Sunday, May 03, 2009

    Senior Recognition Sunday

    Each spring, as we prepare for graduation, we host Senior Recognition Sunday. For the church I serve, this is a rite of passage. The morning begins with each senior invited to come before the congregation and share their future plans. Next, following worship, we have a lunch for the seniors, their families, and a special guest for each senior. The highlight of the lunch is when we go around the room and the parent, or guest, of each senior tells a special story about the graduate that connects them, in some way, with the church or an important event in their life. Some of the stories are serious, some sad, and some humorous. But, overall, it is a reminder that our stories are designed to intersect with the stories of the Bible.

    One of the goals of Senior Recognition Sunday is to help our seniors recognize that as they graduate, they are not graduating from their faith. They are now preparing to enter a new transition in their lives where they carry their faith with them.

    How about you? How do you affirm upcoming graduates in your ministry?



    Ethan said...

    Two parts...

    On Sunday morning, they come in front of the church and receive a Bible, and we pray as a church for them.

    On Sunday night, we have a dinner, with pics and decorations and worship. Those gathered write notes of encouragement during the dinner. After dinner, we start with worship. Then, each graduate is invited forward, and we read a passage over them, charge them, allow gathered friends to speak words of encouragement, a family member lights a candle, and we say,

    "You are sent by the Word into the world, that His light may shine through you, and may the good deeds you do in small faith bring glory to your Father in heaven."

    Then we have a powerpoint with pictures and the band sings a song.

    Then we eat cake!

    Brian said...

    We have "Education Sunday" in the spring where we recognize all our teachers, both in the church and those who teach in secular settings. Then we call the grads forward (high school, college, graduate school), present them with a gift (this year it was one of Shane Claiborne's books) and then have them move to the center of the sanctuary and do a laying of hands and prayer over them.

    Jeff Smyth said...

    Thx for the link Brian. Kepp up all your doing on your great site. What a resource!

    DMS said...

    As a co-author of The ABC's of College Success, this year I am donating copies for the graduating high school seniors in our church who are heading to college in the fall. It is a small gift, but it's full of good advice about college and the importance of remaining connected to faith and family. I'm hoping the book will stay on their dorm desk, reminding them of God's constant love and support.
    You can check it out at

    suzanne said...

    ...I'm a little late to posting on this, but...

    I solicit "faith encouragement" letters from family, friends and any members of the congregation who have had interaction with the grad. They are asked to write letters acknowledging the youth's growth over the past years, their strengths, their gifts - including special memories, if possible. I then gather them all together and place them in a small keepsake box/basket with a few items like a devotion book. This is then given to the grad on behalf of the congregation. It has become something of their "past" they take with them as their journey continues, most often in new places where their "old" faith-support system doesn't seem as close.