It is amazing to me that a God who is not bound by time could imagine the cycles we experience.  Beginnings, endings, seasons, waning moons, graduations, holidays, birthdays, Taco Tuesdays . . . How comforting is it that our God who never makes mistakes somehow knew that we would need His mercies to be new every morning.  Even when the day before has been hard, there is something about the promise of the sunrise, of getting out of bed, of leaving the house to head to work that brings hope and anticipation.  

This promise of new beginnings is also part of what attracted me to the academic life.  I love the start of the new year.  I look forward to convocations, first days of class, seeing the campus come back to life.  Fall!  I anxiously await football, and cozy sweaters and hot apple cider, although I must confess, I am dreading the return of all things pumpkin spice.  

Friends, I am so pleased to welcome you back to a new year.  It brings many challenges, but also opportunities.  I look forward to new chances to practice faith in the presence of God, to be more respectful and inclusive, to find more ways to demonstrate concern for the poor, and of course, to celebrate our high quality education.  

Together and by association,