« It Is Accomplished! »

kelli in cap and gown, just about ready to start the graduation ceremonyAt long last, Kelli got to don the cap and gown to receive her Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology. This isn't her ordination; that comes later, but this is a huge step toward her professional clergy life. There are still some other hurdles before she can be ordained. But just as surely, that day will come too, and not too long from now.

kelli receiving her diplomaAt long last, the moment that took seven semesters of academic toil, long weekly commutes, personal reflection and discernment, and even butting heads with institutional buffoons! At least the diploma is printed on nice paper and they got her name spelled right, which is more than can be said about the IRS and Social Security Administration.

kelli with diploma, processing back to her seatAnd the victory walk took less than a minute after all that!

kelli after the ceremony, holding her diploma finallyKelli Parrish Lucas M.Div., if you please—And she should be proud! From the start of her admissions work to the end, it was four years of toil.

kelli with the CST sign behind her, thumb over her shoulder looking like she's relieved to get the hell out of dodge.As if to say, "I finally got that $#!^ behind me!"

ed and kelli get a chance to have each other back nowI sort of get my wife back now. Except for the fact she is doing her chaplaincy residency (non-academic, at least not related to CST work) which seems to take as much time if not more. But she doesn't have to go away for a few days at a time now.

the rent a crowd for the day: friends from a couple churches, old and newKelli and her cheering section: Mama Kay from Florida; Sharon Peterson (my sponsor and "spiritual mother hen" at my new church); Kelli, the Divine Master; Phil Calabrese (friend and father-figure to us both); some dude with a barely-working camera; Amanda Kersey (friend of Kelli's, seminarian and chaplain, and fellow new member at my church); and Lindy Harshberger (friend from CCCPB and Habitat for Humanity volunteer).

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