Starr King School for the Ministry

Poem, read as a "rap", by

Rev. Gary E. Smith

recipient of Doctor of Sacred Theology

On the Occasion of the Graduation Celebration Dinner
May 20, 2012

Poem on a single printable page (pdf)

Gary SmithStarr King School
for the Ministry

This vision
This school house
This hill top
This holy hilltop of school houses
This particular entranceway
These colorful banners
This invitation to enter
This invitation to enter more than a building
This invitation to enter a ministry
This chapel
This round chapel
These offices
These teaching rooms
These learning rooms
These holy rooms
These transforming rooms

This vision
This school house
These students
These graduates
This staff
This austere budget
This persistent fund-raising
This faculty
These amazing teachers
These many books
These e-books
These ipads and iphones
These relentless papers
These conversations
These tears these laughs
This teaching
This mentoring
This learning
This calling
These ministries
This history
These long-range strategic plans
These sacrifices
These student sacrifices
These staff sacrifices
These faculty sacrifices

This vision
This school house
This justice-seeking school house
This particular pedagogy
This “Little Engine that Could”
These students
These graduates
These ministers and change agents
These transformed people
These transforming people
These dreaming people
This calling
This holy calling
These cries for justice
These cries for change
This righteous anger

This vision
This school house
This holy hill
This campus
This community
This East Bay
These cities
These people
These hospitals
These schools
These churches
These mosques
These synagogues
These temples
These identities
These differences
These commonalities
This witness

This vision
This school house
This faith
These Unitarians
These Universalists
These Unitarian Universalists
This Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy
This Ministerial Fellowship Committee
This Clinical Pastoral Education
This Career Assessment
These internships
These triumphs
These disappointments

This vision
This school house
This amazing school house
This persistent school house
This accredited for ten more years school house
This heart-healing school house
This mind-stretching school house
This assumption-challenging school house
This spirit-growing school house
This soul-singing school house
This justice-demanding school house
This world-wrestling school house
This multicultural school house
This anti-oppression school house
This anti-racist school house
This humble pie-eating school house

This vision
This school house
These teachers
These founders and Presidents
These Deans
This history
This faculty
This amazing faculty
This caring faculty
This open-hearted faculty
This life-giving faculty
This ministry-inviting faculty
This always-learning-themselves faculty

This vision
This school house
These students
These pose-on-the front step first-year students
These family juggling uprooted students
These poor and tired students
These “be careful what you wish for” students
These “what did I get into?” students
These “make the world right” students

This vision
This school house
These graduates
These “I made it” graduates
These on to chaplaincy graduates
These parish ministry graduates
These ministry of religious education graduates
These social change graduates
These forever-changed graduates
These leaders
These progressive leaders
These dreamers
These better-world justice-demanding persistent dreamers
These inspiring creative articulate fearless dreamers

This vision
This school house
This Graduate Theological Union school house
This Berkeley school house
This west coast school house
This Unitarian Universalist school house
This interfaith school house
This multi-faith school house
This more than any label school house
This international school house
This vessel for living
This vessel for learning
This vessel for dreaming and changing
This vessel for laughter and tears
This vessel for shouting and whispering
This school house for changing lives and for being changed

This vision
This school house

In the name of all that is holy, bless this school and all its people
And bless these graduates tonight

Gary E. Smith




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