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.

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.

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

On Thursday night, T@SC (Theatre at Sterling College) and CAB (Campus Activities Board) hosted their annual Halloween Bash in Wilson Hall. The event featured a haunted house, dancing, cotton candy, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, along with Sterling’s annual costume contest.


The haunted house winded through Lower Wilson Hall and was filled with Sterling College actors dressed in horror makeup and clothes covered in fake blood. Strobe lights flashed as the actors jumped out to scare students on the way to Upper Wilson, where the Halloween Bash took place.


Kimberly Loya-Enriquez is a freshman double majoring in theatre and music. In the haunted house, she played the role of La Llorona, a character from a Latin American urban legend.

“I’ve never participated in any Halloween events before,” she said, “It was a lot of fun.”

The event began with food, apple bobbing, and dancing to Halloween-themed music. When enough students arrived, they danced the “Cupid Shuffle”.


The next portion was devoted to the pumpkin-carving contest. Three pumpkins were carved, and the judges decided the winner was a pumpkin vomiting out its insides.


The final parts of the night were devoted to dancing and the costume contest. Winners were picked in the areas of “Best Guy Costume”, “Best Girl Costume”, “Best Couples Costume”, and “Best Group Costume”.

Seth Rogers won “Best Guy Costume” for his Doctor Who attire.

Kristen Diaz won “Best Girl Costume” for her Mary Poppins outfit.

Chloe Heard and Shelby Stowe won “Best Couples Costume” for their “Sinking Titanic” Costume.

The “Best Group Costume” went to a group dressed-up as the cast of “Riverdale”.


The night winded down with more dancing and camaraderie until 11 P.M.

Lexi Jarvis, a freshman Musical Theatre Major helped with the haunted house in Lower Wilson Hall.

“I enjoyed the event,” Jarvis said, “We were with a lot of fun people, and no one got hurt or fainted in the haunted house.”


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T@SC is hosting a murder mystery event later this semester. The date is to be announced at a later time.

CAB’s next event, the “Lip Sync Battle” will be held on November 1 from 8-10 P.M.

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.  

Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018

Students who are seeking help paying for college can apply for financial aid to minimize their graduation debt. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be available for students to fill out online beginning on Oct. 1.  

This application is for the 2019-2020 academic year. There is plenty of time for students to complete the application since the deadline closes after the next school year starts, but the risk in waiting is that the funds are limited.   

“When those funds run out, they’re gone. So we encourage students to get them done as soon as possible,” Tina McFerrin, of Sterling College financial aid, said.  

The application has opened earlier this year, and applying early can be very beneficial for students needing federal funding.  

“The first benefit is that you don’t have to pay money to complete it. There is a mobile app available this year so that they can do this on their phone too. Another thing I would mention is its based on the 2017 tax information,” McFerrin said.  

The financial aid offices are located on the first floor of Kelsey Hall. They want to help students receive funding, know where they are financially, and have plenty of time to gather any necessary documents.  

“If they don’t get it done soon, life gets busy, then in the summer they are sitting there completing their FAFSA, but they’ve missed out on those potential funding opportunities. So we don’t want that to happen. You can always come into the financial aid office for assistance. We want to award that grant funding to as many students as possible,” McFerrin said.  

To fill out the FAFSA, visit and direct all questions towards the financial aid workers.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018

Photo by Jesse Sheppard

Sterling College’s Producing and Directing Cinema class is holding auditions at 7 p.m. today in the Art & Media Center for their upcoming film projects.

There are open auditions for four original screenplays written by the students in the course. The student directors are looking for a diverse range of actors who fit into one of four age categories: young teenagers (12-15 years old), older teenagers (16-18 years old), young adults (18-24 years old), as well as middle-aged men and women (45-55 years old).

Ryan Corwin, Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Media, explained the purpose of these auditions.

“The objective of Producing and Directing Cinema is to produce and direct short films. We have two students producing and directing documentaries, and four [students] producing and directing creative shorts based on their original screenplays,” he said. “The final edits will be submitted to film festivals around the US.”

Each student director will need to discover talented actors for their films. Micah Watney, one of the student directors, has even reached out to local high schools to find the perfect cast members for his film.

Watney hopes for a diverse cast who integrates well into each film project.

“I wrote my piece centered around two young teens,” he said. “And that is what I was most worried about. Finding people who fit my piece.”

The directors need to know when each cast member is available so that each scene can be scheduled ahead of time.

Interested actors need to attend today’s auditions with a list of dates in October that would work with their schedules.

Auditions are dependent on each director. Applicants should be prepared to read three to five lines of dialogue, with more being a possibility if the director needs it, and the actors will need to read through lines with others. Each audition will be recorded for the directors to review as necessary during the casting process.

Cast lists should be posted by 1 p.m., Sept. 28, in the Art and Media Center, as well as on the Communications Facebook Page (

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

Friday night the English Blend held a chocolate fondue event at Dr. Mark and Laurel Watneys’ house where students and faculty alike shared their favorite literary works.

It was the English Blend’s first event of the 2018-19 academic year. To start things off, the attendees enjoyed chocolate fondue inside the Watney home while they socialized among themselves. This was followed by a campfire outside where everyone introduced themselves and shared some of their favorite writings. This included literature, poems, song lyrics and other various types of writing.

It is a yearly tradition of the Watneys to host the chocolate fondue event in their home and they both look forward to it every year.

“I love the chance to get to know people outside of the college,” Laurel said. “You learn things about people that you otherwise wouldn’t. Not too many people here were English majors. But they all had a love for beauty, and they all had a love for communicating and wanting to share. And I thought that was really cool.”

Photo by Jase Brandt

Unlike English Blend events in the past, the chocolate fondue event was open to all students and not just English Blend club members. Jesse Sheppard, the president of the English Blend, is working hard to welcome all students to join the English Blend events.

“We’re hoping we’ll get some more people to show up this year. I know last year we had a few issues like communicating it to the people,” he said. “We want to try to develop better events and have more people show up. And this year we’re focusing on developing that. We’re trying to have people who aren’t necessarily English people. We’re trying to take it away from just a Language and Literature Department event. We want it to be more inclusive to everyone on campus.”

This is one of the main reasons senior Kaitlynn Little joined the English Blend her sophomore year. She was looking for a strong group she could belong with.

“I’ve always felt safe there,” she said. “I think it’s very hard to be fake there or to feel the need to be something you’re not. You don’t have to be perfect or something like that. You’re actually talking about things that are important to you. And you’re trying to help others grow as well. You can’t really be fake about that. And I just really appreciate that.”

Photo by Jase Brandt

The English Blend is currently composed of four members: sophomore Jesse Sheppard as the president, sophomore John Mayo as both the vice president and secretary, senior Kaitlynn Little as the treasurer, and sophomore Bailey Gorges as the publicist.

Dr. Watney is a Language & Literature professor at Sterling College. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities (Literary Studies), a MA in English Literature and a BA in Social Science. His wife Laurel has earned a BA in Biblical Studies and a MA in Human Services. She began working in the Mabee Library in 2011 and became Director in 2017.

The next English Blend event is planned to be a Scary Story Time in Cornerstone on Oct. 29.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Sept. 20, 2018, to correctly identify when Laurel Watney became the library director. A previous version of this story said it was in 2011. We apologize for the error.