Religion

Bach expert to help prep BGSU musicians for Passion

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Renowned Bach expert and premier lyric tenor Dr. Christopher M. Cock will share his knowledge and love of the composer with students in the College of Musical Arts and local audiences March 13-15 as the 2017 Helen McMaster Endowed Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies at Bowling Green State University. Cock holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music at Valparaiso University and is director of its Bach Institute. During his residency, he will give a public lecture and work with the BGSU Collegiate Chorale, voice and conducting students and the Early Music Ensemble as they prepare to perform Bach’s “St. John Passion” in April during the Easter season. All events and activities are free and open to the public. Cock will discuss his life’s work in a public presentation titled “J.S. Bach and the St. John Passion: A Lifelong Pursuit” at 10:30 a.m. March 14 in 1040 Moore Musical Arts Center. In addition, audiences may hear the ensembles in performance, beginning with the Early Music Ensemble with soloists at 8 p.m. March 13 in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St. in Bowling Green. On March 14, he will lead the University Choral Society at 7:30 p.m. in 1040 Moore Musical Arts Center. On March 15, he will again lead the Early Music Ensemble with soloists, at 8 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church. His visit will also include a voice master class and work with undergraduate choral conducting students. Through his activities as a choral music educator and distinguished solo artist, Cock has forged a unique career path combining the roles of conductor and performer. He frequently brings his focus on outstanding repertoire, vocal technique and polished musicality to high school ensembles throughout the country. He has also conducted All-State Choirs in Minnesota, Georgia and Ohio and the Collegiate Honor Choir in Pennsylvania. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall as guest conductor of the New England Symphonic Ensemble. In 2004, he founded the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. The institute performs the major works of Bach triennially and, in the years since its formation, has devoted scholarship and performances to studying Bach’s professional years prior to his appointment in Leipzig (1723). Cock’s leadership of the Valparaiso University Chorale has led to numerous recordings and extensive concert tours in the United States and Europe. The chorale has served four performance residencies at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, making it the only American choir to enjoy such a strong relationship with the church of J.S. Bach. As a solo artist, Cock’s extensive range and communicative performances have established his prominence as a lyric tenor. Appearances as a Bach Evangelist take him to concert venues throughout the United States. He appeared as Evangelist in the “St. Matthew Passion” with The Los Angeles…


Community stands with Muslims over travel ban

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   During his 35 years in the U.S., Imam Talal Eid said he has never criticized an American president. Even during the campaign, when Donald Trump made hateful statements about Muslims, Eid held his tongue. “He’s the president, I’m sure things will be OK,” Eid said once Trump took office. Then came the executive order that effectively banned Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S. And Eid, director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg Township, cautioned church officials to pray for the divided nation but not criticize Trump. But then the stories came of families separated, Muslims returned to dangerous lands, people’s lives at risk. “I started to hear the tragedies,” Eid said. “I broke my silence. Innocent people are being harmed in the name of our nation.” Eid spoke Sunday afternoon to a mosque crowded with members and strangers who wanted to offer their support in the face of the travel ban. The audience overflowed out of the sermon room into prayer room. “This is the first time that I feel that my country, my president is trying to kill the morale of innocent people,” he said. He spoke of the agony that families already go through to get entry into the U.S. “You may not be aware that people sell their homes to come to America and have a good life,” the Imam said. Eid said he  has always clung to the Constitution, which is guided by the belief that people are all created equal. “I always speak of the ethics of the Constitution.” But that document appears to be under attack, as are Muslims, he said. “Isn’t it true that Muslims are not the only immigrants,” Eid said, noting that Muslim Americans contribute to their communities. He is not opposed to measures that are truly intended to keep America safe – but this travel ban will only act as ammunition for those who hate the U.S., he said. People being turned away from the U.S. will say, “Look what America did to me,” he said. “You are making terrorists happy. That’s what they want – to divide us.” Eid offered a prayer for the nation, directed at Trump. “Mr. President, I pray that God will enlighten your heart. That God will help you see the truth.” That truth includes the fact that people from the seven countries banned by Trump’s order have not engaged in any terrorist attacks in the U.S. Eid, from Lebanon, has long combated the portrayal of Muslims as terrorists. In 2007, he became the first Muslim cleric appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President George W. Bush. He was joined Sunday at the mosque by Toledo Council member and former state representative Peter Ujvagi, a…


