Written by Chesterton House

July 28, 2021
Chesterton House continues to seek and heed the expert voices and research on COVID-19, and comply with Cornell’s policies and behavioral compact.  In keeping with advised social distancing measures, and in an effort to protect the immunocompromised in our community, our residential facilities remain closed to the public for the time being.

This is not without a deep, shared lament, as we understand that our public events and facilities are spaces of community, thought-exchange, and spiritual vitality for many. Chesterton House staff and students continue to exercise our imaginations about how we might practice necessary social distancing while maintaining our pursuit of spiritual formation, Christian thought, rhythmed lives, and belonging.

  • We continue to minister to 35+ students who have stayed in our living-learning community across 3 different houses, helping them to craft new rituals of social distancing, safety, and care for our neighbors,
  • We have resumed some of our in-person spiritual formation and care to students, while still offering many events and gatherings via virtual platforms.
  • We have co-sponsored four virtual Veritas Forums, such as this one on Lament, Beauty, and Creativity with Mako Fujimura, Lecrae, and Alissa Wilkinson.
  • We have offered 2 courses taught virtually by esteemed faculty all over the country.
  • And we are connecting students with Christian faculty at Cornell who can help them to think critically and make sense of what is happening around them, including a virtual lecture and Q&A with Dr. Praveen Sethupathy on how to believe in both God and science as we process what the coronavirus means for us.

In her NYT article, I Miss Singing at Church, Tish Harrison Warren named:

“We must embrace social distancing, for as long is as needed, to protect our health care system and the very real, fleshy bodies of millions of people. But we also need to collectively notice that something profound is lost by having to interact with the world and our neighbors in mostly disembodied, digital ways. This is something to lament and to grieve. And like all grief, it exposes the value and glory of the thing that was lost.”

Glory to God that Chesterton House’s physical presence is such that its absence is felt. As we look forward to this strange and challenging season, we also look back in remembrance, marked by gratitude for all the Lord has done. And we persevere in our calling to empower more faithful living in the Cornell community.

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Chesterton House Painting