Tuesday, June 2, 2009


baccalaureate - a farewell sermon to a graduating class at their commencement ceremonies
preaching, sermon, discourse - an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)

Let the ceremonies begin.

Tonight was the baccalaureate mass.
It was an inter-faith service held at one of the churches in town.
Apparently it's a long standing tradition for the graduating class.
I liked it.
The two best talks of the night were given by their old Middle School assistant principle, and the current HS assistant principle.
The first talked about impact. Instead of taking the more self-centered approach of wondering what impact he had made on this group, he talked about the impact that this group had made on him.
The second talked about determination and faith. He talked about wanting so badly to make the JV or varsity basketball team in high school that he would practice eight hours a day during the summer. The day of freshman year try-outs, he came down with pneumonia, and as a result did not make the team. The day before sophomore year try-outs his appendix almost burst. Again, he didn't make the team. Junior year was a repeat; another health-related trauma, but I can't remember what it was. He talked about a pivotal moment at age 17 during his senior year, when he got on his knees to ask God not to help him maintain enough good health to make the team senior year, but to be able to see beyond his desires and understand that he was ultimately not in charge; that he was part of a bigger picture. Speaking to a group of kids who are at a very tightly focused point in their lives, it was a GREAT message. I think some of them might have heard it.
I almost felt like a rebel; like I might have been with a group of people willing to mix church and state. It was great to sit in a church and feel safe talking about the role God has in our lives, with people we normally associate with in a very non-religious arena.
I'm savoring every moment with this boy.


Science Teacher Mommy said...

We had b. at my high school. Of course, I was in Utah, so it was pretty much a given. Yours sounds lovely though; and more like a community thing than just another fireside. What a sweet picture.

In a totally unrelated question . . . I got on facebook a few months ago and re-connected with some old friends, or acquaintances I guess. I've been extremely gratified to see that some have stayed so close to the church and its teaching, and disheartened by how many have fallen away. A major sticking issue is homosexuality and the legal battles with rights (not just marriage) for homosexual couples. There was a stupid poll (as these things usually are) on facebook today circulating about supporting, not supporting gay marriage. The suppporters were intensely vocal, with a complete and utter vilification of anybody who dared advance another argument. The nature of the comments even told me that several of those saying gay marriage was no big deal are active members of the church. This kind of thing always gets so ugly, so I just kept out of it, but I still feel disturbed.

Like you, I live in a fairly liberal city. If we decide to stay here, this issue will be brought to my children's attention in a way that it never was in my upbrining. In a recent conference, one of the apostles said that you don't ahve to let your city become like Sodom and Gomorrah before your realize it isn't a good place to raise a family.

Now I don't know what my question is. Maybe just that if the forum was ever right that I'd love to have a discussion with you about this. Maybe I'm disturbed by the Facebook forum because I didn't dare to stand up and be counted as being on the side of the prophet. But at the same time, to do so makes me feel like I'm casting my pearls before swine . . . .

Okay, I'm done. I just can't tell you how much I've come to value and respect your opinion. I think I want to be like you when I grow up, at least as much as I want to be like anybody but myself!

Happy graduating, Mom. I know it will be your boy's day, but I wished I'd patted my own mother on the back a bit more.

rebecca said...

What a nice service. I have to say (& you'll understand after reading my blog post from today) that the photo of you and your son is amazing. I love that he has the look of a fresh HS grad. with one foot out the door, and you've got the look of adoring mother. It's just perfect! Congrats to your son...congrats to you!

Smilin' sunshine said...

Wow! Happy day~for him!

LL said...

right when I saw the photo of the two of you, it made me think of Rebecca's post. I LOVE candid shots like that...great shot.
Sounds like an exciting week over at your house...Congrats to son #1.

shirlgirl said...

Great post and great picture, Jen. I was looking at some older pictures the other day and came across some of Roger's first birthday!! Where did those years go? He is a fine young man, and I can't believe he is already graduating from high school. Congrats to all of you.

Becky said...

Beautiful picture. I don't envy this day. I've spent all day with my oldest and just love her to pieces.

Trueman twins said...

What a great evening. I love the point of the second speech and the fact that he was willing to talk about God in a speech at a school event is amazing!

Miranda said...

Great post Jenny! It was wonderful when we can find common ground around our belief in God -- and then, of course, to see your son growing up. That photo of you with him is very sweet!