Community Around Coffee: A First Year's Reflection

Published: February 14, 2012

When I made the decision to enroll at Wake Forest University School of Divinity I came with what I thought was an obvious mindset: to learn about the things of God. I also thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to scrutinize, deepen, and grasp my place in God’s kingdom. Little did I know or could have imagined the community that awaited me. This community is not parceled out among the three different years of students as separate groups or even segmented as students apart from faculty and staff. Instead, each recognizes that for the community to be whole it must be by strength of their individual contributions — only then will it thrive. This does not happen whimsically, nor is it mechanical. It is thought out and considered so that everyone has the opportunity to have their unique place to call their own. Faculty, staff, deans, custodians, students all contribute to the tenor of this place of learning.

Valuing the engagement with one another, considering the others’ perspective not only as instructor to student but thoughtful, playful, sometimes silly singing opportunities unites us as a newly formed family. This family is fluid as the graduating classes depart and dwell in other places where God calls them to serve. However, their presence remains as they have been able to leave their mark upon those faculty, staff, or students who remain.

There are many opportunities for fellowship at the School of Divinity. One of them is the highly anticipated time of Coffee Hour each Thursday from 11am-12pm. The master schedule is designed so that there are no classes during that time of day and this affords us the chance to be able to come together and enjoy one another’s company. As an added bonus there are also snacks at this time. Some folks have even made it their mission to come up with some very creative desserts, with recipes to share.

I did not anticipate developing such close bonds of community with these people in such a short time as I have. The value of that is intrinsic and everlasting.

Lisa Irwin
First Year

Editor’s Note: Keep an eye out for the upcoming post containing some unusually creative Divinity recipes!