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Chaplain’s Words

Dwight L. Moody, the founder of this school, was a religious man who viewed people as valuable, asserted their ability to know the world and respond to its concerns, and maintained confidence in humanity’s potential to act with goodness. Moody fervently hoped that others would find joy and meaning in the type of impassioned Christian faith he was committed to. For this reason, education and life at NMH have always had a spiritual component. Today, NMH is not the religious school that Moody would recognize. Yet, I believe he would appreciate our efforts to put into practice the school’s historic core values of empathy, compassion, service, justice, equity, and community, and would not deny the spiritual quality of these values, nor that they can be found in all of the world’s religious traditions.

In recognition of the important role religion played in Moody’s life and has played in the life of this school, I have asked Fardusi Uddin, Chris Zhao, and Nashely Alvarez to join me at the podium to share with you an NMH credo, a statement of beliefs that guides our actions as members of this community.

An NMH Credo

We are Muslim.
We are Buddhist.
We are Catholic.
We are Atheist.
We are Hindu.
We are Daoist.
We are Evangelical Protestant.
We are Orthodox Christian.
We are Sikh.
We are Mormon.
We are Jewish.
We are liberal Christian.
And, we are more than these words, too.
This matters to us.
We are NMH.

We believe we are valuable beings.

Whether we know ourselves to be God’s beloved children, or egos striving to be empty and available for compassion toward others, or the result of cosmic forces of good, we believe our existence is important. We believe we can make a difference in our families, our communities, and our world. This matters to us; it affects the choices we make now and the dreams we will cultivate for our future.

We believe we can know the world around us and respond with courage and compassion.

Some of us will claim knowledge is a divine gift, others the process of evolution, and others yet, a combination of the two. But for all of us, we believe our knowledge makes us accountable to one another, and responsible to question systems that thwart justice, perpetuate discrimination and unequal privilege, and deplete the natural resources of the earth, our shared home. We believe we cannot ignore knowledge that makes us uncomfortable. This matters to us; knowledge is not for private accumulation but for communal, equitable distribution and the betterment of all persons.

We believe we, and all human beings, can act with goodness.

We believe it is possible to know right from wrong when we assume a position of humility and respect for others. We do not all adhere to the same source for the knowledge of good and evil. But we believe in the beauty we create as a community when goodness is desired and allowed to flourish. This matters to us; we believe in each other and what we each can become.

Individually, I am Muslim.
Individually, I am Catholic.
Individually, I am Buddhist.
But together we are NMH, for the time we live on this campus, and even after in the many corners of the world we will reach out to. This matters to us; this is our credo, as students and committed people wanting to learn and to make good of who are becoming in this place.


Sending Forth
As we go forth from this Founder’s Day celebration, I charge you to embody the spirit of our school in all that you do and with all whom you meet. Know that you and the persons sitting next to you are valuable beings with the ability to read the world and respond to its concerns with compassion and courage. And wherever you may go today, or in the years to come, as members of the NMH community, may you always maintain your confidence in humanity’s potential to act with goodness. Be blessed to be this blessing to others today and always.

Glenn Minshall photo


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