By: Pastor Mary Beth Hartenstein

It is that time of the year when graduations are happening, honoring students at every level of learning from preschool and kindergarten to high school and college to post graduate work.  It is a time of the year that is often filled with joy and hope and anticipation as individuals celebrate accomplishments and look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.  This time of the year can also be accompanied by some reservation and sadness as high school friends recognize that they will not be together in the same way from this time forward or if there is uncertainty about what lies ahead in the way of job opportunities and employment.

Although I know that the celebration of Pentecost, the feast that comes fifty days after Easter and is often referred to as the birthday of the church, has more to do with when the first full moon occurs after the spring equinox than it has to do with the calendar days, it seems fitting that graduations and Pentecost happen close to one another in this season of the year.  Just as graduates have an expectation that the future will hold great things, I can only imagine that the early followers of Jesus had the same expectations.  I can only guess that they held great optimism that the worse was behind them and that there was hopefulness in what was ahead of them.  Pentecost and graduation, events that share some common themes: hope, possibility, uncertainty, anticipation, and awareness that with God all things can be possible.

This coming Sunday, June 1, we will honor our high school seniors: Michelle Grauberger, Madison (Madi) Meier, and Jacob (Jake) Vial.  We celebrate with them and their families as these young people are on the verge of transitioning to the next adventures that lie ahead for them in their lives.

The following Sunday, June 8, we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  We will remember the story of those early followers of Jesus, men and women, who had discovered that they could be bearers of the Good News.  We will step out in faith that we too have been empowered by the Spirit to bring that Good News into the heart of Hiawatha and beyond.