Welcome to Spring Term 2019

Prof. Jonathan L. Walton

“Give your hands to serve, and your hearts to love.” — Mother Teresa

Last spring, I stood before the graduating class of 2018 at Baccalaureate and shared three simple truths. “Wisdom is more precious than silver or gold. The common good outlasts individual accomplishments. And every grand idea that has ever pushed humanity forward began with the dream of faith.” Beneath the skin of those words is an underlying question: What do we owe the world?

This term, we will continue to explore that powerful question with a focus on the moral commitment we all have in the service of humanity. Our services, speakers, and music will highlight voices that are making a positive difference by serving the world as well-informed, compassionate, and moral citizens. 

We will welcome Dr. Howard K. Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School and co-chair of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. A physician, educator, and public health leader, Dr. Koh has dedicated his distinguished career to promote healing for both patients and society. As former Assistant Secretary for Health under President Obama, and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Koh has worked to reduce health disparities, with a holistic focus on healing the body, spirit, and the soul. Dr. Koh will grace the MemChurch pulpit and lead the Faith & Life Forum on March 10.

We will also meet the Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Atlanta, who will preach on March 17. A leading Christian ethicist, social justice activist, and prolific author, the Rev. Dr. Gushee will discuss his recent book, Moral Leadership for a Divided Age, a study of the lives of fourteen moral leaders, at the Faith & Life Forum that morning. Check the calendar for our full schedule of preachers and speakers. 

What is more, our music program, under the continued leadership of Edward Jones, uplifts our emotional and spiritual selves through beautiful song. After a January tour of the UK with performances in Oxford, Cambridge, and London, the Harvard University Choir will perform Carson Cooman’s powerful oratorio The Acts of the Apostles on March 3 and George Frideric Handel’s dramatic Judas Maccabaeus on April 27. 

And mark your calendars for a full week of Holy Week and Easter services, including a musical meditation of Poulenc’s Stabat mater and Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude and an organ recital inspired by the Fourteen Stations of the Cross by Composer in Residence Carson Cooman and Associate University Organist and Choirmaster Thomas Sheehan.

To be sure, we have been blessed for the past five years with the incredible musical talents of Thomas Sheehan. Tom will leave us at the end of this academic year to join the Washington National Cathedral and we wish him well in his future endeavors. Join us on May 21 for Tom’s final organ recital here at Memorial Church. 

Change is a constant motion on this Earth. Across this nation and around the world distrust, mistrust and profound uneasiness challenge our notions of peace daily. But it is during these times that the need for this space of grace and shelter of peace is most important. The Memorial Church is a place at the center of Harvard Yard for goodwill, prayer and intellectual discussion for all of God’s people. 

One Luv,

Jonathan L. Walton signature

Jonathan L. Walton
Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University


MemChurch 2019 Spring Term Calendar660 KB
See also: Pusey Minister