As a District Superintendent I have the opportunity to attend a lot of meetings. To be fair, I convene a fair amount of meetings myself. There is a tradition that the DS’s of the Olivet region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin) gather together for meetings with Dr. Bowling and Dr. Leth and it is a wonderful time. It will be the first of three meetings at Olivet in the next three months for me, I will return for the board of Trustees in October, and Mrs. Blake and I will celebrate our 35th class reunion at Homecoming in November.
I am a proud graduate of ONU. Every time I step on the campus, I am reminded of the impact on my life that came about since that August day in 1974 when I walked on to the campus as a freshman. I was so naive about so many things. Olivet was an eye-opening, mind expanding, and spiritually significant part of my life. I feel the breezes of Olivet still rolling through my life.
I enjoy coming back to Olivet for another reason as well. I love being around the college atmosphere, the young eager faces, some broadcasting confidence, some fear, all are headed somewhere and I believe Olivet will help them negotiate the journey.
We are a connectional church, and therefore Olivet belongs to our churches, families and districts, but the reverse is also true, We belong to Olivet as well. We need each other and in some sense have a healthy dependency on each other.
I have been strolling across this campus for 39 years now, and I have never been more convinced of the need for Olivet. Parents don’t discount the value of an Olivet education. Pastors and congregations our allocations are not just about sending a check to a nameless faceless entity, it is making an eternal impact.
I don’t mind District Superintendent meetings, especially when they allow me to interact with one of the most special places on the earth. There are three special places on earth for me, Camp Camby, where I live and work, Olivet and Disney World. Please do not ask me to place them in order. In fact, they are all number one in my book