With Mission in Mind—September 14, 2020

A Sacred Moment

Selah is a Hebrew word that is often found at the end of verses in the book of Psalms and has been interpreted as to pause, to break, to rest. In Arabic, Selah means connection.

During our Faculty and Staff Mission Day prayer service on Wednesday, August 26, which was live-streamed from Old St. Patrick’s Church, we heard many important themes and messages which will inevitably be repeated throughout the course of this year—one equally as poignant as the next. However, one theme that truly resonated for us as faculty and staff was to embrace the following three actions: pause, rest, and listen. Selah.

In both the pandemic of a virus as well as that of civil unrest, fear can spread faster than disease itself. If nothing else, the past six months have laid bare our deepest inequalities—a conflagration of the body and soul of America. The support for others in our community, not just those with whom we are comfortable, is a beautiful action to witness. Whether you are an educator, a parent, a student, a freedom fighter, or an essential worker on the front lines, everyone has a role to play during this moment in time.

Our Head of School Michael Kennedy solemnly welcomed faculty and staff at the top of Mission Day where he announced the 2020-21 academic year’s Charism focus: Purposefully Diverse and Intentionally Inclusive—not a forced focus because of our nation’s battle with systemic racism and injustice, but out of FXW’s four pillars, it is the next Charism in line within the annual rotation. Divine timing. Selah. Michael also quoted the remarkable Maya Angelou who said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And as he closed by reminding us of the importance of human connection, Michael invited us to listen to the great John Lewis’ Posthumous Letter to America. A call for more action.

We believe that the new format for WMIM will allow us to maintain and even strengthen the quality of our robust weekly message. It is my hope that as an institution with a social justice mission, we will pause, rest and listen to one another as we put our Charism focus into action and take equity and justice to the next level—in our classrooms, in our connections, and in our community. Let’s get into some “good trouble” this school year.

—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration