Mercer Island grads ponder a ‘step of faith’

The graduating high school seniors from our community are about to take a step of faith. Now that’s a safe assumption. Whether they consider themselves religious or not makes little difference. Gazing forward through the windshield, all the while glimpsing a familiar campus in the rearview mirror, requires faith. A vision of the road ahead is fuzzy at best.

As yesterdays morph into tomorrows, these gifted and intelligent seniors dream of making a difference in a world of technological change, predictable conflict and indescribable pain. But the future is scary and uncertain. It is hard to trust in what you cannot see. A vision that is impaired by limited visibility requires faith. A walk that commences on a stage where diplomas are distributed and then leads into the corridors of further schooling, employment, military service or travel is walk that begins with a step of faith.

With that in mind, the theme for this year’s student-led baccalaureate service is “A Step of Faith.” This interfaith celebration for all high school graduates who live on Mercer Island will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (8501 S.E. 40th Street) on Sunday, June 6, at 2 p.m. As in years past, this event is not a school-sponsored program. It is held off-campus and participation is entirely voluntary.

This year’s keynote speakers include film critic and talk show host Michael Medved (whose son, Danny, is graduating from Northwest Yeshiva High School), Erica Hill (a Mercer Island High School English teacher) and Claire Melvin (a MIHS senior).

In addition, four students will share their personal reflections on “faith” from the major religions represented in the senior class (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism).

The Baccalaureate Committee has orchestrated a program inclusive of both conservative and liberal elements.

“The hope is to demonstrate how people of differing faith perspectives and worldviews can celebrate unity in the context of diversity,” committee chair David Jobe, father of a graduating senior, said.

A risky recipe? No doubt. But will it be too much for a community like ours to swallow? I doubt it. It may very well be just the right mixture of salt and sweet like that new snack bar promises. Here is a remarkable opportunity for our students, parents, faith representatives and educators to model both tolerance and civility.

The public is invited. For information, contact 232-1015 ext. 104. A reception will follow at the church.

Contact Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos at

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