On June 11, 67 Valley Lutheran graduates crossed the stage to become the newest VL alumni. Prepared and equipped, built up and rooted, these graduates now launch into the unique futures that God has prepared.

“Graduation is such an exciting time,” said Interim Executive Director Kyle DeWees, “as it recognizes all that our students have accomplished and how much they have grown. It also serves as a symbolic launch into their next step. What a clear picture of our mission at work, ‘preparing students for life with Christ as our foundation!’.”

Nik Nisidis, Valedictorian, spoke to the value of a Valley diploma in light of that mission.

“The Valley diploma represents the foundation we’ve set in furthering our education, furthering our understanding of reality in a Christ-centered way. This achievement shows we are not just ready to go out into the world, but to serve God in that world,” he said.

Fellow Valedictorian Ezekiel Pearson highlighted a way that we can serve and honor God as he reminded his class, “we as Christians are a part of this world, but we do not hold full citizenship in this world, for we have part citizenship in heaven. This should then influence our actions to not necessarily reflect those of this world, but to what is said in the word of God. Our actions should lead others to our faith.”

“Look to God,” Claire Katenhus, Valedictorian, advocated. “Look to him for help, for a friend, for a guide, to find peace, to find eternal love, and most importantly for grace and forgiveness.”

And, with an analogy of her not-so-secret secret bread recipe Valedictorian Danielle Harding reiterated, in “all things, worldly success is not the product. True success is God’s peace, living the way he intended us to, not being perfect, but using [his] ingredients to make us into…beautiful fluffy dinner rolls. Or something like that,” she finished with a smile.

Reminding the graduates of their need for daily spiritual food, graduation speaker Mr. Barry Wittig highlighted the year’s theme verse from Isaiah 40, “‘Even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.’

“Rise up, Class of 2023!” Mr. Wittig encouraged, “soar to new heights! Keep the faith! Especially in times of waiting. Build [your ability to wait on the Lord] every day.

Congratulations and may God bless you as you serve him now and always.” Amen!