I pray to the birds.
I pray to the birds because
I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward.
I pray to them because I believe in their existence,
the way their songs begin and end each day,
the invocations and benedictions of earth.
I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love
rather than what I fear.
And at the end of my prayers,
they teach me how to listen.
—Terry Tempest Williams
During this time of extraordinary disruption and anxiety, the Office of the Chaplain and Religious and Spiritual Life will be encouraging all of us at HDS to use the coming days as an opportunity to deepen our spiritual and intellectual practices.
If we strive to transform our collective isolation into an opportunity for communal solitude, we might discover that it is, as it has always been, the seedbed for growth in holiness and wholeness, for communion and connection, for resistance and renewal.
In the suddenly altered pace of our lives, we might discover the stillness we all crave, the stillness from which all true wisdom and justice issue. What we love rather than what we fear may come into sharper focus—and just in time.
On this page, we have assembled some spiritual resources for the COVID-19 pandemic from the HDS community—students, alumni/ae, faculty, and staff—and beyond.
Beginning the week of March 16, a generous group of HDS students will help us with brief, daily inspirational postings to the HDSSA and RSL Facebook pages and to the RSL Instagram account (@HDSRSL) to keep us spiritually supple and connected throughout the days ahead. Follow us!
Finally, we’ll continue to send out weekly email newsletters to the HDS community with updates on any potential replacements for Noon Services that might be developed, Zoom links for any of the campus’s spiritual and religious organizations that might be meeting virtually, and any other resources we curate.
We aim to crowdsource our wisdom for these unprecedented, challenging times. Please send us your suggestions, insights, and experiences to share with others! And please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need support, accompaniment and care. Remember that you are not alone.
May we not let our appropriate caution erase our extravagant care, particularly for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.
Beside you in hope,
HDS Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life
Online Spiritual Gatherings for the HDS Community (Please consult the HDS Community Events Calendar.)
Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble: Some Spiritual Tools and Tips
A Message from the HDS Catholics
All Together in a Sudden Strangeness
Resources Suggested by HDS HUUMS
Suggestions from HDS Students for Spiritual Practices During the Pandemic
Things Unseen, by Stephanie Paulsell
10 Guidelines for Pastoral Care During the Coronavirus Outbreak, by Eileen R. Campbell-Reed
Hands-Free Sacred Greetings from the Interfaith Council of USC
Managing Fears and Anxiety around the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Eyes on the Horizon: The Pandemic and What is to Come, by Mary Hunt, MTS ’73, PhD, and the staff of WATER
Noon Weekday Contemplative Gatherings, with Casper ter Kuile, MDiv ’15, Angie Thurston, MDiv ’15, and Sue Phillips of the Sacred Design Lab
Spiritual Suggestions for Living Well During COVID-19 (PDF), from Chaz Howard, University Chaplain, UPenn
- Resources for Grief Support
A number of recovery meetings have been impacted by COVID-19. If this is the case with yours and/or you are looking for online recovery meetings, here are some ways to stay connected.