Seniors urged to stay faithful

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Register/Bob Johnson
Alex Piazza and Preeya Patel took a self portrait of themselves during a reception following baccalaureate services at Wesley United Methodist Church Wednesday evening.

Robyn Porter wasn’t alone in her response as Iola High School seniors participated in baccalaureate services sponsored by the Iola Area Ministerial Association Wednesday evening at Wesley United Methodist Church.
Porter wiped tears from her cheeks when her daughter Lauren read Scripture during the service. “That’s my baby,” she said afterward.
Others, including some students, joined Porter in choking back tears or letting them trickle down cheeks as the close of a long educational journey neared.
Matt Stuckey, youth director at the church, reminded students that their school life used to be simpler.
“I don’t know about you,” he said, “but during my senior year, with all that was going on, kindergarten sounded pretty good. I loved having recess, snacks during the day and only having to worry about learning my ABCs and 1-2-3.”
After a dozen years, Stuckey noted it was time for seniors to move beyond family bounds.
He told the soon-to-be graduates to “follow your own hopes and dreams and head out on your own. University, juco, technical school and careers await you.
“During this time in life you will really get the chance to establish who you are,” he said. “You are starting a new phase in your life ... it’s time for the second edition to be written.”
Stuckey told the students their days ahead were blank sheets of paper “waiting for you to leave your mark.
“One thing I can tell you is to remember each day is new and fresh. There will be stumbling blocks, breakups and also times of elation. Through all of this, hold on to your faith and never let go,” Stuckey said.
He reinforced his admonition to remain faithful with several Bible verses and noted the Bible contained “awesome words of assurance. Jesus’ death for us is proof of his unconquerable love. Nothing can stop God’s constant presence with us.”
Stuckey encouraged the students to let “God continue to be the author of your life. Put all of your trust in Him.”

THE SENIORS had many roles in the service and sang “Find Your Wings” at its conclusion.
Afterward, they recessed to the church basement for homemade cookies and punch.
The students gathered for small talk and indulged parents bent on digitally recording their activities once again.
The Rev. Trudy Kenyon Anderson said she was delighted that so many came to the services. Most pews on the ground floor level of the newly refurbished church were filled.