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Dear Westmont Parents and Guardians,
As we move through Advent, the gracious invitation to enter the rest made possible by Jesus Christ is so deeply compelling. One of my very favorite verses is: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength...Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:15, 18). As we wait on the Lord, repentance and resting in him are wonderfully intertwined with the gift of a quiet, trusting spirit.
Students are approaching finals. They will be challenged and perhaps in need of deep rest over the break. You may be feeling stretched yourself and ready for time of refreshment. Today's newsletter provides two articles with suggestions of ways to prepare for reconnection before holidays gatherings, or simply for life in general. One is specific to parenting a young adult. The other speaks to how we build (and rebuild) community on the most basic human level. With teenage sons, I've read these articles with fresh eyes, finding resources for myself and a vision for what I hope to encourage in my boys. I pray you find encouragement as well for the relationships that are nearest to you and with those God puts in your path from day to day.
God bless you richly as you wait, in hope, for Jesus Christ. And may your Christmas be a joyful celebration of his merciful work in and among us.
Assistant Vice President for College Advancement and Parent Relations
Cultivating Healthy Relationships with Adult Children
By Eric Nelson, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
When it comes to parenting college-age children, the several weeks at home for the holidays can often be a fresh reminder of both the joy and the challenge of this parenting stage. As parents, we have learned that we must adapt and adjust, and that process is ongoing even through the college years...As with any life stage, parents who are mindful and reflective of their engagement with their children are the most effective in this highly nuanced period of family life.
Emerging from Isolation
"The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him: ‘What are you going through?’” – Simone Weil
Social distance. The words entered our collective vocabulary suddenly. Humans are relational beings, created in the image of our relational God. The COVID-19 virus stunned the world and forced us to keep our distance from each other. It uncovered the pandemic of loneliness that already surrounded us.
Rob Loane says, “Simone Weil’s words capture the simple and hard work we all face in rebuilding community at this critical moment..."
Find additional resources from Westmont's Martin Institute for Christianity & Culture, including a written guide to this series and short video conversation at Conversatio.org.
Send Birthday Love
Say “Happy Birthday” with a cake! Your purchase of a birthday cake, to be delivered to your student for their birthday, helps support the Potter’s Clay team. Gluten free option available. $20 per cake. Order no later than 48 hours prior to delivery date.
Share in the Westmont Journey
Westmont is creating a brick path for engraved messages from the community. The path will run through the formal gardens, as seen above, where first-year students take their First Walk, following the bagpipers from lower campus to Kerrwood Hall. At Commencement, graduates reverse the ceremonial walk. You're invited to add your family name or message to this special space.