05/15/2020 For the Graduates – By Pastor Katie







This time is so hard, for all of us, and this week I’m especially thinking about graduating students and their families. These long awaited moments and memories have been overshadowed by Covid-19. 


This Sunday we recognize our graduates in worship, last year this was one of my favorite services. Much like the Confirmation service (we will *hopefully* celebrate you all on Reformation Sunday), the youth plan and lead the whole worship service. It is such a gift to see our talented young adults being the church and leading us in worship—I’m looking forward to Sunday’s service. 

The excitement and accomplishment that is high school and college graduation are huge and are the result of a tremendous amount of work by students, teachers, families and many other AAA (Authentic, Available, and Affirming) Adults.

No graduation ceremony this year, but they are graduating! 

No big grad parties, for now, but there is still cause for celebration. 

A colleague of mine, Pastor Meta Herrick Carlson, wrote a book called Ordinary Blessings, and there is a beautiful blessing for Graduation which I’ve included below. There are two lines that  

There is no right answer to how you keep becoming.
There is no degree or title that can fulfill all of who you are.

I wish I had heard these words at high school graduation, college graduation, even seminary graduation. It has taken time for me to learn these lessons. 

There is no right answer to how you keep becoming.   

We keep becoming each and every day, sometimes there is a road map, sometimes we know the way, sometimes we feel lost, sometimes we surprise ourselves with who we’ve become. To our graduates, your journey is yours alone, please don’t try to copy others, the world needs you to be you, because you are a gift! Even after high school, college and graduate work, the learning never ends, it just looks different – fewer classrooms and homework assignments. 

Give yourself time and space to discover who you are again and again. If one day you realize you don’t know yourself or don’t like who you’ve become, there is grace for that, turn to those you trust, those who love you, and know you are still becoming, and then you can un-become, and re-become, all of this rooted in God’s love and grace. 

There is no degree or title that can fulfill all of who you are.

I’ve known I was called to be a pastor since high school, so the twelve years it took me to finally get ordained and become a pastor felt like endless hoops to jump through until I would finally be fulfilled. I am so much more than a student of educational institutions. I’m a lifelong learner, an adventurer who loves travel, an extrovert who thrives in meaningful friendships and relationships, an exhausted mom to an energetic and rambunctious three year old. There is so much more to all of us than students behind desks. May you find your adventures, your challenges, your joys, your people, and all of the things that fulfill all of who you are. 

For our graduates and their families, I see your grief behind the forced smile. This is hard. It is okay to not be okay. God sees you. Well done students, well done parents, we’re still celebrating this huge milestone. 

For teachers, coaches, directors and AAA Adults, thank you for your time, energy, love, support and guidance. It takes a village and we are glad we can count on you. 

Congratulations, Graduates! 


A Blessing for Graduation by Pastor Meta Herrick Carlson

So you know some things.
You’ve also noticed
how much there still is to discover.

You are both humbled and emboldened
by this gain and ground.
What’s next?

Do not be fooled by the trite questions,
the expectations about pressing forward.
There is no right answer to how you
keep becoming.
There is no degree or title that can
fulfill all of who you are.

Delight in the wisdom
and those who share it.

Invest in the service
and those who need it.

Be thankful for the support
and those who give it.

You are being sent
to speak what is true
to do what is kind
to give what is necessary
so that your knowledge and mystery
are alive in the world
for all to share.

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