One week from today, Tuesday November 6th, is Election Day. As mentioned in Mary Cat’s note, recently there have been a terrifying increase in the number of hate filled acts of violence. So on Tuesday, #VoteLove. By casting our vote, we are able to let those in power know that we will not stand for these continued acts of violence and hatred. As college students, it is of the utmost importance that we vote, as we are the next generation and we will have the longest to live with repercussions of any of the laws passed, especially related to climate change. Local elections and state elections are as equally as important as nationwide elections as many of the laws passed at the state and local level have an even more direct impact on our lives. Next week, whether you’re mailing in your absentee ballot or voting in the New York election, I encourage you to #VoteLove. Visit vote.org for more information about when the deadlines for absentee ballots in each state are.
I had the honor yesterday, of lighting a candle during the Vigil for Pittsburgh, a gathering held at NYU to mourn together the loss of 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue at the hands of an anti-Semitic terrorist.
I cried many tears. I listened, I prayed, I sang, I lamented alongside of my brothers and sisters of the Jewish community. I was not alone. Hundreds of students of all faiths were there to show our love and support.
The stories we heard point to the humanity of the individuals who died and the trauma of the community most closely impacted by this attack. And the truth is, we are all harmed by this kind of violence. Those who are victims, those of us who witness it and yes, even the perpetrator is harmed by the damage and the pain inflicted on others.
And so, we must pray. We must pray for our healing as individuals who must get up each day and walk into a dangerous world. We must pray for one another that we we have the courage to be our whole selves, so that the world may see the beautiful facet of God that is our unique aspect of creation. And we must pray for those who would seek to do harm to another, that we might recognize that the damage they are expressing through the violence of their hands is a reflection of the harm that they are carrying within their own soul, their being in the world.
God is with us. As we prepare for All Saints Day and remember the faithful who have died, we are reminded of own human frailty, and we are called to live in hope, not only of the life eternal that is to come, but of God's work through us to build a better world. On Sunday I invite you to gather, to pray and to renew our commitments to being a reflection of God's light and love in the world. And together we can say, "We will with God's help."
-Chaplain Mary Cat
The last couple of weeks, in the Chaplain’s note, Mary Cat has written “I hope you are finding a place to relax, be yourself, learn a little, laugh a little, love and be loved” in reference to Canterbury Downtown and our dinners after the service. I started attending services at Grace two years ago by recommendation from my pastor at my church back home. Freshman and sophomore year, I attended services and dinner, but never officially made time in my schedule to attend the service and dinner on Sunday night. This year, instead of having the mindset of “well I’ll go to church and dinner if I have time”, I’ve gone into the semester planning my Sundays to include church. In doing this, I’ve found a community within Canterbury Downtown and had opportunities like attending an ordination of priests at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, learned about work opportunities for after college graduation, and will be learning how to knit! I’m excited for all that is being planned for the second half of the semester and the ways in which I will grow both in my spirituality and in the friendships I’ve made thus far. Hope to see you all there!
Y’all, midterms are upon us. If your professors are anything like mine, that means they’ve managed to spread them out over an entire month (love you guys anyways!), which just means there’s always something I could be working on or studying for. Which is a little stressful to say the least! Rather than trying to convince myself that I should always be studying, I’ve been taking the time I need to practice self care, i.e. watching an episode of Bones or going to the gym. Even though exercising can seem counterproductive during exam season since it’s time that you could spend studying, exercise (AND SLEEP) actually both support existing neurons (long term-potentiation), encourage growth of existing neurons (neurogenesis) as well as increase your long term memory (thank you Science of Happiness aka one of the most useful classes at NYU!!). So, whether it’s running for 20 minutes, going for a bike ride, or attending a yoga class (Yoga to the People offers donation based classes), sweating it out (AND SLEEPING) can actually help you ACE that midterm! Catch me at 404 looking like Mike Wazowski on the treadmill for the rest of the semester!