Madam President’s Reflection:  Resilience

Date: June 2, 2021

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.” I might even add that as much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth. As I continue my time of reflection, I can’t help but think about the resilience shown by the entire beloved VTS community during our time in the latter months of the pandemic.

At my first VTS Board meeting, I was received with a warm welcome. What impressed me most was the genuine concern that the Board members had for the seminarians during this time of COVID. Despite the fact that there were more pressing matters on the agenda, the Board members were anxious to hear how the Student Body was faring. Although I shared some of the stressors that we were feeling, reporting on the resilience seen in my fellow seminarians was the highlight of my presentation.

Amidst the changes that we were experiencing in our lives as seminarians, it was evident that our faculty, staff and board members were exercising resilience as well. Our own Dean Markham experienced the loss of his father, and yet continued to lead with purpose. Our professors, Zoom weary as well, continued to instruct, all while meals were served, communications were received and a dedicated Board gave birth to a well crafted mission statement. I thank God and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead the Student Body through times of feeling pressed on every side, but not crushed. It is time to rejoice!

Donna Arrendell
VTS Student Body President

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