Senior Send-Off at Church and Youth Group
Sunday, May 21, was a big day for our high school seniors! During the 10:30 service, they came forward for a gift, Rebecca McLaughlin’s Confronting Christianity, and a blessing from youth minister David Gilbert, who asked that the Lord fan into flames the spiritual gifts that He has anointed them with, so that over the next four years of college, they may live in holiness, fulfill His Kingdom work, and lead souls to His great love. After the blessing, the senior acolytes in attendance––Andrew O’Dell, Cora Miller, Reeves Bair, and Harris Ayers––received a Tree of Life cross made of walnut from the Rev. Bill Christian, acolyte master, who pointed out that the acolytes’ roots at St. Philip’s and in the Word of God are deep, and that they are continuing to grow in their faith just as a tree’s branches continue to grow and reach out.
Later that evening, the seniors attended their final youth group. The threat of bad weather relegated them to the Parish Hall instead of the Eglestons’ riverfront property on James Island, but the youth leaders made sure it was still a very special time. They made them a delicious Mexican dinner and then held a prayer service, anointing each senior with holy oil and offering a unique prayer for each one. The girls got a replica of the cross of San Damiano and a cozy blanket with Proverbs 3:5 printed on it (a holy comforter!). They were instructed to put the cross over their bed and say the same prayer every morning and evening: “Lord Christ, guide us waking and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with you and asleep we may rest in peace.” The youth leaders told them lie under the cross, curl up with their cozy Holy Comforter, and think about everyone that loves them whenever times get tough. The boys received a bronze compass engraved with Proverbs 3:5-8 on it, reminding them that Christ is always their true north, and that no matter where they go, they have been trained through youth group to find their way to their true home in God’s arms. Rogers Moore and Andrew O’Dell also received a sword of King David for their graduation from St. Philip’s Leaders in Training program.
Proverbs 3:5–8: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.