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A Statement from President Jack Connell on the Supreme Court’s Reversal of Roe v. Wade

Jun 29, 2022

I have wrestled for days to know what to say about last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. As is typical in these polarized times, the divisions are deep, the feelings are strong, and the rhetoric is often harsh and argumentative. I know there is nothing I can say on this topic that won’t be deeply disappointing to some of ENC’s constituents; the easiest thing is almost certainly to say nothing. I also know that as a 60-year-old man, I need to be cautious in what I say about an issue that largely impacts young women. But if you’ll please extend me some mercy, allow me to offer a couple simple thoughts (with thanks to my wife Wendy for her insights and editing).

No matter where we stand on this complicated issue, it is essential that our discussions and interactions be characterized by grace, compassion and empathy – especially for those on the “other” side. The legal, ethical and societal questions involved are profound and multi-layered, and they have been dividing our nation for decades. People of faith and good will have different viewpoints. Members of my own immediate family disagree strongly about these matters. So let’s listen carefully and dialogue respectfully. Let’s admit humbly that we may not have all the answers. Let’s attempt to understand the arguments of those with whom we disagree. Let’s seek to follow the example of Jesus and the Scriptural mandate to “above all, love one another deeply” (I Peter 4:8).

As a college of the Church of the Nazarene, Eastern Nazarene College affirms that human life, including life in the womb, is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and is always to be “nurtured, supported, and protected” (Nazarene Manual, 30.1). It is disingenuous, however, to be concerned about life in the womb and not be equally concerned about babies born in poverty, young women who feel compelled to end their pregnancies, families who do not have sufficient support, and societal systems that perpetuate brokenness. Let’s acknowledge that we do not know and have not experienced all that a woman may be facing when making a difficult decision about her pregnancy. Any “victory” in these days seems incomplete when the lives of so many women and children remain so desperate.

While we can be grateful for the innocent lives that may now be saved because abortions are harder to obtain, let us also acknowledge that for each case of an infant’s life saved, there is a mother whose life is deeply impacted.

Women who are victims of rape, incest, or abuse and who struggle economically are in need of our compassion and assistance, not our condemnation for their urgent desire to find solutions to the unimaginable challenges they face. In the name of Christ who consistently extended mercy to those in need, we must redouble our efforts to be part of the solution for these women, children, and families – regardless of our (or their) position on this ongoing societal debate.

I hope Eastern Nazarene College can continue to be the kind of place where people with different backgrounds and viewpoints can learn and grow from one another, while striving always to be faithful to the teachings and lifestyle of Christ. It is only in that kind of setting that we can “equip diverse students to lead and serve our world as agents of Christ’s grace and truth.” We will not always agree on how best to do that, but the hard work of pursuing that mission seems more important now than ever. May God give us all wisdom and grace as we seek to do that.

Eastern Nazarene College Announces New Partnership with Sodexo

Eastern Nazarene College Announces New Partnership with Sodexo

Eastern Nazarene College has entered a 10-year partnership with Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company, to bring a best-in-class dining program and facilities management to campus beginning in the fall of 2022. “Excellence in dining services is...