Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018

During chapel Wednesday morning, Writing and Editing Professor Aaron Brown, used quotations from well-known theologians and literary authors to relate the College’s verse of the year, Ephesians 2:10, with students’ commission in life.

Before Brown spoke, the choir sang three songs: “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and “When the Little Baby Boy Was Born.” The songs helped everyone get into the Christmas spirit, and audience members were seen swaying and clapping to the last song with the choir members.

Brown opened his sermon with a prayer from St. Augustine, about how humans are the evidence of God’s ability to create meaningful things and restore glory. He then connected it with Ephesians 2:10, and replaced the English word “workmanship,” with the Greek word, “poiema.”

For we are His poiema, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10.

Brown explained that we are God’s “poem.” We were created to create. But our desire to create should come from our adoration of God’s creation first.

“By looking around us, we are reading God’s beauty—there is no shortage of it around us,” Brown said.

Brown encouraged the students that they have a unique role in God’s divine plan, and that God expects them to use the gifts He has given them to glorify Him. But sometimes students may struggle to define what their gifts are.

“We are created, then we are invited to create. Ask yourself: When I do _X , I feel God’s pleasure,” Brown said.

His main ideas were: 1) We are called to create, not consume. 2) We are called to create, not just the physical but also the spiritual. 3) We create as a witness of what God has done and will do.

Brown ended his sermon with the verse 2 Corinthians 5:20, about how we are the vessels through which God makes His appeal to others. To not fulfill our commission to create, is a waste of our unique gifts.

“I really agree with what Aaron said about us being created to create. I feel that drive myself as an actor, and it was cool to hear that message in Chapel today,” senior Bobby Foster said.

Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team finished their season competing at the KCAC Conference Championship race, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bethel College. Both teams placed ninth overall, with their top runner, sophomore Jasmine Travelbee, placing thirtieth-–just ten spots away from qualifying for nationals.

The team faced some challenges this fall battling injuries and merging young runners into the program. The result of all their training was revealed at conference, and freshman Zach McCammon said that opportunity for a comeback was rewarding.

“I will always remember how well we pulled together and finished the season strong,” said McCammon.

The two teams had ran the Bethel course twice already this season, so senior Abby Reed said that helped them feel confident during the race.

“Going into the meet, the girls were projected to place eleventh, so we did do better than what was expected for us. I think it could have been considered a successful meet before the race even finished just because we had all 8 girls racing for the first time all season. Everyone competed really well and I think the majority of the team ran a personal best, which is always exciting,” Reed said.

 Though the runners entered the season with running goals and scholarships, the bonding aspect of the team is equally important, if not more important than the medals and qualifications.

 “This season brought us all closer to each other in friendship. We have been through thick and thin these past few months, and each circumstance has helped create a tight, lasting bond between us,” sophomore Evelyn Barnhart said.

 Head coach Jack Dillard was proud of his athletes, and looks forward to continued growth and development during track season.

 “Our student athletes competed with courage and strength. Both men’s and women’s teams ran very smart tactical races that helped everyone overall,” Dillard said.

 Senior Abby Reed looks forward to training and racing for track season with the team, and helping each other be the best athletes and people they can be.

 “I’m looking forward to track season because it gives everyone the opportunity to do their specialty. In cross country, every girl runs the same distance and every guy runs the same distance. So track allows for a little more individuality in what people get to do. And those on the team that don’t run cross country have been working hard all fall, so I’m looking forward to being able to cheer them on in their throwing and sprinting like they cheered us on all fall,” Reed said.

 At the end of each season, the coaches award a male and female athlete with a Giving Tree, to recognize their outstanding commitment to the team through their time, effort, and attitude on and off the course. This season’s award recipients were Abby Reed and Zach McCammon.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2018

College students and local families hurried out of the cold and into the Sterling United Methodist Church on Broadway St., Monday evening, to order warm drinks and snacks. The second floor of the church, called Connection Café, is set apart for balancing socializing and working on homework.

The café is meant to be a space for all who enter to experience the love and grace of Jesus. It is meant to be an inviting atmosphere where friendships can be strengthened and burdens can be shared.

The Connection Café was founded in memory of Jacob Oden. This café was his vision, though God called him home before he was able to see it become a reality. Jacob had named the café and came up with some of the new drink ideas. Memorial money was given in his honor to furnish the space for it. His heart for service is remembered through the existence and purpose of the café.  

 The café space was dedicated to the glory of God on October 19, 2016. Since then, many students have made it their space away from college.

“I come about roughly every week. I actually also work here and am one of the people who attended and helped out-right from the start. I really enjoy the community here and the mission to reach people during study time has always appealed to me. The Connection Café is a fun place away from campus, with cheap coffee, good company, and a place to work,” senior Brianna Chastain said.

