In late April, Southwest put out the call for the global Southwest community to send messages of support to seminarians as they navigate these unprecedented times. Read below these inspirational messages of love.
If you would like to send a message of support to members of the community of Seminary of the Southwest, please click here.
Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2020 at the Seminary of the Southwest from all of your friends and colleagues in the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee! We celebrate with you!
Bishop Neil Alexander
I am so excited for the Church and how it will be transformed through your ministries. Ain’t no coronavirus gonna keep the Spirit from doin her thang, y’all! Sending all the graduates love and prayer.
The Rev. Charles Lane Cowen, Class of 2018
The Class of 2020 will forever be distinguished, among other things, by circumstances related to the Corona virus. Please remember that “commencement” denotes a beginning, and I pray that each of you all will be experiencing a wonderful new beginning in your vocational path and in service to God and the Church. My prayers and best wishes are with you, each and all. Pax Domini. Jim Abernathey “70
The Rev. James M. Abernathey, M.Div, Class of 1970
You students and graduates of the seminary of the Southwest are the future of the vitality of the church in the world. Stand strong and hold on.
Marcia Stone SCHC
Greetings and peace to you! As you prepare to go out into the world in service, I am excited to know that you do so as people of love! The Church is truly blessed to have you as a witness of faith and I have no doubt that as the Spirit dances through and in you, great things will happen. Above all else, always remember, You are beautiful. You are loved!
Padre Rick Lopez, Class of 2018
My years at Southwest we’re some of the best years of my life. I thank God that you are in this place, making significant friendships – being formed in ways you may never have expected. It is, however, a much different May than anyone could have expected … one gift of it is that you now have a significant experience in ministering in unexpected ways. Keep the faith. Keep being formed. And long live the flamingos!
Meredith Macie Boyd, Class of 2016
Blessings and Congratulations on your graduation! Special greetings to Lizzie McManus-Dail.
Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber, Class of 1998
These hard times will just strengthen your faith and give you even more experience which you can share with others. Amazing work is done by the Southwest community and it hasn’t stopped. You all are amazing! Pax et bonum.
One comforting concept I learned while in seminary: Rarely do we know what we are being prepared for…
Sandra Bravo, LPC, MAR Class of 2015
Dear Graduates, Congratulations on your Degrees from the Seminary of the Southwest. I pray that God will bless you in every way as you begin your journey serving Him and His Church. Remember the strength of the foundation that you have laid at the Seminary of the Southwest. The friends, relationships, and contacts you have made over the last few years will follow you all the days of your life. Embrace the knowledge, the people, and the experience, taking it into the world as your shield of honor. You earned it! Prayers and Blessings!
Cheryl Barnes Thompson, Class of 2013
Rites of passage come in many forms. These rites are everything from personal to theological, and more. Mostly these rites occur to mark beginnings and endings and new beginnings. Absolutely these rites are about being accomplished: “We got this.” As Christians the only difference is we add, “With God’s Help.” To walk once is great but the journey needs stamina. Alone, “We got this,” is not enough. To move forward we need a call from outside ourselves: “With God’s Help.” Every day is new. Every day we need to believe, “We got this, with God’s help.”
The Rev. Mitch Tollett, Class of 2012
When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this. ~ Esther 4:14
Rev. Sean Steele, Class of 2012
Dear Lindsey Ardrey, One consistent message I continue to hear from our community leaders and prophets is the call of our faith to “Get through today… and Remake tomorrow.” I wonder what it may look like as you pursue your seminary studies and ‘get through today’”? It must be much different from my seminary time in the Iona Collaborative studies at the AC Marble School in Canton, Ms. I wonder how the Holy Spirit is forming you to be a priest and ‘remaking tomorrow’? Please know that all of us at St. George’s lift you up to God in prayer that you will be sustained and delivered each day in preparation for your call to remake tomorrow. Peace & Blessings In Christ,
Deacon Joey, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Iona Collaborative Class of 2018
Dear Fellow Alumna/Alumnus, I speak for many to say how sad we are that the COVID-19 pandemic has marred your graduation celebrations. You’ve worked so hard for so long, and you’re now facing some significant challenges in your future vocation. We hope you find ways to celebrate your considerable accomplishments, separately and eventually together. Please know that we admire and applaud you and will be praying for you in your days ahead. Current Students: Hang in there! Dear SSW Staff, Faculty, Dean Kittredge, and Board Members, Thank you for persevering through this chaotic time. Your works and good examples as faithful Christian mentors are sure to persist longer and farther than you can ever know. Carry on! All: Go forth and make our planet a better place for everyone! Blessings to each of you.
