Conifer and Evergreen high school graduates were given blessings from several faiths on Sunday at The Barn in Marshdale as the students prepare to start their journey into the future.
More than a half dozen clergy representing a foothills interfaith group conducted the service, called Blessing You on Your Journey, with about two dozen people, including a couple of seniors, attending.
The audience heard blessings from religions including the Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Hindu faiths and listened to inspirational music.
While only two students attended, the clergy members were happy with what they intend to be an annual May event. The service was three years in the making by the interfaith group.
“This was a pilot program,” said the Rev. Ann Bolson from Wild Rose Congregational Church. “We expect more participation each year as the community gets used to it.”
The Rev. Julie Armour from Unity of Evergreen said it was important for all of the different faiths to gather to wish the graduates well.
Armour performed a white stone ceremony, which is done in Unity churches. It’s a ceremony to wipe the slate clean and start fresh, to release inner fears and limitations. She asked the audience to meditate briefly and allow a new name to come into their minds. They wrote the new name on a white stone.
She said the renaming allows people to move ahead on a path that God intended, and to be free and open to possibilities.
Bolson told the students the community rejoices in their pilgrimage into adulthood and the world, and that they should take the time to define themselves.
The Rev. Dee Cooper from Church of the Hills Presbyterian Church quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
She challenged the graduates to make a difference and bring about change that is needed to make the world a better place.
“If it wasn’t for Noah, who would have built the ark?” she asked. “If it wasn’t for Rosa Parks, would we still have segregated transportation? It takes two things to bring about change,” she said. “Define what is unacceptable and ask, ‘If it’s not me who makes the change, then who will do it?’ ”
The audience was invited to a reception after the service, and the two students received gift bags. The event was sponsored by King Soopers in Conifer and Evergreen, Walgreens, At Home, Walmart, the Cookie Jar, Bee Sweet Bakery, In Good Taste, Tupper’s Team at Re/Max Alliance, Sheralyn Austin-Gagne of Unity of Evergreen and Bolson.