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                               Thanksgiving Letter to Our Friends

        E
arly in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples
     did not realize that it was Jesus. 
          He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you caught any fish?”
         “No,” they answered. 
          He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you 
     will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net 
     in because of the large number of fish. 
         Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter,“It is the  Lord!
     
As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he  
     wrapped his outer garment around him.…and jumped into the
     water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net  
     full of fish… When they landed, there was a fire of burning coals 
     there with fish on it, and some bread. 
            Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 

—John 21:4-10
 

Dear New College Berkeley Friends, 

     During the Thanksgiving season we at New College Berkeley are grateful that the risen Jesus Christ is among us. Like the disciples on the lake that day, we, too, live in the light of the risen Lord. Like them, we struggle to recognize him in our daily lives. Does he really show up in our workplaces as he did at theirs? Does he care about the fish we catch, the bread we win, the many ways we toil in the world? The Bible answers, resoundingly, “Yes!”
            We need one another to remember who Jesus is, and who we are as his followers. In the experience of abundance, as the load of fish strained the nets after that endless night of labor, John recognized Jesus on the shore. He sang out, “It is the Lord!” Like me on many early mornings, Peter was hunkered over his work, unaware of the Lord’s near presence. But John’s cry woke him. 
            We, too, are Jesus’ friends. He offers us his company and life in abundance. He understands that we may not recognize or understand him. And he is patient and generous. Among the many blessings we have in this life of discipleship is the company of brothers and sisters. Sometimes one of them helps by saying, “Look. It’s the Lord.” 
            For more than a quarter of a century New College Berkeley’s ministry has been to offer programs that help us notice Jesus and respond to him. In supporting our ministry your voice joins with ours in calling out, “It’s the Lord!” This call goes out to many:

            • A Christian in the workplace who wants to do a better job of integrating faith into multiple relationships and tasks, and so came to the retreat I just led on practices of prayer in daily life.
            • A University of California at Berkeley student wanting better preparation to counter the secular arguments he encounters in the classroom and reading, and so came to Bonnie Howe’s class on Tools for Intensive Bible Study.
            • A spiritual seeker wondering about the difference between Christianity and other popular spiritualities who came to our summer program, De-Coding The Da Vinci Code,” with New Testament scholar Ward Gasque.
            • A person struggling with broken family relationships who came to Margaret Alter’s course that recently ended on The Forgiveness of Christ.
            • A Bay Area nurse wanting to know how to join her faith and professional skills for the sake of those suffering from AIDS who came to our consultation on that subject at StanfordMedicalCenter.
            We are sustained by faith, and we need you to contribute. We invite those of you who have “fish you have caught,” by God’s grace, to contribute to our ministry of offering nourishment to those hungry to learn to recognize and follow Jesus Christ. 


Sincerely, 

Susan S. Phillips 

___________________________________________

Good News of 2004
 

GTU Affiliation
This year the Graduate Theological Union renewed our affiliation and reaffirmed our contribution as an evangelical-ecumenical study center, and formally included Susan Phillips among its faculty. The GTU is the largest consortium of Protestant and Catholic seminaries in the U.S. and has a world-class theological library of great benefit to our community.

New Tape Brochure
A new tape brochure is available in print and on our website! The tape collection contains exceptional Christian teaching on the whole range of New College Berkeley concerns, enabling you to revisit your favorite NCB lectures, and extending our ministry to a broader audience. 

New Website
Visit the new NCB website, at newcollegeberkeley.org! It offers user-friendly information about all upcoming events with details about the NCB ministry and the people who serve it (plus articles and film clips from major conferences). 

Longer Classes
Most NCB programs, oriented toward working people, are one-day Saturday events or free-standing lectures. This year, in addition to shorter programs, we’ve held longer ones offering expanded exploration of the topics: Dr. Margaret Horwitz’s  Christian Concepts in “Pride and Prejudice” and Its Filmed Adaptations, Dr. Peggy Alter’s Appropriating the Forgiveness of Christ, and Dr. Susan Phillips’ continuing series of four half-day retreats, An Introduction to Contemplative Prayer Disciplines. 

Global Associations

While we at NCB regularly cosponsor programs with Bay Area churches, we also link with organizations with global impact. Dr. Arthur Ammann of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention and others in the health care professions participated with us in offering a caregivers’ consultation on the international AIDS crisis. In September, Sharon Gallagher and Susan Phillips were invited to meet leaders and students at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies for conversations about shared concerns and visions (Susan’s lecture can be found on our website). 
 



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