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Mentor, role model, friend: Story of a Tenessee Chaplain

Mentor, role model, friend: Story of a Tenessee Chaplain

Some days the world looks dark – not because the darkness outweighs the light, but because the task of healing the world is not easy, the problems we face are complex & myriad.

One one of those days a few weeks ago, when I struggled mightily with this concern – how do I best carry forward my part? – I called my old friend, guide & mentor, Joe Eldridge. For fifteen years he has served as University Chaplain at American University, my alma mater. When I was in college I was fortunate enough to work directly for him, as one of the faciliators in the office of Community Action & Social Justice (CASJ), which was then under his umbrella.

On that day a few weeks ago, Joe gave me wise advice, just what I needed to hear to keep forging forward, even in those moments of uncertainty. And he told me this quote, from the Talmud:

‎”It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.”

Read this wonderful article on Joe’s life story, from his boyhood in the Smoky Mountains to human rights work in Chile to the incredible moral voice & passion for students which he brings to American University.

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