Sing to the Holy One a new song!
Make a joyful noise;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise! (From Psalm 98)

Author of Wisdom,
you have led us here this morning to celebrate!
Indeed You have been with the classes of 2004
since they set foot on campus nearly 4 years ago.
You were with them to make a way out of no way,
to see them through the loneliness and uncertainty of those first few weeks,
to comfort them in times of sorrow and fear
to keep them going during the long nights of study, the endless labs, the writer’s block.

So we give thanks and praise!

We give thanks for all those who have
supported these students along the way:
For parents who visited and phoned and sent money,
For professors and coaches who goaded them into excellence
For friends who stayed up all night
solving the problems of the world,
for clerical staff and administrators
who taught them the importance of making good choices and the consequences of making poor ones;

For housekeeping, grounds crews, security officers, food service workers and trustees
who saw to it that these classes were safe, comfortable, and well fed.

But even as we celebrate, our hearts are also full of sadness:
for an era ended,
for things left undone,
for friends about to part company.

Bless our speakers with your wisdom, that they might touch our sorrow, even as they stir us to new ventures.

And now, enliven our hearts with joy,
draw our minds from wandering,
and help us be fully present to you and to one another,
that we might know you in the applause and shouts and whistles
that will send these graduates on their way. Amen.


Clap your hands all you peoples
shout to God with a cry of joy! (Ps. 47:1)

Now, in the words of our speakers,
Take stock of your accomplishments
and give thanks for your mentors.
Ask for what you want.
Seek your dreams.
Knock long and loud.
Then invite the younger ones to join the game. Be a mentor.
And as you walk down the road of life,
watch out for traffic!

Go now with all blessings.
Go in peace to live lives of passion and service. Amen.

Clap your hands all you peoples
shout to God with a cry of joy! (Ps. 47:1)




Invocation and Benediction, Commencement 2004, Chaplain Lesley Adams

May 16, 2004