Graduation Exercises begin an hour from now, at 6 p.m. (EDT). The service begins on page 14 of the Graduation Booklet, which can be found by CLICKING HERE.
And our thanks to everyone as we reach the end of the 172nd academic school year here at CTSFW. We are reminded of the great love you have for our men and women, and of the need that we still see in the Church, even as we celebrate with our students. In the words of President Rast during Baccalaureate this morning:
“I realized earlier this year that I had passed over a significant threshold in my life. I entered that demographic of the Missouri Synod: over 55, which includes over half, now, of our clergy. So over half the clergy of the Missouri Synod is over the age of 55. The need for pastors remains. The need is great. We thank our future pastors here and we encourage all of you to encourage in your own arena those who are qualified to serve the Lord in His Church.
“We also thank the families. Without your help, these students would not be here. So thank you so much for the support you’ve shown them over the years, the way you continue to support them, even if they may be far away on Christmases from here forth.”
That mention of Christmas at the end is in reference to the Baccalaureate sermon preached only a few minutes before:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Rev. Arlo Pullmann (father of graduating seminarian Gideon Pullmann) said. “Yes, your son or your daughter may soon be living far away and will no longer be able to be with you over Christmas. And yes, enrollment is down, and you may think you have less certainty about your future than you used to. And yes, the burden of many souls entrusted to your care is daunting. The task of regularly and rightly divining the Word of truth is difficult. Making plans to establish a home among people you do not know may be frightening.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid. An orphan may have cause for a troubled heart… But you are not an orphan and you are not alone in the world. You have a Father who loves you. The Spirit of truth dwells with you.”