Students, faculty, staff live as a prophetic, Christian community

God works in and through his followers to change people and the world.

That was the message Fresno Pacific University President D. Merrill Ewert brought students, faculty and staff during the opening convocation of the 2010-2011 academic year. About 1,000 gathered August 25 in the Special Events Center.

That was the message Fresno Pacific University President D. Merrill Ewert brought students, faculty and staff during the opening convocation of the 2010-2011 academic year. About 1,000 gathered August 25 in the Special Events Center.

Ewert tied the verse for the school year--Ephesians 3:20: "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."--to the Fresno Pacific Idea, which defines the university as being Christian, a learning community and prophetic to the region, nation and beyond.


In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote to affirm the goodness of God to the church, Ewert said. "It's about being the body of Christ, it's about living together," he said. 

Living as a Christian means living with integrity and excellence in ways that influence those around us. "Being Christian is more than head knowledge or a heart commitment. It means speaking into our culture," Ewert said.

Prophetic Christians can be found among FPU faculty, staff and alumni:

  • Faculty--Distinguished Scholar Rod Janzen published the book "The Hutterites in North America" with The Johns Hopkins University Press. Ruth Dahlquist, biology faculty, and Chris Janzen, art faculty, led a group of pre-med students to Honduras for learning and service through a local Mennonite church. JT Thiesen, associate track coach, took members of his team to Fiji for track camps and evangelism.
  • Staff--Lisa Alvey, social media manager; Nick Gundry, associate director of multimedia services; and Brandon Tilley, enterprise applications engineer created a Web application that won a regional contest. Dina Gonzalez-Pina, assistant dean of multicultural ministries in the Office of Spiritual Formation, led a student summer service project to Bolivia in connection with Mennonite Central Committee. 
  •  Alumni--Javier (BA '08) Garza: once homeless, Javier now helps people in the same situation. Brandon Dorman (BA '05): as an inner-city teacher, taught a group of nonathletes to swim, run and work out, eventually forming a triathlon club. Not only did they get healthier, their grades improved and some began studying the Bible. This after-school program evolved into a community organization. Ivan Paz (BA '09): discovered FPU through our distance classes for prisoners and earned a bachelor's in biblical studies and pre-law/criminal justice through the degree-completion program. He now works for the Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership and plans to enter law school.


This is the prophetic, Christian community new students are entering, Ewert said. "We're glad you're here."

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Source

http://news.fresno.edu/node/1965