Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) Report for September 2020

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Due to the exigencies of Covid 19, ECM has begun the semester meeting via zoom. Shannon—our president, sent out the Zoom link; reminders were issued over email and GroupMe. The group decided to meet on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. during this semester in response to the challenges of coordinating around multiple schedules. Our inaugural meeting saw four students in attendance along with Sally and me. We had one new member join ECM who had reached out to us during the break as she is a new transfer student though a native of Delaware.

Blue Hen Bounty (BHB) has continued serving the community during the shutdown with a great deal of support from Cana—who is wonderful. BHB has been patronized by several students over break which has continued into the semester. Shannon, Aly and I will need take inventory of our supply and seek more contributions from the church to re-up our inventory which we will do this Friday.

ECM discussed and agreed to send a sympathy card to the members of the Chabad House along with a gift of kosher coffee produced by a Jewish company as a way to express our sympathy. We have successfully reached out to Rabbi Voegel and Sally will complete the purchase and card on our behalf.

BHB has completed an application for a grant under the CARES act which was flagged to our intention by Cana. Shannon, Amy, Father Howie and I filled in the information utilizing a google doc which was then transferred into the correct format for the grant.

Shannon and I met with the Brian Anderson from Student Life who has been assigned to work among other issues with food insecurity on campus. This meeting went very well. We have asked for a UD email address, advertising across the campus, donations of cash and kind and an ongoing relationship with UD through his department. I will report on the progress we make in these areas.

Father Howie, Devon Miller-Duggan, Sally and I (ECM steering/advisory committee) met to discuss options and ideas for ECM this year as we continue to deal with Covid 19. We agreed to create a welcome surprise for the present ECM students from St. Thomas’s. We floated ideas about the ways that ECM can interact with the broader community: chalking the sidewalks with inspiring quotes, lawn signs with the same, a campaign which outlines basic tenets of Episcopalian theology with catchy images, etc. ECM has been invited to think about what we want to do before Shannon, and I share the ideas which were raised by the steering/advisory committee.

The one idea which I did share with the group with Shannon’s agreement was our spiritual focus. This shift was in response to a need that was identified and a request which ECM made of the ECM group as separate from working with BHB.  Father Howie agreed to create a spiritual discernment/education text which ECM will work through this year that is similar but different from his, Into The Desert but more along the lines of spiritual formation. 

University of Religious Leaders Organization (URLO) meetings have continued via Zoom which I attend.

With regards,
Denise Burgher
ECM Convening Graduate Advisor