Sheila Seekins Graduates!
Yesterday our resident seminarian for a year, Sheila Seekins, received her Master of Divinity at the 194th — and final — Commencement at Bangor Theological Seminary. Tom and I were there. BTS rallied to give a warm blessing and send-off to its new graduates, while acknowledging the sadness of the seminary’s closing. Dr. Daniel O. Aleshire, Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, gave a thoughtful and moving address to the graduates on the nature of blessing. “The blessing of God is necessary for the bread of life, the staff of life, the hope of life, the meaning of life. So let’s not worry about seeking what we have to have. … The only real power we have in Christian ministry is the power to bless.”
The closing of the seminary leaves a large hole. The need for theological and spiritual education is stronger than ever, not only for the purpose of training new generations of church leaders, but also for the continuing growth and education of those already in ordained ministry, and the laity. There is a hunger out there for spiritual literacy, and a lot of quackery to skillfully navigate. I am hopeful that this hunger will lead to a new birth of something to satisfy spiritually hungry minds and hearts.