With just two days before the beginning of August Term, the campus is abuzz with activity. Moving trucks have come and gone, leaving behind new families in our apartments. Our residence halls are similarly filling up with old and new faces. International students are adjusting to a new time zone – new friends, foods, and experiences to follow. Faculty are finalizing lesson plans. And the campus is getting spruced up with movers moving and blowers humming.
And then everything will officially begin on Wednesday morning, when the first-year students gather in the chapel at 8:15 a.m. In that moment, approximately 50 new members of our community will be assembled for the first time. I wonder what their thoughts and prayers will be? Some will come with confidence, others with trepidation. All will come with hope for a new adventure in their spiritual and vocational transformation.
Of course, each of us can relate to the experience of being new: first day of high school, first day on a new job, first day at VTS! In the days ahead, we have an opportunity to exercise abundant hospitality. Please wear your name tags over the next couple of weeks. Greet people. If you know that they are new, introduce yourself and ask them how it is going and if you can help. Be open, kind, and generous. It will be a gift to those who are coming to be amongst us. It is likely to be a gift to you as well.
Jim Mathes Associate Dean of Students and Director of Anglican Studies