Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Valentines Day

Loads of Love Community Reflection

Last week, The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life explored a few expressions of love with a Community Reflection called Valentine’s Day: Lots of Types of Love. Hosted in Stetson Chapel, this event showcased a handful of different perspectives and experiences that were all shaped, in some shape or form, by love.

Audra Hudson, K’16, an Interfaith Student Leader with the Cavern, introduced the first speaker of the morning, a local Kalamazoo College alum, Jim Van Sweden, of the class of 1973. Van Sweden shared three poems, revolving around the intersections of romantic love and self-love.

Ian Mcknight, K’19, had a slightly different take on love, and talked about his complicated relationship with his hometown on Holland, Michigan. Two other K College students, Mason Higby, K’17, and Ethel Mogilevsky, K’18, shared brief poems on unrequited loves.

Nearing the end of the reflection, Kalkidan Amare, K’18, explained the spiritual importance of her name gifted to her by her father. In Ethiopian, “It means covenant…unconditional love, unbreakable love,” she said. “…Whenever people call my name they are speaking the promise of unconditional love over my life.”

During Hudson’s time at the mic, she shared an excerpt of “Our Passion for Justice,” a piece by Carter Heyward:

“Love is a choice – not simply, or necessarily a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversation to humanity – a willingness to participate with others in the healing”

A first year in attendance, Ana Cortes K’19 remarked, “Valentine’s Day is a day for love, and not just romantic love. Hearing the speaker’s thoughts helped me see that.”

Community Reflections occur every Friday from 11 – 11:30am in Stetson Chapel and are open to the public. Be sure to check out this week’s reflection brought to K by, called Black Religiosity and Spirituality, to take a closer look at how our African origins have been altered and weaved into contemporary life.

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Loads of Love Community Reflection