The Baccalaureate service yesterday was a special time for honoring our 2022 graduates. It also served as the unofficial transition of the reigning youth senior class to the College and Career class, and the crowning of a new group of seniors in our youth department. Some have asked, “What is a baccalaureate service, and why do we have one?” According to Wikipedia, “A baccalaureate service is a celebration that honors a graduating class from a college, high school, or middle school. The event is typically a Christianity-based…service… A claim much repeated is that "the baccalaureate service is believed to have originated at the University of Oxford in 1432 when each [graduate] was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic requirements.” In times past, it wasn’t uncommon for sermons to be preached at high school and college graduations. Over time, sermons were replaced with secular speeches. Even so, speakers would often acknowledge God and prayers were a regular part of the graduation exercises. Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1992 on the separation of church and state, public graduation exercises were scrubbed of references to God and prayer. That is why it is so important that we uphold the baccalaureate tradition in our church. Our graduates, and all of our students, need to be reminded of the importance of acknowledging God during this significant life event. Graduates of 2022, we honor you! And, we acknowledge Almighty God as we ask that He direct your path.
Rhys preached a great message yesterday that also served as a charge for our graduates in the 11:00 service. During his message I jotted down a note: “God, You have given me everything I need to do the job You have called me to do.” This serves as an awesome reminder for all of us – student, staff member, Christian business person / employee, working moms and stay-at-home moms, retiree, etc.
We were excited to welcome yesterday Gary Wayne & Glenda Harbeson (promise of church letter) and Isaiah Evans (profession of faith)! Please welcome them to the RPBC family when you see them.
This coming Sunday, May 29th, is the target date we have set for donations to be given toward building a gym. We voted overwhelmingly (96%) to build the gym, however, we will not finalize the contract until we have the money in hand. Folks, voting was the easy part. Giving, however, requires faith and commitment. I am reminded of the old joke concerning the contributions the chicken and the pig make to provide us breakfast: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed! Right now we need COMMITTED givers.
This year’s graduating seniors were just finishing the 6th grade when God called me back here as your Senior Pastor. I couldn’t help but think yesterday that we just graduated another generation of youth who did not have the benefit of a gym for our church activities. How many more will there be? Please pray diligently this week, asking God to show you how much to give; a gift that will challenge your faith. Then, give accordingly.
Watch to See Where God is Working, and Join Him!