The Dean Speaks
A Message on Ukraine:
All of us have Ukraine high on our hearts and minds just now. Rather than being overwhelmed with helplessness in the face of the war, I want to suggest three ways we at King’s can help, small though they may be.
The first is to provide financial support the organisations best able to help on the ground. We are working with Alexey Starodubov, the head of our Ukrainian alumni association, to identify NGOs we could support, as well as the Red Cross and the Council for At Risk Academics. Putting our money where our heart is can help us feel we are doing something as well as making a real difference on the ground.
The second is to pray. I’m not sure prayer has ever stopped a war, but I do know that prayer strengthens the compassion of those who pray and builds communities willing to work for peace. Archbishop Tutu used to spend two hours every morning in prayer in order to be able to stand up to tyranny without losing his hopefulness and his humour.
The third is the one that is most specific to us as a university. We need to continue to do all we can to educate future leaders, and current and future electorates, in ethics, in critical thinking, in compassionate feeling, in a global perspective, in a capacity to spot lies and miscommunication. This is how to help prevent leaders like Putin from being entrusted with a power that they corrupt and misuse.
In other words we at King’s have to provide a different model of leadership – both in what we teach and in how we act as leaders in all our different leadership roles. It may not be the way we can help Ukraine today but it is one way that we can work to avert similar wars in the future.
I am going to end with the prayer we are offering in the Chapel every day this week (w/c 28 February) at 12pm:
God of hope,
whose kingdom is not won by force of arms,
whose power breaks the hold of death;
may your sun rise upon the people of Ukraine
putting darkness and war to flight;
and may leaders and nations heed
your constant will for Peace,
in the Spirit’s eternal bond of love we pray.
ALSO: Read the Dean's Ash Wednesday sermon which reflects on the conflict in Ukraine (pdf, 85 KB)
Every Wednesday lunchtime during term, we hold a sung Church of England Eucharist, or Holy Communion, service in the College Chapel on the Strand campus with music sung by the Choir of King's College London. A sermon is given by a member of the Dean's Office and Chaplaincy team, or by a guest preacher.
In the Autumn term of 2021, our sermon series focused on the joys and challenges of 'Living out Faith on Campus'. You can read the Dean's sermon on the topic of Gender & Identity via this link (pdf, 191 KB).
In the Spring term of 2022, the Dean gave the Ash Wednesday sermon which reflects on the conflict in Ukraine - you can read the sermon via this link (pdf, 85 KB)
The Dean wrote on the topic of God (he/she/they, him/her/them) for ViaMedia.news in March 2022 - you can read the blog entry via this link.
As part of the AKC Conversations: Voices in the Wilderness series, the Dean met in conversation with AKC Ambassador and PhD student, Emma Lowe. Ellen examines the role of humility and service in good leadership and discusses the ways in which leadership is both a communal and a creative process. She also reflects on the process of finding one's vocation and the ways in which the vocation of leadership has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has provided both a challenge and the opportunity for positive disruption to the status quo.
As part of the AKC Conversations: Voices in the Wilderness series, the Dean met in conversation with The Very Revd Dr Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union in New York City. Dean Douglas is a pioneering voice addressing sexual issues in relation to the black religious community, and an advocate for equal rights for LGBTQ persons. This conversation covers issues of gender and race equality, the importance of diversity and empowerment in leadership, the Black Lives Matter movement and a vision of hope embodied by the young leaders of tomorrow.
In the last week of January 2021, the Dean gave an AKC lecture titled: Religious Leadership: Learning from the Desert Elders.