Brianna and her friends sat behind their laptops circled around a coffee table, all focused on their screens yet taking moments to reach for their coffee mug and take a sip every now and then.

“I usually come every other week. The atmosphere is just extremely relaxing. I can come to the Connection Café for multiple reasons, whether it be completing a big assignment or catching up with friends,” junior Kaylyn Oberle said.

“One of my favorite memories during one of those friend nights, was when I decided to hide a few of their bookbags and laptops around the church. They found them within 30 minutes or so and then proceeded to steal my keys while I wasn’t looking, go move my car, and then wait for me to notice it when it was time to leave. All of that extended from a fun night of fellowship at the Connection Café. I really appreciate the awesome environment. Coffee is a great bonus as well!” Oberle said.

Students come to enjoy the space and the beverages, but students are also behind the counter working as baristas.

“Working here has been a very growing, new, and relaxing experience for me. I’ve worked in the coffee business for two years now and I love the environment that a coffee shop provides for customers. I love working here at Connection because I think it’s so special that this church is using coffee as a way to reach out to the community and provide inexpensive yet savory coffee for the community,” freshman Emma Kwasiborski said.

Besides food and doing homework, students also enjoy playing board games and table tennis there too. Their menu includes: lattes, hot chocolate, steamers, affogatos, pop, Gatorade, water, Capri Sun drink; and cookies, chips, candy, granola bars, popcorn, and pop tarts.

The Connection Café is located on 137 N. Broadway. They are open from 7-10 p.m. each Monday night. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jeff Darnauer at 620-474-1102 or at 


By Kaitlynn Little, reporter
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018

Dr. Roy Millhouse, assistant professor of biblical studies, and Dr. Mark Watney, assistant professor of language and literature, held the second lecture of the Theology+ Lecture Series in the Presentation Lab in Cooper Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

The lecture — “Are Translators Traitors?” — explored how the poetry in the Bible should be interpreted and translated from a theological point of view and a literature point of view.

Millhouse proposed questions like, “How do we get the words of the Bible, written over 2,500 years ago, into something we can understand,” and “How does a translator avoid miscommunicating the text?”

He explained that there are various theoretical models that translators of the Bible consider. The two main ones are Formal Equivalence, meaning that the language is translated word for word, while the other model is called Functional Equivalence, where the language is translated instead into thought for thought.

Translations are more difficult to read the closer they are to Formal Equivalence (a 12th grade reading level; NASB), while Functional Equivalence translations are easier (a 5th grade reading level; MSG).

Millhouse explained that the series is relevant to college students, because we all choose what kind of Bible we like to read from.

“It’s important that you understand what the translators are trying to accomplish with the Bible, because that helps to guide you into what kind of translation that you’d like to use for study. To have an idea of what the translators are trying to accomplish—to know that this is basically a discussion between form and function—then learning the NIV is going to lean a little bit more towards function than the ESV is, if form is important to you, then maybe you want to use the ESV,” Millhouse said.

Dr. Watney introduced literature’s standpoint on translating the Bible by reading Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s poiema,” using the Greek word for workmanship—meaning poetry. He compared the process of writing poetry to God’s care in creating us.

“To accurately translate the Psalms, you have to look at the poetical form. Because Psalms were written to be performed, to be chanted, to be sung. If you translate it simply as prose, then you lose that performative element. It’s one book in the Bible, that is to be used very differently from any other book in the Bible. We don’t chant through Genesis and we don’t sing through Revelations, but we do with the Psalms. So that has to be taken into account, that the poetical form is essential for the Psalm’s function–what it was written to be,” Watney said.

A question and answer session followed after the speaker’s presentations, and students had an opportunity to ask the two professors their questions about translation.

“I am also very interested in learning about the ways the Bible relates to other aspects of daily life or culture. Learning about the Bible in the context of literature brings more meaning into the scripture that I’m reading,” junior Elizabeth Berens said.

Future lectures to look forward to will occur next semester, and will include a Theology+Science lecture as well as a Theology+Business lecture.



Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018

Career Services and the Writing Center partnered to host an informative and practical workshop, Tuesday, Oct. 30, to help students in their process of applying for graduate school.

Terry Ehresman, director of Career Services, explained to students that now is the time to 1) decide if they want to go to graduate school, 2) do research to figure out the requirements and deadline for their program, and 3) give themselves plenty of time to write the personal essay.

Ehresman also gave students a tour of his Career Services website. It provides important internet links and career guide pdf’s that he has gathered for students’ success.

“Part of the services offered by Career Services, is grad school advice. And so, whether that’s “How do I know if I should apply,” “Will a grad school degree help my career,” “If so, how do I decide which school to go to,” “How do I write the paper?” These are services I offer one-on-one for students anyways, so this was just a form to do that in more of a group setting” Ehresman said.

