An Invitation to Pastoral Care from the Office of the Chaplain and Spiritual Life Programs
In recent months, the Office of the Chaplain and Spiritual Life Programs have been called on by many community members who are processing instances of racial violence and othering of Black, brown, indigenous, and other people of color in the United States and here at Pepperdine. As has been tragically true throughout history, oppressive actions and words create consequences. As chaplains and spiritual life leaders, our hearts are attuned to the pain this has caused our world and our community in particular. We stand in solidarity and lament with those who experience racial injustice. To those who have bravely shared your stories of racial trauma in our communal public forums and on social media, as spiritual caregivers, we want you to know that we pray over your experiences and are introspective about our own roles in creating a beloved community.
Motivated by the God we know, as revealed through Scripture, who cares immensely about injustice, we are committed to working for rapid and lasting change. While the Bible has often been used to justify oppression in the name of God, we believe that at its core, the reign of God is ultimately good news for the oppressed. From the freeing of enslaved people from Egyptian bondage, to provisions for the widow, orphan, and refugee found in Israel's law, to God's own identification with unjust suffering in the cross of Jesus, Scripture consistently shows God to be intimately present with and concerned for the vulnerable and calls followers of Jesus to do the same.
We therefore commit ourselves anew:
- to lead worship services that foster racial equality, including the necessary efforts of racial reconciliation and healing,
- to offer theological exploration of the sin of individualism, for it is in community and through our diversity that we reflect the image of God,
- to practice hospitality and compassionate pastoral care that maintains an openness to others' insights, needs, and contributions, and recognizes our need for one another,
- to partner with students and the wider community toward communal action for justice, equity, and inclusion,
- to nurture student ministry programs that prepare students to participate in and lead diverse churches and faith communities in which they serve now and will serve in the future,
- to maintain an openness to diverse perspectives and a desire to understand the heart of community members in order that we may nurture a more vibrant, beloved community.
We pray for God's future to come on earth as it is in heaven and for the Holy Spirit to strengthen and build our community as we search for justice and peace.
Office of the Chaplain
Spiritual Life Programs
You may reach out to the Office of the Chaplain for confidential support at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.