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I will weep when you are weeping, when you laugh I'll laugh with you...

 

On Tuesday we sang "The Servant Song" in our last chapel service of the semester.  I love this hymn. We sang it in chapel when I was a student at CUDS. I sing it almost every year with those gathered at the Baptist Women in Ministry, NC convocation.  The congregation sang it at my ordination.  The song is special to me, particularly in the setting of CUDS, because every single word is so true to the experience of being a part of this community.

 

I was a student at CUDS from 2000-2003.  I have been on staff here since August of 2008.  I can say without the least bit of hesitation that this song embodies the essence of our community.

 

Everyone goes through difficult times.  Sometimes it seems that Divinity School students get hit especially hard. Or, perhaps the difficult times seem harder because a person in Divinity School is in the midst of the wonderfully challenging process of theological education and self-discovery. At any rate, when difficult times come, the people here at CUDS--students, staff, and faculty--are servants.  When the good times come, those same people help each other celebrate. 

 

Just last week, two of our students who are married and who have been facing serious medical issues needed help moving.  One of them was recently diagnosed with MS and had a flare up just before they had to be moved out of their house.  Our Director of Student Services sent out an email and there was available help within minutes. Members of our faculty, staff, and student body all showed up to help these friends move. On the flip side of things, this couple is moving because they recently began serving a new church and we have been able to celebrate with them as well as help them in their time of need.

 

The beauty of this community continues even after students graduate. I met some of my dearest friends here at CUDS during my time as a student.  They became family.  When I had serious knee surgery a few years after I graduated, the CUDS community I had formed years before came through for me sending meals and cards.  I lived alone and needed someone to stay with me after the surgery to help me.  My dearest friend from CUDS came to my house without me asking and stayed with me for a whole week.  She did everything for me and I could not have made it through that week without her.  She did this for me even though her husband was about to deploy to the Middle East. A year later that same friend sat beside me with my family at my mother's funeral. A year after that she was my biggest supporter as we celebrated my engagement and marriage.  She did this for me because we are family and our time as family began here at CUDS.

 

I am so thankful for how the Holy Spirit works in and through CUDS to bind us together so tightly in the bonds of God's love.  

These are only two out of countless stories of God's work in this community. Thanks be to God for giving us the gift of each other to carry us on our journey of theological education, ministry, and life, both while we are in school and after we leave.

 

...I will share your joy and sorrow till we've seen this journey thro'.  When we sing to God in heaven, we shall find such harmony, born of all we've known together of Christ's love and agony. --Words by Richard Gillard

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