Good and Its Sweet Concord

April 2011
Student Center Foundation
Good and Its Sweet Concord
Special points of interest:
Amy Brice reminisces : DiscoveryBound rock climbing!
CSO member sees God in her work as UW-Madison yearbook
Tackling relevant topics: CSO alive on campus
The elements that comprise our Organization
Clockwise from middle, front: Caryl Farkas,
Anna Farkas, Gordon Myers, Carter Van Fossen
*In part from...S&H pg. 130
Higher in Thought; Higher Than We Thought!
While driving two boys home from the DiscoveryBound indoor rock
climbing event (sponsored by the Student Center Foundation), I asked them
what their favorite part of the whole event was. Both of the boys in the car
stated that it was, ―Doing more than we thought we could.‖ The boys did climb
to the top of many walls in the climbing facility that day—and it was such a joy
to witness how determined both of these two boys were, along with the other
students who attended! Whether they had just reached the top of one wall and
were ready to move onto the next wall, or whether they had just slipped and
had to work harder to once again climb to where they were on a specific wall,
there was a certain focus that remained unchanged. High fives and encouraging words added to the proof that divine power and support were the true foundation for all of the good activity reflected by each climber and supervisor that
day! Two of our participants came up to Wisconsin from Illinois to attend this
event. How wonderful that activities such as this provide an opportunity for
Christian Science youth to connect. With ongoing support and efforts from
each of us, as the adults in the lives of our Christian Science youth, we can
help foster an awareness of the presence of like-minded friends.
In accord with seeing beyond limitations such as distance, Christian
Science Practitioner and Teacher, Caryl Farkas, shared some thoughts with
the DiscoveryBound group about how each climber that day saw past some
perceived form of limitation, and how she, herself, felt challenged with feelings
of limitations while rock climbing as a youth at camp. It is evident that when
Caryl realized very clearly that she was not the one making herself more capable and confident, but that God was the one causing her to feel capable,
strong, and loved, she naturally rose higher in thought and action!
Caryl also shared an inspirational story that mirrors this Truth from Science
and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ―We are all capable of more than we
do,‖ pg. 89.
A boy in China who was about ten years old was in the initial
stages of learning a certain form of martial arts. The school he attended
would periodically have an event for the families and friends of the students to celebrate their progress. Different students prepared far in advance to do their particular demonstration. The master told this young boy that at the event
he was to break a certain number of a certain type of brick. This task was a little bit unusual since the boy had never
done it before and would not actually perform the action before hand. Yes, he would practice like everyone else, but
he would only practice the technique, not the actual breaking. When the young boy expressed concern to the master,
the master simply smiled and said, "You will have no problem. You know everything you need to break the bricks.”
The day of the event came and all the students performed brilliantly to the audience's delight and appreciation. Finally, for the finale, the boy came out, bowed to the crowd, bowed to his master, and attacked the bricks as he had
practiced. To everyone's amazement, the bricks broke easily under the boy's hand. The master stepped forward, motioned for everyone to be silent, and explained that what the young boy had just done had never been done before in
history. Not by himself, not by any of the great masters of the world. The master shared that the boy, while talented,
had been able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat not because of talent, but simply because he believed he
could perform the feat with no doubts in his heart.
What a perfect example of Mary Baker Eddy‘s dear reminder to all of us that, ―The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, thought rises from the material sense to the spiritual, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal,‖ (S&H pg. 256). Realizing our sure footing on a ‗higher plane of action‘ is truly a
present reality.
Good and Its Sweet Concord*
Page 2
Surrounded by God’s Reflections
Whether I am stepping out onto the football field, the basketball court, or into a theater, I am surrounded
by God‘s reflections. As a photographer for the Badger Yearbook, I have many opportunities to see God in action.
After every event, I look through hundreds of photos, and in my first semester or two I would look for good lighting
and the focus to be on the right thing. Since then I have noticed other things in every photo: in every photo there
is Life (capitalized when referring to synonyms for God), Love, and
It was New Year‘s Day and the UW Badger football team
was playing in the Rose Bowl. Our football team did well enough
this year to make it to this game; excitement and pride flooded our
campus. I went through the security checkpoint at the stadium,
through the media room, and onto the field. As a photographer, I
was allowed onto the field before the general public was let into the
stadium. I walked through the tunnel and was incredibly excited and
in complete disbelief. When I stepped onto the field, I was in awe.
First off, I still could not believe I was there, but I was mostly in awe
Second from left: Jessica Fine
“Every time I look back at
the pictures I took from
that game, I see a
reflection of His
omnipresence, His
beauty, His agility, and
His commitment.”
because I saw God‘s work right before me. I was
in an incredible stadium that reflected His strength and balance. I was about to witness a game
full of Life and Love – Life as in agility, movement, freedom. Love as in passion, trust, and commitment. In that moment, I could imagine all of His qualities being expressed through a single
activity; football.
As I stood, kneeled, and laid on that field throughout the game, capturing photos, God
and His reflections surrounded me. Not only was I surrounded by incredible expressions of Life
and Love, but I also saw His beauty. Every second. His beauty was not only expressed in the
stadium and the crowd around me, but in the players on the field as well! His beauty was also in
the hills and mountains around us, and in the buildings of downtown Los Angeles. Moreover, the
fact that I was even there in the first place was beautiful to me.
