From the Gettysburg PO by
The Rev. Michael Cooper-White, D.D., President
As I walk along in life’s journey, I am often in awe and admiration for all sorts of fellow travelers. I take this occasion to simply share a starter list, which does not even begin to convey my deep admiration for a longer roster that would go on page after page. I admire:
· The many who are unemployed and seeking work, and who bear their plight with such grace and determination.
· Parents of small children, especially little ones with special needs and challenging circumstances.
· Long-distance drivers, air crews, military personnel and all whose occupations require them to be away from home for long stretches of time.
· Teachers who exercise their professions in all sorts of classrooms, especially ones who work in impoverished areas with few resources and under enormous stresses.
· Highly skilled workers upon whose precision and accuracy (when things simply must be done right the first time) others’ lives depend—surgeons, air traffic controllers, 911 operators, nuclear plant operators—to name just a few.
· Those who do the “dirty work” in every society—trash collectors, pest control workers, those who clear roadways after horrible accidents, and clean-up crews who work the night shift.
· Scholars who pore over obscure texts in search of truths long ignored, and those who do cutting-edge research and then head backstage, leaving their successors to get the credit.
· Government workers, especially ones in the welfare and child protection services, who exercise their callings for decades with dedication and a servant’s posture.
· All my colleagues in this Seminary community—and by “colleagues” I mean everyone—students, staff, faculty, trustees, alumni and all who lend a hand in our great adventure of learning and formation!
As is the case every year in these weeks leading up to commencement, I invite each of the graduating seniors to share the names of two or three persons who have been most influential and supportive of them during their time as seminarians. Then I send those supporters a letter, thanking them on behalf of the Seminary and a grateful church about to be richly blessed by another of our graduates. It’s one small measure of expressing our profound admiration for a few of our FrOGS—“friends of Gettysburg seminarians.”
As you look around from your life station, whom do you admire? Have you made the effort, taken the time to let them know? If you have a bit more time after you do so, I’d love to see the list of your own “most-admired.”