The Blog

March 3 & 4: The Odyssey of These Days

Gutenberg Tutors Use Art to Engage the World in
The Odyssey of These Days
March 3 & 4

Wes HurdEliot GrassoA multimedia exhibition
giving form to the
human experiences of
struggle, grief, and hope


Paintings by
Wesley Hurd


Original Music by
Eliot Grasso


Performed by


March 3 & 4
Hult Center Studio
Eugene, OR
Exhibition opens at 6:00 pm
Performance starts at 7:00 pm

Spring 2016 marked the beginning of a momentous collaboration between two Gutenberg College tutors: Dr. Wesley Hurd, founder of McKenzie Study Center and Gutenberg’s Art Project; and Dr. Eliot Grasso, internationally-recognized performer, scholar, composer, and recording artist. Together, Wes and Eliot have created a multimedia art exhibit to open at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene on March 3 and 4, 2017.

In response to eighteen months of tragic events, culminating in the Umqua Community College shooting of October 2015, Wes created nine large abstract paintings that he has collectively called The Odyssey of These Days. In the words of the artist, “The paintings present imagery evoking the unanswerable questions that every human encounters. The works form a visual narrative pictorializing the human experiences of shock, struggle, grief, and lament.” The paintings continue Wes’s work of examining human interiority and the human condition in the world while presenting glimpses of hope through his use of ultramarine blue paint on the canvases.

In response to Wes’s paintings, Eliot composed three movements of original chamber music, music made to sound like how the paintings make a viewer feel. The emotional listening experience is guided by building tension and release, portioned out in time by violin, uilleann pipes, cello, double bass, hardanger fiddler, and vielle à roue. In the words of the composer, “The music I wrote in response to the paintings is meant to confront each listener with the raw personal emotions of tragedy, grief, and loss, and to spur each listener forward beyond that grief into an emotional space where hope is not only reasonable, but real.” Eliot, in collaboration with violinist Brandon Vance, has produced a full-length recording of his original music that will appear in the back of beautifully handcrafted art catalogs. For his composition and collaboration with Wes, Eliot received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission early in 2017.

Wes and Eliot have partnered with an emerging arts consortium called ArtCity Eugene. Designed to create community around the arts in the city of Eugene, ArtCity has gone to great lengths to make The Odyssey of These Days visible in the city. The exhibit will display all nine of Wes’s paintings and feature a live performance of Eliot’s chamber music performed by Dréos.

Details on the exhibit, including photographs of the paintings and samples of the music are available at More on Wes Hurd’s art is available at More on Eliot Grasso’s music is available at


Winter Quarter Community Classes

GC Class

Gutenberg will host the following community class during winter quarter:

    • February 7, 14, 21, 28: Ryan Carroll, “The Kingdom of God: Prophetic Vision, Early First-Century Hopes, Jesus’ Teaching, and Me.” The “Kingdom of God” has posed problems for the faithful over the past three millennia. After the Babylonian exile, the unfulfilled hopes for a reborn Israel under a righteous Messiah led to competing beliefs among the Jews about what God’s future kingdom would entail, who would be included, and how it would materialize. During the Second Temple period (530 BCE—70 CE), different groups/sects all had their own take, and their practices swung from violence to asceticism—all done in hope of bringing about the Kingdom. Then the canonical Gospels present Jesus coming into Palestine at the latter end of this tumultuous period and equivocally proclaiming the Kingdom of God in his teaching and parables and actions (like entering Jerusalem on the back of a colt) that left both his contemporary disciples and those since puzzled about what the Kingdom of God is and whether or not it has already come. It is not surprising, then, that interpretive tension arises between those who want to take literally the Old Testament prophetic visions of an earthly, Messianic kingdom centered in what we now know as the modern nation state of Israel, and the potentially contrary data of the New Testament that can seem to point in other directions. This class has two goals: 1) to provoke questions and dialogue as we discuss the data and texts, and 2) to ground our discussion ultimately in the question, “So what about me, here, now?”

The classes are free and will meet at Gutenberg College from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please join us.


Ryan CarrollRyan Carroll taught public middle-school English and History for nine years and then decided to focus on biblical studies and languages. He moved his family (wife, Jen, and three daughters) to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he earned his M.A. in Theological Studies from Regent College in 2016. (He already had an M.Ed from the University of Oregon.) He is currently working in the Department of Education at Northwest Christian University and also as an adjunct instructor for Bible and Education. Ryan says, “I am a long-time friend and fan of Gutenberg College, a drinker of (too) much coffee, and an eschewer of simple answers.”


Good News from Gutenberg!

Chris SwansonPretty exciting and important news arriving at Gutenberg. See the note below for the latest from Chris Swanson, Chairman of the Transition Committee and the new President of Gutenberg College.


Dear Friends of Gutenberg College,

I’m writing with very good news. Actually, two pieces of good news.

In March, Gutenberg’s board invited faculty members to reconstitute leadership at the college. I gathered a group of faculty, staff, and friends to form a Transition Committee. We had several tasks to accomplish, but the primary goal was to raise $150,000 by August 31, the end of Gutenberg’s fiscal year.

