Director’s Chair: August 2021

A headshot of an old white man with white hair on the sides of his head wearing glasses, a black suit jacket, and a blue and white checkered shirt on the Director's Chair announcement.

THESE ARE DIFFICULT days for interpersonal communication. It’s not just that so many of us aren’t on the same page; increasingly, it seems, we’re not even in the same book. Add to that the slippery reality we’re all living through and it’s a wonder we can communicate at all.

Just one month ago I began this column this way: “The word for July 2021 is gratitude! Here we are just past the middle of the year, and we’re actually able to enjoy some of this summer.” Well, so much for the lazy, hazy, crazy days we’re used to at this time of year. In a matter of weeks, the Delta variant of COVID has upended our reality again—so much so that I might as well have re-run my column from last August, in which I compared COVID to 9/11 and expressed the hope that we as a nation could again find “that unification of purpose and priorities that got us through almost 20 years ago.”

Today I find myself thinking of the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous “Serenity Prayer,” which begins, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….” (boy, does that cover a lot of territory, including my wishing for change among those who’re out of control as well as those who seem only to want to control); “…the courage to change the things I can….” (we must give hope wherever we can, because it takes hope to even want to effect change); “…and the wisdom to know the difference….” (are we wise enough to seek input from outside ourselves, which requires cooperation and collaboration at many levels?).

It is another school year, and once again no one of us has all the answers. So let’s make a pact to pull together, to join forces and keep not only our families safe, but also those of our neighbors, to the extent that we can. In the meantime, we at ACDS appreciate your continued support during these trying last 18 months.

–Bill Yoder,

Executive Director