Thursday, November 20, 2008

World Aids Day

The AIDS crisis . . .

AIDS is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, leaving an entire generation of orphans and vulnerable children in jeopardy. Around the world, another person dies because of AIDS every 15 seconds.

Mothers. Fathers. Children. Farmers. Teachers. Gone.

Nearly 33 million people live with HIV.

Last year alone, more than 2.5 million people were infected.

6,000 people die every day because of AIDS.

. . . another person dies every 15 seconds.
Source: AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS, December 2006

By 2010, more than 20 million children will be orphaned due to AIDS.

By 2020, AIDS could kill up to 12 percent of Africa's workforce - as many as 58 million people.

. . . this crisis will not go away by itself.
Sources: UNICEF, August 2006; International Labour Organization, November 2006

Monday, December 1 is World AIDS Day. Many in the MIT Community have been planning ways in which each of us could be involved in this campus wide and global wide effort. MIT has been doing research for years on eradicating the AIDS virus and many of you have directly or indirectly contributed to this ongoing effort. One of the UN Millennium Development Goals is aimed at the issue of AIDS.

Listed below are several ways for you to participate on 12/1:

11:00 am – 5:00 pm: The MIT Board of Chaplains will host a "time of reflection" in the MIT Chapel. Pick up material for reflection in learning about the AIDS pandemic; light a candle for some one you know who is suffering or may have died from AIDS; Write a note of compassion to a friend who has HIV; meditate on prayers submitted from various religious traditions; ask a chaplain for comfort and encouragement.

11:00 am – 3:00 pm: Stop by Lobby 10 and pick up your World AIDS Day commemorative ribbon to show your support for those suffering from and affected by AIDS. Sponsored by lbgt@mit and MIT Medical.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Two Brave Lovers – South Park Sparks Conversation on HIV/AIDS, which will take place in the Rainbow Lounge, Bldg 50-005. Sponsored by lbgt@mit, CHPW, and MIT Medical Center.

7:00 pm: The Technology and Culture Forum is bringing Elizabeth Pisani, author of "The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS" at the MIT Museum.

The MIT Sloan Fellows are supporting an ongoing effort called World Vision Boston AIDS Africa. This effort is to build kits to provide to caregivers to AIDS patients in the poorest areas of Africa. ( They are trying to raise enough money for 1000 kits, at $30 apiece. For information and to donations, visit:

More information on these and other events:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Lutheran Chaplain at MIT

New to MIT

My name is Tim Seitz and I a pastor in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and I have recently been appointed Lutheran Chaplain to MIT. I am married to Kathryn Lohre and we recently had our first child, John. I have been serving at Faith Lutheran Church in Cambridge for two years as the assistant pastor. This summer I was invited to come and work for the Lutheran and Episcopal ministries at MIT. Amy McCreath is the Episcopal priest that I have the great privilege of working with. I have been serving as the Lutheran Chaplain for just over two months now and I have yet to figure my way around MIT.

Aside from getting turned around in the infinite corridor, there are so many different groups, events, faculty, staff, and resources available at MIT that it is impossible to keep them all straight in my mind. I absolutely love it! I have never served as a chaplain in campus ministry before so I have little to go on; that said, I believe MIT has one of the greatest chaplaincy programs that one could find. We have full time chaplains and part-time chaplains to represent basically any faith and/or denomination you could think of. How incredible to live and work in a real pluralistic environment. I engage people from other faith traditions in conversation merely by walking to my desk – while many others strive to find ways to start pluralistic dialogue. For me it is as simple as saying good morning and I have bridged the communication gap between Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist communities!

The greatest epiphany however has been how amazing our students are! Whether involved in our ministry LEM (Lutheran Episcopal Ministries) or another group or no group at all – I have been awestruck by the depth of my conversations with students and their ability to ask incredibly poignant and insightful questions. I have been blessed and challenged by this appointment and I know that I will continue to strive to communicate the Gospel according to MIT standards: to live, serve, and love God in ways that are relevant, mission oriented, and fun. LEM worships in the Chapel at 5:15pm each Wednesday evening – I hope you will worship with us if you get the chance.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dalai Lama Center

As Chaplain to the Institute I am pleased that we have been given the opportunity to develop the The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. This program will complement our leadership programs coming out of the Dean for Student Life Office. These programs now include The Technology and Culture Forum, a program begun over 50 years ago by the Episcopal Chaplain at MIT and still supported by the Episcopal Church and led by the Episcopal Chaplain, The Reverend Amy McCreath. The Public Service Center led by Sally Susnowitz is the third program. Each program offers students opportunities to learn and to sharpen their leadership skills as they prepare for careers beyond MIT.

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT is dedicated to inquiry, to dialogue, and to the creation of programs that affect the ethical and humane dimensions of life. This nonpartisan center is a collaborative think tank focused on the development of interdisciplinary research and programs in various fields of knowledge from science and technology, to education and international relations.

The Center is founded to honor the vision of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and his call for a holistic education that includes the development of human and global ethics. It will emphasize responsibility as well as examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies.

The Center invites distinguished thinkers, educators, researchers, social innovators, entrepreneurs, policy makers, artists, and other leaders from diverse cultural, religious, and educational backgrounds to contribute to its objectives.

Web URL:

Robert M. Randolph