This past Sunday the Maryland and Virginia satellite campus of St. Michael’s Seminary celebrated its first commencement. Four graduates received diplomas and certificates.
On behalf of Bp. Michael Davidson of the Central Diocese, Rev. Dr. Martin Eppard, mentor of the local satellite campus, presented a certificate of completion to Rev. Fr. Terrence Murphy; the Licentiate in Theology to Messrs. Bill Pilcher and Matt Ball; and the Master of Ministry degree to Rev. Dcn. David Prosser.
Instructors Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Welch and Rev. Fr. Jon Jackson assisted with the ceremony. Fr. Jackson read a letter from Bp. Davidson, which encouraged the men to continue in life long learning, and to make their study a place of prayer.
Fr. Eppard shared a message from 2 Timothy 2, exhorting the graduates to be as diligent and disciplined in their pursuit of God as a solider, an athlete, or a hard working farmer is in their respective fields. He reminded the men that a seminary is only a seedbed, not an orchard, and that they have been given seeds, not fruit. They must now be diligent to cultivate those seeds to produce fruit for the people of God and the Kingdom of God.
The graduate’s wives served as lay readers and helped with the reception that followed. Former St. Michael’s Seminary graduates and rectors of local parishes, Rev. Frs. Jim Ball, Tim Illsley and Rob Northwood, concelebrated the Holy Eucharist. Seminarian Elias Marsh served as the sub-deacon.
Everything came together beautifully as the Lord blessed the service with a wonderful sense of His presence. Steve and Barbara Abshire and Fr. Dean and Gloriann Schultz lead the music ministry. It was a truly glorious afternoon as friends and family from five Charismatic Episcopal Church parishes joined together to celebrate and congratulate the newest graduates of St. Michael’s Seminary.
Additional pictures are available at www.goodshepherd-cec.org under the link titled, “photo gallery.”