Dr. Rachel Griffis, assistant professor of language and literature, presented a powerpoint titled “Strategies for Writing the Essay.” Her two main points began with “it’s all about you” and “your dream school.”

“Writing these statements—like I mentioned in the presentation—these statements are some of the most difficult rhetorical documents to write. Job, scholarship, and fellowship applications are also kind of in that same genre. These short things that can only be like 500 words or 1000 words, are so difficult to write, so students can benefit from getting guidance specifically in this genre,” Griffis said.

Students were given a handout of an example of a bad personal essay with edits marked in red. After reviewing it, they were given a packet of four good example essays and discussed what qualities made it excellent. Lastly, Ehresman handed out a “Personal Statement Worksheet” that provided questions to help students start brainstorming and write down some ideas for him and Griffis to read and give suggestions.

“I’m in the process of applying for graduate school. My plan is to apply to master’s programs for applied mathematics. Right now my plan is to apply for between 5-10 programs, just depending on what I find and what interests me, and what would be a good fit for me. This workshop was really helpful just to get some general writing tips and kind of keep alert for what’s expected,” senior Shelby Stowe said.

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018

The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team has spent their entire season preparing to qualify for nationals at the conference meet next Saturday.

Head coach Jack Dillard knows that what the runners emphasize in practice will repeat itself at the meets. As far as warming up, race attitude, and cooling down, the runners will feel comfortable doing what they have been practicing.

“We are focusing a lot of our attention on being at full strength on both the men’s and women’s side. We have yet to race everyone this fall and we will for the first time at the KCAC meet. We are mentally preparing to run in packs, to use each other for motivation, encouragement, and support. At this point it is recognizing this is bigger than any individual, as is a group effort of everyone contributing,” said Dillard.

As the meet approaches, its important that the team knows their potential. Together they have set goals, and will plan on meeting them at the meet.

“Our women have a chance to place within the top six teams. Our men will have to battle but have a chance to be in the top 2/3’s – but again we want to race in groups and minimize any opportunity for someone to fall off pace,” Dillard said.

Senior runner Abby Reed has raced at the conference meet three times total so far. She uses her experience and confidence to motivate the young women’s team to reach their goals.

“It’s exciting to see that in previous meets we’ve had a different number one runner almost every time, which I think shows that we have a lot of talented girls that aren’t afraid to step up, and that if everyone could work together that we could end up with a really fast front group. It’s also exciting to see how the track team has stepped up to be a support system for the cross country team. The last couple of meets they’ve helped us out a lot with support and cheering during the races,” Reed said.

Coach Dillard is hopeful entering the conference meet.

“We have faced some tough situations going into and going through this fall. This team has been resilient in all aspects, has shown a ton of growth and maturity in dealing with these battles. We are very young and have had some freshmen really step up and take some ownership of this team and play some key roles in who we are and how we want to do things. It has been a roller coaster ride to say the least, but I am genuinely excited heading into KCAC because there is no better time to be prepared, and no better group to do it with than this one,” Dillard said.

The KCAC Cross Country Conference meet will take place Saturday, November 3, in North Newton, KS, hosted by Bethel College.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

The Sterling College English Department hosted Julie Moore on Tuesday evening, October 23, in Cornerstone located in the student union. Moore read selections from three books she has published, and revealed some of the new poetry she has been working on.

Her writing explored not just her own life, but also the life of those around her—to find the grace and blessing in them. Her newest book, Full Worm Moon, interacts with the realities of abuse and trauma, and how we can find hope and faith even though such horrors exist.

“The book’s metaphor is the moon. When I was emotionally torn apart—the year went on—no one stopped the calendar. I recognized that the moon kept showing up in my writing, and I think it lingered because of my attachment to Psalm 57:1. So several of the poems are named after the different types of moons,” Moore said.

A question and answer time followed her reading, giving opportunities for students from all areas of study at Sterling to connect with her and learn from her writing strategies.

“I really like meeting new people. And I love students, of course, I’m a professor too! College students are my favorite crowd. When I get to visit another college, especially a Liberal Arts college like Sterling, its such a blessing to get to network and know them. To see the good work going on of Christian education in Kansas,” Moore said.

In assistant professor of writing and editing, Aaron Brown’s, Poetry class, his students read and studied Moore’s newest book. Sophomore Jessie Sheppard participated in that class and attended the event to meet her in person.

“I came to the poetry reading because in our poetry class we got the chance to read her book, Full Worm Moon. I really enjoyed it and I wanted to ask her some questions, and I got some of them answered,” Sheppard said.

Brown observed that the event had the largest audience yet to attend a visiting writer’s reading. Him and Sheppard think that poetry has something valuable to offer every person.

