Chaplain’s Reflection: Jan. 13, 2021

We, as parents, tried to motivate ourselves and start 2021 off with hope and fortitude. The news about the suffering from COVID-19 remains brutal, but we're staying strong, wearing our masks, and distancing. We know we need to maintain safe practices some months more, but the end is in sight. 

Then last Wednesday we watched the insurrection at the Capitol and our shock slowly gave way to anger, sadness, worry, and even apathy. We're on edge again, uncertain. I pray for you as you navigate these feelings. 

Despite these heavy feelings, there is one positive outcome of the insurrection and that is clarity. One cannot watch the footage of the activities and have any doubt about the trajectory some Christians in that event have embarked on. There is now before us a reckoning of the heart of American Christianity. So, let me be crystal clear as to the values of the church which founded St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's.

A. Nonviolence: We live the Gospel in our word and actions.

Galatians 2:20: "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." 

B. Love for one another: All people are children of God.

1 John 4:20: "For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen."

C. Unity. God wants to unify, not divide. We will aim to understand and serve.

John 17:21: "I pray that all of them might be one, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You."

The Episcopal Church is radically welcoming, rejects falsehood, aims to respond to prejudice, and to walk the path of peace, courage, and integrity. Our church is not perfect. However, we are clear about our values. Knowing your values in this tumultuous time can make you more determined, hopeful, and resilient. 

Pastor Strasser, Chaplain


The Rev. Dr. Arden Strasser has been Chaplain at St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's since 2017. He is also Pastor at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church in Times Square.

Pastor Strasser earned degrees from the University of Rochester, the University of Colorado, and the University of Natal, South Africa. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University. Pastor Strasser has also served on the boards of the Volunteer Missionary Movement and the American International School of Lusaka.