Heidelberg University's baccalaureate speaker encouraged graduates to remember who and whose they are.
The Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, a Heidelberg alumna and member of its board of trustees, delivered "Threshholds of Uncertainty" during the service Sunday morning.
"Whole-hearted people are courageous. ... God says, 'Come with your whole heart as it is,'" she said.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
The Rev. Beth Long-Higgins speaks during Heidelberg University’s baccalaureate service Sunday morning.
Long-Higgins estimated four people on campus knew on her graduation day 28 years ago that she had made a deal with God. She agreed to go to a seminary, but she wasn't going to like it and wasn't going to stay.
She said she reluctantly was finding it was a place where she was meant to be.
"Threshholds are not meant to be permanent places. ... Threshholds are really not about holding on and staying put," she said.
Long-Higgins said more than ever before in their life, graduates have the responsibility of choosing their community of care and support and who will accompany them in the next chapter of their life.
"Where will you find your place of belonging? ... I implore you to seek out people who are whole-hearted across the generational spectrum," she said.
Stephen Boyles, who received a bachelor's degree in political science, and Sarah Roof, who received a bachelor's degree in business administration, offered student reflections.
Boyles recalled taking a spring break trip to Biloxi, Miss. The travelers worked with a mission group and insulated and installed drywall in a house.
Boyles met a man who was a long-term volunteer and assisted at a food pantry.
"He treated (people coming in) like he would treat anyone else. ... He was such a good guy," he said.
Roof explained her relationship with Christ and said she challenged herself to write a list of blessings in her life.
"Everything around us is a blessing," she said.
Roof said she is not sure where God will take her next.
"I'll still spend my life with Christ," she said.