Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Because it’s a word I rarely use all year long, when it comes to the time of year when I use it, I have to remind myself what it means … and how to spell it. The word? Baccalaureate.
What does it mean? It’s a religious service held at an educational institution, or, generally, a religious service held in a formal educational context. The term itself has Latin roots having to do with a student’s advancement.
The public is invited to Bethlehem’s Baccalaureate service Friday, June 8, at 7pm at the Downtown Campus Sanctuary, followed by a reception and “Open House” in the Main Hall where graduates will display their school mementos. Gifts from the church commemorating this life passage including the book Letters to the Graduate From the Pastors of Bethlehem will be given to each graduate during the service.
The Baccalaureate program will feature …
- Guest Speaker: Jordan Thomas, Pastor for Preaching & Vision at Grace Church in Memphis, Tennessee
- Graduate Speakers
- Daniel Schmitter: Opening Prayer (will attend University of Minnesota majoring in ecology sciences)
- Josiah Bennett: Testimony (will attend Bethlehem College and Seminary)
- Emma Button: Testimony (will attend University of St. Thomas)
- Andrew Kasahara: Testimony (will attend Bethlehem College and Seminary)
- Micah Olson: Closing Prayer (will attend Bethlehem College and Seminary)
The Worship Team for this event is also led by graduates:
- Ryan Soderholm, Worship Leader (will attend Northwestern College)
- Andrew Horning (will attend Bethlehem College and Seminary)
- Grace Hanson (will study pre-law at Bethel University)
Three attributes of God, chosen most precious to our graduates are …
God is faithful, he is sovereign, and he is our Shepherd.
Overall Scripture text for the Baccalaureate:
To you who believe, He is precious—1 Peter 2:7 (NKJV)
Vision behind this event:
That the church would come together to worship God; to glorify and thank him for his work in the hearts and lives of our high school graduates. The goal and earnest desire is to send graduates into the world as ambassadors for Christ, to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Executive Pastor and Lead Pastor for Life Training.