Interpreting the Billy and Helen Sunday Home

BillySundayHome

 Billy and Helen Sunday Home, Winona Lake, Indiana

Since Messiah College started the Digital Harrisburg Initiative a few years ago, I have developed a real appreciation for digital and public history projects at small colleges and universities.  In 2011, I spent a day at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.  I was there to deliver a lecture, but I also spent some time touring an on-campus museum which would eventually become the Winona History Center.

Winona Lake was a popular vacation resort and Bible conference for evangelicals and fundamentalists in the 20th century largely because it was the home of the revivalist and former baseball player Billy Sunday.  The nation’s most popular preachers and speakers passed through Winona Lake every summer, including William Jennings Bryan and Billy Graham.

Recently, Grace College and the Winona History Center won a grant to create an interactive digital tour of the Billy and Helen Sunday Home.  Here is a taste of InkFreeNews’s coverage:

WINONA LAKE — The Winona History Center in Winona Lake, was one of 18 libraries, schools, and museums to receive grants from Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks this spring. The History Center, which is owned and operated by Grace College, has received an Historic Preservation Education Grant of up to $1,700 to create an interactive digital tour of the Billy and Helen Sunday Home for those unable to access the building.

“Funding a wide range of thoughtful and creative programming that connects so many Hoosiers to the depth and breadth of the humanities is core to our mission,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are encouraged every year by the innovative programs proposed by the grantees and the opportunity to touch the lives of residents all over Indiana.”

The project, which is being developed by museum director Dr. Mark Norris and museum coordinator Karen Birt, will produce an interactive map on an iPad of the layout of the second floor of the Billy and Helen Sunday Home, making it accessible to the mobility challenged. Users will be able to click on the artifacts pictured in each room and receive an audio, visual or textual provenance of the artifact.

The project will allow Sunday Home visitors to interact with the home, which is located at 1111 Sunday Lane, about four blocks from the Winona History Center in Westminster Hall on the Grace College campus.

Read the rest here.  Congratulations!

Evangelicals Call for Renewable Energy in Indiana

Kyle Schaap

Kyle Meyaard-Schaap

21,000 evangelicals that is.  Learn more from Rebecca Thiele’s piece at WFYI (Indianapolis).   A taste:

A group of evangelicals in Indiana wants the state to expand wind and solar energy. The Evangelical Environmental Network delivered more than 21,000 signatures to Gov. Eric Holcomb Wednesday demanding 100% renewable energy in the state by 2030. 

“It gives [lawmakers] freedom to pursue solutions at the speed and scale that we need to address environmental pollution and the climate crisis,” says Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, director of outreach for the EEN.

The EEN calls itself a ministry that mobilizes christians to care for God’s creation, which includes the environment. It says Indiana’s reliance on coal led the United Health Foundation to rank the state near the bottom for air quality.

Read the rest here.

 

Just To Be Clear: Mike Pence Did Not Orchestrate the Battle of Tippecanoe

Last night on Twitter (@johnfea1) I had some fun with the news that Mike Pence’s private e-mail account was hacked while he was governor of Indiana.  None of my Pence tweets really happened.  This was sarcasm.  It appears there are several folks out there who seem to be confused.  No, I am not trying to spread “fake news.”

Here are the tweets:

Gay Rights vs. Religious Rights in Indiana

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

There has been a lot of conversation in the last few days about Indiana’s new religious liberty bill. Liberals think it is anti-gay and thus discriminatory.  Conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives who oppose gay marriage, think it is a victory for religious freedom.  Now other states and cities are boycotting Indiana.

Was such a law needed?  I’m not sure that it was.  Will the boycott of Indiana by other politicians hurt ordinary people in Indiana, including LGBT business owners?  Probably. As a friend of mine recently wrote on Facebook, “the dopes who passed the legislation will feel no pain, nor will the government officials in those other states and cities.”

Stephen Prothero, a religion professor at Boston University and a self-professed supporter of gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws against LGBT citizens, has offered an interesting middle ground on this whole debate.  Here is a taste of his recent piece at USA Today:

For as long as I can remember, the culture wars have been poisoning our politics, turning Democrats and Republicans into mortal enemies and transforming arenas that used to be blithely bipartisan into battlegrounds between good and evil. Now our battles over “family values” are threatening to kill religious liberty. And liberals do not much seem to care.
In a recent speech at Boston University, University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock observed that America’s sexual revolution seems to be going the way of theFrench Revolution, in which religion and liberty cannot coexist. Today pro-choice and gay rights groups increasingly view conservative Christians as bigots hell bent on imposing their primitive beliefs on others.
Rather than viewing today’s culture wars as battles between light and darkness,Laycock sees them as principled disagreements. What one side views as “grave evils,” the other side views as “fundamental human rights.” What is needed if we want to preserve liberty in both religion and sexuality is a grand bargain in which the left would agree not to impose its secular morality on religious individuals while the right would agree not to impose its religious rules on society at large.
Any takers? Is it really necessary to pin a scarlet letter on those who believe the Bible prohibits gay marriage? Or might we learn to be satisfied with preserving liberty for ourselves without imposing our ideals (on sex or religion) on others?
Admittedly, there are problems with Indiana’s RFRA. For example, it extends religious liberty protections to corporations. But few liberals are up in arms about that. The left sees this law as a blank check to discriminate. But RFRAs are not blank checks. They simply offer religious minorities a day in court, and only rarely do these cases concern gay rights. Recently the Supreme Court employed the RFRA test to allow a Muslim prisoner to wear a beard and in Pennsylvania that same test was used to allow churches to feed the homeless in city parks.
Almost all of my liberal friends disagree with me on this. That is their right. But in my view the Old Order Amish have an equally fundamental right to drive their horse-drawn buggies on Indiana roads. So do Muslim students in Indianapolis public schools who want to be released from class in order to celebrate their Eid al-Adha festival.
Let’s not let culture warriors, on either side, sacrifice our freedoms on the altar of the culture wars.