Each photo, each frame captures a moment of God‘s expression. It serves as an example and a reminder that even if the score is not in our favor and even as the players are being
tackled to the ground, there is something higher, something protecting us, and something guiding
our every action. There was even protection in the moment that John Clay, a running back on our
team, almost ran out of bounds right into me in the second half. That something, as you may
have already guessed, is God. Every time I look back at the pictures I took from that game, I see
a reflection of His omnipresence, His beauty, His agility, and His commitment.
As I apply these qualities to a non-football setting, I see God‘s qualities beaming throughout campus. I see Life in the eyes of students, I see commitment in our professors and advisors,
and I see beauty in Lake Mendota and our campus buildings. Everyday and everywhere I feel
God surrounding me in His many forms. One example is being on the terrace at the Union. Humor me for a minute, and try this: right where you are, stop for a second and close your eyes. It
feels like you have just taken a picture with your mind, right? Keeping your eyes shut as to not
lose that picture, think about what is in that frame. Are there growing trees? Is there a smiling
face? A computer? A stable building? A roof over your head? A clear sky above you? I bet you
could come up with several of God‘s qualities being expressed in that single frame. Taking pictures with your mind is a great way I have found to see the beauty wherever I am, whatever I am
doing. I could be on a basketball court, in a classroom, or running down University Avenue; all of
the qualities that come from Him are right there. They leave room for nothing else.
~Jessica Fine, Sophomore at UW-Madison, has worked as a
camp counselor for Camp Kohanna– a C.S. camp in MI
CSO—at the Concord House
Good and Its Sweet Concord*
Page 3
A short quotation from page 332 of Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy comes to mind: ―Spring is here!‖ It is
my great pleasure to report that the CSO is alive and livelier than ever. We have been continuing our consistent format of
weekly discussion meetings. I do hope that some of you have had a chance to follow our mental and spiritual progress through
our online blog; and if not, do check it out sometime! We‘ve also added the capacity to post comments and feedback on our
website, so YOU can take part in our discussions, ask questions, and leave comments for the CSO members. This little group
of big thinkers has not shied away from tackling some very important and relevant topics in our discussions and prayers—
subjects such as eating disorders, depression, political tension, and applying Jesus‘ command to ―bless them that curse you‖ in
today‘s world.
We‘ve also been letting the light of every individual student and CSO member shine, giving more opportunities for other CSO members to lead the discussions and try out new ideas. Just last month one CSO member
came up with the idea to host a talent show as a chance to see an exhibition of all the multifarious talents in our
community. And I, for one, can joyously report that I was blown away by all the wonderful expressions of art,
“ This little group
beauty, and talent that our CSO members shared! From the glorious examples of poetry, professional photography, and music, it was a lot of fun! And I‘m equally pleased to report on the strong sense of community and caof big thinkers has
maraderie that has developed in our group. Continuing to be a part of this CSO has been such a blessing.
Knowing that there is so much talent within our organization has given rise to a whole new set of ideas. not shied away
Recently the CSO came up with the idea to put on a large scale video production in an effort to glorify God and
from tackling
preach the gospel in new and dynamic ways. Some CSO members got together over the course of two evenings
some very
to act out a familiar Bible story using pí yĭng xì, or more simply, Chinese shadow puppets. With a little added muimportant and
sic and video editing, I‘m pleased to report that the project was a huge success, and can be viewed on both our
website as well as on YouTube. We‘ve included an image below from some of the footage to give you a sneak
relevant topics…”
peek. In addition to simply retelling a story from the Bible, we also included footage of some of the CSO members
offering their own take on the story—how the Bible is relevant to them—and what spiritual interpretation they
were able to discover beneath the surface of the story. We saw this as a wonderful opportunity to spread the
messages of Christianity in a way that many people can relate to and understand.
~Gordon Myers, Alumni of UW-Madison, is a former Concord House resident and
current SCF Board member, who works as a web developer in Madison
Left to right: Cara Evanson, Bing Ma, Jill Engel, Gordon Myers
CSO shadow puppeteers
Good and Its Sweet Concord*
Student Center Foundation
315 N. Mills St.
Madison, WI
Phone: 608-256-1389
10:00am to 3:00pm
Email: [email protected]
*Please visit for updates on
the Concord House, the CSO, or to see how you can
make a difference with your individual contributions
(by check, PayPal, or appreciated equities)!
Concord House Spring Clean Up & Barbeque
When: April 16th
Where: 315 N. Mills Street, Madison, WI
Your help is greatly appreciated!
There are many different elements that comprise our Organization
Sc The Student Center Foundation :
The glue that holds everything together. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that owns and oversees the building at
315 North Mills Street, manages the finances, and employs a house manager to run the Concord program. The SCF also provides
use of the building for the Christian Science Organization, and underwrites their activities.
Cs Christian Science Organization:
The Christian Science Organization is a registered student organization comprised chiefly of UW Madison students. The mission
of the CSO is to support the daily spiritual needs of students on the UW Madison campus. It is an interfaith organization that welcomes any student, and at meetings we share passages from The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary
Baker Eddy.
Co Concord Residential Community:
The Concord Residential Community, or simply Concord House, is an interfaith dormitory on the UW Madison campus that provides housing and fellowship to students that agree to adhere to the moral codes of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on
the Mount.
S Swope Loan Program:
The Swope Loan Program is a program sponsored by the Student Center Foundation that offers student loans to any active and
earnest student of Christian Science attending a college in the University of Wisconsin (UW) network. Students in need of funding
may apply for a loan of up to $5,000 per year, with a maximum of $25,000 outstanding.