Sunday, October 28, 2007

National Student Dialogue Conference

"Nice Thumb!"

Last weekend in Salt Lake a conference was held where LDS and Evangelical students and professors could get together and discuss the issues surrounding the interactions between our two faiths. It was really the first conference of it's kind and a big accomplishment for the people who put it together. A special recognition was given to Erik McHenry who really gave his heart to our efforts and brought so many people together. The conference was his last project before leaving Standing Together so it was hard to see him go. (We love you Erik!)
There was a lot of cool stuff going on during the weekend and unfortunately we didn't get as many pictures as we would have liked. Still, we did snap a few that we thought we'd post. A big part of the conference was listening to talks given by both LDS and evangelical professors who discussed the philosophy behind our discussions and/or doctrinal issues. One of the speakers was Truman G. Madsen and he was kind enough to let me get a picture with him. I know the man looks ancient (which he IS, by the way) but his mind and voice are still all there. He gave a great speech on the importance of discussing beliefs with others. He was a lot of fun to talk with afterwards as well. He's quite the joker!
Joanna spent some time on small roundtable discussions where students of the different traditions could ask questions of each other and understand one another better. My experience has been that those situations are sometimes the hardest settings to be in because you don't know what to expect. From what people said though she rocked the casba. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there because I was invited to be on a panel of students, clergy and professors to discuss change in the churches and answer questions. It was a fun experience for both of us to participate in and to catch up with and meet new friends.
One couple that we got to know a little better was Jordan and Erin Barret (I hope I spelled that right guys) from Wheaton College near Chicago. Jordan led groups out to BYU for five years to interact with students there and to learn more about the LDS. We talked a lot about religion and heard one another's perspectives on different doctrinal issues. It was most enlightening. There's even a chance that we may live near one another next year. If they stay in Chicago and I end up going to Northern Illinois University we would only be a short drive apart. I think that would be pretty cool!
Well, I think I've said enough. Even if I did keep going I don't think I could really convey how great and important I think these kind of discussions are. Religion really can be one of the hardest subjects to discuss but that shouldn't stop us from trying to do it in an open and understanding way. Okay, so there was my little soapbox. I'm now getting of it and sliding it under the table. Until next time!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Hogle Zoo

So a few weeks ago we and our friends the Rogers (Filios Evangelicus) went to the Hogle Zoo in SLC on a weekend. I really like going to the zoo. It's just another way that I'm more like a child than an adult. A list that doesn't seem to get any shorter over time. So here's some of the stuff we saw. The white alligator was a traveling exhibit and was part of our motivation for going. It was pretty cool. Apparently it's a genetic mutation (not an albino) and wouldn't survive in the wild.

Next, I really liked this elephant. He (or maybe she?) would scoop grass into little piles with his/her trunk and then eat it. Can you imagine doing all that with your nose? I thought it was pretty cool.
Another fun part of the day was getting up close and person with this Giraffe. It was munching on a branch near the wall where we were. I never realized how weirdly shaped their heads were. I think they look like big birds.
Finally, while hanging out with Daniel and Heidi at their place their pup, Roxy, figured out what suckers Jo and I are for dogs and took full advantage of the situation.
Afterwards we went to Famous Daves which, for those who know my history with the institution (Graham, nudge nudge, wink wink...), can always be a dangerous adventure. It was tastey of course.

Piedmont Girls Hangout

A few weeks ago Joanna and some of her friends from Piedmont came over to hang out. One brought her husband so I had some company. Anyways, the girls had fun chatting and reminiscing so I thought I'd post the pictures.

Jo, Katie and Susie

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jake is on the News!!!

Jake was on KLS news this weekend for the Evangelical-LDS conference we attended. Jake is currently the leader of the interfaith program at BYU, so he was chosen to be the Latter-day Saint student interviewed. You can see the article and view the video clip by visiting the following link: