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This I Believe: Rev. Richard Nugent

The Alumnx Council of PSR meets bi-monthly. As a practice, they take turns sharing “This I believe.” We’ll post these inspiring testimonials as they are created.

This month’s post is from Richard Nugent (MDiv 1996)


I believe in the power of community – communities grounded in the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth of each other as well as those outside the circle of inclusion.  This requires a deep commitment to empathy, compassion, the acceptance of the differences that exist among us, and a willingness to communicate honestly with each other.  It also requires action – action to help others through social service and to rectify societal wrongs through social justice.  In doing so, I believe that we are living in communion with the teachings of the Divine.

I also believe in the power of fear – fear that leads good people to act in ways that lead them away from the qualities attributed to God.  I believe well-meaning people take small steps away from community – from God – and the further away they step their sins turned increasingly more serious to the point their actions can be described as Evil.  I believe that Jesus’ ministry was focused on inviting people to awaken to the love of God, and in doing so to turn around and step towards the healing grace of the Holy.  God never turned away from people, but people turn away from God.

I believe this can be seen in our society today as so many of us are stepping further and further away from each other.  In doing so, we are distancing ourselves from the healing power of God’s love.

I believe in the power of community.  And I await the time when people awaken to the need to care, support, communicate, and love their neighbors even if they look, act, and believe differently from themselves.  In doing so, we will finally realize that heaven exists not in the here-after, but here on earth and within our power to experience it.

This I Believe.

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