During the University's Convocation for the Class of 2024 and 2025 on Tuesday, the Rev. Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at HDS and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, asked everybody to be “thankful that we are here, that we made it” and to remember those whose help was crucial to arrive at this moment.
"May we always make neighbors of strangers. May we learn to love them as we love ourselves. And may we forever welcome the lost and the lonely and the forgotten as our own into this, our church home," said Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.
Smaller organizations with older congregations that struggled to adapt during the pandemic are in the greatest danger of a downward spiral from which they can’t recover, said the Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, Swartz Resident Practitioner in Ministry Studies.
“To have been on pilgrimage with you through these days has been one of the most profound experiences of my life, one from which I hope I will never stop learning,” said outgoing Interim Pusey Minister at Memorial Church and HDS Professor Stephanie Paulsell.
Speaking alternately from outside Memorial Church, Interim Pusey Minister Stephanie A. Paulsell and her successor, Matthew I. Potts, both HDS professors, closed out the Honoring the Class of 2021 program with a benediction.
"In every case, at every level, we feel ourselves caught between a past we must let go and a future beyond our grasp. In every case we’ve been left with neither the comforts of the familiar nor the confidence of the foreseeable. In every case, all we really know about the future is that it’s coming," said HDS Professor Matthew Ichihashi Potts, newly appointed Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.
Dallas pastor Richie Butler, MTS '96, has blazed a trail through the worlds of real estate and ministry in Texas and nationwide, developing more than $500 million in urban properties, leading iconic Black churches and launching initiatives to combat racism and deliver COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to communities of color.