The Class of 2018 kicked off graduation week Sunday afternoon with a Baccalaureate Service held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Hill.
The celebration included musical presentations, hymns, prayers, scripture readings, words from members of both the junior and senior classes, and a message by Rev. Cydney Van Dyke, assistant pastor at New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ.
The program’s musical presentations kicked off with a moving vocal performance of Adele's "When We Were Young" by Kaylise John. Later in the program, RaeVona Fisher, accompanied by Olivia Howe on piano, performed “Irish Blessing.”
The UPHS Uptones delivered an emotional rendition of “You Raise Me Up,” and the musical set was rounded out by several songs by the UPHS “A” Choir, including “Be Thou My Vision,” “Look at the World” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”
UPHS senior class advisor, Dr. Mark P. Thomas, was in attendance and also directed the program’s music.
The Baccalaureate program also included a welcome from senior class officer Julian Brown, prayers offered by LeeAnn Markwalter and Brooke Lund, scripture readings by Colby Hetrick and Esther Mack, a farewell by junior class officers Jackson Gray and Brendan Davis, a closing by the senior class officers and a candlelighting and Litany for Baccalaureate.
Another high point of the service was Van Dyke’s message entitled “Wherever You Go,” which was aimed at the seniors as they leave the familiar and move into new adventures. Her message drew connections between scripture and “The Lion King.” Van Dyke encouraged the senior class to “not fear the shadowy places,” such as the elephant graveyard in the popular Disney movie, because the students have the supports and tools they need to work through scary or unfamiliar situations.
The senior class was grateful to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and its staff for their hospitality, as well as Van Dyke, Rev. Wayne Moritz of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Rev. Mark Hager of Butter Valley Community Church and Rev. Nicholas L. Pence, Jr. of Palm Schwenkfelder Church for their assistance in developing the service. The Upper Perkiomen Ministerial Association offered their congratulations to the Class of 2018 and thanked the members of the class for their contributions to the community.
Graduation week continues as we celebrate the Class of 2018 and their accomplishments. The week will be capped with the graduation ceremony itself on Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.
Check out our slideshow of images from Sunday's Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2018 below. Visit our Facebook page for video clips of some of the musical performances.