Walking Together

September 08, 2015

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

I am so glad to be gathered here with you all as we prepare for a new year. My name is Colin Maltbie… I am the new chaplain here at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. I was able to meet many of you briefly during the registration process, and I look forward to getting to know all of you as the year progresses.

Some of you are new, and some returning, but all of you come with new hopes and expectations, and maybe some worries, about the year ahead. I hope you find some comfort in the passage from Jeremiah that I just read.

Jeremiah is my favorite prophet — in his writings he is honest and open about his joys as well as his struggles. He praises God for the good things in his life, and knows that he has been chosen by God to be a messenger to God’s people, but Jeremiah also expresses anger at God for the negative consequences of his prophetic calling. He has endured much pain and torment because of the things he has said and done in the name of God.

But in the short verse that we just heard, Jeremiah affirms the loving nature of God. Jeremiah confirms that God has good things in store for us, and no matter what situation we might find ourselves in all will be well.

I am an Episcopal priest serving as chaplain of an Episcopal school, and I know, even after just a few days that I am in the right place. And in the midst of such a diverse community here, I think Jeremiah’s words help us to understand a sense of Episcopal Identity that can be applicable to all religious and cultural backgrounds.

This sense of identity breaks down into three parts:

First – We are beloved children of God… each and every one of us… without exception.

Second – Each of us has been uniquely gifted and blessed, and we called to identify those gifts…Shattuck-St. Mary’s is a great place to explore and develop your gifts in supportive community, whether in class, in worship, through Centers of Excellence, through the weCreate center, or any number of other ways as well.

Third –  Our unique and awesome gifts are meant to be shared — to be used to care for God’s creation and to make life better for others…we are called to develop and use our gifts for the greater good.

I am here, along with the other faculty and staff, to walk with you on this important part of your great adventure. I will support and encourage you along the way. I will provide opportunities for reflection on life, the universe, and everything. And I am very much looking forward to learning from each of you as well.

This is an exciting time! I know that good things await. Blessings to you all.

 - Rev. Colin Snow Maltbie, Chaplain

On his third day at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Rev. Maltbie offered this reflection during the Opening Chapel service on August 26th.