Amanda Masterson, MAPM Class of 2007
As a graduate from more than 50 years ago, I remember the relief and the excitement of graduation day and all that went with it. 2020 is a weird time, so your graduation will be quite different from the 60-some before. Still, it is your passage from primarily preparation to primarily engaged in action. I hope you are able to savor you passing from one to the other. And I hope you will remember the day with fondness when you look back from the future.
Edwin Miller, Class of 1968
Dear Graduates, especially Lucy Strandlund, I am so excited for the reality that ordination and a new life of ministry are on your near horizon. I am also very aware that none of us know exactly what that is going to look like in the next two months or 20 years to follow for that matter. I did not graduate during a pandemic but still the unknown journey of ministry was before me. I pray you know that if God has brought you this far, God will take you the rest of the way. In the midst of so much loss with this deadly virus and its affect upon all of us, I know that God will still shower you with blessings that cannot be stopped by this virus or any other thing that the world might throw at us. The harvest is plentiful so trust that God will bless you as one of the workers. In Christ,
Ripp Hardaway, Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church
We live in strange times. You are sharing similar difficulties with the class of 1918. Please know this too will pass. As you boldly step into a new ministry, go with Joy. God bless you all
rick simpson, Class of 1981
I’ve always been impressed with this student body. But watching you all deal with this unimaginable crisis with such grace and poise, while being honest and vulnerable, is something I will never forget. We watched each other reinvent a 67 year old seminary, and have done so with the creative spirit so common to those that come to Southwest. Thank you for allowing me to walk alongside you – it has been a true honor. You are the healers we will all need, and what wonderful healers you will be.
We celebrate your courageous, compassionate “yes” to becoming the leaders, healers, and spiritual care providers that our communities need right now.
Dear Ones, Please know of my daily prayers for the entire seminary community. I’m remembering this month, most especially those who will graduate this year and move into ordained and lay leadership in a new world and a new church. Remember that God is with you, my prayers are with you, loves abides in all things and you are enough for this work. As you move out across the church, I pray that you stay in community with one another and build community for yourself as a Christian leader wherever you land. Good bless you.
The Rev. Sr. Miriam Elizabeth (Faith) Bledsoe, OSH, Class of 2002
It will be ultimately okay. It is scary. Some of you might still be scrambling to find a position; when I graduated, I think I was the absolute last person in my class to find a position, but it happened! Some of you might be worried about starting ministry in this difficult time; every single person (including experts) are figuring it out as they go along. We keep trying, we keep going, we keep moving forward in faith. We might feel our hope is shaky, that God feels distant; but sometimes we’re shaking and falling backwards into the arms of a God unseen. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” -St Julian of Norwich, writing in the midst of plague “Nada te turbe, nada te espante, quien a Dios tiene nada le falta: Solo Dios basta.” -St Teresa of Avila, persecuted by her own religious order Listen to these holy women! Take their preaching to heart! It will ultimately be okay. Maybe not the way we envision, but Christ has conquered even death itself. It will be okay. The peace of Christ be with you in these anxious times.
