• 52°

Catawba celebrates baccalaureate service

SALISBURY — “Now you have a chance to be a difference maker, to move from commencement to commitment, to be a change maker in the world,” the Rev. Dr. Edward Smith Davis told soon-to-be Catawba graduates gathered at the annual baccalaureate service on May 13.

Davis, who serves as the conference minister for the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, was the homilist for the event held in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on the eve of Catawba’s commencement ceremonies.

“Yes, there is conflict in the world, but you have made a commitment by reaching commencement,” Davis continued, “and there is more required of us. This (commencement) is just a station on the journey of life.”

He urged the students: “Commit yourself to making a difference. Commit yourself to letting the world smell the fragrance of your flower. The world needs action figures – not the kind you play with, not Captain America, but Captain Courageous — with the courage to be and the courage to do. I urge you to move from commitment to commencement because the world needs people who are theologically grounded.”

Noting the biblical scripture from Lamentations on which his homily was based, Davis acknowledged that “the world can be a scary place and we need to lament sometimes.” Like the city of Jerusalem in the book of Lamentations, everyone at some point in his or her life questions God’s wisdom as to why a particular situation is happening to them and they lament, Davis said.

However, he contended, “We must put flesh on the bones of the gospel! We must take a stand against racism, sexism or any ‘ism’ that is against humanity.

“Our future must be held by love, faith and hope. We may not all be guilty, but we are all responsible. We cannot give up on God, because God has not given up on you.”

Catawba College Chaplain and Senior Vice President the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Clapp ’70, also shared reflections with the graduates in the class of 2016, noting the need they have to believe in themselves, their peers, and God.

“We send you into a world that has many problems, many needs, many challenges, but we send you with the preparation to address those needs and problems,” Clapp said. “Use that preparation to dream of what can be and listen to God, as God will guide you in how to move forward to bring about change and make a difference.”

Following the baccalaureate service, members of the graduating class processed from the chapel by candlelight in the traditional Marshal’s Walk.

Comments

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread