Newsletter of the Office of Intercultural Engagement

From Every Nation, From All Tribes and Peoples and Languages...Revelation 7:9

Posted February 1, 2024 by Office of Intercultural Engagement
Tags: Engage Newsletter

Spring Semester, 2024, Issue #3

The Vision of The Office of Intercultural Engagement – To help our Christ-centered campus to respect and love one another, to engage interculturally, to uplift the disadvantaged, to live in community, from every nation, for His Glory.

From The Office of The CIEO: A Word from Dr. Vanessa Wynder Quainoo

Dr. Quainoo"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Is a historical review of our race relations in alignment with the resolve to “forget those things behind us and press forward”? Often “forgetting” means understanding fully what was done, so as never to repeat the offense. Also, the offended party commits to releasing the offender. Both agree in the power of the Holy Spirit to move toward a higher calling in Christ Jesus. What is that “higher calling”? Admittedly, I do not know the totality of what that means, but I do recognize the great potential in that verse for Christ-followers to love one another across racial differences. I do believe for a community of people – Hispanic, Asian, Asian American, Caucasian, Black/African American, Native American, and Middle Eastern to intentionally love each other is higher, much higher than human pursuit can attain. The Historical Review can help us understand our past so that we will know those things that should never be repeated. With forward focus, we press toward the high calling in Christ Jesus. Our goal -A loving community – it takes determination and effort. We do it through the power of Christ’s love. Come on, Wheaton College, let’s press!

A Word from Our President

Wheaton College President Philip Ryken

“Where Ya From?” goes the title of a popular podcast that has hosted Wheaton’s own Esau McCaulley, among other guests. It’s a good question: Where are you from, and how has God used your unique background to shape you into the person you are becoming? I wonder: how might Jesus have answered if someone had asked him, “Where ya from?” Perhaps he would have told people that he grew up near Galilee. If he wanted to be more specific, he might have styled himself “Jesus of Nazareth.” Or perhaps he would have included other interesting details, such has his birth in Bethlehem, the famous city of David, or his early years in Egypt, of all places. Remarkably Jesus also could have testified to his first, eternal home. Before he came down to earth, he had dazzled the courts of heaven as the only begotten Son of God.

This world-changing truth may not help us know what to say when people ask us where we’re from, but it does help us understand where we are going: by the miraculous birth, atoning death, and triumphant resurrection of the God-man from Nazareth, we are bound for glory.

Philip Ryken Signature

President Philip Ryken


Dr. Karen A. LeeWith heartfelt gratitude for the leadership of President Phil Ryken and Chief Intercultural Engagement Officer Dr. Vanessa Quainoo, I welcome you to another issue of ENGAGE, a Christ-centered space of reflection and recognition in the spirit of Kingdom diversity at Wheaton College.

During the month of November, our campus hosted a biblically rooted, thoughtful discussion about the Historical Review on Race Relations, which is the fruit of the Spirit at work in our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and Trustees. I am especially grateful to Dr. Vince Bacote for moderating this panel discussion by Dr. Danny Carroll Rodas, Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy; Dr. Karen Johnson, Associate Professor of History and Department Chair; and Dr. Michael McKoy, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations and Department Chair. I also wanted to share a few words honoring the rigorous spiritual and academic labors exemplified by this Historical Review, which are presented in "History, a Poem” (shown below.)

Provost Karen Lee

Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates - Keynote Speaker

Spring Symposium, Tuesday, March 12th
Barrows Auditorium / 7p.m.

dr-charlie-datesRepentance is the theme for the second symposium sponsored by the Historical Review Implementation Task Force with keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates. The symposium is scheduled to take place, Tuesday, March 12th at Barrows Auditorium in the Billy Graham Hall at 7p.m. (Free and open to the public/light refreshments will be served immediately following).

Rev. Terrance Campbell, Director of Graduate Admissions serves as the coordinator for the second symposium. According to Campbell, “Rev. Dr. Dates is a prophetic voice who will certainly speak a powerful and encouraging Word to Wheaton College. “Rev. Dr. Dates is the senior pastor of the Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois. A nationally known speaker, author and thought leader, Dr. Dates has also taught a class here at the College. In addition, he has spoken in Chapel on various occasions. He is not a stranger to Wheaton College. Mark your calendar, reserve the time. You will not want to miss an evening with students, staff, faculty, friends from the community and Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates.

Bishop Timothy Clarke

bishop-clarkeBishop Clarke spoke in a January chapel service on the theme of The Rich Young Fool (St. Luke chapter 12), a continuation of the focus on the parables of Jesus.

Bishop Clarke, a leading voice in the African American Church, speaks and ministers widely nationally and globally. Senior Pastor of First Church of God, Columbus, Ohio, Bishop Clarke is also the founding prelate of the Berean Fellowship of Churches nationwide. He is also a beloved leader in the National Association of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). Bishop Clarke is married to Dr. Clytemnestra Lawson Clarke.


Roundtable for African American Clergy

Dr Lauren PalmerSponsored by the Chaplain’s Office, this gathering brought twenty-five Black/African American clergy to campus for a one-day workshop on strengthening evangelism in the Black Evangelical Church.

Dr. Angulus Wilson, Chaplain, served as host. Dr. Vince Bacote, Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Christian Ethics was one of the presenters. Provost Karen Lee, Vice President Chad Rynbrandt and Chief Enrollment Officer Silvio Vazquez were among the Wheaton Administrators, faculty & staff who attended. The Office of Intercultural Engagement co-sponsored the event.

Rev Dr. Lauren Palmer, Associate Minister at Celebration Church, Columbia, MD and founder of The Healing Lab. Being a female minister and health care provider, Dr. Palmer brought a unique perspective to the Wheaton College Roundtable for African American Clergy.

The Beauty and Efficacy of Black Gospel Music

by Dr. Donte Ford
Associate Professor of Music
Associate Chaplain, Wheaton College

Faculty profileRecently Chapel worship included a song that is familiar to some Black audiences. Written in folk vernacular, Ain’t No Harm To Keep Your Mind Stayed On Jesus is an African American traditional song that captures what should be in many respects, the goal of any believer in Christ, and serves as an aspirational paradigm for the Christian life. This song affirms the primacy of Christ, the cornerstone of our faith, as the object of one’s foremost affection and the sure foundation and focus of all that one does and endeavors to do. Whether singing and praying, walking or talking, this beloved congregational song of the Black Church helps us live out the Biblical instruction found in Hebrews:

Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfector of our faith…(Hebrews 12:1 -2 ESV)

Helpful Books on Christian, (Biblical) Multicultural Community

*Please note the book reviews below are copied from the online source of the title listed.

Being Latino in Christ Finding Wholeness In Your Ethnic IdentityBeing Latino in Christ Finding Wholeness In Your Ethnic Identity
by Orlando Crespo
Life as a Latino in America is complicated. Living between the two worlds of being Latino and American can generate great uncertainty. Who are you as a Latino? What has Christ to say about your dilemma? How can you accept who you are in Christ with joy and confidence? Orlando Crespo has taken his own journey from Puerto Rico to an immigrant neighborhood in Springfield, Massachusetts…In this book he helps you to reflect what the Bible says about ethnic identity--about a people who were often oppressed by more powerful cultures. He helps you to see how Jesus' own humanity unfolded in the context of a people who were considered to be inferior. Thus Crespo finds both realism and hope in the good news of Jesus. Crespo also shows how Latinos are called to step out positively in ministry to the world. You can make a positive impact in on the world in racial reconciliation, in bicultural ministry and more because of who God has uniquely made you to be. Here is a book for all Latinos who want to live confidently in Christ. (www.ivpress.com/being-latino-in-Christ) Intervarsity Press, 2003.

learning our namesLearning Our Names Asian Americans on Identity, Relationships, and Vocation
by Sabrina S. Chan, Linson Daniel, E. David de Leon, La Thao
Asian Americans know the pain of being called names that deny our humanity. We may toggle back and forth between different names as a survival strategy. But it's a challenge to discern what names reflect our true identities as Asian Americans and as Christians. In an era when Asians face ongoing discrimination and marginalization, it can be hard to live into God's calling for our lives. Asian American Christians need to hear and own our diverse stories beyond the cultural expectations of the model minority or perpetual foreigner. A team from East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian backgrounds explores what it means to learn our names and be seen by God. They encourage us to know our history, telling diverse stories of the Asian diaspora in America who have been shaped and misshaped by migration, culture, and faith. As we live in the multiple tensions of being Asian American Christians, we can discover who we are and what God may have in store for us and our communities. (www.amazon.com/Learning-our-names-asianamericans-on-identity) Amazon, 2022.