“Poetry can be a lot of different things—it doesn’t have to just be something like Shakespeare or sonnets. Poetry can also be rap or some free form stuff. It has the potential to be a lot of different things, and it adapts to anyone and anyone can write it,” said Sheppard.

Moore’s books are for sale in the campus bookstore.




Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

Doubt and suspense has been manifesting itself from political leader Brett Kavanaugh’s trials, which were held from September 4 – October 4. Sterling College students followed the controversy and had mixed feelings about it at the end.

“My opinion of the case, is that the Senate/Judiciary committee should be doing over-sightment—they should be making sure this person is fit to do the job. And in this case, they went far beyond their reach and turned it into an investigation of sorts. If this was such a significant concern for the Senate, it should have been done outside. It should have been a legitimate investigation. The fact that his investigation was kind of a sham to be honest, is just sort of something I don’t really agree with. That’s why I don’t pass a judgement on whether he was or wasn’t guilty,” senior Drake Koops said.  

The heart of the investigation likely had less to do with Kavanaugh, and more with politics.

“A lot of it has to do with the partisanship that goes along with it. Democrats and Republicans were fighting over the fact that the Democrats didn’t want Brett Kavanaugh on there, and the Republicans were so strongly in favor of him being on there. So you have a lot of issues that come along with that, that are underlying that you don’t see. A lot of this became about the sexual allegations rather than the partisanship there is within the Senate,” Koops said.

Besides the trial being a political concern, it also drew attention to the injustices surrounding sexual assault cases.

“A victim’s testimony should be proof at least to open up more of an investigation, and maybe that that person is not a sound choice to go on the Supreme Court. When you have people who have done that kind of thing or have raised any suspicion of it, it makes it a lot harder for victims to come forward about it,” junior Lexi Sutter said.

Students used the news story to start conversations that could change the way our culture deals with injustices.

“I think one positive affect of this crummy situation, is people are speaking out more and saying, ‘Hey, it’s not okay for this to happen.’ And one of the most important things I’ve noticed in this specific case, is I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘If you feel like there was lot of misjudgment in this, then you need to register to vote, because the people who are representing you should be representatives of what you think and believe in. And if there is no one who represents what you believe in, then you won’t be heard and we lose the whole point of democracy if you don’t vote,” Sutter said.  

Though the trial is over and Brett Kavanaugh is now part of the Supreme Court, Koops thinks that problems similar to this case will continue.

“I think it’s just kind of our society in general, just how politically correct we have become. How afraid of voicing our opinions and just being direct and as straightforward as possible. Because people will say things that sound correct, but then the message gets lost. I think with just this culture, especially in politics, they know what the buzzwords are. They know what bothers people the most. With these sexual allegations, it seems to show a culture that is really leaning to be as politically correct as we can be in these situations,” Koops said.

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018

Photo by Kaitlynn Little

At 5 p.m. today in Heritage Hall the Theology Department hosted a community event for assistant professor Glenn Butner’s recently published book, “The Son who Learned Obedience: A Theological Case Against the Eternal Submission of the Son.”

The event provided time for the college and local community to be the first to hear about and buy his book.  

Butner said he got his inspiration for the book first from hearing a theologian talk about the relationships between the trinity in 2014. Afterwards, Butner wrote an article furthering its discussion. In 2016, an online debate on that same topic led many people to read Butner’s article for information.  

Because of that attention, people started asking Butner to write more and come speak at conferences on the subject. His original article evolved and was later published in the Journal of Theological Society.   

He wrote blog posts, spoke at conferences, and published papers on the subject of the Son’s free will. He ended up writing the book by putting together these various pieces.  

“It isn’t really that clear in the Bible where there is a theology and philosophy that unpacks really how ‘will’ works,” Butner said. “Jesus having a human will is pretty important. Because he offers human obedience on our behalf, so we don’t have to. Our connection to Christ is our shared humanity.”  

He said he sent the rough draft to multiple people and book companies.  

“For this book, I got a lot of help from other people at this college,” Butner said. “The library staff and faculty. Professor Bronlewee, Dr. Gabrielson, Dr. Millhouse, all helped me edit and proof some stuff. And Lydia, she supported me through when I spent a lot of time writing this book two years ago, and listening as I discussed the trinity a lot. She has been advocating the book maybe more than I have.” 

Butner thinks the content of the book will help people because many people are wrestling with those questions.  

“The book is for basically, pastors, professors, theology graduate students, and smart Christians,” he said. “I didn’t write it at a level where everyone will easily be able to read it. I hope it will start a new conversation on this subject, that is more charitable, and that better identifies the issues at stake.”  

Attendees were allowed time to ask questions of Butner following his presentation. Refreshments of lemonade, chips, and Rice Krispies with the Keltic trinitarian knot decorated on top with frosting were provided by Lydia Butner.