An important and timely message from Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D., president of Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor. Dated: June 1, 2020
“God is in that City; and it will never be destroyed.” —Psalm 46:5
In recent days, as I have communicated with our campus leaders, faculty, staff, and especially with students how heavy my heart has been. Many of you, including me, are struggling. Our world is profoundly disrupted. COVID-19 has been, in many ways, supplanted by the grave injustice committed against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. The demonstrations for justice and the unrest sweeping across our nation tears at us all. It also moves us.
Concordia University stands on the simple motto: Christ in all things. We are dedicated to the development of people—all people—as the servant leaders the Church and the world need, and not only in the future, but today. Students, more than ever I am convinced that your faith and your Concordia education give you an opportunity to truly, remarkably, and courageously live uncommon.
As Christians, we understand the world from a unique perspective. Our First Story is a story of sin, broken relationships, forgiveness won, redemption given, new life, and salvation that is ours through the work of Christ Jesus. That story transforms how we understand and relate to every human story, every fear, every tragedy, every call to justice, and every opportunity for care.
I do not have the answers each of us needs as we face these days, but I know the One who loves us, who desires that all people be brought to Himself. The God who proclaims through the psalmist, “I will be exalted among the nations,” is, indeed with us. And with Him, I am confident that we, as Concordians, will be part of the change our communities seek. The rawness and reality of racism is evident in our nation. We are called by Christ to react and to respond as a people of peace and uncommon hope.
We love people. We cherish life. We value dignity. We embrace differences. And we always proclaim the Gospel in Christ. The divine Love that claims us in Christ compels us to act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, and, more than ever, love our neighbors.
We can, and must, do better. I want you to know that Concordia University is here to support you in every way. Students, I encourage you to reach out to your professors, coaches, campus ministry leaders, and one another. As we pray together for God’s guidance, I pray you are bold in also reaching out to your neighbors and friends, and into our communities with your hearts and hands, sharing and showing always Christ in all things.
In the coming days and weeks, your university will continue to connect you with ways to live out those values in your lives. It’s only part of the hard work we all have ahead of us.
We are, as ever, Concordia—hearts together,
Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D.
Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor
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