On Sunday 22th of June, a big number of the graduating class of 2014, along with their families and friends, attended the Baccalaureate Service, which took place in the First Armenian Evangelical Church in Beirut.
This service of thanksgiving started with a prelude by students Nour Al Hassanieh, Lars Liechti and Arda Kerbabian, followed by a processional hymn marking the entrance of the graduates, as they made their way through the church.
Many graduating students took part in the service; Philippe Akiki, Rita Arousiag Senekjian and Patricia Charbetji shared some lessons from the Old and New Testament. Farah Noureddine and Hrag Jawichian, shared their reflections and appreciation to the University. Nejteh Bodroumian animated the service with a solo song “You’ll never walk alone”, in addition to a duet with Alice Ibrajian “You are faithful”. The Spiritual Life Band performed a hymn entitled “Give Thanks”. Students Rawad Kraiem and Shake Jebidelikian read the pledge of the graduates: “We, the class of 2014 of Haigazian University, in receiving this light, pledge to hold high the light of truth, to defend the light of freedom, and to spread the light of service to our communities, our country and our world. With truth, freedom and service illuminating our hearts, we will challenge each other, and our world, to uphold the worth of each human being, and we will strive for the betterment of society, knowing that this is pleasing to God.”
“A service of worship is to consider the matters of the heart. … Remember, especially in Lebanon, God does not have the size of your religious group. God is the silent constant inside and outside, and by faith and humility alone you turn to Him and to others with thanksgiving.” With these words, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of Haigazian University, underlined the importance of the Baccalaureate Service to the graduating class of 2014.
Haidostian not only asked students to say thanks to God first and then for so many others for all the grace bestowed on them, but asked them to “Take time to review the years spent here, think about the lessons learnt, the skills developed, the difficulties overcome, the friendships made, and the successes achieved.”
In his keynote address, Pastor of the Evangelical German Church in Beirut, Rev. Jonas Weiss-Lange emphasized on the concept of having and developing virtues, such as compassion, gentleness, kindness, patience, gratitude, etc… Graduates were reminded that each one has a story, but in the end there is one hope. At the heart of the message, Weiss-Lange said, “you have to consider the freedom of others to be as holy and as invaluable as your own conscience.”
Several pastors of the community and HU Board members brought their share in this thanksgiving service. Rev. Hrayr Cholakian, pastor of the First Armenian Evangelical Church, offered the call to worship. The prayers of invocation and dedication were respectively delivered by trustee John Sagherian and Campus Minister Rev. Bruce Scoup.
To conclude the service, the President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Megrdich Karagoezian, pronounced the benediction, whereupon the class of 2014 marched out of the church with the recessional, each carrying the light of truth, freedom & service to the world.
The service was followed by a reception in the Mugar Garden.