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Living into our mission

Feb 25, 2015

It has been an eventful week. I certainly didn’t expect to be speaking about Christian mission and higher education on the CBC radio program, As It Happens. I did expect, and receive, some criticism of the decision of our institution to publicly submit documentation demonstrating our intent to provide admittance to Omar Khadr as a mature student should he apply to The King’s University. However, the positive responses have far outweighed the negative ones.

The following are quotes from emails I have received:

I’d like to express my strong and warm support for both the thoughtful way you are addressing this and the direction it is going.  The Christian witness that this journey King’s has been on makes me very proud to be associated with this particular Christian university. – Harry K.
I was extremely moved by your interview with CBC last night. I think that I represent the majority of Canadians who would leave Mr. Khadr in jail for the next 30 years - and be pleased about it. Your interview, and the values of Christ that you brought, were truly inspiring.  I loved the intelligence and kindness that you demonstrated. To me, the remarkable thing about Christ is that his teachings remain so perfect, so clear - after 2,000 years. And in your interview, and how you are treating Mr. Khadr - you have captured Christ so well. – Randy B. 
It is refreshing to see a university administration willing to show courage and humanity. Whatever he did when he was 15, the treatment of Mr. Khadr is something to which no one should be subjected. In an era where criminal justice is increasingly about retribution rather than rehabilitation, I am proud of your willingness to do the honourable thing. - Jim T.
Thanks again for what you're doing as a leader and spokesperson for gospel-formed community. I really think that it is so essential for Christian institutions of various kinds to be willing to offer an alternative vision to the culture of fear and chronic anxiety that's so pervasive today. – Cory S.

The responses have been encouraging and deeply humbling to me personally. Thank you for your support in words and prayers! I am honoured to be a part of the King’s community.

There are defining moments in the life of an institution. One defining moment for King’s came when students and faculty responded to Omar Khadr’s story in 2008 during one of our Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Conferences. When I met Omar in 2014, I was struck by his thoughtful, articulate and respectful manner. His is a story that has continued to shape our community as we seek to live into our Christian mission.

We live in a culture that seems to be increasingly defined by fear however, as the bible (2 Timothy 1:7) says, God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and a sound mind.

May you know God’s peace today,
Dr. Melanie Humphreys

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