Throughout my time as a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, St. Augustine’s Chapel has provided a source of encouragement, support, reflection, and growth. I am grateful for each person I met through the chapel. They each introduced me to different perspectives, and their kindness and friendship have had a constantly positive impact on my life and my experience at UK. As my time at UK comes to a close, I feel moved as I reflect on what the chapel has meant to me.
I first came to the chapel in fall 2018, my first semester as a master’s/equivalency student in music therapy. I visited the chapel to learn more about the Episcopal church, as I was reflecting on my values and faith during this transitional time in my life. As I learned more about the Episcopal church, I saw that it seemed to tie together my faith and the values of inclusion, belonging, and justice. The chapel has modeled these values and reinforced their importance to me.
Through Bible study, ice cream excursions, bonfires, discussions on who God is and what it means to love one another, and more, I have grown in my desire for lifelong learning and community. I never want to stop learning about Jesus, His life, and His character. It has been such a pleasure to learn as a member of the St. A’s community. One of the things I have learned from Rob is the value of the original language and historical context in reading the Bible. The way Rob has valued and uplifted our voices as students has been so valuable to me. He is a wonderful campus minister and person, and has been someone I can speak openly with about religion and just about anything else.
The St. A’s community is somewhere students can bring their complex questions about religion and life. While life is full of questions without clear answers, St. A’s offers a space for students to ponder these questions or simply to feel less alone with them. I am thankful I have had such a space throughout graduate school. It is hard for me to picture my time at UK without St. A’s – this community has had a significant impact on me as a student and as a person. As I reflect on what St. A’s has been to me, I think of so many moments I have shared with the people who make it so special – learning, praying, laughing, crying, singing, Google Meeting, sharing meals, and catching marshmallows on fire, to name a few. You all have impacted my life in such a positive way, and I hope to love and honor others in the ways you have shown me. Thank you for everything.