President Matthews Dedicates a Day of Grief, Lament, and Hope for our Nation

Dear Eastern University Community,

On Friday, June 5th, I am dedicating the day as a Day of Grief, Lament, and Hope for our Nation, Eastern University, and ourselves. I would encourage you to pray and fast should the Spirit lead you.

It is with heaviness that Chaplain Joseph Modica and I invite you to join us for a noon Service of Grief, Lament, and Hope. The continuing events of violence, injustice, and death, based on racism are too prevalent and too ubiquitous. We must intercede, intervene, and interrupt the hatred and bigotry that allow evil to overcome good. Human life is sacred. Black lives matter. Mr. George Floyd’s life matters. He was a coerced martyr and his death is a gruesome testimony. If we believe in God, if we follow Jesus, if we are, in fact, human beings, then we must strive for and present a higher and better way to live with and love our neighbors. It needs to take place at every level: nationally, in our communities, at Eastern University, and in each of us. Racism is not just sad. It is wrong, unacceptable, and intolerable. Racism grieves God and represents the work of anti-Christ. It requires address and change.

This issue is not a distraction from COVID-19, it is a worse pandemic. It is a virus of the soul and we are going to worship and plead together at noon on Friday, June 5th. In addition to other participants, Mayor Rev. Dr. Wilson Goode will be sharing comments.

Pentecost, May 31, celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit after the ascension of Jesus to heaven. This is not a coincidence, it is a divine beckoning to all Christians to speak the language or do the action that any person needs in order to receive the Gospel of repentance and hope, forgiveness and unity, truth and peace. The prophet Zechariah proclaims “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.” Power is corruptible; the Spirit is not. Corrupted power brings evil and death; the Spirit brings goodness and life.

Holy Spirit, rush upon us, strengthen us by the suffering and compassion of Jesus, to bear witness in word and deed beyond convenience and feeling to change systems and assumptions and bring hope and healing through our holy mission of faith, reason, and justice.

Please join us on Friday, June 5th at noon. This week, you will receive meeting information from the Office of Faith and Practice.

May God have mercy,

Ronald A. Matthews, President