So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
2 Peter 1:12-14 (NIV)
We don't like to overdo reflecting on our mortality. Even though the writer
of Ecclesiastes reminds us that "the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning"
(Eccl. 7:2), "morbid" or "pessimistic" are the categories we more easily use to
deflect thinking further. But even as mortality is an ever-present reality in
life, so it is at the Archives. Many of those who created or gathered the documents
in our collection, whether widely known or unknown, are no longer living. Some
whose life and ministry are part of the stories in our collections have died this
The Archives is one way the ministry and influence of these and others continues. But what we collect in the Archives isn't about people's deaths but their lives, bringing together resources which help refresh memory and tell the Good News-about-Jesus story that is still ongoing. And it's intended for the benefit of the living generation. During 2002 the Archives continued its care for its over six hundred collections which help tell the story of the spread of the Christian gospel. A few highlights:
These and more mixed together to comprise our year. We at the Archives often felt like we were just observers. Like when an evangelist uncovered a document which contributed to his thinking and planning, and in a half hour accelerated his project three months. In those moments we recognize that we too are limited and mortal, but also participants in the unfolding of God's bigger and longer plans. We Archives staff like what we've been given to do. We are inspired by what we've been given to care for. We're glad for those researchers and donors of documents we get to meet. And we welcome the "refresh your memory" calling to help the Church rediscover already tested ways to preach Christ or find new ways to be effective evangelists. What follows is a record of what we've done and participated in during the past year.
Public Service ( next)