The 2015 graduating class from Elkin High School gathered on Sunday night to receive a blessing from members of the local ministerial association.
As the seniors filed in for the Ecumenical Baccalaureate Service held at the First United Methodist Church in Elkin, the crowd stood to their feet and Amy Johnson performed on the organ.
First United Methodist minister, the Rev. Mark Barden, welcomed the students and shared with them the expectations for their future. “In the words of the prophet Micah, ‘And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,’” Barden stated, quoting from the Bible.
An invocation was given by Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church’s the Rev. Gaye Brown, followed by the audiences singing of “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”
A few words were spoken by Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe, followed by a reading of the scriptures in John 20:19-22, 24-29.
“These days are full of joy and great accomplishment, but also questions,” said Sister Janis McQuade, SSJ of St. Stephen Catholic Church during the homily.
McQuade continued speaking to the students regarding their potential and purpose and the questions they’ll have the moment they leave high school. “The purpose of a nail is to bond together and build. That’s your purpose, too.”
As McQuade continued, she continually drew a line between the symbolism of the nail marks in Christ’s hands as well as the nail the students will become to build a better world by being used for construction not destruction.
“This spiritual gathering is for us to celebrate with you your potential,” said McQuade. “You will bond together in Jesus’ name.”
As she finished the homily, McQuade concluded by sharing the lyrics from the song “I lived” by One Republic that states, “I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places, the things that I did. With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”
Members of the ministerial association, along with fellow students and congregants, extended their hands toward the graduates as they delivered their blessing for the next phase of life.
“You have been blessed, and I hope you know that,” said the Rev. Rick Bennett of Elkin First Baptist Church, reminding the students to be grateful for what they’ve been given and accomplished so far in life. “May Christ watch over you.”
In the final benediction, the Chamber Singers performed “Things that Never Die,” before the ministerial association, junior marshals and graduates filed out of the church.
Elkin High School’s official graduation ceremony will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Karen Holbrook may be reached at 336-258-4059 or on Twitter @KarenHolbrook00.