fnv-coverA New Testament in English by Native North Americans for Native North Americans and All English-Speaking Peoples
First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament; Academy of Parish Clergy Reference Book of the Year IVP Readers' Choice Award 
Many First Nations tribes communicate with the cultural and linguistic thought patterns found in their original tongues. The First Nations Version (FNV) recounts the Creator's Story—the Christian Scriptures—following the tradition of Native storytellers' oral cultures. This way of speaking, with its simple yet profound beauty and rich cultural idioms, still resonates in the hearts of First Nations people. The FNV is a dynamic equivalence translation of the New Testament that captures the simplicity, clarity, and beauty of Native storytellers in English, while remaining faithful to the original language of the Bible. The culmination of a rigorous five-year translation process, this new Bible translation is a collaboration between organizations like OneBook and Wycliffe Associates, Indigenous North Americans from over twenty-five different tribes, and a translation council that consisted of twelve Native North American elders, pastors, young adults, and men and women from different tribes and diverse geographic locations. (ivpress.com/first-nations) Intervarsity Press, 2021

faithful antiracismFaithful Antiracism
Christina Barland Edmondson and Chad Brennan
Racism presents itself as an undefeatable foe—a sustained scourge on the reputation of the church. In Faithful Antiracism, Edmondson and Brennan take confidence from the truth that Christ has overcome the world, including racism, and offer clear analysis and interventions to challenge and resist its pernicious power. Drawing on brand-new research from the landmark Race, Religion, and Justice Project led by Michael Emerson and others, this book represents the most comprehensive study on Christians and race since Emerson's own book Divided by Faith (2001). It invites readers to put this data to immediate practical use, applying it to their own specific context. Compelled by our grievous social moment and by the timeless truth of Scripture, Faithful Antiracism will equip readers to move past talk and enter the fight against racism in both practical and hopeful ways. (www.ivpress.com/faithful-antiracism) Intervarsity Press, 2023.

From the Office of Multicultural Development

  • William Osborne Society Chapel on Friday, February 2nd, 10:40 to 11:15 am, Edman Chapel: Matthew 9:16-17
  • 1-2-1 Sunday Dinner on Sunday, February 4th, 5:30 to7 pm, Phelps and Fireside Room
  • Synergy on Thursday, February 8th, 5 to 6:30 pm, Hannay
  • Willie-O Black and Beloved Gallery Opening Night on Thursday, February 15th, Time TBA, Peaq Gallery
  • February Ignite on Thursday, February 15th, 3:45 to 5:15 pm, Phelps

History - A Poem

By Karen An-hwei Lee, Ph.D.

History is weeping. Yes, history, a poem,
weeps in the night—wide-eyed, awake,
pacing around the room—ruminating.
We can’t live history in reverse, yet we can
let what we learn live in us. History hums
in our bones, the bright facticity of salt
in a salt mine or the sea. Historical truth
hymns to the rainwater of earlywood
and latewood in midsummer drought,
lives in the circles of annular rings.
The salt says, there is a sea in us—
tides of lamentation and repentance.
History is the meridian of our stories—
registers of names we’ll remember,
who we were,
who we’ll be one day.
Rachel will be a physician, marry a judge,
raise three daughters, love peach cobbler.
Martha and Vanessa will pray at noon
wherever they are in the world.
Ruth will don royal purple in a suite
with all four of her beautiful names,
Ruth Benella Lewis Bentley—
Benella, the names of her father
and mother as one.
We say, this is history—
The remedy of scripture in letters and honey,
God and eternity passing through time
or vice versa—time and eternity through God.
Don’t doubt in the darkness
what God showed you in the light—
a jeremiad changes to joy. The remedy
of scripture is a living, vigorous curative,
a holy route of tears, a prelude to jubilee—
this is already history.

Dr. Karen Lee serves as the Provost
at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
(All Rights Reserved/ Do not re-print without permission)