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Walking the beach, I am caught by the ordered chaos of blue and white shards oriented around a large center shell. What a great image of centered-set thinking, I muse, and pull out my phone to capture the image. Isn’t a part of the deans’ job to keep pointing to the center? To guard not the boundaries but the heart? In the midst of shifting cultural forces, the changing nature of the institutional church and theological education (all our usual suspects), we are committed to a common mission, living a common life, journeying toward a common goal.

But a poet reminds me that “things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” And the words trouble me because I long for the center to hold.

What I don’t see, until I bring the captured image up on my screen, is the bright luminous reflection offering me a glimpse of another reality to which the whole enterprise is oriented. And I think, yes, it is true. The deans’ job is to keep orienting toward the center and fortunately, we do not do it alone.

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About Valerie Rempel

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