At significant moment’s in our lives it is appropriate and even expected to take time to reflect upon the past, celebrate the present, and look with hope and anticipation into the future.
On June 9th, at 4:00 p.m. at Red Door Church in South Royalton we will have one of those significant moments as students and their families join local community leaders at our annual Baccalaureate Service to celebrate our first ever graduating class of White River Valley Wildcat’s. Our goal is to propel them into the next chapter of their lives and to give them a positive vision for their future.
In the past it was customary for schools to put together a religious service to allow spiritual leaders (and students) to address the graduating student body as they prepared to enter the world. At the university level, because most schools were originally founded for the education of ministers in the propagation of the Christian gospel these services would have been a normal part of the ebb and flow of university life. Schools like Dartmouth, Lafayette, Wake Forest, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and many others all have Christian roots and their graduation ceremonies in the past would have reflected that.
While I had trouble finding an authoritative source on the subject, it seems that Baccalaureate services began during times when graduating oratory students would deliver sermons in Latin as part of their training. The services were times to celebrate and worship God for lives dedicated to learning and the pursuit of wisdom.
Today, it is mainly the responsibility of churches and the students themselves to put together these services. Over the years these services have evolved. Our service is intended to be a time of celebration, inspiration, motivation and enrichment involving peoples of various backgrounds and traditions. Through video, music, song, prayer, speeches, and gifts we hope to put wind in the sails of graduating students as they embark on a new chapter in life.
We are honored to be working with the students of White River Valley School and other community leaders to put together a service that will be a treasured memory in the lives of the students, their friends, and family for many years to come.
We hope to see you there!
My life is one of contradictions. I’m a southern boy living in northern New England; a boring guy married to super-fun girl; a conservative pastor in a progressive Christian denomination; a changed man in need of change; a sinner loved by a holy and perfect God.