Peace Lutheran powers Christian mission with light from the sun

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Peace Lutheran demonstrates its faith by the cross that rises high atop its steeple. The solar panels that were installed recently are also a demonstration of the congregation’s faith. “Here’s a faith expression that God is resourceful and generous,” said Pastor Deb Conklin. The solar panels fit in its Creation Care ministry. The solar panels were paid for by a behest from long-time neighbors Leonard and Margaret David. On Sunday, Feb. 5, at 10:30 a.m. the church will dedicate and give thanks for the solar panels and donation as part of its 10:30 a.m. worship experience. The donation was a surprise, Conklin said. The Davises were not members of a congregation, though Mrs. Davis did attend some of the church’s many community functions. Conklin had already been considering what environmental action the church could do and had attended an Ohio Interfaith Power & Light conference. She’d also discussed the environment and what the church could do with local activist Neocles Leontis. Then in 2014 the lawyer handling the Davis estate stopped by the church with a $5,000 check. That was, he informed her, just the start. She wasn’t at the church, she said, when the rest came. A check for $120,000. Conklin said the church already had a vision fund in place and that’s where the money was put. Working with Harvest Energy Solutions of Jackson Michigan, the solar panels were installed this winter, and have been operating for several weeks. The contractor also provided an app that allows the congregation to monitor how much electricity is being produced. Conklin said the church expects to save 25 percent on its utility bill with the solar panels. That won’t just come off the budget’s bottom-line, she said. That money will be used for its ministry. “That’s what’s important,” she said, “not to save money for us but to do more ministry.” That means “to enhance our vision to create a Christ connection to the community.” The goal is not to proselytize “but we’re trying to connect people with the best in Christ.” Part of that is being good stewards of the earth and its resources. It’s up to people to use what God gives them and that includes science, to take care of the creation, the pastor said. Using solar power is a way of achieving that by reducing the church’s carbon footprint. The solar panels are not the only way the church is looking to reduce its carbon footprint. The church is working with Ohio Interfaith Power & Light and its Energy Stewards program to monitor and analyze its energy use and to advocate for creation care and smart energy consumption. It has also upgraded to LED lighting .The church purchased a solar picnic table equipped with lighting and outlets. The church is also using…


Debate over afterlife puts church through hell in “The Christians”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clearly Presbyterians don’t believe in bad karma. Otherwise the pastors and board of the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green would have thought thrice about hosting a production of “The Christians,” a drama about a church being ripped apart. The church lived up to its declaration on its sign outside as a welcoming congregation, and welcomed Broken Spectacle Productions into its sanctuary. Luke Hnath’s 2015 play “The Christians” is being presented Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. That’s a fortuitous setting for the play. After a small choir (William Cagle, Beth Felerski, and Lorna Patterson) directed by pianist Connor Long has offered a couple hymns, the pastor, Paul (Jim Trumm) steps out and greets the congregation. Given the stage is a sanctuary a moment of confusion ensues – is this a service or a performance? Trumm’s Paul is a warm, reassuring figure, glib but not quite unctuous. He’s certainly proud of what he’s built. As he details in the opening lines of his sermon, he built this church from a handful of worshippers in a storefront into a congregation of thousands with a church that has a bookstore, coffee shop and parking lot big enough to get lost in. This Sunday is one of celebration, he tells the congregation, because the mortgage on the church has finally been paid off. And the Sunday is notable as well because he is announcing a dramatic change in theology – he no longer believes in hell. Paul arrived at this epiphany not on the road to Damascus, but in a bathroom in an Orlando hotel. At a conference he heard a missionary lament that a boy, who burned to death in the process of saving his younger sister, would not go to heaven because he was not a Christian, not saved. Paul says that is incompatible with a loving God. “We are no longer that kind of church.” Trumm’s Paul announces this with joy and certainty. The audience – or is it a congregation? – would do well not to be so mesmerized by Paul’s preaching that they neglect to watch the others on the dais. The actors – Eric Batts as the associate pastor Joshua, Jim Dachik as the elder Jay, and Libby Dachik as Paul’s wife, Elizabeth – register their characters’ reactions to Paul’s revelations. Jay is confused. You can see him trying to process what’s being said. Joshua is in turmoil, pondering how he will react to this change. Elizabeth’s face is a greater cypher, by design. Her role as pastor’s wife requires her to contain what she’s feeling. Libby Dachik communicates that initial struggle with the slightest tightening of the muscles and shifting…


