A Gateway for the Futureby Luke Gascho
Planning is a gateway for the future. A gateway creates a transition between one space and another, links from one time to another and makes possible interactions among diverse people.
A Pilgrimage of Peace:
A gateway for the future
Faculty and alumni featured in latest ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book
When bookstore browsers see the newest title in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul® series – Stories for a Better World – they will find 101 stories of love, tolerance, forgiveness and peace by a former U.S. president, Nobel Peace Prize winners and six Goshen College alumni.
Released in August as the 101st title in the New York Times bestseller series, “Stories for a Better World” includes the story “Common Ground,” written by News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler ’00 about a relationship that Associate Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Carolyn Schrock-Shenk developed with a Goshen resident whose son was serving in the military in Afghanistan. The two met just prior to the war in Iraq after the protests Schrock-Shenk was organizing. The two women ended up writing a joint letter together to their local paper about what happened when they met, listened to each other, realized they had much in common and agreed to disagree respectfully.
“The bottom line for me after all this is to realize that any attempts at peacemaking will be hollow unless we move into a personal level with people who feel differently and find some common ground for compassion and understanding,” said Schrock-Shenk.
The selection “Guns are No Match for Gentle Words,” by Janna Bowman ’00 is also included. The story is about a group of Colombian Mennonites who were working to bring about peace in the midst of the country’s long civil war. Bowman formerly worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Colombia and now works with Witness for Peace in Washington, D.C., doing advocacy work.
Palmer Becker ’58, director of pastoral ministries at Hesston (Kan.) College, tells the story about fighting communism as a conscientious objector in his story, “I Was Ready to Fight.”
“I hope my story can be a clear witness to my faith in Jesus Christ,” Becker said. “It’s an honor to have an opportunity to make a statement about Christ’s way of peace in a book that will be read by a much larger audience than I’ve approached before.”
The story “The Mystery of the Thatch” from the book Coals of Fire by the late Elizabeth Hershberger Bauman ’46 relates the story of a Mennonite pastor in 18th century Switzerland who invited his enemies in for a meal.
In addition, five of the 11 cartoons in the book were created by Goshen College alumni. Joel Kauffmann ’79 of Goshen, who is a screenwriter, contributed four cartoons from his “Pontius Puddle” series to the book and one cartoon comes from Merrill R. Miller ’83 of Scottdale, Pa., from his “Otterville” series.
Chicken Soup for the Soul® says that this book has “101 of the most uplifting stories you’ve ever read about people reaching out, stepping up and transforming their lives and the world around them.”
More than 2,000 entries from around the world were considered for the book. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen first published Chicken Soup for the Soul® in 1983, and the book quickly rose to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The series has sold more than 85 million books in 35 languages around the world.