Vision, that which is not seen but conceived, gives rise to an effective and forward moving institution, and on a personal level, vision gives our lives hope in our chosen future. I recently spoke during worship on the integration of our corporate spiritual lives and our public engagement, certain one can inform the other.
In The Company of Strangers, Parker J. Palmer articulates the vision that a strong inner life strengthens our communities and our service in public life. He writes, “Only as we learn to discern the presence of God—within us, between us, among us, beyond us—will we develop human relations full of hope and healing, relations of the sort which could renew our public life.”
As Quakers, we learn by living, and we choose thoughtfully how we let our lives speak. At ESR, as learners, as teachers, as administrators, we play a vital role in creating the beloved community. Living into the spiritually guided life, all of life, all our relationships, all of our work, communicates God’s love in the world. This is our ideal, our vision for our lives and for ESR.
Whether we consider ourselves mystical or contemplative, or even prophetic, our vision for life and the world grows out of what Theresa of Avila called “infused contemplation.” ESR encourages those who seek a seminary education to be open-minded, imaginative, bold, resolute and inspirational. ESR asks its students to deepen their internal spiritual lives, simultaneously finding expression of that spirituality in the world.
Earlham and the Earlham School of Religion offer space for deep thinking, encouraging an active inner life, a thoughtful life that informs how we view the world and its challenges. Leading from within, a deep, contemplative foundation offers optimism in the human spirit.
The Earlham vision of providing good in the world is compelling, engaging and ever hopeful. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for supporting this Quaker seminary. Thank you for valuing the Earlham way: doing good from a deeply thoughtful place.
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Dean of the Earlham School of Religion
“Thank you for valuing the Earlham way: doing good from a deeply thoughtful place.”