Faith and the future were the focus of the 2016 Oxford High School Baccalaureate Service held May 22 at the Performing Arts Center.
A baccalaureate ceremony is a religious service honoring a graduating class.
Sponsored by Christ the King Church in Oxford and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion, the service highlighted the importance of recognizing God’s plans for each graduating senior.
Andrea Holt, of Christ the King Church, opened the service with a keyboard and vocal performance of Hillsong’s “Oceans.”
Rev. Matt Johnson, of the New Hope Church of Oxford, was the keynote speaker.
He explored the concept of purpose using an analogy. Johnson carried with him a variety of shoes to demonstrate that every shoe, like every student, has a purpose in life.
“They have a purpose that is very, very, very specific,” Johnson said. “To give traction, to give the sustainability, to take on life and to not slip and not fall. Not to go right or left, but to go exactly where you want to. God has a plan for you, that you get exactly where you need to be.”
Looking out at a crowd of about 50 students, along with their friends and family, senior Lydia Schwerin encouraged her classmates to have faith and not be fearful of entering the next chapters in their lives.
“By having hope and faith in God’s plan for our lives, we will change the world. If God is for us, who can be against us,” Schwerin said.
Along with Schwerin’s message, the service included prayers and speeches read by Master of Ceremonies Paul Boes, Emily Burrows, Lakin Felix and parent Victoria Boes.
The seniors received encouragement in their faith and reassurance of God’s plans for them in a video message from Kristen Deighton, a 2013 OHS graduate.
Graduating senior Mitchell Nalos sang Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” while his classmates handed out carnations to parents, thanking them for their support.
Father Marko Djonovic, of St. Joseph School and Church, delivered the closing benediction.