Broken Spectacle troupe brings “The Christians” to First Presbyterian

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Broken Spectacle Productions has staged plays in a bar, a lounge that served as a hookah lounge, and an empty storefront with one electrical outlet. The troupe makes it work. The company is peripatetic by design. Making it work is part Broken Spectacle’s mission statement. As Jonathan Chambers, who launched the theater company in 2014 with his wife Sara Lipinski Chambers, explains “It’s always about the plays and the spaces.” “We identify projects we want to do, then find spaces that are suitable,” he said. Chambers said Sara Chambers is always ordering and reading new plays. Last summer they came across “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath. He read it and knew immediately it was a play they should produce. “It ticks a lot of our boxes for us. It’s a new play that’s dealing with issues we’re interested in.” “The Christians,” which is structured around a sermon, “treats the issue of faith and people of faith with integrity, so it’s not making fun of belief,” he said. “In some respects the play is an argument that’s very old. If God is all loving, how can he send people to hell?” Chambers said they also realized “this is not a bar show.” Broken Spectacle will stage “The Christians” at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday Jan 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. Knowing they wanted to stage the play set in a church in a church, they approached First Presbyterian. Chambers said they knew the church was a welcoming congregation, and its involvement in community projects such as Not In Our Town made it an attractive collaborator. Also First Presbyterian is the home congregation of cast members Jim and Libby Dachik, so they brokered the conversation with the pastors, Gary and Mary Jane Saunders. The response was enthusiastic, but the proposal had to be approved by others in the church as well. The main issue was the use of the sanctuary itself. The strength of the script and its approach to faith helped win approval. Church board members were uncomfortable with the sale of tickets at first, though they went along after the producers explained that there are inherent costs in staging a play. They did not want tickets sold in the sanctuary itself, so tickets will be sold in the fellowship hall downstairs. The board was more than amenable, Chambers said. One member of the board insisted this was a play they should support. Chambers, who is directing the play, is the son of a Church of Christ minister. That deepened his appreciation for the script. “While I might not agree with some of what my parents believe, with a lot of what they…


