Letter from the Alumni Council
By Rev. John Allen, M.Div. ’13, Alumni Council Chair
The past year has offered an unmistakable reminder that connection is essential. Those of us who lead churches have found ways to connect with congregants through livestreaming and Zoom. Teachers have learned to teach online. Chaplains have offered compassionate care through phone calls. Community organizations have found creative ways to stay connected to those they serve.
In neighborhoods, we have connected with sidewalk chalk and window signs. In families, we have connected through window panes and phone screens. In communities, we have connected our outrage to activism. And, I pray, we have each found a way to connect to whatever faith, tradition, or spiritual practice grounds us.
In their book A Simpler Way about organizations, Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers write: “To create better health in a living system, connect it to more of itself.” The Union Alumni Council exists because we believe that Union is a better, healthier community when it is connected to more of itself—when administration, faculty, students, alums, neighbors, and all our stakeholders are connected. We thrive when we put in the effort to see, to hear, and to respond to one another.
So, as we begin this season of emerging, and as we recover the sorts of connections that sustain us, I invite you to connect with Union –whether through local alumni chapters, attending a virtual or on-campus event, offering yourself as a mentor to a current student, or even just reconnecting with an old classmate.
Union is made up of connections like these. I believe that many of the solutions to the crises gripping our world today can be found in these Union connections. And I know that as we connect ourselves more and more to one another, the unique and needed presence of Union in our hurting world will flourish and grow.
Rev. John Allen, M.Div. ’13, serves as Chair of the Alumni Council and is Pastor of First Congregational Church of Milton (MA).