Randy: The ASA is a network of Christians in the sciences who support one another in their faith. Our members create, review, and disseminate information about issues in science and Christian faith through a quarterly peer-reviewed journal, newsletters, annual meetings, local chapters, and a website. — ESN Interview: Randy Isaac, Executive Director, American Scientific Affiliation (7/23/2015)
As you begin your work today,
- what text frames your lens for interacting with
- other members of the university community?
- larger networks (including the people of God)?
- your research?
- the creation (“the good, the bad, the and ugly,” “the known, the partially known, and the unknown”)?
- what community supports you, deepening your understanding of what it means to be faithful in your vocation as a Christian and a professional/academic?
- to whom do you turn as you not only pursue excellence, but also wrestle with the challenges you face in your field?
Before the ASA’s 2015 Annual Meetings started I had the opportunity to meet with the Executive Council to discuss partnership with the Emerging Scholars Network. What is our point of contact, overlapping vision? It’s not only the many InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA alumni who are part of ASA (what great stories about campus fellowships, InterVarsity Press books, InterVarsity staff, Urbana Student Missions Conference I hear year after year!), but also it’s our shared desire for Emerging Scholars in the sciences to take next steps which embrace their call to follow Christ by stewarding the gifts they have been given in the sciences.
How does the Emerging Scholars Network build upon this desire, dare I say “delight”, to collaborate in connecting our students and staff with a large group of thoughtful Christians in science with a passion to support emerging Christians in science?
- Broadcast the free student Basic ASA membership.
- Invite members of ESN who are in the sciences to join the newly launched ASA NEXUS Forum: Community Connections.
- The purpose of these intentional conversations is to facilitate the development of young Christians in Science through the sharing of experience and advice by more experienced members, and to enhance the personal growth of all members through strengthening the member community.
- How do I connect? The NEXUS Forum is open to all ASA members. Log in via an ASA membership account through the ASA website. Click on Forums, and select Nexus Forum.
- ESN writers who will engage Nexus Forum topics on ESN’s blog and then participate in the forum for a month include: W. Brian Lane, Kelly Seaton, and Andy Walsh.
- Invite ASA members to write for Scholar’s Compass and/or the ESN blog in general.
- Note: We already have ~ 5 members planning to write for blog.
- We are also exploring Interviews with ASA members, e.g., Randy Isaac, Executive Director, American Scientific Affiliation.
- Co-sponsor local training/networking events in connection with member hubs, visiting scholars (i.e., a loose form of a speakers bureau), and particular scientific association meetings.
- Possibly run a track for emerging scholars at next year’s ASA meetings (July 22-25: Azusa Pacific University) featuring
- advice on transitioning from school to grad school or industry,
- faith and science questions, and
- spiritual formation for scientists.
There is much more to share about the conference and my time with other members of the American Scientific Affiliation. Consider this post
- a call to pray for this growing partnership,
- an invitation join in the collaboration (including the offering of suggestions below, via email, in person, etc),
- and a teaser for more to come drawing from conference presentations and conversations.
As we interacted with contemporary conversation/research regarding faith and science, I appreciated the opportunity to reflect upon the call of the Body of Christ to love God first and then neighbor with head, heart, and hands guided by the Word of God in the context of a creation filled with
- the fingerprints of the Creator God,
- the brokenness of the fall,
- a rich complexity not only of structures/systems, but also of individuals,
- the love of Christ,
- the breath of God,
- and a longing for the new heavens and new earth.
Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. — Psalm 111 (NIV)
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!