The Rev. Joseph Farnes, Class of 2015
Friends, It’s been a long time since I attended (what was then) ETSS to complete a year of Anglican Studies, as I moved from the Lutheran Church to the Episcopal Church. What I found was a community that helped form me as an Anglican flavoured Christian. William Seth Adams used to keep a rocking chair in his office. I recommend a rocking chair for those times when you are tired, weary and wondering what #*$& is going on in God’s world, which is the world in which we live, work, play, take deeps breaths, sigh, trusting that we are not alone. From the central part of Maine where I work as a supply priest in my diocese and teach (economics) at a local community college, know that each deep breath I take and every sigh I release, is also a prayer for you. I’m teaching in a new model with Zoom and internet (one that I am not particularly fond of) and I miss my students and the face-to-face getting to know one another. One of my classes and I are already planning a time this summer when we meet face-to-face, even it is still six-feet between us. Be willing to take that step forward into the unknown and make plans, even as you shelter-at-home. Do not be in a hurry to return to what was, for we may not find it. Isn’t God always creating something new from the old? From my bishop, our mission in the Diocese of Maine at this moment is to help slow down the spread of covid-19 in the places in which we live and work. Do not be in a hurry or you will miss the opportunity to love your neighbour right now. Blessings as you finish classes, write ordination exams, and share the ministry which God has given you right now. It might not look what you thought it would look like, but it seldom does. Sit in the rocking chair, rest a bit, catch your breath. You are not alone. Grace and peace, Barbara+
Rev. Barbara Barth, 1998 CITS program
Muchas felicitaciones por la culminación de esta etapa de formación en vuestras vidas, el camino que viene de aquí en adelante traerá igual o mas satisfacciones en sus vidas que las vividas en una ceremonia de graduación, sin lugar a dudas la Promoción 2020 del Seminario será por siempre recordada pues su esfuerzo, su compañerismo y su solidaridad con toda la humanidad en esta situación de Pandemia demuestra la tenacidad y temple del cual están hechos. El Señor y Dios nuestro os colmen de abundantes bendiciones. Vayan en paz para amar y servir a los hermanos. Amén.
Fr.Juan Valderrama, from Colombia 🙂 Class of 2023
Dear friends at the Seminary of the Southwest and 2020 Graduates, May you continue to be held in the embrace of love as you finish this unique and challenging semester. I pray you are safe and remain connected to one another even as we are physically distant. May you be blessed in all the places you live and serve. Grace and peace,
Rev. Jeana Martin, Class of 2010
Dear Class of 2020 and others at my beloved SSW – We are friends upon a holy journey. Know that I pray for each step you take. This transition for you is different than what my SSW Class of 2017 experienced. Some of your steps ahead will be on unsettled soil. Others will feel more like the terrain to which you are accustomed. Regardless, Jesus is with you each step of the way. I pray that you cling to the rituals which ground you in your faith in God. Pray the Daily Office. Lift your voice in song. Enter ministry with humility and openness. Practice honest reflection, as the shadow you cast will provide a guide for others. In all things, may the Holy Spirit embolden you to speak truth, and finally, strive to live into the truth you speak. Blessings and joy upon your journey,
Katherine+ The Rev. Katherine Harper, Class of 2017
You were a special class when we gathered together for the first time in Knapp, and you’ve made your mark on our campus. Now I know you’ll make an incredible difference in the world. You are passionate leaders and God has gifted you with so much. Blessings on the road. Your seminary is proud of you.
The time I spent at our seminary is a precious experience and memory. I suspect you will find your time there will influence your life and ministry in ways you would not imagine now. Blessings to you all.
Gene Wayman, Class of 2004
Your purpose in the “real world” is so important, especially right now. Take care of you and your family first. The rest will get done. Don’t forget who you are!
If you ever forget you are a light that shines bright, give me a call so I can tell you all the ways you have lit the path for me. You are ready! When you do not feel ready, there will always be the Booher Library to help you.
Congratulations and blessings/felicidades y bendiciones from the Diocese of West Tennessee. You are graduating at a time that is like no other in our history. It brings new challenges and new opportunities, especially new opportunities to follow Jesus along new paths and to bring along new followers. The world needs your fresh perspective, which has been formed at SSW. Know that you are not alone as you begin the next step in this amazing journey. Also know that the steps you take, no matter how large or small, will make a difference.
