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A Message from Dean Brian Konkol: "We are all in this together"

Friends:

Grace and peace to you,

When we began the academic year I could not have imagined all that would transpire. Instead of hustle and bustle in and around Hendricks Chapel, the coronavirus crisis has altered life as we know it, and students are now located in various spaces and places around the country and world. This is not what any of us expected or desired. Through this time of uncertainty and challenge we are doing all that we can to promote health and hope, and I am left grateful for the tremendous efforts of our chaplains, staff and advisors.

At Hendricks Chapel we seek to lead in service to our common good as a student-centered global home for religious, spiritual, moral and ethical life. Through an assortment of programs and services we are dedicated to transforming the world by inviting learners into the fullness of life. I believe fully in what we do and who we are, especially in times such as these, and I am grateful that every person associated with Hendricks Chapel – especially our students – has contributed to our mission and vision. Since its dedication in 1930 the chapel has always been far more than a building, and because its impact continues to extend far beyond the boundaries of campus, my hope is that you will participate in the new programs and services that are now being offered through various online platforms.

As I reflect upon the mission and vision of Hendricks Chapel during these strange and significant times, I am reminded that this experience in response to the coronavirus will offer some of the most important lessons we all might ever receive. For example, how do we choose to react to unfortunate and unexpected circumstances? How do we rise-up after we fall? How do we look within ourselves when it is so tempting to blame others? How do we find healing through moments of hurt? How do we lift others up when tempted to allow others to tear us down? How do we name and claim the sacred link that binds us all together? These are not only great questions to better understand this moment, but these are all considerations that will form us throughout our lives.

From the bottom of my own heart, and from my own home to yours, please know that I thank God for you all and I am here for you all. We are at an unexpected and unprecedented time in modern history. The path ahead is not predictable or comfortable, yet I am confident that we have all that we need to meet this moment, so please stay healthy and please stay hopeful. We are all in this together.

With gratitude,

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The Rev. Brian E. Konkol, Ph.D.
Dean, Hendricks Chapel
Professor of Practice, Department of Religion