Monday Moments with President Bergman: December 3, 2018

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on December 3rd, 2018 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

The 2018 Christmas in Christ Chapel worship service, Visions of Divine Mystery, is now in the history book. I am sure that the afterglow of the experience will live on throughout the holiday season for all those who participated in the services, either in the Chapel or online with the livestream audience. Our community once again showed tremendous hospitality to thousands of guests who were here on campus. There are so many people to thank, both those who were highly visible (nearly 350 student performers, conductors, chaplains, soloists, ushers, valet parking staff) and the many more who were behind the scenes making it all run smoothly (program, set, and costume designers, dining services, custodial services, technology, lighting, and sound services, print and mail services, and the Chapel construction crew, to name a few). My extra special thanks goes to our grounds crew, who executed a flawless plan to clear snow and keep our guests, students, and employees safe during the snowstorm on Saturday. This is a shining example of how the Gustavus community comes together to produce an extraordinary event.

We are proud and pleased that both the 2016 and the 2018 Christmas in Christ Chapel service will be on public television stations across the nation during this holiday season. This is a wonderful testimony to the high standard of excellence we achieve in all aspects of this showcase event at Gustavus.

The Sunday evening C in CC service is especially emotional for all those who participate or attend, as months of preparation and a whirlwind week come to an end. With a mix of exhaustion, joy, and even wistfulness, the music, dance, and readings are performed for the last time. Last night, all of this was punctuated by the fact that Dr. Greg Aune, conductor of the Gustavus Choir, is retiring next spring. During his 24 years of conducting the Gustavus Choir, he has been an icon of leadership for Gustavus and much-loved by the thousands of students who have studied with him through the years. Last night, we witnessed a true leadership moment, a literal “passing of the baton” that says more about Greg Aune than any words can ever capture. As the last stanza of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” began, and the congregation stood to sing, Dr. Aune stepped off the conductor’s platform and insisted that his successor, Dr. Brandon Dean, step up to take the choirs, orchestra, and congregation to the final “Amen.” What a powerful and beautiful moment. Thank you, Dr. Aune and Dr. Dean. We love you both.

Until next week, keep up the good work, Gusties.

With respect,

Becky

 

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