May 22, 2014, CAMBRIDGE, MA—Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) celebrated the graduation of 23 students during its Thursday Commencement Exercises at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational.
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings EDS '77, President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church—the first ordained woman to hold that position—delivered a commencement address on the topic of the restructuring of the Episcopal Church.
"I believe that the restructuring debate has given us Episcopalians a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine—to reassert—what our tradition of shared governance and distributed authority offers to our world and to God’s mission in it,” said The Rev. Jennings. “I believe that our only way forward is together—lay people, deacons, priests and bishops."
Click here to read the full text of The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings's EDS Commencement Address.
Drawing upon the theme of moving forward, The Rev. Jennings spoke to the graduating class: "Your education here at EDS has formed you to be exactly the leaders we need to go forward, to be the people of God in the twenty-first century Episcopal Church."
During the ceremony, EDS President and Dean The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale presented The Rev. Jennings with a Doctor of Divinity degree. In addition, EDS presented honorary degrees to The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd, writer and civil rights activist; Janet Penn, founder and president of Youth LEAD, a Sharon, Massachusetts-based community organization that is a nationwide model of creating a culture of pluralism in communities; Julia Perez Kennedy ’99, former executive director of the YWCA Cambridge and women’s rights advocate; and The Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, former Anglican Bishop of Southern Malawi and EDS Presidential Fellow. To learn more about the 2014 Honorary Degree Recipients, click here.