Graduation in the city


What a contrast! This past weekend, the town of Williamsburg was shut down by William and Mary graduation. It’s a big deal in our little town. Every motel room and every parking place seemed to be filled by the crowd that came into town.

After worship on Sunday, Patty and I drove to New York City, because our daughter, Emily was to receive a Master of Arts in Music Education degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College.

Emily and UsThe ceremony was held in the Cathedral of St. John the Beloved, on Amsterdam Avenue. There were thousands of people in attendance! The city’s reaction? Ho hum … City busses picked up riders right in front of the Cathedral. Traffic wizzed past. Restaurants on Amsterdam Avenue were crowded with folks who had no connection to the graduation.

graduates in the cityQuite a different scene, compared to sleepy Williamsburg!

And, when students were graduating from the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, there was not  a single sidewalk vendor hawking his wares: “Get yer graduation souveniers heah!”

graduation souveniers

Here’s a picture of Patty with Emily’s wonderful husband, Sheldon:

Sheldon and Patty


About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!