McCormick's Response to the Election

Dear McCormick Community,

I am writing to you following our nation’s presidential election. I do not usually address political matters with all of you, because I believe in our democratic process and the rights and privileges of every person being able to vote his or her conscience. Civility and learning across issues of social and theological difference remains a hallmark of McCormick Theological Seminary’s mission to train leaders for the church and society in ways that are cross-cultural, urban, Reformed, and ecumenical.

I am writing for two reasons. First, the president-elect made statements and promises to supporters during his campaign that do not belong in civil, political discourse. These are not the values named in our country’s constitution, and more importantly they are not gospel values. Because of these words many have felt threatened. So to the immigrant that lives among us, we embrace you. To Latin@s, you belong, you contribute so much to who we are as a people. Latin@s make up the fastest growing group among U.S. populations and among the McCormick student body. There are no walls in these classrooms. To black lives that are threatened daily in this city and all over the country, not only do your lives matter, but we will continue to serve proudly and support a student body that is now a majority African American. Black lives matter among our students, our faculty, and on our staff. To LGTBQI peoples, as I said in an earlier public communication, love fiercely, and love whom you love freely, for you are loved by your Creator. To Muslims in America and abroad, you are loved and welcomed, and we stand with you in the face of Islamaphobic hatred. To women everywhere, you deserve respect and dignity not misogyny. You are empowered to lead. We are all made in the image of God. Democrat, Republican, or independent, we are all here together to learn and be formed by each other. Our differences make us stronger, and the cross-cultural and ecumenical leadership formation that McCormick provides is needed even more for “such a time as this.” At McCormick we build bridges not erect walls in the face of difference. We will continue what we have been doing for over 187 years. That is our mission. This is our call.

I am also writing to ask for you to pray. At times like these, it is important for us to gather and pray, because that is what people of faith do in important moments. Pray for our country. Pray for our city. Pray for each other. Now is the time for faithful leadership, and I look forward to working and serving with all of you in the days ahead.

The words of the Psalmist encouraged me:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the
bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
-Psalm 46

May the peace and grace of our God be with all of you,

Frank Yamada, President

 

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