What do you use to help you learn? Do you use music? What about food? Maybe your best study aid is your friends? If any one, or all three help you learn, then you could have “learned” a lot at the recent reception for Rev. James D. Parker Sr! 55 or so of our faculty, staff , students and spouses gathered with Rev. Parker and his family as part of our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. The reception was a welcome back to campus for our first African American student at Cedarville, James Parker. When we put on some music, added the food and gathered the friends there was an immediate meeting of the minds. Laughter was one of the familiar sounds that night in the BTS. The other was the sound of gratefulness. We were all grateful for the enduring effort of Brother Parker. He chose trusting God over fearing man. He chose loving others over isolation and he chose Christian growth over ignorance. For a few minutes, Rev. Parker shared about his family, about his love for learning and his friendship with James T. Jeremiah. We all felt inspired. He also brought a wonderful group of cheerleaders with him to campus. That included his 2 nieces, 2 daughters, their spouses, his older brother, a past staff member and his wonderful wife of 59 years. Because Rev. Parker was speaking the next day in chapel, we wanted to allow him time to rest after a busy day, but even after he left the gathering, his reception party continued! People coming together is always an exciting thing to watch. Different departments, different majors, different ethnicities, different communities enjoying each other. At the end of the night I heard one person say “oh, there is another group over there I’d like to meet.” Another person exclaimed “I’m enjoying meeting new people tonight.”John 13:35 says people will know we are Christians by our love for each other. The next day the chapel message was about love, but that night we didn’t listen to the message, instead we practiced it.