I wrote this yesterday for our students on the auchialpha.org website. I thought you might like to see it too.
Let’s be honest. When people think about universities in Washington, DC, the first one that pops in their minds is not American. Several times, when I’ve mentioned to others that I minister to college students in DC they ask, “at Georgetown?” I just smile and tell them about a great school just a mile or two up the road.
Well, last week, AU has just become more popular, at least among Evangelical Protestants. That was when Georgetown University decided to remove all affiliated Protestant campus ministries including our Chi Alpha chapter there. The reason given… a “reorganization.” You can check out the news stories from The Hoya, Washington Post, Washington Times and World Net Daily by clicking on the links.
Personally, I am deeply saddened by the news. My friends, Shawn Galyen, director of Chi Alpha, Karen Keyser, director of the American Friends program, and Sally Herman, director of Chi Alpha at the Med School, we unjustly removed and treated with disdain after serving the campus and Georgetown students faithfully for years without any compensation from Georgetown. What upsets me most, however, are the hundreds of students from 6 affiliated Protestant ministries that are disenfranchised. They were a part of a spiritual community where they received support, comfort, strength and wisdom. Now continuing that community has become much more difficult. Hannah Coyne, a senior Chi Alpha leader expressed it this way, “We found our home here. I know some students who may not even have come back this year if they had not been part of this group and felt support and love.”
I want to extend that support and love to our brothers and sisters down the road. You can help me. If you know of anyone connected to Georgetown University, ask them to write a letter about this decision. Here’s where they can send them:
1. President John J DeGioia, Office of the President, Georgetown University, 204 Healy Hall, 37th & ‘O’ Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20057 2. Mr. Edward Quinn, Secretary of the University, Office of the Secretary, Georgetown University, 205 Healy Hall, 37th & ‘O’ Streets, Washington, DC 20057
3. Father Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., Vice President of Mission and Ministry, Georgetown University, 108 Healy Hall, 37th & ‘O’ Streets, Washington, DC 20057.
4. Father Timothy S. Godfrey, S.J., Director of Campus Ministry, Georgetown University, Office of Campus Ministry, 109 Healy Hall, 37th & ‘O’ Streets, Washington, DC 20057
5. Reverend Constance Wheeler, Protestant Ministry Office, Georgetown University, 109 Healy Hall, 37th & ‘O’ Streets, Washington, DC 20057.
I was at a meeting with the leaders of Georgetown Chi Alpha last night and I invited them to join us in worship. They will continue to pursue every channel to reverse this unjust decision, but in the meantime, they need a place where they can connect with God and receive comfort and healing. I know that you will welcome them with open arms. Finally, please pray. Pray that our God of justice would work the miraculous for the students of Georgetown.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”