The school’s 104th commence ceremony celebrating 36 graduating seniors was held Sat., June 4 on the auditorium lawn. Family and friends enjoyed the outdoor venue for a second year with fewer Covid restrictions than last spring. View the full video here.
Osheta Moore, pastor and author, called students to move out into the world with the assurance that God loves them deeply. She gave graduates a benediction, blessing them with the words “you are beloved” and encouraged them to remember this in the difficult moments to come. See her full address.
Elisabeth Fink, salutatorian, commended her classmates for their truth seeking as each student explored their own faith in different ways. Sidney Rhodes read “Gratitude” by Mary Oliver and — with the same appreciation Oliver expressed — described each graduate’s unique gifts. Watch their speeches here.
Amy Mumbauer, parent of graduate Kate, and EMS Board of Directors vice chair, shared the following closing prayer.
EMS Graduation Prayer 2022
O Lord and Creator of this beautiful day, we are just so grateful for the privilege of gathering here to celebrate each graduate in this remarkable group. Lord, just as we do, you know them by name. They are our children and they are yours. It seems like yesterday that we met them and yet we have gathered all these years of memories, arriving at this place. Though we adults are tempted to say that we taught them, we recognize that more often than not, they have taught us. We bear witness to your faithfulness in this journey as we see the gifted, young adults they have already become.
Lord, the diploma that they received today signifies the completion of their time at Eastern Mennonite School but this is not all that they will take from this place. Here, you have showed them that the bonds of a loving community are a strong force indeed. Here, you have given them friendships that have withstood the challenges of COVID. Here, you have planted songs and harmonies in their minds and hearts. Here, you have shown them that learning happens in classrooms, but also on cross cultural experiences and on sports fields. Here, you have given them teachers who have taught them not only subject matter, but how to pray, how to serve, how to play, and how to walk in the footsteps of Christ. May all of these things be strong roots for them as they leave this place for new adventures in careers, in service, and in college.
We acknowledge that we feel both reluctant to let them go and eager to see what they will do next, and so Lord, just as we have done along the way, we entrust them to you once again.
Go before them to scout out the way…prepare for them fantastic paths that are rich in experiences and laughter.
Go behind them to give them a push to new heights, or to pick them up when they lose their footing.
Go above them as blue sky, stars, sunshine, and clouds to remind them how beautiful the world is.
Go beside them and, as the Touring Choir has sung this year, give them a few friends to love them just as they are.
Go within them, dwelling in their hearts as joy, peace, hope, patience, mercy and love so that they will have an abundance of these things to share with a world that needs them desperately.
A concert the Friday prior to the commencement program featured high school instrumentalists, the Touring Choir and Chamber Choir.
Eli Stoll ’22, received a standing ovation after directing the two choirs’ performances as a last minute stand in for director Jared Stutzman, who was unable to attend due to sickness.
The full orchestra performed Prince Leia’s Theme from Episode IV: A New Hope Star Was by John Williams, arranged by Robert W. Smith.
Professional photography services provided by Tiffany Showalter Photography.