Community lifts voices in First Presbyterian “Messiah” sing-along

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The season’s first snowstorm couldn’t stop music lovers from gathering Sunday to sing-along to holiday music for the ages. A sing-along performance of G. F. Handel’s “Messiah” drew a few dozen to the First Presbyterian Church to listen and sing-along on the choruses. They were joined by the church’s chancel choir, soloists, organ and an 11-piece orchestra. Inside they all found the warmth of the festive atmosphere, and beloved strains of music. As musicologist Christopher Williams, who was singing in the choir, noted in his introductory remarks, “Messiah” is associated with both the Christmas and Easter season. That means its strains, especially the climatic “Hallelujah” chorus, are familiar both to listeners and to singers. The sing-along is intended to bring those two groups together in a spirit of harmony and in literal harmony. The Rev. Gary Saunders, the church’s co-pastor, said that the event fit well into the church’s belief in fostering community and creativity. Josh Wang, the church’s choir director, credited co-pastor Mary Jane Saunders with first suggesting the church stage the performance. She had attended such performances in the past and felt it would work in Bowling Green. Wang, in his first year in his position, was already contemplating a program for the Christmas season, and this fit the bill. “It’s so popular, really beloved music,” he said. So many people have sung it and having them sing the choruses “makes it a more meaningful experience for everyone.” Also, the sing-along makes the event more casual than the usual concert presentation. Not that the soloists, choir and orchestra were casual about preparation. “It was wonderful to be part of something this big,” said Nancy Hess, a member of choir. She enjoyed the challenge of preparing the music. “Obviously we strive for accuracy, and as good a performance as we can,” Wang said. The performance included almost all of the oratorio’s first section, and “The Trumpet Will Sound” and the “Hallelujah” chorus from the final section. Among the soloists was professional singer Diane McEwen-Martin, whose families has long ties to the church. “I was baptized here.” She sang the mezzo-soprano solos. She has performed “Messiah” before, but not all that many times. She explained that she started her career as a mezzo-soprano before shifting up the vocal register to soprano. Her voice, she said is not suited to the high florid soprano lines in “Messiah,” but people forgot she still had a lower register, so she didn’t get that many opportunities to perform the oratorio. McEwen-Martin was happy to be back singing the familiar mezzo-soprano solos, as well as “But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming,” an aria for bass that is frequently sung by a mezzo. This was her first opportunity to sing the solo, McEwen said. The other soloists…


‘Come to the Stable’ features hundreds of Nativities

(Submitted for ‘Come to the Stable’) New church construction is not halting Bowling Green Alliance’s annual display of Nativities, “Come to the Stable.” For the 16th year, hundreds of Nativities and creches from around the world will be on display Dec. 8-11 in the church’s current sanctuary. A new sanctuary and an all-purpose room are being built just to the west of its current site, and while that has limited parking by a few spaces, it did not stop planning of the Nativity show. The free event opens Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.  Guests have all day Dec. 9 (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and 10 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to see it before it concludes Dec. 11 from noon to 3 p.m. Bowling Green Alliance will hold two shorter worship services Dec. 11, at 9 and 10:30 a.m., because of limited space in the sanctuary. “Come to the Stable” also features free refreshments, live and recorded Christmas music, and drawings for Nativities.  Food items and donations to the BG Christian Food Pantry are welcomed. The church is handicapped accessible. “This event is our free gift to the community, and anyone from far and wide, to help remind us all what the season is truly about,” explained Sherrie Binkley of Perrysburg, who has been involved in the event since its founding.  “It’s like a labor of love that we are pleased to do this for the community.” She noted the ambiance of the votive candles, miniature white lights and Christmas music “has a calming effect and is an opportunity to push the ‘pause button’ on the fast paced, hectic hustle and bustle.” The Nativities range from the reverent to the whimsical, making the display ideal for all ages.  A Native American-themed crèche shows Baby Jesus as a papoose visited by hunters instead of shepherds, while an Amazon River-themed one shows Mary and Joseph with Jesus on a raft, accompanied by a monkey and turtle. Large groups planning to attend may wish to call the church ahead of time at (419) 352-3623 or email office@bgalliance.org.


