After a few family travels she'll start a Fellows Program in Greensboro NC, where she will be mentored in the integration of work and faith as she works part-time in her field of environmental action and food, takes theology classes, and volunteers in the Church of the Redeemer.
We are grateful for the vast community of former teachers, team-mates, cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, friends from Uganda and Kenya, soccer and tennis and basketball and volleyball coaches, church leaders, supporters who have all brought us this far. Wish you could have all breezed through this weekend with us. Here are some highlights:
- Julia treated her grandmothers and her mom (me!) to a lovely lunch for an early mother's day.
- Luke was on point, with logistics and icy drinks and cheer and help throughout the long weekend, keeping the focus on what-does-Julia-want. Plus both grandmothers, my sister Janie, most of Julia's Biggerstaff cousins.
- We put together a party for about 40-some people with a Costco run and some decorations at a pavilion on the farm where she worked. She invited friends and their families to come out, and the atmosphere was lovely, bees and flowers and vegetables, abundant food and drink, conversations and a setting sun.
- Parties for other friends where we dropped in to meet people, and another party hosted by the Duke Farm managers for the 5 seniors who worked there.
- A church service at Blacknall, where Julia attended and volunteered. Her pastor preached powerfully to the graduates, challenging them to pursue courage over clarity. He talked about the disciples in the storm on the boat, and how most of our plans and lives do not move in clear and predictable directions. To follow Jesus we need courage!
- A Baccalaureate service where the Rev. Luke Powery (Dean of the Duke Chapel) preached another powerful, relevant, bold, hopeful message on the life of Jacob. He talked about life in America, and challenged the students with the truth that life will bring wounds and difficulty and that is where we meet God.
- A Departmental graduation with the Environmental Science faculty, where Julia received her diploma, and we met her advisor and enjoyed seeing the educational spaces and a reception with other students and family.
- A dinner with grandmothers and a couple of her close friends at a hip restaurant with menu items we had to google to understand.
- And of course, the main event, the massive commencement ceremony on a 90+ degree pounding sun day in the football stadium, where Tim Cook enjoined the graduates to not accept the status quo, to keep searching for better solutions.
Duke has been a provision of grace for us. And so has Julia.