It’s Monday in the final week of the 172nd academic year at CTSFW. Commencement is Friday, and this year’s graduating class will soon be ringing the Springfield Bell to celebrate the end of their last class at the Seminary. Today’s chapel sermon, preached by the Rev. Bill Johnson (ordained staff member at CTSFW), was definitely thinking particularly of our pastor-elects as they prepare to go into the ministry this morning. In his words:
“It may be that all of your baptisms happen young and your funerals happen at the end of a long life…it could also be that your baptisms will come at the end of a long, hard road, it may be that your funerals will come way too many years too early… If I had it in my power I would tell you and I would warn you and I would take away the pain that comes from suffering alongside God’s people, but that is not given to me or anyone here; the future lies in the hands of God.
“Finish the papers, take the exams, ring the bell. Go out from here to the very ends of the earth, and know that our thoughts and prayers go with you as you serve God’s people. God is before you, God is with you, God is working in you. You are not done, by any means. But you are ready.”
Chapel will be at the normal time this week through Thursday, which marks the end of Spring Quarter. Baccalaureate will replace chapel at 10 a.m. on Friday, followed by the Commencement Organ Recital (which will not be livestreamed) at 3 p.m. and Graduation Exercises (which will) at 6 p.m. We’ll take the following week off, then begin summer chapel on Tuesday, May 29, at 9:30 a.m. every weekday while summer classes are in session.