Dear friends, colleagues, students, staff, Chapman community,

I hope this finds you well and safe. We are thinking of everyone in your many settings and unique ways of being engaged in teaching, learning, working, and going about your daily lives. We are mindful of those in the regions who are suffering fires and deadly smoke; those who are living in the regions where storms and storm surges have occurred or still threaten; and those who may be just beginning a long recovery from the aftermath of devastation. We are aware many have experienced difficulties and loss of health or livelihood due to COVID-19. The staff at the Fish Interfaith Center gathers weekly, and in prayer, words and silence, holds in our hearts those who are experiencing loss in this time. Visit our Virtual Vigil Table (see Chapmanhope) to leave a thought, note of gratitude, the name of someone for us to remember, or to request to speak with a Chaplain.

We are especially mindful of our students and supporting faculty in this time of particular attention to police violence against Black citizens and the underlying systems of White supremacy that are embedded in our nation’s institutions and attitudes. We stand with you, and we recognize how for some, it can be exhausting to the point that even studying and normal life take a back seat to this critical work that will continue to move our nation toward justice. In this spirit, the Fish Interfaith Center staff and the student leaders of the Black Student Union (BSU) are calling the Chapman community together for a gathering of support. Join us for Taking Care of Community: Standing with Students of Color, on Friday, Sept. 25, at 4pm. You can view the recording here.

I am writing on Rosh HaShanah, the start of the New Year in the Jewish calendar. We wish those of you who are celebrating a blessed year, and new beginnings to all.

Strength and peace from all of us at the Fish Interfaith Center!