This year, I once again had the pleasure of working with our seniors through the Life After College program. For the second year now, we hosted 3 different workshops throughout the Spring semester, culminating in Senior Night on May 11, 2016. The first workshop in February focused on financial topics, ranging from budgeting to insurance. In March, the second workshop revolved around how to find a church community after graduating. In the last workshop, we talked about how to live missionally in the workplace.
Going into the planning of Senior Night, we had several goals in mind: First of all, we wanted to have fun. This group of seniors was special; the impact they have had is sure to last for years to come. After serving so faithfully for many years, we wanted to make sure they felt loved and celebrated for their hard work and for God’s provision, bringing them through college and/or graduate school. Also, we’ve noticed that the end of the school year can be very hectic, with all the last minute projects, exams, final “hang outs” with friends, etc. This often leaves little room for quiet reflection and time with God. Because of that, another big goal of Senior Night was to provide space and time for the seniors to get away and spend time with God.
Once the night finally came, it was a great success! We had 17 seniors and 8 staff come out that night to join in the fun, food, memories, teaching, worship, reflection, and group discussion. We even had a special visit from the Hokie Bird himself! The theme for the night was “Be Strong and Courageous”, taken from the words in Joshua 1. We talked about how to trust God, remain obedient, and “gather our provisions” for the next season of life. When the night came to a close, we knew it wouldn’t be a trip to Camp Tuk-a-way without a campfire and s’mores.
As the flames faded away from the campfire that night, one season was ending. The Class of 2016 had finished. They had run the race set before them, remaining faithful to the task of growing God’s Kingdom at Virginia Tech. But as that season has ended, a new one has begun for them. They are now taking the things they learned with us at NLCF and Virginia Tech, and moving on. They are starting new chapters in their lives and working to make disciples of Jesus…this time, all over the world.
To the seniors, we thank you. Our church and this community will deeply miss you, but we wish you the best of luck in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
You’ve always got a family here in Blacksburg. Don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello!