August 15, 2012Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace and peace!
An introduction: My name is Jonathan Melton, and today is my first day as chaplain to St Francis House Episcopal Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As you might imagine, I am both excited and nervous. I’ve been some years out of college, and further, I am doubtful of the claims of some that Wisconsin’s is a “dry cold.”
The excitement, however, is all-weather; it is rooted in the gift and challenge of Christ-centered community among remarkable young women and men who have said “yes” to their respective vocations as students. The opportunity to be formed by God together, with the freedom to explore - in the company of holy friends - the full extent of the claims of the crucified and risen Lord in and on our lives is a privilege and rare gift.
The gist: I am writing you on my first day at St Francis because of the four remarkable words that the Gospel opens to us, and with which this letter began: “Dear Friends in Christ.” I am convinced that for us at St Francis House to live fully into the breadth and depth of the present moment will require the help of all God’s good friends. My prayer is that St Francis becomes a place that receives and extends holy friendship generously and regularly with you, our neighbor-friends in the dioceses of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, and Eau Claire.
That is, I hope our friendships grow.
Just now, I would ask your help: if you are aware of students in your parishes or larger communities who will be attending UW in the fall, please let me know, so that we may welcome them well. Equally, please feel free to share my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and our St Francis number, (608) 514-1734, liberally. We would love your help in connecting especially new students to the Episcopal community on campus.
Also, if you are ever in the Madison neighborhood, please do give me a call. It would be my pleasure to extend a St Francis welcome to you in person.
With gratitude, and in the peace of Christ.
The Rev. Jonathan Melton, Chaplain
St Francis House Episcopal Center
@ the University of Wisconsin-Madison
(608) 514-1734 / (608) 514-1SFH; email@example.com