Something that I have never done before but was quite intrigued with, was the idea of a banquet with all the graduates and their families before the actual graduation recognition worship service. I was very excited to see how this would work at Our Saviour’s, where this tradition has been in place for many years.
I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of the two junior families who was there to help set up, serve, and clean up. We spent quite a bit of time just chatting and getting to know each other better.
As the graduates came in, they were invited to pick out their quilt that had been worked on all year by our phenomenal quilting women’s group. We had 24 quilts laid out in the sanctuary. It has been a long time since I have seen quilts gifted to graduates, probably since I was in high school. I remember how excited I was to get my quilt, but I had no idea how much each of these youth also look forward to getting their quilts. I heard one youth, as soon as she walked in, she just short of squealed with excitement.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since I was 5”.
There were others who marveled at the beauty of the quilts, and some who jumped back and forth around the sanctuary, unable to immediately decide which quilt would be theirs. (Pictures to come later!)
Dinner was brought in from Famous Dave’s in Eau Claire. Shout out to the wonderful crew who made our dinner, delivered it, and worked with us to make this evening a delicious success.
Families were invited to have dinner, socialize and reminisce about memories through the years. After everyone was done with dinner, we left the families in the fellowship hall and took the graduates into another room. Once split, we asked each to write letters to the other. And then we prepared to play a game, “the graduates game”.
The graduates game is a lot like the dating game, asking questions about how the other would answer the questions. There were many laughs and quite a few moments where they had realizations about the other. It was a fun night that with 15 families, we had to cut short the laughs after about an hour of playing.
Before we ended the night, we did one final thing. We opened up a time of prayer, let each family light a candle together, and share what they are most thankful for and what they are most want to pray for. It was a beautiful thing to watch!
It was a phenomenal evening. All of which would have been a much longer night if not for the small and mighty junior crew who worked so hard behind the scenes to make the evening happen.