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Across the nation: MIT hires its first chaplain

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Robert M. Randolph, longtime minister at the Brookline church, will serve starting Jan. 1 as the first chaplain of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has more than 20,000 students, faculty and staff members.
Randolph has worked at MIT for 27 years and served as senior associate dean for student life. He said his new role will combine what he enjoyed most as dean — forming relationships with students — with his personal and professional interest in religion.
It’s not particularly significant that a Church of Christ member was chosen for the position, Randolph said.
“The significance is that universities are recognizing the importance of religious expression or spirituality as a component of an educated whole person,” he said. “I just happen to be in the right place at this time.”

Hundreds of people attended a recent “Does God Exist?” seminar conducted by John Clayton and sponsored jointly by the Destin Church of Christ, the Destin United Methodist Church and the Village Baptist Church.
Stan Newton, minister of the Destin Church of Christ, said letters were sent to more than 250 churches inviting their members to attend.
“While each of our churches have slightly different views on some points of doctrine, we all share a common belief in one God, one Creator of the universe, and one Savior in our Lord and Master — Jesus Christ,” Newton and two denominational ministers wrote in the letter.

Nearly 160 people participated in the second National College Conference sponsored recently by the Greenbriar church. The theme was “Breaking Free From The Bonds Of Sin: A Spiritual Transformation.”
The conference featured workshops, devotionals, networking events and “plenty of great food and company to go along with everything else,” said Byron N. Fitch, a church member and 2006 graduate of Georgia State University.


A recent fund-raising effort by Eastern European Mission raised more than $1.7 million from hundreds of congregations and individuals.
Count the elementary-age students at the Wilshire church among those who helped collect money to buy Bibles.
The students gave a jar containing more than $170 that they collected over several months to the EEM fund, Wilshire member Ruthie Barnett said.
“Those children were so excited to give,” Barnett said. “We had to take up the collection first. They were so excited that we couldn’t have Bible class.”


The annual “Stand Your Ground” retreat drew more than 200 teenagers to Camp Manatawny recently. The retreat featured the theme “Made,” based on the MTV hit show in which willing candidates embark on missions to transform their lives, be it to become a varsity football player or a surfer.
In this case, the retreat began with a spoof video entitled “I Want To Be Made Into A Preacher.” Teens laughed as the teenage actor was trained in counseling, baptizing, door knocking and song leading.
Paul Glover, youth minister for the Pitman, N.J. church, spoke on “Clay,” having a moldable heart for God; “Sheep,” becoming a faithful follower; and “Salt,” becoming a fragrance to a fallen world. Artist Richard Hight sculpted a bust of Jesus during the retreat, and a Christian rap group performed.

“Restoring the New Testament Church” was the theme of the 31st annual Spiritual Sword Lectureship at the Getwell church recently. Under the direction of Getwell pulpit minister Gary McDade, the event included 32 presentations from Sunday morning through Thursday evening.
About 200 people attended the lectures, including 30 students from the Memphis School of Preaching and nearly 20 from the Brown Trail School of Preaching in Bedford, Texas.
Keynotes included 95-year-old Perry Cotham on “What Is the Church of Christ?” and Spiritual Sword editor Alan Highers on “The Five Periods of Church History.”
The week’s lectures affirmed traditional positions on restoring the New Testament pattern and the need for sound doctrine and faithful churches with members and preachers who are on guard against false teachings.


The Quaker Avenue church celebrated 25 years of involvement with missions recently, welcoming special guest Willie Sang of Kenya.
Sang first came to Lubbock in 1975 to attend Lubbock Christian University and worshipped with the Quaker Avenue church. Soon, he began to encourage the elders to do mission work in his hometown of Kitale, Kenya.
Though the Quaker Avenue church only had about 100 members and was barely able to meet its budget at the time, the decision was made to launch out in mission work, elder David Langford said. Now, 25 years later, the congregation has more than tripled in size, and its mission work includes Uganda and Sudan along with Kenya.
“Treat in a Trunk,” an annual community event sponsored each Halloween by the Sugar Grove church, featured corn dogs, soft drinks, a few rides and activities. More than 3,500 participated, the most ever, body life minister Tim Shoulders said. “We will send everyone who participated a coupon to stop by our building … and get a free Bible,” Shoulders said.

For more than 50 years, the Mid-Atlantic Fellowship has served as a family reunion for God’s people in the National Capitol Area. Started by the Arlington, Va., church and hosted alternately by congregations in northern Virginia and Maryland, it was hosted Nov. 11 by the Falls Church congregation.
The theme was “Hymns That Have Shaped Our Faith.” Jerry Rushford, professor of religion at Pepperdine University, was the guest speaker. Keith Lancaster, worship minister at the Madison, Tenn., church and founder of the music ministry Acappella, led the singing.
Nearly 30 congregations participated, coming from as far away as Conestoga, Pa., to the north, Chesapeake, Md., to the east, Williamsburg, Va., to the south and Inman, W.Va., to the west. Falls Church minister Mike Tune directed the event.


About 150 people attended the recent Spokane Unity Forum, co-sponsored by seven area Restoration Movement congregations, including the a cappella Northside church, organizers said.
All services were held at the instrumental Sunrise Church of Christ. Milton Jones from Seattle and Victor Knowles from Joplin, Mo., spoke and appeared on a question-and-answer panel together.
All worship was a cappella only with singing led by Todd Hall from the Southwest church in Tigard, Ore.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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