text of message sent out to the UVA Chi Alpha family:
Dear Chi Alpha family,
I am so saddened by the terrible events of this weekend in Charlottesville. I was deeply saddened, disturbed and physically sick to my stomach as I read reports and saw images of what happened in our city and what happened on Grounds on Friday night. In moments like these we are told in Scripture "to mourn with those who mourn."
I received a text from an alum of Chi Alpha who also used to serve on our staff expressing her sadness and grief over the events of the weekend. She said while she was in prayer that she was reminded of Matthew 5:14 that says "You are the light of the world, a town built on a hill cannot be hidden."
I want to remind us all that this is who we are as the people of God and specifically who we in Chi Alpha are to be to our University. We are to be a city on a hill, in the midst of the darkness. As people try to build a dividing wall of hostility in our community, we as the people of God serve a Savior who came to destroy the dividing wall of hostility. (Eph 2:14). This means, we respond in a few ways:
- We respond by praying for our city. We pray for God to destroy what is trying to be erected for the purpose of division.
- We also respond by working hard to shine the light of Christ in the midst of the darkness. We do this through modeling and living out lives of love, compassion, empathy, and unity on Grounds, in our city, and specifically in our Chi Alpha community. It is in the midst of darkness that the light of Jesus shines the brightest.
...So, while a dark and divisive cloud hangs over our University and city from this weekend, as we return to Grounds for a new school year let us be even more inspired to be an extremely hospitable and loving community to all of our fellow students on Grounds and citizens in our city. And as we do this, may we shine the light of Jesus in the midst of the darkness, who has destroyed the dividing wall of hostility!
With a heavy but hopeful heart, Pete
NOTE: UVA Chi Alpha plans a prayer walk on campus, re-tracing the steps the white supremacists tried to claim, trusting Jesus to destroy the dividing wall of hostility.