Last weekend I returned to my alma mater to celebrate my 10-year class reunion. It was a lovely time of seeing friends and meeting lots of adorable old people. But mostly it was a gorgeous reminder of a place that shaped me deeply.
The theme of the weekend came from a quote by E. Stanley Jones. Never mind if you have not heard of him. haha. He happens to be our most important alum (Dean Jones can take a seat for a second).
E. Stanley founded an ashram in India, and was close friends with Gandhi. It was Jones' biography of MG that brought him into the public eye in the west, and most noticeably introduced MLK to formal concepts of non-violent protest. (MLK's annotated copy of Jones' biography is on display in his museum)
Anyway, the quote:
"Here we enter a fellowship; At times we will agree to differ; Always we resolve to love, and unite to serve."
(((The quote references John Wesley and George Whitefield, (patron saints of Asbury) who litereally invented the phrase "agree to disagree. #funfact)))
It seems simple, but at a time when our nation is deeply divided, I am also a part of an alumni base that is divided too. Asburians are spread around the world and represent a variety of perspectives. So it is not insignificant that the school chose this message for this time.
It is a complicated time for Christian Liberal Arts institutions... and loving them can be just as compllicated. I am still feeling that out.
Most of all, I am feeling grateful to be a part of this group of wild things who dare to love each other, and to serve those in need- regardless of our differences.