The Rev. Canon Sharon Alexander
As a student, I sat in chapel looking past the table, through the windows, and at the cross planted in the ground like one of the spikes that nailed Jesus to his. So have you. That sight reminds us that Jesus’ cross, and ours, is in the world. It is not hyperbole to say that the world is suffering now like never before. In the short time the virus has plagued us, more people have died from it than died in the Vietnam War. The world is in shock, and it’s tremors will remain past when a vaccine is found, and this disease is a former thing. A large portion of the world has seen its assumptions of security vanish in a twinkling of an eye. This is the world to which you will speak the message of Christ. What do you say to this world? Have you seen the cross out there?
patrick barker, Class of 1983
The world needs what you have to offer. Thank you for offering it, and may God be your guide.
Torey Lightcap, Class of 2004
It has been a tough time, but you guys have hung in there and made it. Now the Church awaits your arrival, and I want you to know that you (all the graduates) are in my prayers. I also pray that your ministry may be as mixed and rewarding as mine was, and though it seems so far away, that your retirement (11 years now for me) will be as grand and rewarding as mine has been. I know that God will bless each of you. Ron+
Ron Peak + Class of 1979
I continue to mourn the loss of our public gathering for commencement services. I am so grateful to have served a part in your formation for ministry. Blessings on your vocations and keep in touch.
Seminary is a special time in your lives and faith journeys. Savor it while you are there! Particularly be mindful of developing relationships. The church is a small universe, and you will cross paths with your friends and colleagues many times in the future. Although you will give up some of the joys of seminary once you graduate (there are far fewer people walking around waiting to strike up a conversation about theology, for example), many new joys lie ahead. What you don’t have to leave behind is your curiosity and quest for knowledge. If you will stay open to learning and trying new things for the rest of your ministry, you will be happier, better formed, and a stronger leader. Remember this key sentence: “I don’t know, but I’d be happy to find out with you.” No one expects you to know everything; what they do expect is a faithful servant leader. Blessings upon your lives and work and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your ministries.
Joann Saylors, Class of 2010
I know this wasn’t the way you wanted to experience your last year of seminary, but we have been praying for you and know that you will be outstanding in your future work. God and our love is with you as you complete your studies, graduate, and start your new life.
Suzan Fenner, Former Member, Board of Trustees
None of us can begin to understand the degree of loss you are feeling … loss of closure, loss of celebration, loss of friendships, loss of the SSW community. Graduation is a moment in time honoring your accomplishments. You are still graduating! Congratulations on completing your degree or certificate. There will be more celebrations in your lifetime. I pray that you can find peace in knowing you have achieved something greater than any graduation ceremony can honor. Again, congratulations and prayers for your ministry in Christ’s kingdom.
The Rev. Diane M. Pike, Class of 2011
I can only imagine you come to this commencement with a complexity of emotions. We are created to be in relationships, and you have had to cease many of the natural ways you connect while in this part of your journey and discover alternative ways of staying connected that are as meaningful as possible. While I grieve that you are not literally being handed your diploma and “donning” your hood while rejoicing with each other as a class in person, please know that you have accomplished a milestone and those who have gone before you are holding you up in prayers of compassion and celebration, knowing that you have been formed by the amazing faculty, administrators, staff, and peers of SSW, and most importantly, by the God who created you! Go forth in hope, knowing that God will continue to equip you for the ministries you are called to do in the midst of the current challenging times and in the years ahead. God Bless each and every one of you! Peace,
Lisa+ The Rev. Lisa Mason, Class of 2009
Congratulations, blessings on your ministry and service to others!
As holder of two (2) degrees from UT: Undergraduate Bachelor of Science, & Post Graduate, Doctor of Jurisprudence, I want to share my belief that the course of Education each of you has chosen is an even higher calling. Blessings & Sursum Corda. Jo Betsy Szebehely
Jo Betsy Szebehely
I am amazed at the graduating class of ’20, not only because you completed a rigorous academic experience and personal inquiry on many levels, I am also very proud of you for taking one step forward each day into your new professional life, and the new life we are all experiencing. Even if you are overwhelmed sometimes, and you don’t know how to start or how to continue, the best thing I do for myself is I get in touch with why I wanted to go back to school in the first place. What were those reasons? Are there new ones, too? When I get in touch with myself and my connection to my spirituality, it is easier for me to make contact with the outside world. This process will look different than you probably imagined it–that’s okay, that’s just a whole lot of life pushing back. And where there is a lot of life, there is great need. I believe in you and your abilities to continue to create a positive life with more than enough to share. And remember, we are all scared, all apprehensive, all confused, all curious, all joyful, all peaceful, all jubilant sometimes. And we are human too.
