Ceremony stresses importance of faith to grads

A group of Oxford High School seniors received a faith-based send-off Sunday night during the 2018 baccalaureate service.

A baccalaureate ceremony is a religious service honoring a graduating class.

Sponsored by LakePoint Community Church in Oxford Township, Oakwood Community Church in Brandon Township and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion, the service highlighted the importance of recognizing God’s plan for each graduating senior.

LakePoint Youth Band opened the service with a performance of Jesus Culture’s “Alive in You.”

OHS senior Rick Galbraith served as Master of Ceremonies. Photo by  Elise Shire.
OHS senior Rick Galbraith served as Master of Ceremonies.
Photo by
Elise Shire.

Rev. Don Jackson, of Oakwood Community Church, was the keynote speaker. He explored the concept of purpose using an analogy.

Jackson recalled an incident from his childhood that involved him putting his daredevil skills to the test. Long story short, one bicycle plus one ramp led to a hard landing and an unexpected flight.

“Life is like that. You’re making choices. Sometimes when you make choices, you’ll find yourself airborne. You’ve got to land this thing called life. Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God,” Jackson said.

Jackson told students the best way to “land this thing called life” is to remember that life is valuable and they should live it in a way that “pays down the debt of love” owed to the parents, grandparents, friends and family members who helped the graduates get where they are today.

“You have a debt of love and how you pay that down is how you live your life,” he said. “The good thing about God is when we think we’ve wasted things and burned it, he makes all things new.

“No matter where you’re at tonight, no matter what you’ve done, you need to know you can land this thing.”

Looking out at a crowd of approximately 50 students, along with friends and family members, senior Katherine Sovis encouraged her classmates to have faith and not be fearful about entering the next chapter of their lives.

“Senior year can be a very trying time for all of us,” she said. “Throughout these last four years I’ve made friends, lost friends and reconnected with old friends. I’m no longer who I was four years ago and I’ve watched those around me change and grow just as much as I have.

But one thing that I’ve found that has helped guide me and show me where I fit in the world has been my religion.”

The service also included prayers and speeches from Master of Ceremonies Rick Galbraith, 2013 Oxford alumni Molly Schultz and parent Kathy Galbraith.

Graduating seniors received carnations which were then given to parents, family and friends to thank them for their support.

Rev. Matt Johnson, of New Hope of Oxford Church, delivered the closing benediction.


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