in Shamshabad, and relationships within medical, education, and business sectors.
  • Tabor College’s third student trip to India, scheduled for January 2010. Spring Serve: a week long service experience over spring vacation.
  • Four student-led, faculty/staff advised teams are scheduled for 2009. They will serve at Mennonite Disaster Services locations and in urban ministry sites.

The Carson Center received a boost in June 2006 with a donation of $100,000. Combining the original gift from the Carson Church and the second donation, the Carson Center is poised to begin to carry out its work of promoting mission, service and global education.

“There is much be to done for the Carson Center to fully realize its potential, but the momentum that has emerged far surpasses that of those who just two years ago planted the seeds of what has become a grand vision for Tabor College and the church,” said Tabor Provost Lawrence Ressler.

“The Carson Center is not breaking new ground,” Ressler added. “The Carson Center is taking passions that lie deep within the soul of the denomination and college and breathing new life into them for our time and in ways that incorporate the changes that are taking place in the world.”

In closing the banquet, Tabor College President Jules Glanzer said, “Would you please continue to pray that the Carson Center could continue to make that kind of world impact, and live up to the legacy of the church that made it happen.”

Those wishing to contribute to the work of the Carson Center may contact Matthew Cox, Carson Center Coordinator, at 620 947-3791, or email mattc@tabor.edu.

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Story and Photos by Grant Overstake, Director, Tabor Communications

Concert Choir Spring Tour March 19-27

March 15, 2009

Categories: General News

The Tabor College Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Bradley D. Vogel, Professor of Choral Music, will perform 10 concerts on its Spring Tour of Kansas, Colorado, and California, from Thursday, March 19 to Friday, March 27.

The tour begins with two performances in Western Kansas. The first concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Park, the second will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at North Oak Community Church, in Hays.

The group will then travel to Colorado for a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Garden Park Mennonite Brethren Church in Denver.

The concert, entitled “The Aroma of Christ,” is based on 2 Corinthians 2:15 and explores the themes of Christ in the World, Christ in Us, and With Christ in Eternity.

“The concert repertoire is designed with the aim to magnify the greatness of God and His love,” Vogel said. “Through beauty of sound and text, we hope that listeners recognize God in us and around us.”

Musical selections will range from standard choral works of Palestrina, Rachmaninoff, Stanford and Durufle, to arrangements of hymns, spirituals, and gospel songs. The concert choir will be accompanied by piano, organ, flute, oboe, and violin.

“I do believe that art glorifies God, and that people are enriched by beauty,” Vogel added.

“Our prayer is that, people will feel enriched by hearing the choir.”

After two travel days, the choir performs at 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, at Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church, in Shafter, Calif. The choir will perform at a morning chapel performance on Tuesday, March 24, at Immanuel High School, in Reedley, Calif., and give a 7 p.m. concert performance at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church.

The choir will sing at a morning chapel service on Wednesday, March 25, at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, in Fresno, Calif., followed by a 7 p.m. concert at North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church.

On Thursday, March 26, the choir will travel to Clovis, Calif., for a 7 p.m. concert at College Community Church. The tour ends in San Jose, Calif., with a 7 p.m. concert at Lincoln Glen Church on Friday, March 27.

Upon its return, the Concert Choir will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 5, at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. The choir also will perform in the Centennial Spring Concert at 7 p.m. May 10 in the Chapel-Auditorium. The concert will feature the premiere of the cantata Sun, Moon and Stars, written for the 100th Anniversary of Tabor College by composer and pianist Dr. Larry Warkentin, of Fresno, Calif.

