I regret that I won't be able to attend graduation in Richmond. Sadly, travel cost considerations from Seattle--coupled with my job responsibilities--made it unfeasible. Although the total amount of time I spent "in person" at ESR was relatively brief, I do feel a strong connection and I hope to visit in the future. I very much appreciate that I was able to "attend" the Baccalaureate Dinner and Service remotely via Adobe Connect. Thanks for making that possible.
I want to thank each of you for your instruction, guidance, support and encouragement during my time as a student at ESR. Attending seminary and earning a Master's degree was a dream that I nursed for many years before way opened for it to come about.
When I was awarded the Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship for 2013-14, it was a tremendous affirmation and confirmation and inspiration. I recall sharing the news with my wife and we wept tears of joy together. Receiving the scholarship had a significant impact on our lives and marked a major crossroad. There is a story in the biblical book of Joshua, chapter 4, in which the Israelites--having crossed the Jordan river--set up "standing stones" to serve as a visible reminder of their miraculous journey. After receiving the scholarship I decided that if I managed to graduate I would likewise make a token of remembrance--something I could look upon all of my days to remind me of what God has done in and for me at ESR and of the many kindnesses extended to me there.
Attached is a photo of my remembrance. The text reads "Fides quaerens intellectum," which was the motto of Anselm of Canterbury, and translates as "Faith seeking understanding." Already, in the short time I've had it, it has provided opportunities to tell people about my experiences at ESR.
And so, friends, my thanks and best wishes to you.