2020 will be a graduation year not easily forgotten. High school graduates throughout the world were robbed of the concluding traditions and celebrations associated with the end of twelve long years of education. These moments are incredibly important in the lives of our seniors, and it hurts the youth staff to watch them hurt. Every year, the Youth Family’s seniors step up and become leaders of the group. Throughout the year we are able to watch them grow from incredible youth into amazing young adults. This year was no exception, and the youth staff wanted to be sure they felt celebrated as their senior year concluded.
Approximately a month ago, the youth staff gathered on a Sunday evening to surprise our seniors with a special gift. While adhering to social distancing guidelines, we secretly visited every First Baptist high school, college, and graduate school graduate. They received a note from the staff, a Frederick Buechner book, balloons, and high school graduates received a yard sign. When they awoke, they were able to experience just how much their church cared for them. Although they were unable to be present for graduate Sunday several weeks later, they were recognized in worship by name. 2020 is seeing a class of graduates go off into the world who have undergone a great deal of stress over the past several months. As they go, we hope they will remember this quote from the theologian, preacher, and author Fred Craddock, “Live simply, love generously, speak truthfully, serve faithfully, leave everything else to God. Go in peace.”