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TABOR COLLEGE CONCERT CHOIR

SOPRANO

Hanna Bishop

Clarissa Berglund

Katie Chlumsky

Sarah Friesen

Jordan Giffin

Heidi Glanzer

Mary Goering

Carly Kroeker

Emily Heizelman

Maria Loewen

Corina Neufeld

Emily Schmidt

Megan Souter

Naomi Toews

Kelsey Unruh

Kayla Vix

Danae Warkentin

ALTO

Emily Dick

Meghann Eblen

Jenny Gaskell

Lauren Just

Lisa Hall

Emily Hasty

Jessica Kelly

Kirsten Krehbiel

Melissa Nickel

Emily Olson

Jenae Pauls

Juli Richardson

Elissa Richert

Ashley Siler

Heather Stepanek

Logan Stranghoner

Bri Tucker

Julie Wiens

Stephanie Wiens

TENOR

Ben Friesen

Michael Suderman

David Vogel

Brandon Voth

Ian Wolgemuth

BASS

Darren Enns

Aaron Epp

Willie Friesen

Eric Funk

Ben Heyen

Justin Moore

Aaron Stepanek

Allen Yoder

Tabor College Reports 9 Percent Increase in Spring Enrollment

March 13, 2009

Categories: General News

Student enrollment at Tabor College grew almost 9 percent from the 2008 spring semester to the 2009 spring semester, according to registrar Deanne Duerksen.

The total head count for all programs on the Hillsboro and Wichita campuses is 590 students, compared to 542 students last spring. Total full-time equivalency (FTE) is 543 students, compared to 506 students at this time last year.

The full-time equivalency on the Hillsboro campus is 451 students this spring, compared to 421 last year. The full-time equivelency of students enrolled in courses at the School for Adult and Graduate Studies in Wichita is 78 students, compared to 81 students last year.

Tabor College began its Centennial year last fall with an overall enrollment of 612 students, the largest in the 100-year history of the college. The freshman class, with 141 students, was the largest since 1988. The spring enrollment figures reflect this increase.

Tabor Launches New 'JayShop’ Online Store

March 12, 2009

Categories: General News

Tabor College has launched the “JayShop,” a new online store making it easy for students, parents, alumni, and Bluejays fans to buy gear and gifts through the Internet.

The new site, located at http://jayshop.tabor.edu/, will be managed by Tabor College Bookstore Manager Twyla Burke, who researched various online store programs and vendors before adopting the platform provided by Campus Hub, a division of Nebraska Book Company, in Lincoln, Neb.

“The online store commences after nearly two years of effort in researching online store programs, vendors, consultants, and, then receiving training and implementing page design,” said Kirby Fadenrecht, Senior Vice President for Business and Finance. “Twyla has worked with a deep commitment in providing this service for Tabor, and she has accomplished it with a great deal of cost efficiency. Vance Frick, Tabor Webmaster and Brad Just, I.T. Systems Administrator, were also instrumental in getting the on-line store functioning.”

According to Burke, “The JayShop’s online purchasing system gives Tabor alumni and fans who cannot come to the Hillsboro campus an opportunity to show their support for Tabor College.”

“We will continue to keep our JayShop inventory fresh and new by updating it as we have new items available throughout the year. Soon another feature will be added specifically for our students in which they will be able to go to the JayShop to order textbooks for their classes here at Tabor,” she added.

The JayShop offers a variety of Bluejays’ apparel, including jerseys, hats, hoodies, polos, shorts and other fan gear, made by top manufacturers such as Under Armour.

Orders are sent directly to the bookstore and are filled within 24 hours. The secure site accepts Visa, Master Card, and Discover. Customers may opt to have their items shipped or arrange to pick them up in the campus bookstore.

“I’m really happy to be a part of getting the JayShop online,” Burke said. “I’m excited that we now have a place for Tabor parents, alumni, and fans to shop at any time and from anywhere at their convenience.”

Visit JayShop

Norman and Sharon Ewert to Present “Straw Baskets and Zwieback” at Learning in Retirement, Friday, March 13

March 09, 2009

Categories: General News

Norman and Sharon Ewert will describe their involvement with the nonprofit organization Ten Thousand Villages in a program entitled, “Straw Baskets and Zwieback,” during a special Friday morning version of the Tabor College “60+” Learning in Retirement Program, beginning at 9:45 a.m., March 13, in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center.

Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit program of Mennonite Central Committee, provides income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. The organization works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed, helping them pay for food, education, health care, and housing.

The Ewerts co-host an annual Third World Craft sale at their home in Wheaton, Ill., which has brought in more than $1.2 million dollars for Ten Thousand Villages.

