Midland community high school baccalaureate service

At the Grace A. Dow Library auditorium on May 28 the third consecutive Midland Community High School Baccalaureate Service was held for the graduating class of 2013. The aim for this service was to not only honor the graduates and their academic achievements but also to recognize and praise God for his work in their lives. The seniors were also prayed over during the service, thanking God and asking for his blessing on their futures.
“[We wanted] to offer Midland area high school graduates and their families the opportunity to celebrate God’s grace, strength and provision in their graduation experience,” high school pastor of the Midland Evangelical Free church Jeff Andridge said.
At 7:00 p.m. the service started with a welcome from Andridge, who was part of a small group of area youth pastors who organized the event. He was then followed by a Midland citizen, Peg Born, who spoke about her hopes for the futures of the seniors and gave encouragement, mentioning that she and a group of people in town had been regularly praying for all of the high school students since 2005.
Music was also included in the program. First, the MHS Meister singers performed two songs for the seniors, who came from all different schools such as MHS, DHS and SASA. Worship music was later played for the seniors and their families and other audience members to participate in to praise God for his work in the lives of the graduates.
Wayne Crosby, real estate agent for the RE/MAX of Midland also spoke, followed by an instrumental duet by Luke and Whitney Lambert, MHS student and alumni, respectively.
The final speaker was Adam Rodgers, DHS graduate of 2005. He gave the seniors, coincidentally, 13 tips for the next stage of their lives, drawn from his recent experience.
“[The speakers and musical guests were chosen] mostly through relationships. There was a small team of youth pastors, myself, Rich Williams and Keith Grabill, who met three times throughout the school year to design the program,” Andridge said. “We each knew different people and invited them to contribute to the service. The mix of Wayne and Adam as speakers provided an interesting blend of generational experiences and input. Last year the Meisters performed and did a great job and they were willing to do it again this year.”
The night was closed when Andridge asked the families who had come with their soon-to-be graduates to pray over them individually.
Many students who attended the service appreciated the time to reflect on their lives so far and the encouraging send-off that they received.
“It was really cool,” senior John Brandon said. “It made me think back to all the years that I’ve had and made me appreciate what everyone’s done in my life. You know, it’s before graduation and it made me fast-forward it, it’s hard to explain, but it definitely made me think about a lot of things like my past, my future and I’m just really thankful for all the great people in my life.”
The baccalaureate service encouraged many and was specially designated program for seniors to recognize God’s presence in their lives in the past and in the future.
“I know this was a stretch for some graduating seniors to come and experience, yet I believe God truly blessed each one who came,” Andridge said. “They and their families were reminded of His love for them in Christ, encouraged to use their experiences and education for being the change they want to see in their world and [were] passionately prayed over. I am hopeful that in years to come more students, families and churches will be represented.”

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Erika Ryan

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