|Photo credit: Christopher Waddell|
|Statue in tribute to Jonathan Daniel ouside St. John's Chapel|
I think - from everything I've been able to glean- that his was the right - not good, but correct, albeit painful - decision. (* See note below.)
But, holy boy-howdy, was that a doozie of a bad process.
Indeed, the process was so bad that those of us who come from formative process that were built on a framework of shame and blame have been handed a veritable toxic feast on which to dine for at least a few decades.
I have absolutely no doubt that the cost of rehabing the buildings - just the asbestos removal alone - would have financially bankrupted the school the nanosecond after the buildings stood there, all shiny and newly rehabed until the next 200 years took their eventual toll.
And, there will always be 'that person' who knows someone who knows someone who was in the room when it happened who reports, with absolute confidence, some piece of information which s/he thinks would have made all the difference it the world had it been made more widely known.
It doesn't. Not now. Not to the pain. Not to the grief.
It reminds me of what medical intuitive Caroline Myss calls "The Judas Effect".
In my more generous moments, I'd like to think that the Board of TRUST-ees chose to put their trust in the Divine than the institution. That would help explain their decision to sell off the buildings in Cambridge and take the endowment to the Upper West Side of New York City where The Episcopal Divinity School will start the manifestation of a new life there with the venerable Union Theological School and be known as "EDS@Union".
That's not so unlike what Berkely Divinity School did with Yale. Or, the merger in 2012 of Bexley Hall Seminary in Ohio with Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago to become, creatively enough, "Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Federation (or just "Bexley Seabury)".
What is happening at seminaries is a reflection of what has been happening for some decades now in parishes and congregations around the country.
It has become its own enemy, existing to support itself and not the mission of Jesus, feeding on its own mediocrity and not striving for excellence, investing more in hierarchy than the people in the pews, following its own mind and not quieting its own mind and rather, seeking the mind of Christ.
It's all the ways EDS taught us to be The Body of Christ in the wold.
Here's what I know to be true about grief, these two things:
(1) There is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is just your way.And, those two things affect:
(2) The only "cure" for grief is to grieve.
(1) Your perspective of what once wasIn times of grief and sorrow, it's important for me to remind myself of these things and to know that I am not alone in that Upper Room.
(2) Your vision of what might be.
And, as hokey as it sounds, it is nevertheless true: The heart will go on.
The heart of EDS lives in my heart.
It may be EDS@Union, but it is also EDS@me.
As Bishop Carol Gallagher sang at the end of her brilliant and pastoral sermon for The Service of Deconsecration of St. John's Chapel, The Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
And, let the church, the Body of Christ which lives in the world and lives in me, say
"The consciousness of present time allows you to keep your memories, but they can no longer hold you hostage, so they can no longer drain you of your energy, which inevitably drains you of your health. The need to let others know you feel entitled to attention because of your pain and suffering is very seductive and releasing the entitlement of the suffering self is more a battle with the shadow of your own pride that it is with anyone else."