“Part of what we try to do with the sale is to tell the stories of the artisans in third world countries and show how purchases through Ten Thousand Villages can improve the plight of the marginalized,” Sharon said.

Sharon Coolidge Ewert, Professor of English, Chair of the English Department, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at Wheaton (Ill.) College, serves as Vice-Chair of the Ten Thousand Villages Store Board. She graduated from Wheaton College in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in English, and earned her masters and doctorate degrees from Duke University.

Norman J. Ewert is an Associate Professor of Economics at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill. He graduated from Tabor College in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in History. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate from Southern Illinois University.

The Ewerts host a dinner in their home every Thursday night for students from Wheaton College who are interested in peace and justice, stewardship, and third world poverty, about which Norman said, “It is known as Mennonite Dinner on campus. We’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years, and we usually have 30 to 50 students each week.”

According to the website www.tenthousandvillages.com, the global fair trade movement began with the founding of Ten Thousand Villages more than 60 years ago through the work of businesswoman Edna Ruth Byler. Struck by the overwhelming poverty she witnessed during a trip to Puerto Rico in 1946, Byler was moved to take action. Her work ignited a global movement to eradicate poverty through market-based solutions.

The public is welcome to attend all Learning in Retirement programs. Fees are $3 per session or $15 per semester ($28 per couple). Registration and discount cards for lunch in the cafeteria will be available at the door during the half hour before the meeting. For more information, contact Connie Isaac, coordinator at 620-947-3121, 947-5964, or conniei@tabor.edu.

College to Host Global Mission Leaders During Carson Week, March 13-18

March 09, 2009

Categories: General News

The vision for mission, service, and global education at Tabor College will be the focus of a full schedule of Carson Week activities to be held from March 13 to 18, in Hillsboro.

A variety of programs are planned, including chapel presentations, faculty lectures, guest speakers, a Carson Church reunion, and the invitation-only Carson Center banquet, to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday evening at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Point, in Hillsboro.

Keynote speakers at the dinner will be three globally-engaged leaders and educators, Lowell Ewert, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University; Dr. Merrill Ewert , president of Fresno Pacific University; and Dr. Norm Ewert, associate professor of economics at Wheaton College.

Lowell Ewert also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Lewis and Clark College School of Law and as an advisor to George Fox University’s Center for Peace Learning. He has published multiple articles and recently served as a contributing author to the book Peace through Health.

Merrill Ewert spent seven years in Africa in the areas of relief and community development with the Mennonite Brethren Church, the Mennonite Central Committee and MAP International.

Norm Ewert serves on the board of multiple educational organizations, advises peace and justice groups, and co-hosts an annual third world fundraising efforts with his wife, Sharon.

The Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education is a new initiative at Tabor College focused on promoting and expanding mission experiences, service, and global education. It provides opportunities for students to learn about and participate in missions, service projects and to become globally minded, skilled graduates. It’s also a place of collaboration for other churches and organizations.

Current Carson Center efforts include:
  • Tabor College’s growing connections within India including the Mennonite Brethren Church of India, the Centenary Bible College in Shamshabad, India, and relationships within medical, education, and business sectors.
  • Tabor College’s second student trip to India, scheduled for January 2010.
  • Spring Serve: a week long service experience over spring vacation. Four student-led, faculty/staff advised teams are scheduled for 2009. Teams serve at Mennonite Disaster Services locations and in urban ministry sights.

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President Glanzer's Article, 'God, What Are you Doing?' Published in Christian Leader Magazine

March 09, 2009

Categories: General News

An article written by Tabor College President Jules Glanzer about the missional aspects of the church entitled, “God, what are you doing?” appears in the March 2009 edition of The Christian Leader magazine.

God, What Are You Doing?

Genesis 6 outlines God’s mission in the world

By Jules Glanzer

In 1982, we packed our belongings into a Ryder truck and our children into our Mercury Zephyr station wagon and moved to Houston, Texas, to plant Mennonite Brethren churches. With a deep conviction that God had called us to this ministry, with the affirmation of the church we had been serving and with the blessing of denominational leaders, we threw ourselves into starting churches. Three years later we had ministered to over 1,000 people but had not formed a congregation, and the denomination decided to withdraw from the project. We were left to figure out exactly what God was up to. It was time for a heart-to-heart talk with God.

