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Madrid-Waddington Baccalaureate service slated for June 23

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MADRID - Baccalaureate services for the 2014 graduates of the Madrid-Waddington Central School District will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chipman.

This is the ninth year the Madrid/Waddington Clergy Association has sponsored the event.

Several of the graduating seniors including Jacob Barney, Michelle Finnegan, Samantha Hall, Alex Hammond, Mecaela Hargrave and Jessica LaMay have assisted in planning. In addition, senior Sean Tiernan is designing the cover for the Baccalaureate Program and underclassman Joshua Barkley is playing the piano.

The theme they chose is Leaving Our Mark, and they chose an appropriate Bible verse for the occasion in which God promises: I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).”

The purpose of the event is to send the graduates off into the world with God’s blessings. As prayer is no longer allowed in the schools, this is an opportunity for the community to join publicly to pray for the students.

Baccalaureate services date back to 15th-century Oxford University when bachelors were required to give a sermon in Latin to complete their academic work.

Deacon Dan McGrath, who serves the St. John the Baptist Caholic Church in Madrid and St. Mary’s in Waddington, will address the senior class this year but in English. And Madrid Waddington School District Superintendent Lynn Roy will also be present to give her annual introductory remarks.

The evening will include Micaela Hargrave leading a special Parent Appreciation Ceremony in which the students thank their parents for their support in getting them up and off to school for the last 13 years. In addition to the prayers for the graduates, scripture reading by Jessica LaMay, and the Baccalaureate message, there will be special music provided by the Terry and the Ter-Cats. Graduate Alex Hammond is a member of this band from the Norfolk Wesleyan Church.

Members of the clergy association include Noel Allen of the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chipman, Helen Beck of the United Church of Madrid, Art Garno of St. Paul’s Episcopal in Waddington, Dennis Lowe of the Buck’s Bridge Church, David Piatt of the United Methodist Church in Waddington, Harry Snow and Dan McGrath of St. Mary’s and St. John the Baptist, Rick Sinclair and Ben Levendusky of Christian Fellowship Center in Madrid, and Russell Strait of Presbyterian Church in Waddington.

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