My name is Blythe Freshwater, and I am the Eagle’s Editor-in-Chief. We are excited to launch a (renewed) effort for a student-run news publication in Spring of 2018! This is a great opportunity for The Eagle’s staffers to learn how to uphold the highest professional standards by producing a bi-monthly online publication that is glorifying to God and is of benefit and interest to you, our readers. We’d like to share our goals and mission with you, starting with our catchphrase on staff: “TLC,” which stands for “Truth, Laughter, and Community.”
The first two, Truth and Laughter, go hand-in-hand. We will strive to present campus-related news and features (such as book reviews, faculty highlights, devotionals, movie reviews, sports reports, and student spotlights) in a truthful, and overall entertaining, manner. Some of our pieces will challenge you, others may inspire you, and still others might just make you laugh. Indeed, the Pursuit of Truth and the Practice of Wisdom are partners: as we students focus on what is true, honorable, just, praiseworthy, and excellent, our lives are transformed. What we believe matters, for it dictates our actions, which leads to the other leg of our mission’s three-legged stool: Community.
Our primary goal of this news publication is to help students develop journalism skills in order to build community on the OKWU campus. So, what exactly is community? The word comes from the Latin roots “cum” and “unus,” which translates to “one, together.” To be of one mind, one purpose–that is our call as the Body of Christ.
The fifteen excellent staffers on the team come from various backgrounds, are pursuing various majors, and are various ages. We are ministry majors, English majors, business majors, film and design majors, nursing majors, and education majors. We are freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Yes, we are very different. But we are unified in our goal to build bridges among the different “groups” on campus, to foster community, and to work together to bring the Kingdom forth.
As we have been learning in chapel services this school term, the Kingdom of God is nothing we ever could have expected. Paradoxically, it is already here, and still it is “not yet” here. It is as small as a mustard seed, and still is the most widespread tree in the garden. It is within us, as Christians, and it is surrounding us. As Christ transforms our hearts and minds individually, He simultaneously uses us to transform our communities–if we obey His Word.
In the book The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “How would you expect to find community while you withdraw from it in sin? … The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe–and only those who believe are obedient.”
We’re not perfect, but Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness, and He will use our obedience for His glory. The way we can experience the fullness of the Church, the Body of Christ, is by obeying God’s commandments to love one another. Why should differences stop us from loving each other the way Christ loves us–the way he commanded us to love? We are quick to throw up defenses: “They’re not like me,” “They don’t play the same sport as I do,” or “They’re not the same color as I am.” What pitiful excuses we give for not obeying the commands we say we believe! We are all equal in the sight of God: broken and in desperate need of grace.
Bonhoeffer continues, “The community of the saints is not an “ideal” community consisting of perfect and sinless men and women… No, it is a community which proves that it is worthy of the gospel of forgiveness by constantly and sincerely proclaiming God’s forgiveness in broken lives.” The community of the Kingdom is one of patience, kindness, forgiveness, encouragement, selfless love, and obedience.
So, here on The Eagle, our mission is to unify our campus community by obeying the call to love our neighbors in what topics we choose to cover, in how we write (or film), in how we conduct our interviews, and in how we work as a team. We would like to encourage you to do the same–obey God’s commands to love one another, for the glory of Christ.
What we are hoping to bring to campus is a little more TLC.
Truth, laughter, community.
If you have any questions about, suggestions for, or interview ideas for The Eagle, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eagle 2017-18 Editor-in-Chief