• Worship Service: Litany of Blessings

    The roots of Hamline University are to be found within the soil of The United Methodist Church and the Christian faith which nourishes us as a church. Founded at Red Wing, Minnesota Territory in 1854, the school was chartered by the Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church as the church sought to improve the human condition physically, intellectually and spiritually. May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots, seeking ever new ways to enrich humankind.

    Part of the heart of Christian faith is our Scripture. Listen to these words from the first chapter of Proverbs: For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight, for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice and equity; to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young - Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots. May it be a place where people learn wisdom, righteousness, justice, equity, and understanding.

    The Methodist Episcopal Church which founded Hamline had, at the beginning of its stream of Christian faith, the Anglican priest John Wesley, Oxford educated with a life-long love of learning. He encouraged reading and study among his preachers, and when some objected saying, “But I have not taste for reading,” Wesley countered, “Contract a taste for it by use, or return to your trade.” May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots by fostering a life-long love of learning.

    As we celebrate Hamline's roots in United Methodism, it is also appropriate to recall the words of a hymn written by Charles Wesley at the opening of a school in Kingswood, England: “unite the pair so long disjoined, knowledge and vital piety.” May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots, bringing together afresh knowledge and vital piety, learning and faith and values.

    United Methodism begins with the Wesleys, but it is a vibrant, living tradition which still has much to contribute to higher learning. It retains the capacity to inspire and challenge the university. In the words of a contemporary United Methodist theologian, “the university must be one partner with others in dialogue and action toward richer modes of community.” May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots, seeking richer modes of community and a lively common good.

    Hamline University. The name speaks volumes. It is an institution of higher learning founded by a specific stream within the Christian tradition, United Methodism, and named after one of its bishops, Leonidis Hamline. But it is a university with all the aspirations of that term – to grasp the whole, to bring together into one various branches of knowledge and ways of knowing. May God's grace bless this university as it builds on its roots by fostering: 

    • knowledge, but also wisdom
    • intellect, but also character 
    • competence, but also compassion
    • good judgment, but also a passion for justice 
    • ways of making a living, but also ways to make a life. 

    AMEN.