Monday Moments with President Bergman: April 22, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on April 22nd, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Yesterday, I attended Easter morning worship at my home church. During the sermon, the pastor asked a simple yet powerful question. I found myself continuing to think about that question throughout the day, and I decided to pass it along to all of you this morning.

“What do you believe?”

At Gustavus, one of our core values is faith. Without expecting conformity, we encourage our students to explore questions of religious faith and to seek an understanding of their personal beliefs. By wrestling with and articulating their own beliefs, our students will be better prepared to understand and appreciate differences in religious beliefs and practices among people in today’s world. In other words, knowing oneself is key to understanding others. This seems particularly true in matters of faith, religion, and spiritual wellbeing.

If we are to be effective in guiding and helping our students find their way to a deeper expression of faith, I would argue that it is helpful for each of us to consider and clarify our own beliefs. This is not for the purpose of promoting particular belief systems or converting others to one’s own religion. Rather, through the diversity of our belief systems, we are able to more clearly see both the similarities and differences across religious boundaries. In this way, our community becomes a laboratory where religious questions can be safely explored and different points of view can be respected and valued. I believe that by doing so, we will find unifying themes of love, compassion, kindness, peace, and grace.

What do you believe? I encourage you to live in this question as you go about your work this week.

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

With respect,



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