Return to Program and Remarks
The Reverend Douglas McMahon
Director of Campus Ministries and Chaplain
September 8, 2010
We have been called together to this place, O God, in order to mark the importance of this moment in our life together at Eckerd College. We welcome new students, faculty and staff and also honor today’s award recipients. We are grateful for the community that is Eckerd College. Thanks be to you, O God!
Yet, as we gather for another school year, the flames of hatred and misunderstanding still burn in this world. Even as we are summoned together to begin again the journey of knowledge and understanding, there are, in our world, treats of burning sacred books, striking the cheek and settling old scores.
At this Opening Convocation, we step out on a new path. Give us, O God, wisdom for our journey that we might move beyond all obstacles standing in the way of our gaining knowledge and understanding.
As we step out on this new path, grant us a deep sense of belonging nurturing acceptance, and respect-- for one another and for our neighbors in surrounding communities.
As we step out on this new path, light our way that every student might discover his or her purpose in life. Together, may our quest for meaning allow justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. 1
As we step out on this new path, O God, give us grace when we stumble and fall-- or when we hurt each another—that we might forgive one another and ourselves. We have learned the difficult lesson: there is no community without forgiveness and no wisdom without experiencing failure.
Bring healing and wholeness to our lives, to our community and to our world, O God. And as we journey together along this new path may we find these gifts--wisdom, belonging, purpose and grace—that we might partner with you and one another to create this better world.2 To you, O God, be the honor and glory, today and everyday. Amen.
1 Amos 5:24
2 I heard Kennon Callahan speak about wisdom, belonging, purpose and grace as the four major searches of our lives.