Lebanon Road’s 2011 theme is “Greater Things.” For an introduction and video for the theme, click here. Each Thursday, we are highlighting an area in which we are desiring greater things.
Graduation. What a wonderful time to share some words of congratulations as well as shedding a few tears. Families are proud of what their children have accomplished, and congregations have a natural time to pass along some well-wishes, too.
Each year, Lebanon Road has a reception for our young people who are graduating from high school. As with most things we do, it is very well organized, and a great way to congratulate and honor these young people as they transition to a new phase in their life.
The meal is simple: we have finger foods, so less time is spent waiting in line, and more time can be spent with those we are honoring. However, before we ever get to the meal, there is an event that, in some ways, is the highlight. After our Sunday evening services, we show a video of each off our graduates. The video is filled with pictures of them from the time they were babies up through the present time. Also, music is especially chosen that is appropriate for the video. One of our members spends countless hours putting this together, and it is a thrill to watch.
At the meal, the congregation presents each graduate with a new Bible (one that has wide margins for journaling), and there are also “laundry baskets” filled with cards, gifts, money cards, and other things for these great young adults. Our youth minister, JD Buckner, always takes a few moments to speak of each graduate, and does a great job of making these words very personal and meaningful. Our ladies do a fabulous job decorating. The decorations are simple, but perfect for the occasion.
The one “touch” I add is a PowerPoint presentation. I make a time-line of world events and pop culture moments from the year in which most of the graduates were born. Here is a link to last year’s presentation, with events from 1991. ( I would have included this year’s, but I’ve got some neat things in it, and didn’t want to ruin the surprise!)
It is a joyful time to share together, and I hope our graduates are touched and honored by the efforts of each one who helps and attends.
To make this an even “Greater Thing,” we simply need more folks to attend and to give our graduates their well-wishes. Each word, hug, handshake, and gift is another reminder of the love at Lebanon Road. Our next one is Sunday night. Let’s all be there!