Congratulations to you all for you hard work during a difficult time. Your ministry is needed now more than ever, and I am happy to welcome new colleagues even as I continue in my semi-retirement. I frequently visit and take advantage of the wonderful resources at the Booher Library (well, until just recently). I’ll see some of you there, though we may not know each other by sight.Grace, peace, and blessings on you all–students, faculty, and staff alike.
Please know that I hold our community, especially our graduating seniors, close to my heart and in my prayers during this tender and uncertain time. Necessary as it is for us to protect everyone’s health by being at a physical distance from one another, I carry some of the grief I imagine some of our juniors might be experiencing about the unexpected turn our first year in this community has taken, especially around getting acquainted with seminary traditions in a not so traditional way. In the midst of this, I celebrate the way our seminary community’s commitment to one another and creativity bears good fruit, even while we are apart. I look forward to a time on the other side of this pandemic when we will be able to enjoy being with one another on campus again, especially the first time we will be able to pray together in Christ Chapel. I look forward to singing and dancing with joy when that day comes.
Dear SSW friends, My membership in the SSW family is akin to my sense of the communion of saints. Across time and distance, we share the experience of how SSW has shaped (and continues to shape) us. To those of you whose time on campus has been cut short and disrupted by the current crisis: I remind you that ceremonies–while wonderful–are not the main thing, any more than “doing church in the building” is the main thing. The Holy Spirit, the body of Christ and the communion of saints are the main things. This does not change. Thinking of Austin, and remembering you in my prayers. Love, Cathy
Catherine Tyndall Boyd, MDiv Class of 2006
I am so glad to be a part of a community that is compassionate, hospitable, collaborative, and resilient. I pray for the continued growth and support of community during this time… knowing that we have each other as a means of support and that we have our faith in God as a guiding light of peace and hope.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! You have worked tirelessly to develop your skills for ministry, skills that the Church is yearning for. You will no doubt show God’s hope and love to many who desperately need to hear it. I’m so excited to hear about the many ways that the world will be transformed by your ministry. You’ve got this! And remember that God is with you always, even until the end of the age.
Danielle Tumminio Hansen
To the graduates – know that you are a part of us as we send you out into the world. Your light will still shine here at Seminary of the Southwest and we will miss you.
Embrace hope, trust the Holy Spirit, be compassionate.
To the Distinguished Graduating Class fo 2020 To the Rising Juniors and Middlers These are different times; we are all different for having lived through a global-scaled pandemic that successfully disrupted life as we had known it. And yet, the Call on our lives remain the same: “To extend hospirality, serve God’s people; and to be a vessel of Beloved Community and Justice.” May this minor glitch in reality–when you think of how long this planet has survived– be the catalyst to reinspire you for, and toward greatness. May the Class of 2020 soar into the future as you become priests to love and care for congregations. May the 2020 glitch help remind you of what is really important; may you have the courage to process and release old things that do not matter, and emerge wearing vestments of gratitude. To the Class of 2021 and 2022: May you know excitment and joy of what is yet to unfold. May you engage your imagination and innovation to tap into the inspiration of the Holy Spirit –to be renewed, restored, and transformed. May laughter and a healthy, holistic balanced life, grounded in fierce yet gentle spiritual formation be your best medicine! A salute to you…. Be the greatness, be the love, be your best story!
Dr. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Visting Crump & Black Religious Scholar Professor
Wishing all of our graduates every good success as you enter ministry and vocation. This is your moment to celebrate a well-earned achievement. No more papers due! Now, it’s on to writing sermons or charting clinical notes, as the case may be. Congratulations!