First United Methodist spreads the Gospel with rousing “Godspell”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Godspell” turns the good news into happy talk. The musical, directed by Janine Baughman, is on stage at the First United Methodist Church Thursday through Saturday. The 34th annual dinner theater is sold out, but there will be about 20 tickets for show and dessert only available each night. Tickets will be $15 at the door. This after dinner seating will be at 6:45 p.m. With a book by John-Michael Tebelak and most of the music by Stephen Schwartz, the musical’s take on the Gospel is very much in the spirit of  1971 when it was created, free-spirited, free-wheeling. The show opens with a gaggle of philosophers, each spouting fragments of their philosophy creating a cacophony of abstraction. As “Tower of Babble” proceeds, they each take turns climbing a tall ladder center stage. Then John the Baptist (Will Baughman) enters, carrying a water gun, skirting the audience as he approaches the stage. He sets about baptizing the cast who have now shed their personas as philosophers. Now they are just folks, wide-eyed and happy. Baughman brings a big goofy charm to John, and then to Judas. The last to arrive is Jesus (Michael Barlos). Barlos conveys a charisma that instantly captivates the crowd and the audience. He exudes a warmth and tolerance, like a favorite teacher. He loves the rambunctiousness of his disciples, but knows when to firmly but lovingly draw the line. The cast is a team of individuals. They all have their own way of smiling, and each gets a chance to shine in a song that reveals more personality. We feel we’re getting to know them. But it really is how they work together as a group that gives the production its lift. Other cast members are: Andrew Austin, Daniel Carder, Mara Connor, D. Ward Ensign, Courtney Gilliland, Cassie Greenlee, Garrett Leininger, Emily Popp, Tyler Strayer and Sherel White. There’s a palpable joy in their interplay as they act out parables. They even pull in audience members to help them. Throughout they inject contemporary references including a few jabs at the president-elect.  As cast members step into the spotlight for features, their fellow actors seem to enjoy them as much as the audience will. There’s much to enjoy. The music moves from the heartfelt ballad “Day by Day” sung by Connor to the gospel fervor of “Bless the Lord” performed by Carder. Barlos and Baughman have a great time in the vaudeville number “All for the Best.” Not often you get to see a tap dancing Messiah. During intermission the cast spills into the audience to help serve dessert. Their enthusiasm cannot be contained on stage. Andrew Austin opens the second act with a low-key reprise of “Learn Your Lessons Well,” accompanying himself on ukulele. While the disciples seem as high spirited…


Actor Frank Runyeon to present “Acts of Mercy” at St. Aloysius, Oct. 9-11

Submitted by St. ALOYSIUS PARISH St. Aloysius Parish, 150 S. Enterprise St., Bowling Green will present “Acts of Mercy” with veteran TV actor Frank Runyeon, Oct. 9 through 11 at 7 p.m. each night. “Acts of Mercy”presents, in dramatic performance over three nights, classic stories of our faith, highlighting the theme of God’s mercy, featuring selections from The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Luke, and The Letter of James. The performances are: “JOHN: Signs of Mercy,” Sunday, Oct 9, proclaims how God has shown mercy to mankind in the life of Jesus. Adults and school-aged children sit on the edge of their seats as the action unfolds in the darkness and candlelight… “LUKE: Stories of Mercy,” Monday, Oct. 10, enacts famous stories from Luke’s Travel Narrative (Chapters 9-19), interwoven with stories from Frank’s own life– to help us hear these parables as stories about our lives here and now. “JAMES: Works of Mercy,” Tuesday, Oct. 11, is set outside Caesarea in an early house-church filled with characters, after the stoning of Stephen. James calls the people in his church to become a People of Mercy who “do the Work of God,” and know the joy of living in God’s love. The mission concludes with a Conversation with the Actor. Frank reflects on our experience of God’s Word as drama these three nights, and discusses why oral performance is an appropriate way to hear God’s Word: as spoken by a Person who is present, addressing us personally, in love. Runyeon has received national acclaim for his work as a translator and performer of Biblical texts over the past 20 years. He has performed the Gospel for hundreds of thousands of people in virtually every state in America. He is probably still best known, however, for his many roles on television. He starred for seven years as Steve Andropoulos on “As the World Turns” opposite Meg Ryan, and for four years as Father Michael Donnelly on the Emmy-award-winning “Santa Barbara.” He also appeared opposite Emma Samms on “General Hospital” as playboy Simon Romero. He has guest-starred in recurring roles on “L.A. LAW,” “Falcon Crest,” “All My Children,” “The Young and the Restless,” and “Melrose Place.” Runteon is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Religion and American Studies. He wrote his thesis on the Mass Media. He has also studied at Fuller Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and the General Theological Seminary in New York, where he received his Masters Degree with honors.  


