The Women’s Center is sorrowing, along with the entire Louisville Seminary, over the loss of friends and colleagues who will no longer be with us after Friday, April 17, in the wake of the Seminary’s announcement of additional budget reductions that entail the elimination of 8 staff positions.
A worship service of lamentation, prayer, and expressions of thanks and blessing for the colleagues whose gifts and presence will soon be felt as absence and memory gathered many together in Caldwell Chapel this morning, and reminded us of many things.
- We are not alone — we are not the only people to be facing hardships and readjustments, and we are not facing the hardships and readjustments alone, but along with others, and along with a God who, even in adversity, travels with us, who suffers along with the suffering, and who snatches life back from its would-be destroyers. Even when it is difficult to feel the reality of this promise, we hold to it in confident hope.
- We are not the first with occasions for lamentation, sorrow, fear, anger; we stand in a line that stretches back at least to the texts of our tradition. We doubt we will be the last; though we would rejoice if we were. As neither the first nor the last, we take our place in the midst of trying circumstances squarely in the midst of the story of the people of faith, the story of their struggles and of their seeing things through.
- We have much to be thankful for — including the grace and privilege of time and tasks shared, friends and colleagues known and appreciated, goals achieved and gifts well beyond “the job” given.
- We have much to hope for — including new possibilities for these friends and colleagues, and new-found strength in the face of challenges for those who remain and who will be stretching, picking up, examining priorities, making do or doing without in the days to come.
- Holy God, who made a way through water, a way across desert, a way out of death and despair, be for your people now a way through and a way forward; Holy God, of whose wisdom your word says “all her paths are peace,” be for your people peace on the way.