The upcoming execution date for Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a founder of the Crips street gang, has generated a lot of commentary on the subject of killing people. Some think killing people is appropriate in certain circumstances, like war and the death penalty. Others think killing is never appropriate. Both sides bolster their arguments with clippings from their sacred texts, whatever those may be. The one thing killing does is prevent redemption in this life. So the question really is “will we permit redemption?”
Just farming practices aren’t just for chocolate, coffee
Picture a farm that grows a variety of crops: fruit trees, wheat fields, an assortment of vegetables. If one crops fails, it makes for a tough year, to be sure, but the diversity ensures the farmer and family will survive.
Will we one day look back at the current education reform movements and say, “Why didn’t we see the obvious?” While stressing the standards and the high school exit examination, will we loose a generation that could have been saved through vocational education? Are we running a train on one rail when we need two?
Statistically we know that only about 35 percent of the students go to college or university and only about 22 percent finish. What are we doing to prepare the other 65 percent to become productive citizens in a democratic society?
Our nation has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for oil. Oil is the life blood of our economy and the car is an essential part of American life. Even as manufacturing jobs stampede to lands with cheaper labor, one in six jobs still revolve around the automobile. Americans have more cars per capita and drive more miles per capita than anyone else. More cars, more driving means more oil. The rising price of gasoline has increased grumbling but not lessened consumption. No oil would mean our economy and our lifestyle would sputter then grind to a halt. America needs oil!
One of my cherished childhood memories is arriving late to church one hot August Sunday. The windows were open wide and I was enthralled with the glorious sound of 400 people singing in four-part harmony without accompaniment. It was the grandest sound I had ever heard. The music was engrained in the culture and people learned to read music practically by osmosis.
“Celebrating 25 Years of Partnership” between the Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches and Fresno Pacific University is the title of a banquet at 6:00 p.m. Friday, November 4, in the university’s Special Events Center.
When I taught English in China in 1987 my students told me that China would catch up economically to the United States in 20 years. I, and the other foreign teachers, laughed to ourselves—we saw the poor living conditions, the dominance of bicycles over cars, the poor roads, the outdated technology and shoddy infrastructure. Surely China could never challenge the United States economy.
A concert will serve as the U.S. premier of a composition and a benefit for music students at Fresno Pacific University.
“Music of Peace and War” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 5, 2005, at College Community Church: Mennonite Brethren, 2529 Willow Avenue, Clovis. The program features “Chungking: May 5, 1939,” with music by Larry Warkentin, FPU professor emeritus, and text by Herold Wiens.