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GTU community searches for answers

Saturday September 15, 2001

The Daily Planet received this letter addressed to members of the Graduate Theological Union Community: 

The tragic events of the last few days have made an indelible imprint on each of our lives. We are living through a time when our beliefs and assumptions about our personal and collective lives have been challenged and perhaps forever altered. The different faith communities and traditions that make up the Graduate Theological Union are each dedicated to finding ways to understand the meaning and significance of these horrific events and to respond. It is a time for those of us here at GTU to gather to mourn and grieve the loss of precious human lives, to support one another at this time of great crisis, and to affirm our common commitment to find the grounds for hope and the courage to act that will carry us into a future filled with God's promise.  

The seminaries and faith communities that comprise the GTU will be gathering in the next days and weeks for shared worship. The dates and schedule of these services are attached to this e-mail. All are invited to attend these events. In addition, as part of the GTU Convocation next Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 3:30 p.m. in the PLTS Chapel, there will be an opportunity to reflect on the issues of this past week. In the coming weeks we will also begin a series of focused discussions among the member schools as to how to best develop our scholarly and pastoral academic programs and resources in light of our world situation.  

In the days to come the public discourse and conversations about present events will be challenging and pointed. As theological institutions, we are uniquely suited to help shape and inform the way we as a community talk and think about the issues at hand. It is important that we spend our time together in the next weeks and months to reflect on what we are going through as a community, and develop ways of thinking about how we will respond in our future work together.  

As the presidents of the GTU Consortium, we invite the entire GTU community to extend prayers to those who have experienced the loss of loved ones. To this end, we ask that any GTU community member who has lost a close friend or relative in these tragedies to notify his or her school so that we can let the entire GTU community know whom to pray for in these days. We also lift our prayers for all those killed or injured, for their families and friends, for those who perpetrated the attacks, and for those who are most vulnerable at the present time. We are dedicated to ensuring that our work together reflects the hope we all share for a future filled with hope and promise. 


James A. Donahue, president, Graduate Theological Union 

William Cieslak, president, Franciscan School of Theology: Joseph P. Daoust, president, Jesuit School of Theology; James Emerson, president, San Francisco Theological seminary; Timothy F. Lull, president, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; William McKinney, president, Pacific School of Religion; Donn F. Morgan, president, Church Divinity School of the Pacific; Rebecca Parker President, Starr King School for the Ministry; Keith A. Russell, president, American Baptist Seminary of the West; Antonius Wall, president, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology