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One Golden Grad’s Reflections on Commencement 2022

Published Date: June 2, 2022

During commencement weekend at ATS, the Advancement and Alumni offices welcomed over 60 Golden Graduates from three classes back to campus – some for the first time since graduating 50 years ago. It was a blessed time of reconnecting after a long period of quarantine and isolation. Dr. LeRoy Kettinger’s reflections on the event demonstrate how God blessed the efforts of all involved:

Asbury Theological Seminary invited the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 to a “50-year, Golden Grads Celebration.” ATS housed us at the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott, provided transportation back and forth to campus, plus our meals.

Jay Mansur talks to the Golden Grads at the Kalas Community House.

We enjoyed brunch with Asbury Seminary’s president, Dr. Tennent, and individual pictures taken with him. Tours of the campus, participation in baccalaureate and commencement, with recognition during the commencement, made everything about perfect.

For Wilma and me, this was renewal time:

          We reconnected with friends whom we’ve loved but not seen for decades

          We sang like only Methodists can sing, inspired, full voice, with tears

          We heard the message of holiness, “Wesleyan Style”

          We came away believing that scriptural holiness must again be our “watch-word and song”

          We saw technology and message linked appropriately

          We heard several God inspired messages

          We listened as Dr. Tennent reminded us:

                    “We stand in ministry, not based merely on who we are

                    and our list of qualifications, but on the majesty of Jesus Christ.”

Ready to participate in graduation at the Luce Center.

Thank you, Asbury Theological Seminary. For at least three generations you have impacted the Kettinger family.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 3.22-23 NLT

PS:

I heard a report from last Friday. Michael the Archangel went to see Jesus and reported, “Those Methodists in Wilmore are at it again!” Jesus replied, “Great, and Michael you are a faithful servant, let’s shut down all heavenly music so I can listen to Wilmore without distraction. This evening in Estes Chapel they are going to sing, ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness,’ one of my favorites. When they sing it, my heart is full of joy and my eyes with tears. At commencement, they will be using as The Anthem of Praise, Wesley’s Covenant Prayer, so powerful. Michael, we’ve got to get that up here and use it with our choirs. And Michael, would you kindly bring me my Asbury Hymnal, I want to join in singing ‘And Can It Be,’ Wilmore is the only place where they get it right all the time. After commencement, we’ll turn on heaven’s music again!”

I’m not able to tell if the report is true or a dream! In either case, Wilmore and ATS gets an A+.

Blessings,

LeRoy


One response to “One Golden Grad’s Reflections on Commencement 2022”

  1. Rev. Linda Stoddard says:

    Amen, LeRoy….Amen.

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