Dear alumni/ae and friends,
When the writer of Hebrews 10 tells us to “let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together,” it reminds me how hard it is for all of us to gather together in one place. We’ve gotten comfortable with remote options for everything we do, including worship. Yet, I am reminded that when I show up in person, the divine presence also shows up in some unexpected ways.
Recently, God showed up in the parking lot of church, where someone greeted me with a much-needed hug. And then again, over bagels during coffee hour in the vestibule, when I was blessed with divine words of wisdom and encouragement. That same Sunday, God definitely showed up in the face of the impossibly cute toddler who wanted to play peekaboo with me all service long. At church, I experience the simple pleasure of being physically present among the people of God and it encourages my soul.
When I walk through the doors of the Divinity building or when I walk the hallways, I am also blessed by the staff, the faculty, and the students; those who show up, week after week, as they work and learn. Whether we gather for a lecture or a luncheon, I am thankful for the quiet joy of being among this community gathered for a divine purpose and mission.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair
Professor of Religion & Literature