President Sims Charge to the Class of 2023

On Tuesday, May 22, 2023, President Angela D. Sims provided a charge to the members of the Class of 2023.

View the charge below by video or by text:


What a time, what a time, what a time, that marks your matriculation at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Whether you began your journey on the hill in 2016 along with 20 other seminarians or in 2017 with 11 classmates, or at Village Gate in 2019 with 7 entering students and a new president, we gather this evening to say thank you for your response to a ministry of preparation. When I consider what has transpired these immediate past 39 months, I want to encourage you to take some time to acknowledge for yourself your own determination, flexibility, persistence, and resiliency to remain hope filled. As a global pandemic and social-justice crises caused you perhaps to be stretched in unimaginable ways or functioned as a catalyst for creative approaches to ministry or served to remind you of God’s abiding presence in some unlikely persons and places, members of the Class of 2023, you remind me that living CRCDS’ mission is a journey not a destination. A commitment to serve, care, and advocate for all peoples and the earth invites us always to remember that we, co-laborers with the Divine, have come this far by faith, not alone, but with a community and a great cloud of witnesses. This evening, I give thanks for persons who encouraged you, prayed with and for you, and supported you. For such a time as now, Howard Thurman reminds us that “the movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men and women often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.” Beloved, as we trust God to revive us again, I encourage you, in no order of significance, to consider the following:

  1. Commit to a daily spiritual practice that will sustain you in the work to which you are called
  2. Schedule rest and model for others how to respect your boundaries
  3. Engage actively in the work of justice on behalf of the communities and the peoples with whom you journey
  4. Speak truth, knowing that doing so may come with a risk of standing alone
  5. Give yourself permission to be quiet
  6. Cultivate a community of accountability with people with whom you can lament and rejoice
  7. Affirm yourself every day
  8. Acknowledge the good in someone daily
  9. Embrace an attitude of abundance
  10. Always be in a process of self-discovery
  11. Read something for fun at least monthly
  12. Remain connected to your alma mater

Finally, in everything you do, always give thanks and praise to God!



Posted by David Riddell at 21:18