Aric Flemming

Love on the Road to Justice

October 19, 2020
"So let us hold fast to love on the road to justice, though the road is windy. I believe we will get there to the promised land. We will get there indeed if we hold fast to love," says Aric Flemming, MDiv '19.
In June, a damaged Christopher Columbus statue in Boston's North End

Pushing to End Myth of Columbus, Honor History of Indigenous Peoples

October 9, 2020

Celebrated by Italian immigrants in the United States since 1792, Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937 to commemorate the "arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas." The explorer’s reputation has darkened in recent years as scholars have focused more attention on the killings and other atrocities he committed against Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. This year, amid a national reckoning on racial injustice, protesters have toppled and beheaded statues of Columbus in various cities, while pressure grows to abolish the national holiday and replace it with one that celebrates the people who populated the Americas long before the explorer “sailed the ocean blue.”

The articles below showcase that, as communities decide the future of Columbus Day, efforts within the Native community and beyond are underway to highlight indigenous historical materials, hear the unique perspective on climate change offered by indigenous leaders, and revitalize ancestral languages and the cultural identities they sustain.
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Mel Kawakami embracing worshippers

Hope in Darkness

October 1, 2020
The Rev. Mel Kawakami, MDiv '74, ThM '85, is a retired pastor and pastoral counselor for the United Methodist Church. He spent his career helping communities devastated by unexpected loss, including his tenure as pastor of the Newtown United Methodist Church in the heart of Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Buddhist statue

My Spiritual Path Through the COVID-19 Darkness

July 22, 2020

"The soft supplication to the Buddhist goddess of healing, Tara, filled my hours, along with Sufi music and gentle sounds of Sikh prayers on the one divine. Words of the 13th-century Persian mystic Rumi, 'Keep silent because the world of silence is a vast fullness,' became my meditation," writes HDS alum Kalpana Jain, MTS '17.

Chaplain David Anderson and student nurse Kadie Laycock help a patient communicate with his family that are unable to visit due to hospital visiting restrictions at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, in Blackburn, England.

What It's like to Help Families Say Goodbye

June 22, 2020
"COVID-19 brutalizes bodies, but it also disempowers families who are unable to see their loved ones, sit at their bedsides and hold their hands," writes Bridget Power, MDiv '19, a chaplain resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Casper ter Kuile

Finding Resilience in Rituals

June 22, 2020
HDS alum and Ministry Innovation Fellow Casper ter Kuile discusses his new book, which explores how we can find meaning and well-being in our daily rituals (sitting down for dinner with family, morning yoga) and in adopting new ones.