Frederick L Clement, Executive VP
For the 2020 Graduates of SSW: “… help us let go, help us be still, in patience may we learn your will.” As a M.Div. graduate in 2001, I have to admit that our class relished our time together right up to the very end of the final semester. We pledged that we would show up in class and Chapel together through the last week, and we did. We counted down days and events. We shared laughs and tears, and even constructed a poem of favorite memories of Austin and SSW (ETSS then) that we read together at our last chapel gathering. It was special. So, I say with all sincerity that, for your loss of those last events together, I grieve with you and wish it could be different. However, as people awash in customaries, habits, traditions, and sacraments, I believe that none of those things we listed, noted, and highlighted were really new… the joy and compassion and gratitude that they evoked were already a part of us and who we were as classmates and a group of friends. Likewise, your time and activities together right up until everything was so abruptly halted – from chapel prayers to lunches at school and the Posse to exegesis and hermeneutics to fretting about the pesky Arians to wondering why there’s no solid atonement theology to finding beauty in a flock of pink flamingos – are all part of your being already, part of your common memory bank, and they’re a part of you for good. I wish that you could all have your ‘last gatherings’ and share the waning days of seminary together in the traditional ways, but my further wish is that you realize that the bonds, the mutual affection (between students, faculty, staff, and families), and all the shared experiences of intellectual and spiritual growth exist in you now and they can and will sustain you in the transitions to come, in the moments of doubt, and in the found joy of a calling fulfilled. This strange year, this world-changing year, is your year. The year 2020 is your “after the flood” story. And as each of you venture forth to create new chapters under new skies, the book on this year – your year – will continue to be written. I wish you well. Blessings and Peace,
Mary Glover, Class of 2001
One of the special gifts of SSW is the strong sense of community. The connection between students, faculty, admin, and, well, everyone, is unique and long-lasting. My prayer for all of you who are graduating is that you will keep those ties as you move out into the world. Sharing personal and professional challenges and blessings with my SSW family continues to be a great joy for me and I hope it will be for you as well.
The Rev. Mary Keenan, Class of 2016
Congratulations to all of you. God bless you and all of us through this sad time in the world. We need all of you more than ever and we are looking forward to Michael McElwee joining us in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Dear graduates, I am so sad to not see you at commencement this year in person. You have been a joy and have given so much to this community. I am in awe of your gifts and talents, your dedication and commitment. I know you will go in to the world and transform it as priests and chaplain, counselors and mentors. The world will be blessed because of you. Please come back and visit when you can. I will continue to hold you in my prayers.
The creativity and adaptability you’re learning now will serve you so well in your service to God’s people. Even in this strange and unfamiliar territory, behold! The Lord is doing a new thing, and now it springs forth — a way through the wilderness. Your resilience is inspiring and encouraging, and we can’t wait to see how y’all’s ministries continue to unfold.
Brian Fox, Class of 2019
Class of 2020, I have loved getting to know you this year. Your creativity, kindness, and sense of fun are an inspiration to me. I hold you all in prayer as you take your next step: “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Sasha Bilow, Class of 2022
Dear SSW community, As Nathan Jennings would say, “busy times.” I hope you are all finding sustainable ways to take care of yourselves and each other during this time. I know from experience that community is what SSW does best, so I’ve no doubt that your creativity and resourcefulness have led to meaningful and sacred moments in spite of a socially distanced campus. I’m not sure going into ministry is ever less than stepping into a boat knowing there will be storms ahead, but perhaps stepping into ministry at this particular moment in history feels a bit like stepping into the boat when you can see the hurricane from the shore. However, Jesus is still on the boat, even if napping (ministry is tiring). And as someone who is out on the seas, the boat is still worth getting into. I say this with confidence not only because Jesus is with us, but because you and I have been formed by an excellent seminary. Pandemics 101 was never a class elective, but the education and experiences I was given at SSW have provided me with the tools to stay afloat, be innovative, and shepherd well. So, you will be just fine. Thank you to the faculty and staff for all you do.
