Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Interfaith Baccalaureate Service for the S.S. Seward Institute graduating Class of 2018 took place on Thurs., Jun. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church in the Village of Florida.
The service began with a processional by the graduates. This was followed with a Call to Worship and Prayer of Invocation, led by Rev. Judy Anderson from the First Presbyterian Church.
Florida School District Superintendent Jan Jehring welcomed everyone saying, “It is really an honor to be here.”
Jehring added that the service brings together different people from the community, high school graduates and their families, local religious leaders, school board members, and community members.
Jehring addressed the graduates saying, “How very proud we are of you, your accomplishments, your talents and your intelligence.”
She praised the graduates for their willingness to serve not only their community, but their country too.
Make Good Choices
Rabbi Rebecca Shinder from Temple Beth Shalom in Florida read a passage from the Book of Deuteronomy telling of how the children of Israel had to make choices before entering the land of Israel for the first time.
Following the reading Rabbi Shinder said, “Graduates you are going to have lots of choices ahead of you. Choose well. That is what the passage is all about…whether in the service or on the job or in the frat house. You will be a source of pride to your country, parents and teachers. Choose well, prepare well, do the right thing…and be a blessing.”
Following the reading, those in attendance enjoyed hearing the S.S. Seward Institute Select Choir sing, “Lean on Me.”
The Charge to Family & Friends
The Charge to Family and Friends was led by S.S. Seward Institute Principal Michael S. Rheaume.
“The kids in front of us are always going to be part of our family,” said Rheaume. “Class of 2018 – do not ever forget your parents and the sacrifices they have made.”
At the end of the service, a prayer for the graduates was led by Fr. George Kevorkian. After the service, a reception was held with refreshments provided by the friends of the First Presbyterian Church.\