Bishop Susan Brown Snook was celebrated by Church Divinity School of the Pacific with an honorary doctorate at their 127th Commencement Ceremony on May 21.
Bishop Brown Snook preached to an energetic graduating class: “We are witnesses that Jesus is alive,” said Bishop Brown Snook. Moreover, if you asked the Bishop if she believes that Jesus actually rose from the dead, she says, “Believe it? I’ve witnessed it!” Jesus, raised from the dead, is easily seen in the faces of children and adults that know the love of Jesus. He is seen in the servants helping people without homes, or without enough to eat, find rest and nourishment. He is seen in the many congregations celebrating Jesus with awe and reverence.
Bishop Brown Snook called the newly graduated to be witnesses of the Risen Jesus; to be witnesses to the Love of God; to be witnesses to the Resurrection. The calling to be a witness, she said, is not an easy one. It’s a risky one. Jesus does not call us to be comfortable. He calls us to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. She spoke of the narrative of decline that is too often heard in the church, and said that narrative is only true if we allow it to be true, because the church of Jesus is not dead and it is not dying. It is the living embodiment of the risen Body of Christ on this earth, and the church has a mission, to be witnesses to the love of God, witnesses to the resurrection; witnesses to the fact that God’s will for this world is healing and transformation, justice and reconciliation, everlasting life and eternal love.
The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, President and Dean of CDSP, said that Bishop Susan’s sermon made people feel like getting out of their chairs like one who had been sent by Jesus.
At the ceremony, CDSP awarded thirteen new Master of Divinity and two Master of Theological Studies degrees, granted four Certificates of Anglican Studies, three Master of Arts degrees, and one Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Bishop Brown Snook was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for her leadership in the areas of evangelism, church growth, church planting, and new mission development.
San Diego’s own Heather Lawrence and the Rev. Brian Petersen graduated with Certificates in Anglican Studies.
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