Message for 2021 from the President
Embracing 2021 with optimism, faith and hope while inviting God's presence among us
Dear campus community,
We are poised to start a new spring semester and as we do so, I want to share a few reflections with you all.
Last year at this time we were together looking forward to the excitement of a new year and reaching out to embrace the opportunities of a new decade. A year later I know that many of us are dealing with very different emotions. In addition to the ravages and the personal losses of the pandemic that is still impacting us deeply, we have, irrespective of our political positions, been shocked to see firsthand how hatred and violence can fracture the foundations of a country that we care about deeply. We are concerned. We are fearful.
So in this very different and challenging space how can we face this year together?
Let me start by stating that as a learning community of faith, with all of us committed to being “World Changers for a changing world,” I am convinced that we do not need to be querulous about embracing 2021 with optimism, faith and hope. And we can do that because no matter what is happening beyond our community we are unreservedly committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with each other, irrespective of our political positions, our race, our culture and anything else that humanly can divide us. And as we stand together we wholeheartedly commit to support Jesus’ simple yet profound command to us: ”you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Just that simple command to “love” means we will act with compassion, we will treat each other with utmost respect, we will act to keep each other safe, and most of all we will invite God’s presence among us. That presence alone means hatred, anger and disrespect of others has no place here. We just need to be still enough to hear God's calm voice in our individual lives and in our campus community. And as we hear his voice and remember his leading in our lives and in the history of our University, we have no reason to fear the future. Indeed we will remain poised to be peacemakers and World Changers in this fractured and hurting world.
May God bless each of you abundantly and may God’s presence be ever-present on our campus and amongst all our students, friends and employees who are more remote.