Convocation

Picture yourselves seated in the Chapel of the Holy Grail light dancing on the polished tile floor. In front of you in the chancel window are those dreamers, the knights questing after the Holy Grail: Sir Galahad, Sir Percivale, Sir Bors....

Lean your heads back and look up. There, behind those lights. There, between the hardwood beams is a carpet on the ceiling, an azure canopy. Symbols twinkle overhead. Soaring among them are chalices and communion patens. Chalices with wings and flying saucers. I wish we were there together.

On that azure sky of a ceiling, the chalices and patens fly away from the chancel, out of the chapel, into the world. They, like you graduates, fly to the fearful and grieving, to the raging and righteous, to seekers of salvation, to lovers and knowers; to congregations, hospitals, seminar rooms, street corners, protests, courtrooms. They fly to the whole world.

Only this spring have we come to realize that this chapel is also a place of grave danger. We used to pile ourselves into the pews, facing each other directly across the center aisle to sing loudly and eat together. We did not know that communion could be so deadly. Maybe those knights in the stained glass window knew something we had not realized. There they are in plain sight, wearing the PPE of their day, medieval armor -- the PPE necessary for pursuing the Holy Grail of justice and community.

Graduates, these past years you have been preparing for extraordinary vocations with lessons learned in a familiar place that has now become strange. We send you out, not with answers, but with questions both practiced and made strange. How will you enter into your own selves? Acknowledge your own fears? Inhabit your own dreams? How does one go out into the whole world? What does it mean that safety cannot be taken for granted?

Graduates, be brave and winsome; be wise; be savvy; be full of heart, mind, and soul. May these questions continue to shape and to haunt you. May you always receive the gift of sharing life with others as unexpected, as grace. And may you always keep good comrades on the journey.   - From remarks by Dean Kris Culp, 12 June 2020

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DDH celebrated graduation and the close of its 125th academic year on June 12, 2020. Due to pandemic conditions, the fanfare for the graduates took place remotely. About 70 individuals gathered to mark the end of the year and to celebrate its graduates. We look forward to celebrating in the Chapel of the Holy Grail next year and to hearing from J. Marshall Dunn then.

The first DDH Convocation was held in 1933. Recent speakers have included Larry Bouchard, Don Browning, Frank Burch Brown, W. Clark Gilpin, Ana Gobledale, Allen Harris, Claudia Highbaugh, Pamela James Jones, Sandhya Rani Jha, Verity Jones, JoAnne Kagiwada, Angela Kaufman, Hubert Locke, Daisy Machado, Holly McKissick, Mark Miller-McLemore, Lee Hull Moses, Teresa Hord Owens, Stephanie Paulsell, David Vargas, Clark Williamson, and Geunhee Yu.

Convocation is a formal service that marks the end of the academic year and celebrates the achievements of graduating Disciples House Scholars and ecumenical community members. Convocation is held in the Chapel of the Holy Grail on the last Friday of the spring quarter and in conjunction with Divinity School and University Convocation festivities.