Saturday, June 14, 2008
I'm so proud I could burst!
There are very big doin's in the church tomorrow. The 1,000th baptism will be recorded at St. Paul's tomorrow and it's very, very exciting.
In the midst of all of that, we will be honoring our graduating seniors and I want to shine the spotlight on them, even if a bit early.
I've watched these kids in the past six years. I've helped to train them as Acolytes, Crucifers and Torchbearers, and worked with them on Sundays.
I've taught them in Confirmation Class, which Tim Wong and I co-teach, and rejoiced when they wrote their own 'Creed of the Council of The Chathams', had their Commissioning Service and designed their own "All About Me" tables, and then went on to be Confirmed at the Cathedral of Trinity and St. Phillip.
I've given them my cell phone number along with Tim's and told them if they were ever in a situation where they felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave but were concerned about calling their parents, they were to call one of us immediately and one of us would pick them up and take them home, no questions asked - from me or their parents. Some of them have done just that, and have honored us with their trust while honoring their own intelligence, and bodies, and souls and moral fiber.
I've come to know their stories, their dreams, their fears. For some, I have written a recommendation for college or scholarships. I can attest that they are GREAT kids, and I'm so proud of them!
And now, off they go to college. It's an amazing feeling, being their pastor and having had a hand, in some small way, with their formation as young adults.
So, without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you St. Paul's Graduating Class of 2008.
College: University of Rhode Island
Erin will continue to pursue figure skating.
College: Miami University of Ohio
St. Paul's Mission Trip to Cagaus, Puerto Rico (2005), and San Antonio, Belize (2007)
College: Lehigh University
New Providence High School soccer, basketball and track
National Honor Society
Spanish National Honor Society
College: Cornell University
Major: Applied Economics and Management with a specialty in Finance
Newark Academy Honor Roll
Newark Academy Fencing Team
Sang Baritone for Vigorosos (Acapella singing group)
Played keyboard for Chamelean (Jazz Group)
Oboe 1 in concert band and orchestra
Speech and Debate Club, Math Club, Tech Club, Chess Club, Strategic Gaming Frum and Otaku Club
Sailing/Cruising (Part-time Helmsman)
St. Paul's 2005 Mission Trip to Caguas, Puerto Rico
College: Michigan State University
Member of Diocesan YEPT (Youth Event Planning Team)
St. Paul's Mission Trip to Caguas, Puerto Rico (2005), Somerville, TN (2006), San Antonio, Belize (2007), And Parsons, KS (2008)
Major: Pre-Med and/or Business
Chatham High School Class President (3 consecutive years)
Voted most likely to succeed
Austin O. Hooey Scholarship ($40,000 awarded to one senior every year)
St. Paul's Mission Trip to Cagaus, Puerto Rico (2005)
College: University of Miami
Key Club (4 years)
Chatham High School Bowling team (3 years)
Volunteer for Chatham Township Recycling Effort
Volunteer at Chatham Library Book Sale
St. Paul's Mission Trip to Caguas, Puerto Rico (2005), Somerville, TN (2006), San Antonio, Belize (2007), and Parsons, KS (2008)
At their baptism, we asked God, in part, to " . . .give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works."
Our prayers have clearly been answered. It is with a truly greatful heart that I ask you to join me in saying Amen.