The Faculty, staff, current students, family, and friends gathered last Saturday, May 20, to celebrate the accomplishments and hard work of the Class of 2017. Festivities kicked off on May 19 with a casual cookout on campus to distribute awards to graduating students. Awards included the Seminary Fellowship Award (Sarah Chivington-Buck), the Alumni Fellowship Award (Rachel Dykzeul), the Martin Dwelle Kneeland Preaching Prize (Brooklynn Smith), the David Esler Award in Homiletics (Adam Bradley), and the Surjit Singh Christology Award (Jamie Lee Sprague-Ballou).
Later in the afternoon, the Baccalaureate Service was held in Stewart Memorial Chapel in Geneva Hall. This service was organized by the graduating Master of Divinity students, with Dean of the Seminary, Rev. Dr. Jana Childers preaching. Scriptures chosen came from both Old Testament and New Testament, and were Genesis 1:26-31 and 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, respectively. Assigned 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 for her sermon by the worship leaders, Rev. Dr. Childers preached “Til We Have Faces,” a reference to our unveiled faces upon seeing the glory of the Lord. An offering was requested, with the proceeds going to the street chaplaincy program at Marin Interfaith Council. Music was provided by Alan Choy and current MDiv student, Carolyn Anderson.
Following the Baccalaureate Service, a reception was held so that families and friends of the graduates could meet and honor their loved ones.
The next morning, Saturday, May 20, at 9:30 AM, a bagpiper led the excited graduates into First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, where the Commencement Exercises took place. Scriptures included 2 Corinthians 4:1-12 and Mark 1:21-28. Seminary President, Rev. Dr. James McDonald delivered the Charge to the Graduates, which was entitled, “Treasure in Earthen Vessels.” The congregation was moved by his sincere care of the graduates and his hope for them to take their gifts into the world. SFTS Alumna, Rev. Sarah Stephens was honored with the Distinguished Alumna award.
The SFTS community is proud of the Class of 2017 and their accomplishments. We wish them all of the peace, grace, and joy that they carry with them. We hope they will come back and visit as they can, and that they will never forget the education and community that they experienced during their time here.