Ocean City Tabernacle Youth Minister Jonathan Gonzalez tells the graduating seniors that anything in life is possible if you believe. By MADDY VITALEThe Class of 2020 will likely remember much about their final months as seniors. They, too, will be remembered for their resilience, perseverance and ability to handle a change in life that was like no other for many in this lifetime.On Tuesday night, the Ocean City Ministerium hosted a Baccalaureate Ceremony for the Ocean City High School Class of 2020, which featured pastors, Mayor Jay Gillian and performers, including a trio from OCHS.Youth Pastor at the Ocean City Tabernacle Jonathan Gonzalez gave a sermon about triumph, how he faced many obstacles — a near-fatal car crash when he was just 17 taught him that he had a purpose. He said he was meant to help others. All people have a purpose, he emphasized. “There are two great moments. They are the moment you are born and the moment you find out why,” Gonzalez told the crowd. “Do you understand your purpose?”Gonzalez spoke of the trying times for young people amid the pandemic, protests and racial discord.“There is a reason for all of the pain that comes in our lives,” he noted. “The virus. The social unrest. All of the tension in the country.”People find strength and how they manage trials is what shows true character and evokes change, he said.The mayor commended the graduating class for a tough and unprecedented end to a year that is typically filled with end-of-the-year celebrations.“You make us proud,” said Gillian, an OCHS graduate himself. “Seniors, who would have known that three months ago you would never return (to the classroom)?”Gillian spoke of the strength of the community and pointed out that the one lesson COVID-19 showed all of the country is nothing is guaranteed in life.“You can’t control everything,” he said. The mayor gave some advice: “Listen to your parents. Self-responsibility and love this town of Ocean City.”Mayor Jay Gillian tells the soon-to-be-graduates that they make him proud.Throughout the hour-long program, graduates were honored and asked to stand and be recognized. Performances lifted the crowd.Chloe Mack and sisters Lexi and Gabby Hart, all OCHS students, performed “Good Grace” and “The Blessing,” high school senior Micah Waid read scripture and Ted Dawkins, Lee Martin, Elena Castillo and Sarah Putiri performed “You Raise Me Up.”The outdoor ceremony on the Tabernacle grounds is held yearly. This year, however, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, families and friends sat with their soon-to-be graduates, maintained social distancing and for those who couldn’t, they donned masks.Ocean City Tabernacle Pastor and CEO Jay Reimer looked around the grounds at all of the attendees and said, “I am so happy to see people come out to celebrate.”He said, despite the difficult time, that the ministerium agreed that the ceremony must take place in some way.“The Ocean City community was very supportive of this,” Reimer added. Pastor Marcia Stanford, of Macedonia United Methodist Church, says the OCHS seniors represent the future.Grace Burke, 18, of Ocean City, a senior, sat in the audience with her parents Jim and Shiho Burke and sister, Mary.Grace, who will be attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the fall and will be on the track team, smiled as she said what the program meant to her.“I think it was wonderful. I think it is really nice that they put together this event, and it was fun to watch my friends perform,” she said.Families and Class of 2020 seniors were left with a message from the final speaker of the program, Pastor Marcia Stanford of the Macedonia United Methodist Church.She spoke of the fortitude of the Class of 2020 to not only survive the difficult time but thrive. They are the future, she said.“You have the heart to be tolerant of all — kind to everyone. Rise up,” Stanford said. “Love is kindness and, in each face, see love.”For those who do not attend in person, a live stream video of the baccalaureate service will be available at https://www.octabernacle.org/stream.OCHS students perform, from left, sisters Gabby and Lexi Hart with Chloe Mack on guitar.Grace Burke, 18, of Ocean City, left, with her sister, Mary, 20.Crowds gather while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing rules to watch the program and honor OCHS graduating seniors.OC Tabernacle Pastor and CEO Jay Reimer introduces the speakers.
Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.
StumbleUpon Share Unibet backs #GoRacingGreen as lead racing charity July 28, 2020 Share Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020 Related Articles Submit Kindred: Spelinspektionen has failed in its management of Swedish marketplace June 11, 2020 Richard Öström – Unibet NorwaySupporting its sponsorship of the FIDE World Chess Championship held at The College London (9-28 November), Unibet details that it will cater the most comprehensive chess markets inventory for its customers.This August, Unibet marketing confirmed that it had become the first betting operator to sponsor a FIDE championship as Norwegian chess master Magnus Carlsen faces American challenger Fabiano Caruana over a 12-round series in London.Magnus Carlsen, considered Norway’s leading sportsman carries a significant global following and is credited with reviving the sport of chess on a global level. Furthermore, tournament organiser FIDE is expecting the London event to surpass its viewership records to dateUpdating the market, Unibet details that its FIDE Championship markets, could generate ‘a turnover higher than some FIFA World Cup 2018 matches and comparable to the Champions League final’.Richard Öström, Country Manager for Unibet Norway says: “The interest in Chess is continuing to grow and as the leading online bookmaker in Europe, we want to be a part of and contribute to big sporting events. The odds in this highly competitive match will continue to fluctuate and this year’s World Championship showdown between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana in London will continue to establish chess as a permanent fixture in betting.”Publishing its pre-market odds, Unibet gives Carlsen a 29/50 odds of winning the chess series with Caruana priced at 1/3.Ilya Merenzon – FIDE Backing Unibet’s sponsorship, Ilya Merenzon, the CEO of World Chess, says: “The odds from the World Chess betting partner Unibet shows just how exciting this championship will be. It’s great to see the betting community from across the globe, as well as six hundred million chess fans, come together, proving that the sport is continually becoming even more popular. The tournament is the highlight of the chess calendar and millions of fans around the world will follow every move.”