The Rev. Reagan Gonzalez, Class of 2018
No journey to ministry is the same, and without question each of you are finishing this part of your path in a way no one could have imagined at its beginning. But you have finished this part – your preparation, learning, worship, formation, and all that have marked your time of transformation at SSW is complete, and that accomplishment is a cause for joy, for celebration. Like most things, that may not look like what you would want it do, but that doesn’t make your achievement less. If anything, it makes it more. Carry the things you have learned, the blessings you have received, and the community you have found here with you into the world – no matter what the next part of your path holds.
Richelle Thompson, Class of 2018
Felicidades,Estamos Muy Orgullosos,Te Amamos Lucy!!!
Mami,Papi,Brother,Sisters And family
Congratulations Lucy! We are so very proud of you!! I’m so excited for your ministry! God Bless!!!
Jade, Victor Ivan, Jaivan, Jaidani Ortiz Mohorko
Dear Lucy, I am so proud of you and I can’t wait to see you continuing to thrive and grow! I love you! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You did it!!! #Cachimbona!
Sandra T. Montes
Dale Salvadoreña! Orgullosa y emocionada de todos tus logros! May God continue to guide your path con mucha luz <3 #cachimbona
Congratulations! Your strength and perseverance throughout these last 3 year are admirable! Know that I am incredibly proud of where you are at today and I know you will excel in your ministry!
Emmanuel Alberto Quintanilla
Querida Luz, Estamos muy orgullosos de ti. Te queremos mucho y te deseamos lo mejor. Dios seguirá cumpliendo Su propósito en tu vida. Sigue adelante siempre poniendo tu confianza en Dios. ¡Felicidades!
Moris, Karen y Sebastián Barahona
Congratulations, Lucy! You did it! You have accomplished another of your dreams, and I pray that God will continue to bless you along this new path in your life. Let nothing ever get in the way of your dreams and aspirations, and my God continue to guide you to wherever you need to be.
Estoy agradecido y contento que escuchaste el llamado del Señor y el resto del tiempo va cumplir su propósito porque te llamó. 1 Tesalonicenses 5:24 el que los llama es fiel y cumplirá todo esto. ¡Te amo!
Rvdo. Alejandro S. Montes “abuelito”
Querida Lucy, me siento muy orgullosa de ti por terminar tus estudios. Sé fiel a tus deseos y estoy orando para que Dios te siga ayudando a cumplir cada meta que tengas. ¡Te amo!
Laura Montes “abuelita”
Luz, I couldn’t be more pleased and proud on your behalf as you graduate from seminary and soon become a priest of the church. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch you learn and teach and grow and discern since our first encounter in 2006. You bless so many with your knowledge, compassion, faith, and grace. I am so sorry that I can’t be there gathered with you and your husband and all of your classmates and your proud family as you celebrate this milestone. But we remain home to keep others and you safe in this moment of pandemic. Be well, stay safe, and keep the faith! Godspeed, my friend. I look forward to when we can and will meet again. Thanks be to God! XXOO
Lucy estamos muy contentos y orgullosos por tu graduación te amamos papi y mami felicidades. La sabiduría comienza por honrar al Señor conocer al Santísimo es tener inteligencia. Proverbios 9:10
Orlando y Dina Cabrera (mami y papi)
To Luz, I am so proud of you on the occasion of your graduation from SSW. You are very gifted and talented and the Church will be blessed by your ministry and leadership. May God continue to bless you with her Spirit and may you continue to bless those you are called to sever. Stay smart, strong and live into God’s Grace. Your friend and colleague, Fr. Ron+
Congratulations! We pray that God continues to do amazing things in your lives.May your ministry touch and bring many lives to our Lord.We are really proud God Bless you all.❤
Sandra & Dennis Colato
Lucy, Congratulations on your accomplishment! Our thoughts are with you as you celebrate your graduation.
Luz – I pray blessings over your head, heart and home as you set out on this Grand Adventure!
Christine & Kristin – Buen Camino Peregrino!
love and Prayers as you graduate and everyday! Life is short and we have too little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind….and may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always!
