Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) Report for January 2021

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Happy New Year! ECM took a break over Christmas but has resumed. Our first meeting starting this past Sunday on January 10, 2021. Due to the exigencies of Covid 19, ECM we continued to meet via zoom on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. Shannon—our president sends out the Zoom link and reminders are issued over email and GroupMe.

Blue Hen Bounty (BHB) has continued serving the community during the shutdown with spectacular support from Cana, Amy and Teresa (all honorary members of ECM with the BHB t-shirts to prove). Patronage of BHB has continued to be steady. We continue to see patrons among staff as well students. This increase has been hoped for and we remain humbled and grateful to serve our community in this fundamental way.

The new cabinets have been purchased and are awaiting installation! The floors need to be resurfaced so installation must wait. They will be installed in the Classroom to accommodate our increased supply and demand. Special thanks to Sue and Amy for making this happen!

The supermarket cards have been purchased—thanks Amy! At a virtual meeting between Cana, Amy, Teresa and I, we discussed how best to distribute and store the supermarket cards. The cards will be distributed on as needed basis at the discretion of the issuer: Cana and Teresa. A set number of activated cards (8-10) will be stored in the locked office desk. The rest will be stored in the St Thomas safe. Cana has created a simple form to keep track of the cards which have been issued for our records.

We have accepted an invitation from the St. Thomas’s CREW to have a joint virtual meeting on January 24, 2021. Kate Burchess will make a presentation of Centering Prayer to both groups during our meeting. ECM will organize the ice breaker. Sue and I met late last year to explore the options of linking the groups and I am very pleased that this will be happening soon.

ECM will work on and submit a video to be used in New Student Recruitment at the University of Delaware (UD). When complete, I will attach a link for the Vestry to review.

Our focus on explicit spirituality continues to develop. We have been building the conversation about knowing God through prayer. This past meeting, I spoke with students about the current events at the Capitol. I asked them not to close off in fear but to exercise their minds and practice critical thinking. I asked them not to give into fear or anxiety. I reminded them that they were safe in their homes and thus far, very little about their lives will change in spite of the rapid changes going on in our country. I reminded them that Facebook and YouTube and TikTok are not reliable sources of peer-reviewed information and should be avoided or cross referenced with reputable sources. I assured them that in spite of what they may have heard, there are no lizards in skin suits masquerading as people or pedophile rings operating out of pizza parlors. We had a brief discussion. Several students are taking classes and quite frankly focused on their work. Please keep all of our UD students in your prayers. This has been a very difficult time for our students even though ECM students they are blessed with parents and homes which appear to be weathering the challenges of the pandemic very well. Please, please keep them in your prayers.

University of Religious Leaders Organization (URLO) meetings have continued via Zoom which I attend— our next meeting is January 19, 2021.

With regards,   
Denise Burgher, ECM Convening Graduate Advisor