Commencement Service Report
By Claire McNabb
The Commencement Service is one of the highlights of the College year. It is here that we welcome and pray for our new students as they begin their time with us. We take time to chat to them and their families and friends over tea, coffee and traybakes. This year we celebrated what God has done over the last 130 years of the Irish Baptist College, as well as looking forward to what he will do in the lives of the staff and students this year. Our aim is to magnify Christ, advance the gospel and strengthen the church. This year the new undergraduate students did a pre-recorded video interview which can be viewed here. After watching this, the new Preparation for Ministry students, the new intake of Postgraduate students and those undertaking the Christian Education Courses came forward, had their photo taken and were prayed for by Dr Peter Firth.
After the Student Chairperson, Tim Houston, read 2 Peter 1, Pastor Richard Blayney preached on this passage. He challenged us to stand firm in our faith, instead of finding ourselves leaning over (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa) and nearly collapsing. Despite what happens we must build our faith on a firm foundation. Richard reminded us from verse 4 that we have everything we need in Jesus (new life, power from the Spirit, the promise that Jesus will return) therefore we need to stand firm and build on him. One line that stood out for me was that a stagnant Christian is an emergency, and something needs to be done about that! Finally, to complete his building metaphor that ran throughout the sermon Richard’s final point was to watch out for cowboy builders who spread lies. He concluded that we will face pressure and temptation to give up on Jesus and find, just like the leaning tower, that it’s easier to collapse, but instead we need to check our foundations and build on Jesus.
We are very thankful that the Lord has brought to us another group of people who want to study his word, grow to be more like his son, and serve others in a variety of ways. Please pray with us that the students will settle in well to this new season in their lives and that as staff we will be able to assist them well during their time with us.
You can watch the full service here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMYhLwfcN-8