Community as Kaleidescope
A few weeks ago in chapel, the cover of the bulletin was a kaleidoscope image of the stained glass window in Meinders Chapel.
I can recall playing with kaleidoscopes when I was a young child. I would point it at different objects to see how the object became distorted and yet still seemed somehow beautiful. I imagine the last few weeks of your life as a seminary student have been a kaleidoscope of images.
The way our life appears at a particular times really does depend upon the lens we're looking through, doesn't it? We can have a high-level view where we realize the place we're at is really just one step in many to a larger goal. Some days the goal is at hand. The life of the seminary has reflected this variance this past week.
Tuesday the Phillips community celebrated the achievements of students at our annual Awards Luncheon. I loved hearing the stories of how students had challenged material and assimilated the new knowledge within their own contexts. Professors shared what they had learned from their classes. Even better was the shared joy of the students in how you celebrated one another!
I also saw the change in the faces of students as they completed paper deadlines, that one last day of class, and satisfaction at having made another semester. My favorite image is a couple of soon-to-be graduates lounging on a couch Tuesday waiting to attend their last class.
A community is a kaleidoscope of images of life caught at different times — struggle or challenge, peace, sorrow, celebration — a myriad of images. In all reality we are constantly in transition. We need each other in the movement. I'm going to miss those graduating students — you have given so much to Phillips!
President Gary Peluso Verdend offered a homily Tuesday about the hope each student brings to the community, not only at Phillips but in the places each of you serve. As you enter into summer, graduation, and continued ministry service, may you realize that within your life the filter others look at you through is hope. And it is beautiful. Creator bless and keep you!