Amada “Lucy”, Estamos felices por el alcance de esta meta, y tambien damos gracias a DIOS por permitirnos ser testigos de todo este proceso. Rogamos al SEÑOR que bendiga grandemente tu vida y tu ministerio, dando fruto del llamado que ÉL te ha hecho y para el que te ha formado. Como te dice JESÚS en Juan 15:16 “<Hija> No me <escogiste tú> a mí, sino que yo <te> escogí a <ti> y <te> comisioné para que vayas y des fruto, un fruto que perdure. Así el Padre <te> dará todo lo que le pidas en mi nombre.” TE AMAMOS y deseamos un camino lleno de éxitos y bendiciones. P. Janssen+ & Mariely Gutierrez (San Mateo / Houston, TX)
The Rev. Janssen & Mariely Gutierrez
Hey! We are so very proud! Hope to see you soon!
We are so proud of you, we pray that God continues to guide you through his path. We wish nothing but the best for you!! We love you Lucy!!
Hello Lucy on behalf of the Hernandez family we want to say congratulations and we love you
Hey Lucy, I just want to say I am very proud of you! You started your career off as a teacher and you diverted your path to God’s calling. I hope all goes well with your ministry and that you may be eternally blessed.
To the SSW class of 2020, I was privileged to spend three semesters in the Bible courses with some of you, others I’ve worked with and helped in the library. I am blessed, and I am a better person for having known you. I am so sad that we will not have a chance to celebrate you together, as a class, in person at Commencement. And although it will be a different kind of Commencement, that same spirit of faith, support, love, and community will be celebrating you. As you go out into this new world, I am holding you in my thoughts and heart. You’ve all worked hard, you’ve made it through this last crazy semester, and I believe you can handle anything that comes your way. You’ve got this! I hope you are able to visit the seminary–and library!-in the future, when it’s safe to hug again. Love,
Yvonne Beever Myers
Dear Friends – Precious memories fill my mind as I gaze at your class picture. Though our time together was short, it was intense and though my life has raced ahead, looking back I see how valuable the friendships are that were forged during our time together. You are a special class – the class of 2020 – a year never to be forgotten. As you prepare to launch out into the next chapter of life, I wish each and every one of you God’s richest blessings. Please know that you will always be welcome in our home. Congratulations on achieving this milestone. Love and blessings from Germany, Steve
The Rev. Stephen McPeek, Class of 2019
Wow! Congratulations to all of you. It seems like it was only yesterday that we were meeting each other at orientation — ice breakers and facial masks. LOL Each one of us seemed a little guarded and unsure of whether we were up to the challenge of God’s call. And look how you have grown in God’s love and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I just want you all to know that you hold a special place in my heart and prayers as you take your next step into God’s plan. Fear not! Believe you are where you are supposed to be. And remember that it is through God’s power and not your own that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way. Peace and love always,
Paula Haenchen, Class of 2019
Class of 2020, I will miss the moment that you walk across the stage to receive the diploma you have worked so hard to receive. I have loved our classes and our informal moments together. You are going out into your vocation in an unprecedented moment. I know you will thrive as you serve others. Peace.
Luz, So proud of you and your accomplishment! I know its been a crazy ride, but it was worth it. I’m glad I walked(ran) this journey with you. God has so much more planned for you. Love you! Love,
Dear 2020 SSW graduates, First,, I want to thank you for your welcoming hospitality when I was on campus in February, (before the world changed). I loved my time with you. Those few weeks were the perfect ending of my sabbatical. Being able to live in the rhythm of study, worship, and fellowship on a daily basis with you was a wonderful gift. You’ve all been in my thoughts and prayers these past few months, as you have been navigating your senior year with distance learning and isolation. In working with congregations here in the Diocese of Wyoming, I’m thinking that should be a seminary course, to prepare clergy to deal with strange circumstances. The reason for this note is to congratulate each of you on your success and accomplishments in graduating from Seminary of the Southwest and to wish you joy and blessings as you enter into the ministries God has called you to. Go with God, my friends. Blessings,