Saturday, June 6, 2009

Greater Things

Driving into school the morning after graduation, I was exhausted. Our speaker, Paul Young, flew out at 6:10 so we'd arranged a 4 am pick-up time. As I neared school, the rosy sun rising on a late spring morning, the lyrics from a song we sang in chapel ran through my head:

Greater things have yet to come,
Greater things are still to be done here

This has been a remarkable year. It has gone so fast, yet so much has happened. When the year began, we still had a muddy mess in our parking lot without enough parking. Now we have a great new addition, with a new science lab, a computer lab, larger foreign language rooms, a beautiful artroom, larger instrumental music space, and a dance room. Our library has been enhanced as well. Alumni are awed when they see how we've grown!

This year we welcomed and celebrated students who are citizens of thirteen nations around the world. Their flags were represented in the Miracle Commons. The International Club began this year and the lunch they hosted in May was a highlight! At Commencement on Sunday, we had graduates from China, France, Germany, Korea, Mexico, and the UK.

We had our largest freshmen class in the history of the school. And they weren't just a large class. They were remarkable. Freshmen made their mark in the classroom, on the stage, in the field, on the court, out in the community, and in our chapels. Our future is bright.

Our senior class led with distinction this year. Lena Tome led as class president. Darris and Emilee set the tone in chapel. Hannah Frank was a fixture in SOS. Dana Hartsig has brought recycling to CHCA. Elizabeth Mangels spearheaded the NHS Leadership Lunches, kicked off by Dr. Nancy Zimpher. And the entire class set an example for how to form community. If the classes that follow can find ways to imitate the unity and comraderie of the Class of '09, our school will be a better place.

Again tragedy has touched our community this academic year. We continue to remember in our prayers the Corrados, Bains, Everharts, and Heaths. May God's peace and comfort come to them as they grieve.

You're the strength in our weakness
You're the love to the broken
You're the joy in the sadness
You Are

I sensed God doing something unique among us this year. Our chapels had a sense of reverence that I cannot recall in my time here. Worship was often contagious. Messages were challenging. Students were respectful. Visitors always commented on the music. We had many wonderful guests this year but we will always remember our time with Paul Young. In three days, he became part of our community. And many of our lives were changed. We prayed with each other. We confessed to each other. We began to care about each other in ways we always knew we should. We all know our school is far from perfect. But something has begun.

The perfect memory for me of this year happened on Thursday evening at the end of Diaspeiro. Following a memorable message by Mr. Salkil to the seniors, the Class of '09 stood together on the theater stairs as Darris sang "Friend of God" one last time. A wave of emotion came over me as I thought about all of these wonderful, talented, beautiful lives leaving to be scattered as seeds into the world.

What would come next? How will our rising Seniors lead? What will be the remarkable moments next year? What memories will shape us? What stories will be written about what is to come? What will God do among us in 2009-10? What role will you play?

Greater things have yet to come,
Greater things are still to be done here

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