Here is an index of posts from last week’s Acton University:
Acton PowerBlogger John H. Armstrong is with us this week in Grand Rapids for Acton University. He is founder and director of ACT 3, a ministry aimed at “encouraging the church, through its leadership, to pursue doctrinal and ethical reformation and to foster spiritual awakening.” Here’s his post on Wednesday’s conference activities:
The relationship between integrity, virtue and vision is not often developed in the business world. Yesterday the Acton University experience afforded me a unique opportunity to understand better why such a relationship fosters both free markets and free people. The moral dimension is critical to both sound economics and entrepreneurial leadership. This is one of several ways that Acton brings together the worlds of faith and freedom.
Last evening Mr. Jeff Sandefer, a Texas businessman who twice made a fortune and then sold his hugely profitable companies, shared his own story: “A Journey from Pride to Gratitude.” It felt a little like being back in the world I experienced growing up in Tennessee or the world I saw when I visited my businessman-farmer uncle in northeast Texas. Jeff is a down-to-earth humble guy who has made enough mistakes to fill a book. Divorced, filled with himself and his accomplishments, and determined to follow a course of running from God at several junctures in his life, he again and again met the God of all grace who called him to radical faithfulness and gratitude.
Today Jeff directs a charitable foundation, built with the money he earned, and leads a most innovative and highly regarded school of business, named appropriately the Acton School of Business, in Austin, Texas. He is now shaping the future by giving himself to others through his vocational skills. Jeff provided a wonderful model to Acton University students of a simple, but radical, “long, slow, obedience in the same direction” (Eugene Peterson). It was a refreshing conversational address. (more…)
Acton University 2007 got underway last night with Rev. Robert A. Sirico’s traditional opening address, which was delivered with a major twist – the participation of Diet Eman, who joined Father Robert to describe her experiences as part of the Dutch Resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II.
Eman’s presence and perspectives added a very powerful element to what was already a very stirring address. You can listen to it by clicking here, and you may be interested in checking out some other perspectives on the night’s event as well:
- Latino Leadership Circle: Tonight we watched a portion of the forth-coming film, The Reckoning, the true life story of Deet Amon, a Dutch resistance fighter to Nazi regime in the 1940’s who risked her life saving Jews. In a moving moment, after watching a portion of this documentary film, Father Sirico presented Deet Amon who was present to share firsthand of her experiences and answer our questions. She shared of her experiences in a Nazi concentration camp (she was in the same camp that Corrie Ten Boom was in). When asked how she could risk her life she responded, “If you feel that God expects this of you, how can you do anything else? How could you look in the mirror and brush your teeth in the morning with so much going on and not do something? Life is full of choices.” At 87 years of age Deet says, “Each one of us have to give an account for what we do with our lives. I pray for Darfur everyday.” We were all inspired by her bravery, humility and spirituality.
- Fellow PowerBlogger John Armstrong: Diet, our Dutch guest, reminded us that this all began, while she was a very normal young woman in love with a very normal young man, because she “loved one person” enough to care and get involved in saving her life. Father Sirico then reminded us that every virtue begins somewhere, with some simple but virtuous single action, with some choice that we consciously make. The question we asked, as we left last evening, was quite simple: “Who is my neighbor and how do I express genuine virtue toward my neighbor?” This is where all true freedom and virtue begins, in knowing who we are and why we are here.
- Head over to Kruse Kronicle for a photo diary of day 1.