Like Moses in Exodus 5:22-23, I had questions for God. I had been faithful to God’s call. I had listened and been obedient to his promptings along the way. I had been faithful to my wife, kept honest financial records and given my all for the sake of starting a church. But God had not kept his end of the deal. He had not done what only he can do to make the group of people to whom we ministered into a church. Why? Shaking my clenched fist in God’s direction, I yelled, “God, what are you doing?”

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Grace University Chorale and Tabor Concert Choir to Perform at Hillsboro MB Church, March 12

March 06, 2009

Categories: General News

The Grace Chorale from Grace University in Omaha, Neb., will perform with the Tabor Concert Choir at 7 p.m., Thursday, March, 12, at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Pointe. The concert is free and open to the public, and a freewill offering will be taken.

The Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Greg Zielke, is a 50-member auditioned group striving for choral excellence and ministry through music while exploring the vast scope of sacred choral literature.

The Tabor College Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Brad Vogel, Professor of Choral Music, will also perform as part of the concert.

“We are delighted to host the Grace Chorale this spring, and to welcome Dr. Zielke back to Hillsboro,” Vogel said. “Greg is a 1979 graduate of Tabor College, and we share a common passion for choral music, learned from Jonah Kliewer. The concert also gives our Concert Choir the opportunity to share the stage as part of preparation for our own tour.”

Tabor College to Present ‘The Women of Lockerbie’ March 5-7

March 03, 2009

Categories: General News

Tabor College has announced the cast for “The Women of Lockerbie,” a poetic drama inspired by events surrounding the 1988 crash of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland, to be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 5, 6, and 7, in the Theatre Lab located in the lower level of the H.W. Lohrenz Building.

Cast members include, Aaron Epp, Henderson, Neb..; Allison Issac, Visalia, Calif.; Kirsten Krehbiel, Kingman, Kan.; Josh Paulus, (Hillsboro, Kan.); Tasheena Ruzinsky, Hillsboro, Kan.; Brianne Tucker, Wichita, Kan.; and Kayla Vix, Maize, Kan.

The play is directed by Judy Harder, Associate Professor of Communications and Drama.

According to Harder, “The plot unfolds as a grieving mother from New Jersey roams the hills near Lockerbie determined to find her son’s remains, which were lost in the crash.

“She and her husband meet several women from the local community who are also determined to respond to this tragic event that killed 270 people,” Harder added. “As the women and the couple cross paths, they recognize the reality of grief, hatred, and despair. Yet, in the midst of that reality, hope is not extinguished, acts of kindness continue, and others sense that hatred will not have the last word in Lockerbie.”

Seating is limited for this production. Tickets are $5 for students and $7.50 general admission, and may be purchased by calling the Student Life Office at (620) 947-3121, Ext., 1033.

View pictures of the production.

Denise Brown to Discuss 'Boy-Friendly Classrooms' at Learning in Retirement Program, March 9

March 03, 2009

Categories: General News

At-risk education expert Denise Brown of Hillsboro, Kan., will present “Where the Boys Are: Boy-Friendly Classrooms” at the Tabor College “60+” Learning in Retirement Program, at 9:45 a.m., Monday, March 9 in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center.

Brown, an at-risk consultant for Smoky Hill Education Service Center, trains school teachers across the state on various teaching topics, including the different ways boys and girls learn in the classroom.

In January, Brown led a workshop for Tabor faculty and staff entitled, “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” helping them to relate more effectively with students from different socio-economic backgrounds.

Brown, a graduate of Bethany College, has taught regular and special education in elementary and high school, as well as enjoying a “mommy sabbatical” when her children were preschoolers. She currently provides in-service training for teachers throughout the state of Kansas.

The public is welcome to attend all Learning in Retirement programs. Fees are $3 per session or $15 per semester ($28 per couple). Registration and discount cards for lunch in the cafeteria will be available at the door during the half hour before the meeting. For more information, contact Connie Isaac, coordinator at 620-947-3121, 947-5964, or conniei@tabor.edu.

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