The Christmas Season is here! Save the date for the 105th Annual Christmas Carol Services on Sunday, December 14 at 5:00 p.m. and Monday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m., and a Christmas Eve Service on Wednesday, December 24 at 5:00 p.m. Singers are welcome to join in the community choir for the Christmas Eve service; rehearsal is before the service at 3:30 p.m. Read more about Save the Date! Christmas at the Memorial Church
I am kicking off 2015 in this beautiful country with over a dozen Harvard College students in the township of Mamelodi. For the past seven years, students from Christian Impact and Athletes in Action have partnered with the University of Pretoria community in order to provide a college preparatory program for local high school students. The program has been a great success by all metrics. This is true, in part, due to amazing young women and men from Harvard who are willing to raise necessary travel funds, sacrifice their J-Term, and teach courses in ethical leadership, community development, and language arts for three weeks. Their work has helped to diversify the University of Pretoria across color and class lines by increasing the pool of potential students throughout the township. Read more about Happy New Year!
November is a time of remembrance and reflection in the Memorial Church, and in that spirit I look back on a very busy and successful two months for our music department, while looking forward to the many musical offerings in the coming months.
At the start of the Fall Term we welcomed Thomas Sheehan to the staff of the Memorial Church as Assistant University Organist and Choirmaster. Prior to his appointment, Tom served on the music staff of Saint Mark’s Church in Philadelphia, and Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, New Jersey; he is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and Westminster Choir College. Tom has already become a valued member of our staff, and wowed congregation and choir alike with his postlude on Freshman Sunday — a thrilling rendition of Langlais’s Fête, from memory! I am thoroughly enjoying our work together: a wonderful all-round musician, Tom is not only a superb organist, but a harpsichordist, pianist, and conductor too.Read more about From the Choirmaster
As a newcomer to Harvard University I have experienced a robust sense of welcome from many quarters of the campus. From the custodial staff in Memorial Church knowing my morning coffee routine, to delicious invitations into homes for warm conversations and a spicy meal, to the lovely surprise of gorgeous floral bouquets, Harvard knows how to open its doors to the newcomer. But the welcome doesn’t stop with the hospitality extended to a newly arrived chaplain. A few months ago we welcomed to the Yard the Class of 2018. We all pulled out the stops (literally) to make sure these precious young souls were greeted, taken across the College threshold to their Entryways, met by a caring and competent staff of tutors, proctors, house deans, not to mention brilliant faculty and attentive staff. I was aware of a palpable joy that exuded from the community as the spiffed up Yard received an eager new class. Read more about A Space of Radical Hospitality
It has been an exciting fall in the life of Memorial Church. With the start of the new academic year, our building is abuzz with activity — organ and choir practice, MemCafé, storytelling hours, and fellowship meals. The Ministerial Staff often talks about our shared vision of increasing student participation inside of our walls and this flurry of activity is invigorating!
One area of committed student engagement has been the Grants Committee. For over twenty years, students and congregants have come together to support the work of non-profit charity organizations that serve the Greater Boston Area. Here students build lasting relationships with longtime Harvard community members. When the committee meets to discuss grant applications, lively discussions happen about how we live out Jesus’s call to love our neighbors, what does social justice look like in our world, and how is this different from charity? Read more about From the Ministry Fellow