by the Rev. Christopher Potter, Vicar
St. John’s celebrated the graduating 8th graders this week with great ceremony and honor. About 50 young people, some of whom spent 11 or 12 years at St. John’s, gathered up all their memories and talents and education and packed them up for their new schools and new relationships. They sat in neat rows, in the stair-stepped loft where the Sunday choir sits, with new dresses, new suits, fresh haircuts and a comical array of footwear that spanned the sporty to the spiffy.
Two of our own, Bishop Taylor and Sheryll Grogan, made quite the impression on those in attendance. Many remember fondly Bishop John from his time as Vicar here. Bishop John handed out the “Bishop John Harvey Taylor Prize for excellence in communication, written or oral” to a girl who had grown academically so much in the last years, that she surprised all her teachers, me among them.
Our sister Sheryll overcame significant obstacles (unbeknownst to most) to give her Commencement address, and it was beautiful and moving. She, who has been part of St. John’s history as parent, volunteer, substitute teacher, science teacher, and now Middle Division Principal shows another of the benefits of being committed to the work of St. John’s. Though in absentia, the pride of her three daughters was felt by all who know the heart-warming stories of the Grogan family and St. John’s.
The events of this week will stay with us for many years, as the students moving forward represent the finest examples of the benefits of an Episcopal education. I heard from teachers and administrators that night; in the 34 years of graduating classes from St. John’s, this class was among the finest. The written reflections by three representative students each praised their experiences of welcome, acceptance, and finding joy in the diversity at St. John’s and all in the context of a first-rate education. This graduating class stands out as exemplary in all areas. The three girls who shared their essays recounted how it was the LOVE that accompanied them through their journey at St. John’s that made all the difference to them.
You have many reasons for gratitude. You and your predecessors have set the environment and the standards which produce good citizens, curious students, and human beings who respect all others, and children who know the value of love. This has lasting impact in the lives of the students, but also for the schools that have accepted them, the industries in which they will work, and the neighborhoods in which they will live.
Happy graduation to all the 8th Graders of St. John’s, and to all others who are transitioning to new schools and new jobs.
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We’ll see you at St. John’s this weekend:
• Saturday worship at 5 p.m. in the Chapel; potluck following
• Sunday worship at 8 a.m. (in-person only)
• Sunday worship at 10 a.m.
(in-person and ZOOM)
• Godly Play and Nursery at 10 a.m.
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At the link use the sponsor code: St. John. Note: no ‘s’
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We’ll see you at St. John’s!