Presbyterians to dedicate church windows

(As submitted by First Presbyterian Church in BG) On October 2 at 2:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green will hold a special service dedicating the newly restored stained glass windows.   The windows, created by the Henry Keck Glass Studio of Syracuse, NY, were installed in 1938, and have been restored by the Bigelow Glass Company of Findlay as the crowning piece of an all-church capital campaign in 2012.  The project took 20 months with a cost of $150,000, involving over 20,000 pieces of glass. The restoration will help anchor the role of the church as a historic religious and community center in downtown Bowling Green. Co-pastor Rev. Gary Saunders says, “We are a church deeply committed to our city and our downtown neighborhood.  It is our profound hope that the restored windows will be a gift to the entire Bowling Green community as the light shines through them to beautify our town.”  The city council has been invited, and the service will feature special remarks by Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards. The dedication ceremony will also be the debut of the book “A Bible in Glass” that describes the windows in detail and tells the history of their installation.  The layout of the book was done by Ethan Jordan, with the introduction by Marcy St. John and the text by co-pastor Rev. Mary Jane Saunders.  The books will be available for purchase following the service. Each of the twenty-four windows includes a scene from the life of Christ, a historical church symbol and a verse of scripture.  The twelve windows on the north side are now visible to the community from W. Wooster Street, following the demolition of the former Junior High School and the creation of a green space. These windows depict scenes from the life of Jesus, while the twelve on the south side are themed on his parables and miracles. The dedication service is designed as a community event, and all are welcome.  Guest soloist Diane Martin McEwen will offer a special musical piece.  Following the dedication, refreshments will be served in the church Fellowship Hall.  Those with questions may call the church at 419 352 5176.


Pastors Mary Jane and Gary Saunders honored for working to make BG better for everyone

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On receiving the I Love BG Award with his wife, Pastor Mary Jane Saunders, Pastor Gary Saunders sounded what could have been the keynote for the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Meeting and Awards Program. “We’re better together,” he said. And that in one way or another was a message that came through in all the award presentations. Fitting for the award that she and her husband were receiving, Pastor Mary Jane Saunders said that when they first moved to Bowling Green to  assume the pulpit at First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green, they “immediately fell in love with the community and wanted to become involved.” “We were called by a church dedicated to justice and inclusion,” she said.  “This church has been supportive, not just supportive but encouraging. It’s because of First Presbyterian that we’ve been able to be active.” Sheilah Crowley, last year’s I Love BG award winner, detailed that involvement in her introduction. They have been leaders in the BG Ministerial Association, the campaign to stop the repeal of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, Not In Our Town, the city’s Human Relations Commission, the interfaith breakfast and the Presbytery of Maumee Valley. Gary Saunders said that guiding “our life journey together” has been a belief that “diversity is an opportunity not a problem.” “To the extent we can grasp that and live it out, we can all step forward together,” he said. After the luncheon, held at Nazareth Hall in Grand Rapids, Mary Jane Saunders said it was the people who made the couple fall in love with Bowling Green. “There are people who share a vision of wanting the community to be better for everybody, and they’re willing to work for it, not just talk about it.” Not In Our Town embodies that. “It’s a grassroots thing,” Gary Saunders said.  It bubbled up both on campus and in the community.  “It’s a vehicle to gather together and express what our best self is. That’s what Not In Our Town is all about.” NIOT prompts community discussions of “the important issues we really need to talk about. Sometimes issues are tragic events, or issues swirling about like Black Lives Matter and Islamophobia. We need a place to talk about it. We have a long way to go, but we’re getting there.” The Chamber also awarded its Outstanding Customer Service Award to Dr. Dave Ernsthausen and the Animal Hospital at West Ridge. Ernsthausen said that the work of the staff, some of whom have been with the practice since it opened in 1998, was the key to providing service. The nomination, presented by Brian Roush, of Oasis Restaurant and Delivery, last year’s winner, read: “You can count on their compassionate professionals to treat your furry friend as their own and understand that…


