as prepared for delivery by The Rev. Chuck Currie, incoming Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain at Pacific University
Good morning. One hundred sixty five years ago members from what is now called the United Church of Christ founded what would become known as Pacific University. The United Church of Christ, the church of the Pilgrims, has over the centuries evolved into an open and affirming denomination that values diversity, religious pluralism, education, and a just society.
These same principles are embodied by the mission of Pacific University: “A diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice, Pacific University inspires students to think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world.”
As we gather in celebration, let us first begin with a moment of silence for those we have lost in our Pacific family this past year…
Now please join me in a time of prayer and meditation:
Creator of us all, we join together on this Commencement Day in joyful anticipation of the future. We come from different places, different backgrounds, different faith traditions (or no faith tradition), but whatever differences we have we are bound together by the love, friendship and sense of family we feel for those gathered among us, and a hope that with our help the world can become a better place for all.
For our faculty and staff, we offer every thanksgiving for the service given to our graduates.
To the friends and family who have come from near and far, we recognize the sacrifices made for this day to have come.
For our graduates, we offer congratulations for your hard work and ask every blessing as one chapter of life ends and another begins. You inherit a world of challenges. Put the needs of the “least of these” around the world ahead of personal gain. Work to free the oppressed and continue the work of building the Beloved Community – a place where the Earth itself is protected so that generations yet to come can enjoy this gift we are simply stewards of. Love your community but always respectfully challenge it – and yourself – to better serve the common good. Do so with a spirit of reconciliation and compassion. Be bold, not timid, as you seek justice, love kindness and yet still walk humbly with the Spirit of all (Micah 6:8) through your life.
Peace be with you this day and every day.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors, we will miss you, but are also excited to see all the places you will go! pic.twitter.com/IeAyMW5WL4
Views expressed here represent the perspectives of Rev. Currie, as well as reader participants, and may not represent the views of Pacific University, the United Church of Christ’s national offices in Cleveland or any local UCC congregation. External links made from this site should not construe an endorsement. Rev. Currie has no more editorial control over such content than does a public library, bookstore, or newsstand. Such external links are made for informational purposes only.