Thanksgiving greetings from Trinity Western University President Mark Husbands

"When I think of Trinity Western University, I think of MLK’s vision of a beloved community. I think of the deep wellsprings from which MLK drew wisdom—the witness of Isaiah, Micah, Amos, and the Gospels that speak of God’s call for justice, healing, renewal, and reconciliation."
 
— President Mark Husbands


Dear TWU Community:

On the wall of my office at TWU is a wonderful gift from a friend: a picture of Martin Luther King Jr.

That picture is there for a reason.

When I think of Trinity Western University, I think of MLK’s vision of a beloved community. I think of the deep wellsprings from which MLK drew wisdom—the witness of Isaiah, Micah, Amos, and the Gospels that speak of God’s call for justice, healing, renewal, and reconciliation.

In his famous 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail," MLK declares that we are all “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality."


"In our current contexts, we face the challenge of these tumultuous times. We live in worlds divided by difference. But when we draw insight from the Scriptures and from the moral and political witness of MLK and the civil rights movement, we see a glimpse of hope; hope that reconciliation and renewal may yet come..."


For this reason, among others, King insisted upon the way of non-violence. Protest, yes. But along with this, a refusal to respond violently. The end, said MLK, is redemption and reconciliation.

Standing against injustice with faith, hope, and love, MLK insisted that “the aftermath of non-violence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.”

In our current contexts, we face the challenge of these tumultuous times. We live in worlds divided by difference. But when we draw insight from the Scriptures and from the moral and political witness of MLK and the civil rights movement, we see a glimpse of hope; hope that reconciliation and renewal may yet come, that the world may yet be set right.


"Throughout my life, I have been embraced and loved by a rich and diverse set of friends and colleagues from different cultures, backgrounds, and parts of the world. Their perspectives and experience of life have enriched and shaped my life in profound ways."


This Thanksgiving, our Student Life leaders and I have a gift for you. The gift is the following conversation between me and TWU students Sharaya Holder, Ezechiel Kouassi, and KiKi Liao. It was recorded this fall and beautifully produced as a short film by Joshua Onwugbonu and Nate Magnuson.



This week, I invite you to take time to pause and enjoy this film. (Part One is only 10 minutes long; and, should you choose to continue with the entire video, it is less than 30 minutes total.)

Create space—on your own or together with friends, family members, or your church community—and listen to the desire for beloved community at TWU—including the questions and the struggles raised—which are captured within this conversation. The passion, earnestness, commitment, and laughter of the students is deeply moving. 

In light of all of this, I invite you to consider the following with me:

  1. On our journey together as a global Christian University, how can we more faithfully engage the opportunity that God has granted us to embrace diversity as a calling and gift?
  2. What witness would TWU have in the world if we were this beloved community?
  3. What steps can we take together to more adequately and truly love people across differences and care for those on the margins?
  4. How might we build bridges so that others can more deeply experience the call to identity and belonging in Christ?


Throughout my life, I have been embraced and loved by a rich and diverse set of friends and colleagues from different cultures, backgrounds, and parts of the world. Their perspectives and experience of life have enriched and shaped my life in profound ways.

Difference has been a wonderful gift and encouragement to me, and the experience of beloved community has granted me a deeper and more profound understanding of God’s Word and the way of Christ.  

As a global University, we all bring different experiences and perspectives; we all hold a variety of hopes and dreams.

May we, by God’s grace, experience the deep and abiding call to beloved community. And as we stop to reflect upon God’s many gifts and provision for us this Thanksgiving, may we find great joy and purpose in God’s call to welcome and love one another across difference so that the world might know that reconciliation and peace are found in Christ.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

 
 
Grace and peace,


See also — Living Together Well Amidst COVID:​
 

TWU News


About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact: media@twu.ca

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