Lisa Chavers taps into love of relationships for first book

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lisa Chavers holds onto friendships. She’s still is in touch with her best friend for first grade. Her 87-year-old mother says that Chavers, who turns 57 on July 4th, I “the most relational” person she knows. That’s not just because Chavers keeps in touch with people, but also because she thinks deeply about those relationships, what sustains them and how they shift over time, and sometimes how to discard them. The retired Bowling Green State University administrator has put those thoughts into a book “The Rhythm of Relationships.” She’ll have a reception and book signing for the book Saturday, July 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. “Over time, relationships can develop their own rhythm, pace, cadence, and unique sound,” she writes early in the book, and through its spare 105 pages, she explores how this happens. It’s told through the lens of her own life, growing up in Cleveland, both in the city and often visiting extended family in rural Twinsburg. A major aspect of her life is being a devote Christian. That’s how she was raised. “I know what I am and what I was trained to be from youth, a God-fearing young lady,” she said. Her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her savior in 1978 is so crucial it is in the first sentence of her introduction. She cites the Bible. But, she said, the Bible is a book, the Lord is a living presence. Still as much as she draws sustenance from her faith, Chavers aims to enlighten those who don’t share it into the importance of relationships and how they change and how that change needs to be addressed. As much as the book is the work of a lifetime, she traces its origin though back to a class in mission work at her parish, the Covenant Church in Maumee. She wrote a paper on her experience in Jamaica. On the top, the teacher, whom Chavers held in high esteemed, wrote in red ink: “You should write a book.” That “somebody of that caliber saw something in my writing, saw potential, it kind of tipped me over,” Chavers said. She began writing. That proved difficult. Others told her she should write a book. Others asked her how the book was coming along. “I learned you can’t talk forever and not put some action to it,” Chavers said. About four and half years ago, she started in earnest with two sentences. Someone advised her to just start writing as if in a journal. Chavers was hung up on her perceived need for a title to bring what she had to express into focus. About this time tragedy struck for her Indian friend Eva. First her husband died, and then not long…


Earth Week opens with Creation Care Celebration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Creation Care Celebration, which marked the beginning of Earth Week activities in Bowling Green, focused on the possibilities. Honored by the Black Swamp Green Team, the event’s sponsors, were those who were already making a difference locally, and statewide. The keynote speaker spoke about what churches could do to preserve the environment. And a series of workshops were offered on household options for taking action. Stumbling blocks were mentioned – the state’s renewable energy standards are on hold. But the two state legislators in attendance State Senator Randy Gardner and State Representative Tim Brown, both Republicans said they were in favor of lifting the hold on them and letting them take effect. The keynote speaker Greg Hitzhusen of Ohio State University’s School of Environment & Natural Resources, spoke of a pastor in Idaho who took the initiative to put saving the environment at the center of his church’s mission. He discovered, Hitzhusen said, less resistance than he expected. Now 10 years later he’s experiencing fierce backlash to his efforts. “How do we overcome these obstacles?” Hitzhusen wondered. The speaker, who is involved in the Interfaith Light and Power movement, focused his talk on what works. “Build on your strengths,” he said. That means finding what expertise is within the congregation that can spearhead efforts. The United Church of Christ in Sylvania used the expertise of Al Compaan, a leading researcher in photovoltaics, to initiate a solar project. “Do what makes sense for your community,” he said. Even simple measure can help. Saving money on energy can help a church keep its doors open and support its other missions, he said. “When we learn about energy savings in our houses of worship,” he said, “we can learn to save energy in our households.” But he faced his own obstacles in pursuing his vocation of blending faith with environmentalism. Raised a Presbyterian, he had a beloved pastor warn him about the “blue demon.” The pastor was concerned that concentrating on environmental ministry would lead to “the temptation toward nature worship.” Hitzhusen went to Yale, the only school where he could blend his two passions. Later he planned to travel to Colorado where the pastor now served to discuss the matter with him. On the day he arrived, he learned the minister had just died. Hitzhusen attended the service and he noticed the Bible open to the eighth chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans. The passage is often cited at Christian funerals. Hitzhusen’s eye slipped lower in the chapter where it speaks of “the entire creation is groaning.” Hitzhusen took this as a sign that he was headed in the right direction. The celebration, held at Peace Lutheran Church, also included honoring those helping the city move in the right direction. The City of Bowling…