Embrace the Community Day – 2022

Serve one another humbly and in love.

These words by the Apostle Paul written in his letter to Galatia resonates with the Bushnell community in terms of how we serve others. Embrace the Community, better known around campus as ETC Day, is a time where we pause classes for the day and allow our students, faculty, and staff to go out and humbly serve our community in love. This year ETC Day happened on September 20th.

ETC Day was an idea that arose from a former Communications major here at Bushnell a little over ten years ago.

Britni (Sterling) D’Eliso ’11 said that her whole idea for ETC Day was “helping students find points of passion and purpose…My dream was that someone would go work at a retirement home and discover that ‘Oh my goodness, I love connecting with elderly people. Their stories are so rich. This was so filling.’ I wanted every college student to have that experience, and then there would also be a relationship with the staff at that clinic so it would be easier to call back and say ‘That felt really good, and it seemed important to them. I want to do that again.’ So, it’s intended to be an on-ramp, rather than a one day event.”

Giving back and serving in our community is an essential part of what ETC Day is. This allows for our Bushnell family to go out and be the Beacons we were made to be. Bushnell Athletics produces some of the biggest numbers of servers. Every single one of the Athletic teams on campus graciously take a few hours of their day to go out in all different aspects of the community to be servants in whatever way they are instructed to.

Associate Athletic Director Sarah Freeman said, “While ETC Day is just one day we hope it inspires a spirit of service and community engagement that will be deeply rooted in our student-athletes and how we as Beacons live our lives.” To hear more on what the Athletic teams did and where they served follow this link Beacons Embrace the Community – Bushnell University Athletics (bushnellbeacons.com).

Of course, it isn’t just the Athletics that serve our community. Students, faculty, and staff also give their time to aid those in need. Whether it is with Red Cross, assisting the elderly, addressing the problems of those unhoused, food insecurity, and other areas that need help, Bushnell takes pride in our willingness to help in whatever and wherever we are called to be Beacons in the community.

Paul Blezien, Interim Dean of Students had this to say about ETC Day, “It is so good to see our students serving all over the Eugene area on ETC day. It is not certain who is more blessed –those receiving the service or those offering it. It is a testimony to the heart of Bushnell that we would call off classes for an afternoon to create time and space for our students to exercise their faith by serving others.”

ETC Day really is a testament to the heart of what Bushnell strives to do in being servants of God. I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 4 as he instructs us to use the gifts given to us to serve one another as good stewards of God. In everything that we do it is done to glorify God through Jesus. When we serve we are using the gifts given to us by God to not only help and aid those in need, but to glorify God. That really is what Embrace the Community is all about. Not only are we embracing our community we are embracing our God-given gifts. That is what makes this day an essential one here at Bushnell.

Written by Mason Delamarter