The Transition Committee was hopeful, but $150,000 was a lot of money to raise in a short amount of time. Yet, for the board to hand off leadership, the Transition Committee needed to find a way. We began contacting supporters. We told them about the transition. We asked advice. We invited them to join the Gutenberg transition. One of those contacts was with a donor named Frank Batten. During our phone call, Frank expressed a willingness to offer a substantial gift toward the transition. In May, Tim McIntosh and I flew to meet him in Virginia. We sat in Frank’s office and described our situation. After this chat, Frank said he wanted to support the transition. The Aimee and Frank Batten, Jr., Foundation contributed $50,000 plus an additional $50,000 as a matching donation. In other words, if Gutenberg can match the foundation’s matching donation, we will have hit our goal of $150,000.

We are overjoyed.

Since receiving word of this donation, Gutenberg supporters have already pledged $26,000. Thus, only $24,000 remains for the college to reach its goal of $150,000. The financial support we received during the past month accelerated our momentum. The transition is occurring more rapidly than we dared hope.

Here’s a second piece of big news: Because of our progress, Gutenberg’s board has agreed to begin transferring leadership to the Transition Committee. This means that the members of the Transition Committee have accepted responsibility for the leadership and operations of Gutenberg College. The next chapter in Gutenberg’s story is happening.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to invigorate an institution that has changed so many lives. And we’re thankful that, during this process, the outgoing board has demonstrated dedication and integrity toward the transition. Changeovers like this can easily be stymied, but we’ve received plenty of grace and support.

More hard work lies before us this summer. Here’s what we hope to accomplish before welcoming our next class of freshmen:

  • Deepen engagement with alumni, friends, and supporters.
  • Raise the outstanding $24,000 to complete our $150,000 fundraising goal by August 31, the end of Gutenberg’s fiscal year. The match applies to gifts received by the end of August that are in addition to regular monthly giving to the college. We are seeking 100 Donors to meet our goal. If you’d like to be one of our 100 Donors, the easiest path is through the Donate Online button. You may also contact the college.
  • Enlarge our incoming class. We’re aiming for six to ten freshman next year.
  • Seat a new board, a new president, and new office-holders.
  • Bolster our faculty roster with teachers who are dedicated to the biblical faith and to helping people pursue the deepest questions of human existence.
  • Host Summer Institute on August 4–6.

We owe many of you deep thanks. We’ve solicited your prayers, encouragement, donations, and labor—and you’ve responded. Thank you. Now, onward!

Sincerely yours,
Chris Swanson

P.S. We hope to see you at the Summer Institute in August.


Did You Know?

You can give to Gutenberg without donating your own funds. Here are two great ways:


eScripAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Gutenberg College every time you shop—at no cost to you.

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The shopping experience is identical. You use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, wish list, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the eligible charitable organization of your choice. 100% of the donation amount generated from your eligible purchase will be donated, and there is no cost to the charitable organization or to you.

If you shop on using an internet browser on your desktop or laptop computer, your mobile phone, or your tablet, then your purchases of eligible products (tens of millions of them marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on the detail pages) will result in donations. Purchases that are not made using an internet browser (for instance, using the Amazon Shopping App, Kindle Store, FireTV, Amazon Dash, or Amazon Echo) are not currently eligible for donations. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are also not currently eligible. The donation amounts generated by your purchases are combined with the donation amounts from all other customers who selected the same registered charitable organization, and each quarter the AmazonSmile Foundation gives them to the organization by electronic funds transfer.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, before you begin shopping, select Gutenberg College to receive donations from eligible purchases. AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation. Go to for more details about this great way to support Gutenberg College.

The eScrip Program

eScripThe eScrip fundraising program coordinates with local and online merchants to help non-profit organizations. Up to 8% of what you spend on groceries, clothing, airline tickets, dining-out, and other items can be donated to Gutenberg.

For example, if you shop at Market of Choice, the store will donate 2% to 4% of the amount you spend on your monthly purchases. The larger your grocery bill, the higher the percentage that the store will donate.

For more information and to participate, go to, where you can register to participate in eScrip by selecting the “Sign Up!” button. The website will take you through a few simple steps to register. When you are asked to “Select your school or nonprofit,” simply type “Gutenberg College.”

On the website, you will also find a list of participating local merchants or be able to shop online.

The eScrip program is administered by Electronic Scrip, Inc. (ESI), a registered corporation in the State of California. If you have questions about privacy and security, please read ESI’s privacy statement on the eScrip website.


“Righteous Sinners” Now an E-book

RS_Final“This book was born twenty-five years ago on a very bad night. As a young Christian (I converted at nineteen) I struggled greatly with the sin that was all too noticeable in my life. Some of my teachers at the time believed in the “victorious Christian life” theology. Victory over sin was mine, they taught, if I would just walk by the Spirit, if I would just “let go and let God.” I tried, with all the faith I could muster, to do just that. It didn’t seem to work. However I tried to “let go,” I found myself just as much a prisoner of selfishness and lust as I was before. One night—the bad night—I confessed this frankly to one of our leaders and asked for help. His answer changed my life.”

Thus begins the introduction to Righteous Sinners by Gutenberg tutor Ron Julian. Originally published in 1998 by NavPress, Righteous Sinners is now available as an e-book from Gutenberg College Press at

J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College,  commends the book: “Biblically exact and pastorally profound, this book is a gem!”

Paperback copies of the original book are also available from Gutenberg College.


You can get these blog posts sent to your email.



Please consider supporting the college as you are able. Even small donations help. Thank you.

Donate Online