2015 School for Deacons Graduation

2015 School for Deacons Graduation

by the Ven. Gary Brown, Archdeacon, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California; Deacon, St. John's, Marysville

The 35th Annual Commencement for the Episcopal School for Deacons (SFD) was conducted on May 10, 2015, in the Denniston Refectory of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific(CDSP). The graduating class consisted of five students representing the various dioceses served by the School. Among the five graduating students were two from the The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California – our own Mara Fagin Arack and Don Callison. The other three graduates were Susan Arnold from The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real; Nancy Key from The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin; and Tim Smith from The Episcopal Diocese of California.

The service was conducted according to An Order of Worship for the Evening (BCP 108-114), with the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of California, as Officiant. The Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner, Bishop of the The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, and the Ven. Gary N. Brown, an Archdeacon of The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, were present to participate in celebrating the completion of the arduous three-year journey for these graduates. Also participating in the ceremony from the The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California were the Rev. Tina Campbell, member of the school’s faculty, and the Rev. Virginia McNeely who is a member of the School’s Board of Trustees. The sermon was delivered by the Rev. Eric Nefstead, an instructor at SFD who also serves as Presider at most school services. A lavish reception was held in the school’s St. Margaret’s Courtyard following the ceremony.

The School for Deacons provides a three-year program which culminates in the award of a Certificate of Diaconal Studies or a Bachelor of Diaconal Studies, for those with sufficient prior college credits. Although the School for Deacons is located in the The Episcopal Diocese of California, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California is well represented among the student body, with an additional seven students from this diocese currently in the first and second year classes. Many deacons from this diocese received their education and training through this school.

Both Northern California graduates were awarded Bachelor’s degrees. Don Callison is scheduled for ordination as a deacon at his home parish of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Napa on August 8, 2015. Dependent upon successful completion of her candidacy, Mara Arack will be scheduled for ordination in 2016. Both will be an invaluable asset to the diaconate and to the The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

Congratulations, Don and Mara!





 

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