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At Baccalaureate, Albion grads urged to face their ‘Goliaths’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2019 at 8:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Rev. Aleka Schmidt, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Albion, prays with students before they enter the church on Sunday evening for a baccalaureate service.

That program is voluntary for students to attend. About half of the class attended the religious program, which is organized each year by the Albion Ministerium.

Many communities have stopped doing the church service for graduates, but Albion continues to do the event, with the churches wanting to give students a blessing as they begin the next stage of their lives.

Trellis Pore, a 2001 Albion graduate, was the featured speaker. He is a pastor at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Batavia. He works as a firearms instructor for the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Pore also is an active musician who grew up performing with his family, the Cooper Family Singers.

Pore shared about David and Goliath, how David beat a much larger warrior, a shocking defeat for the giant, which is described in 1 Samuel in the Bible.

The graduates will face many Goliaths in their lives, Pore said. There will be self doubt after a failure, grief, financial stress and lots of “haters,” people who are jealous and don’t want the grads to reach their dreams.

“You will face multiple Goliaths in life,” Pore said. “You will get through one and then there will be another.”

Pore urged them to not run from their Goliaths.

They won’t be alone in facing a challenge.

“Jesus Christ will never leave you or forsake you,” Pore said. “Remember who you are.”

He shared the verse, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Matthew Kovaleski sings, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The senior class officers lead in reciting The Lord’s Prayer. The officers include, from left: McKenna Boyer, Harrison Brown, Kate Krieger and Kirk Ellison.

Myles Brewer lights a candle with some assistance from the Rev. Aleka Schmidt. After the service, the graduates took their candles with them and were urged to keep them nearby as a reminder of the love and support from their families, friends and God.

Brylie Hapeman sets her candle on a table with the candles of her classmates.

Two classmates who passed away while in elementary school were remembered. Evan Ferchen and Brandon Parker both would have graduated with the Class of 2019. Gwen Ferchen is Evan’s mother. She lit a candle in his memory. The parents of Brandon also lit a candle in his honor.

There was a collection for the memorial scholarships in honor of Evan and Brandon and $1,835 was raised with $835 collected during the service on Sunday and another $1,000 from the proceeds of the Ghost Walk by students last September at Mount Albion Cemetery.

Brennan Moody, left, and Enoch Martin sing, “Found/Tonight.” Other students performed solos, including Arella Ives with “Holy City” on the flute, and Nathaniel Gramatico with “Amazing Grace” on the saxophone.

The senior chorus sings, Go In the Grace of the Lord.”

Flowers in the foyer are pictured while the chorus sings in the church sanctuary.

The Rev. Richard Csizmar, pastor of Holy Family Parish, shared the benediction and asked God to bless the graduates.

The Class of 2019 who attended Baccalaureate are pictured outside the First Baptist Church before the service on Sunday evening.

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