DEAREST READER | A proclamation of the foundation of the Church of Latter-Day Students

Humour

In this age of uncertainty and confusion, we must ask ourselves certain questions

Dearest Reader,

Well known is the cosmopolitan and multi-faith character of our fine university’s student body. Indeed, most are familiar with the institution’s Interfaith Chapel, wherein followers of differing universal cosmologies may celebrate their beliefs under one roof — just on different days and hours, if you please. And while tolerance and the intermingling of shared and differing worldviews may be the hallmarks of globalist society, I find it all rather disuniting. I need scarcely remind my readers of the cultural strength which was in past days found in the centrality of Christendom, the Islamic world, the Buddhist sects, or the Chinese Mandate of Heaven, and the great works to which the relevant societies ascended in their turn. Being however as no one of these is universally beloved by UVic’s student body, and that a tragically secular bent has already long infected most of the societies from which our students hail, it seems to me that we might start fresh with a spiritual credo of special relevance to us young learners. I make no mortal proposal, but rather herald Fortune herself in proclaiming the foundation of a new Church of Latter-Day Students of the University of Victoria. 

Some may look dimly on the prospect of conjuring from the æther a new and mortal-centred yet divine doctrine. Nevertheless, I warrant that so long as midterms, finals, essays, and research papers capture the better part of our attention, it is only consistent to make these things and the institution surrounding them the centre of our faith. To begin, it is crucial to identify a central cosmological structure, that history may be made linear with our divine construct at its centre. Creation is easily enough defined, in our Sacred University’s founding as Victoria College in 1903. The Incarnation, I posit, may be dated to 2008, with the temporary embodiment of the Lord God in the mortal vessel of Thomas McPherson, whose name is borne by the Holy Centre of Learning where we observe our daily prayer of study (Obviously, our version of the Passion is provided in the sufferings of upper-year students at each semester’s end). Lastly, we might gauge the coming of the Apocalypse in the manner of millenarian prophecy by observing the rise and fall of student loans and debts. God preserve us on the day when the latter at last outweighs the former; the great Defaulting of our Age! 

No source of Truth in Earthly form may exist without pretext in the pages of earlier tradition. Thus, it is essential that we next identify certain signs and figures which ordained the coming of our holy tradition. For these, we may look into the record of the ancient Victoria College students and their Exodus from the Craigdarroch and Provincial Normal Lansdowne campuses before they came to the Promised Land of our own current venue. With copious ecclesiastical scholarship, links between this near-forgotten history and our current religious venture will doubtless be uncovered. As the heads of faculties and the elected members of the UVSS already provide us with a pantheon of early Church leaders (and perhaps some Apostles amongst their predecessors!), what remains for us is to pursue Scripture in the form of the holy books we purchase at each semester’s beginning. As there is no end to the variety of these books (and little easy discernment to be made as to which are Canonical or Apocryphal) we might consider them a form of Continuing Revelation, in the sense of doctrine of a certain other religion whose name coincidentally resembles that of our own Holy Church. The charting of our Sacred University’s leadership successions (the better that we may establish there have been no times of heresy) I leave to higher minds than my own. 

Fellow faithful, our way forward may at times be uncertain, yet I ask you: what great spiritual movement has not endured persecution and offered martyrdom? And while other recent religions founded on this continent have been driven west from their homelands in search of a new Zion, being as it is that we are already as far west as west goes, I think we should be safe for the time being. The above articles of foundation, clumsy and modernistic as their wording may be, I offer humbly to my fellow faithful in the name of the Suffering Student, the Lord McPherson, and the Holy Course Unions. Praise be!