A message from President Paul J. McNulty:
Our souls are in despair from the shocking scenes of injustice and violence we have witnessed in recent days. As a community rooted in the belief that every person is God’s image-bearer and intrinsically valuable, we abhor racism and unlawful harm to others. In the words of the prophet Amos, we long for justice to “roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
We are called to weep with those who weep (Rom 12:15). And surely we must mourn with the Arbery family, the Floyd family, the Underwood family (a security officer shot and killed from a passing vehicle last Friday night), and the many others throughout our nation’s history who have lost their lives or sustained serious injuries as a result of malicious criminal acts. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” and we can and should pray for that gracious blessing.
But how can we as college make a difference in a world marked by such profound suffering and social injustice? We dare not think that our quiet community is a shelter from the brokenness of this age. We have vital work to do in the causes of reconciliation, justice, and love.
Our mission as an academic institution is to equip students with an expansive sense of calling that strives to glorify God and serve others sacrificially. To achieve these high purposes, we encourage a firm commitment to a Christian worldview, support for the foundations of free society, and genuine love of neighbor. Please consider these three impactful perspectives.
First, we learn what genuine reconciliation entails through a Christian worldview. The effects of our fallen condition are not permanent. Christ sacrificed himself on the cross to overcome hatred, prejudice, and the callousness of our hearts. He gave us a ministry of reconciliation whereby we become agents of a redemptive love that overcomes paralyzing fear, alienation, and humiliation. This ministry must include listening to those who are suffering and adopting an attitude of humility so that we might identify our own failures.
Second, we are reminded that for our society to be truly free every person must enjoy equal protection under the law. Indeed, justice, equality, and peaceful protest are the bedrocks of liberty. This is the content of freedom that matters.
And third, we seek to instill in every student the conviction that love overcomes hate. When Jesus was asked the question, “who is my neighbor?” he told a story about a man’s selfless care for a person from whom he was historically estranged. Christ has not called us to a convenient or self-interested love of others.
In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. concludes with these inspiring words, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
GCC community, let us rededicate ourselves to our great mission of reconciliation, justice, and love so that the radiant stars of love, sisterhood, and brotherhood will shine on our campus and beyond. This work will be hard and humbling, but it must be done.
In His peace,