The 2023 graduates were celebrated in a baccalaureate service Friday evening, June 9. The service began with the youth orchestra playing “My Life Is in You, Lord.” Then Erik Calhoun read Proverbs 3:1-9 and led the congregation in prayer.
Next, Henry Parker played “Concerto No. 2” by Eugene Reiche, followed by several congregational song selections. Hannah Cook and Rebecca Luka played a flute duet, “Stand Up for Jesus,” and then Hannah testified that she is thankful God is always with her, and that she knows He will guide her in the future too. Kailyn McKay sang “You Already Know,” followed by a testimony by Rebecca Luka about how God has been merciful to her and established her spiritually. For the last special, the youth choir sang “My Life Is in Your Hands.”
Seven students who graduated with high school diplomas were acknowledged: Mark Abbasov, Schoolhouse Teachers; Sarah Asaya, Portland Christian High School; Mason Chasteen, Clackamas Web Academy; Hannah Cook, Clackamas Web Academy; Rebecca Luka, Clackamas Middle College; Kailyn McKay, Rex Putnam High School; Henry Parker, Cleveland High School. In addition, Emmaline Baltzell graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Concordia University, St. Paul. Each graduate’s accomplishments were read aloud as a few photos from their childhood years were shown, and at the end the congregation congratulated them all with a rousing round of applause.
The service concluded with a word of encouragement from Brother Erik and a closing prayer. Then, everyone was invited to the Fellowship Lodge for a treat: elephant ears generously dusted with sugar and cinnamon and topped with a choice of butter, jam, chocolate and caramel syrup, ice cream, and/or whipped cream. Everyone left with a satisfied sweet tooth, and joy in their hearts for the graduating class of 2023!