You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
[MAY 13, 2020] This is the last Chapel newsletter of the 2019-20 academic year. As has been repeatedly observed, it’s been an unprecedented semester and now it’s coming to an end. Grading is the last milestone on this newly unfamiliar road, and then, the summer.
We’ve all done more than our fair share of adapting this semester. We’ve learned to be apart from those with whom we’re used to being in close contact. We’re growing more accustomed to being oh-so-close all the time with family members while we try to get our work done, if, that is, we have the privilege of being able to try to work from home. Staff and faculty members with school-aged children are homeschooling on someone else’s schedule and the rest of us have been learning how to set and manage our own schedules when “going to work” means leaving the kitchen for a desk in another room of the same house.
Meanwhile, in the service of the long-term health of the University, some have been furloughed, taking with them years of experience and knowledge of how to do critical tasks, leaving others without enough time looking up the steep slope of a learning curve.
It can make us all really exasperated. And it can threaten to rob us of our joy.
There is much over which we need be concerned these days, but there is also and always the opportunity for thankfulness. We needn’t be thankful for everything. But in every moment there is an opportunity for thankfulness. Pay close attention to these gifts.
Among the things for which we are thankful is the opportunity to be a part of this community where not only is academic excellence pursued but mutual care abundantly expressed. No sooner had the word gone out regarding staff furloughs but faculty were asking how they might help and furloughed staff were themselves setting up a mutual support group on Facebook.
This level of mutual care and compassion gives us peace of mind because, as those charged with the pastoral care of this community, we ourselves will be unable to do so for the better part of this summer.
Both of us, Deaconess Kristin and Pastor Jim, have been placed on furlough beginning this weekend, May 15. Because of the nature of the law regarding furlough, neither of us will be available for any sort of pastoral contact during this time. We wish it were not so.
Yet, we are confident in the spirit of care and compassion that breathes deeply within this campus community. You will care for each other. Further, we know that we will have the opportunity to laugh and cry, pray, and praise with you again.
In the meantime, the people of Valparaiso University and our shared mission will be at the center of our grateful prayers.
Deaconess Kristin & Pastor Jim
May 13, 2020
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future