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A blessing for the imposition of ashes

Feb. 17, 2021—Maker of all things, In a season when we long for touch, presence, connection, we remember our place in the vastness of creation. As we enter a season of 40 days of spiritual preparation, we confess the habits of oppression often come more easily than the practices of sharing resources and challenging bigotry. We seek...

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The end and the beginning

Feb. 17, 2021—Read a blessing for the imposition of ashes >> An Ash Wednesday reflection by the Rev. Laura M. Cheifetz Maybe I am just familiar with the ways white supremacy works Maybe my familiar reminds me to always call a thing exactly what it is… – J Mase III Some say the only constant is change. Others say...

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We the people

Feb. 1, 2021—Dean’s message from the January 2021 Spire e-newsletter It begins with a country being formed by taking the land of others because darker-skinned people were (and are still) judged as less than lighter-skinned people.  This founding kernel of our country has grown over the years and has emerged at various times with supremacist values on...

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My vote counts

Nov. 3, 2020—Guest post by Emilie M. Townes, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. This reflection originally appeared in the November 3, 2020  “Spire”electronic newsletter. Growing up in the liberal segregated south of Durham, NC in the late 1950s and 1960s, one of the things that was drummed into little Black kids’ heads was the power...

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When a Bird Crashed Into My Window on a Pre-Yom-Kippur Jewish Meditation Virtual Retreat

Sep. 27, 2020—Saturday 26 Sept  / 8 Tishrei When a Bird Crashed Into My Window on a Pre-Yom-Kippur Jewish Meditation Virtual Retreat It was yoga time The instructor was guiding us from downward dog to cobra, when I heard a loud thunk. My mind began to race. I noticed it racing (thanks meditation.) What to do? The...

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Zoom crashed. Now what?

Sep. 18, 2020—Helpful tips and contingency planning for Zoom Compiled by Sophia Agtarap, Vanderbilt Divinity School Director of Communications Though Zoom has proved to be a helpful tool for online teaching, learning, and meeting, every system has its limits–some of which we have already experienced. Below are helpful practices and contingency plans so that in the event...

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Call for Applications: Carpenter/LGBT Policy Lab Fellows

Sep. 14, 2020—Call for Applications: Carpenter/LGBT Policy Lab Fellows The Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality is hiring two paid LGBT Policy Fellows (MTS or MDiv) for the 2020-21 school year. Vanderbilt’s LGBT Policy Lab has partnered with the Carpenter Program to craft a collaborative learning experience that equips participants to understand how Christianity has been weaponized to enforce anti-LGBTQIA+...

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#ScholarStrike

Sep. 5, 2020—Vanderbilt Divinity Community, The Divinity School has always been a school of prophets and scholars, and also, disruptors. We are always looking for a way to challenge the injustices in the world, which is why it is no surprise that Vanderbilt Divinity School alumna Anthea Butler has created the Scholar Strike, set to take place Tuesday,...

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A Call and Response to the Capitol Commission’s Historic Vote

Jul. 9, 2020—Dear all– We join a number of people today rejoicing to hear that the Capitol Commissioners voted to remove the bust of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, U.S. Admiral David Farragut, and U.S. Admiral Albert Gleaves from the capitol building. Wednesday, July 8, VDS Black faculty and staff wrote and signed a letter (see below) to Governor...

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A letter to the community on return to campus

Jun. 16, 2020—Students taking classes in person are required to stay in Nashville until the Thanksgiving break. Any student with an urgent need to travel must get approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before making any plans. If approved to travel, per current VU policy, the student will be required to stay away from campus...

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