Ya’ gotta have Faith

Communication with God a priority, speaker tells YHS graduates at baccalaureate service

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Savannah Letter (left) plays the guitar as Amanda Letter sings “Hold on to Me” for the audience viewing the 2021 Baccalaureate service on Sunday, May 16. Members of the YHS Class of 2021 and their families and friends viewed the livestream from Yukon’s Good News Church. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Daily communication with God should be a priority for Yukon High School’s graduating seniors.

Adam Frederick shared this message last Sunday afternoon with members of the YHS Class of 2021.

The Rev. Adam Frederick, children’s pastor at Victory Church in Warr Acres, tells graduating Yukon High School seniors to make daily communication with God a priority in their lives. Rev. Frederick, a 1991 YHS graduate, delivered an inspirational sermon May 16 for the 2021 Yukon Baccalaureate service. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“Make sure your relationship with God is always your number one priority,” Rev. Frederick told graduating YHS seniors. “You can do this by talking and listening. All relationships are built this way.”

Building a relationship with God is a daily commitment, Frederick said in his YHS Baccalaureate sermon.

“When we pray, we’re talking,” Frederick told the audience at Yukon’s traditional school-year-end religious service. “When we read His word, we’re listening.

“If you only talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend one hour a day, once a week, you wouldn’t consider that much of a relationship. You certainly wouldn’t consider it much of a priority.”

The 2021 Yukon Baccalaureate was presented May 16 – livestreamed to the YHS graduating class from Good News Church in Yukon.

The annual service was sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance and organized by YHS senior class officers with guidance from Pastor Tom Arnould and Wanda Gamble.

Makayla Gilbert, a member of the Yukon High School Class of 2021, shares her testimony with the audience during the Sunday, May 21st YHS Baccalaureate service. The annual program is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance and organized by YHS senior class officers. This was the second year the service was livestreamed from Good News Church in Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

Frederick, whose son Kole was the 2020 YHS class president, is children’s pastor at Victory Church in Warr Acres.

“When the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, God provided them daily bread,” the 1991 YHS graduate said. “We still need daily communication with our Lord today.”

In Rev. Frederick’s Yukon Baccalaureate speech, he encouraged students to learn to filter what they see, hear and do through the Word of God.

“Primarily we use filters in the air we breathe and the water we drink,” the speaker related.

“We know these filters are designed to remove impurities before they enter our body. We use filters to ensure we are receiving things without contamination.”

Although water and air may appear to be clean and pure, they can still contain pollutants.

“If we want to be sure, we can simply not trust our eyes,” Frederick added. “We must put our trust in the filter. Make sure that you have the proper filter in place when you start the next chapter of your life.

“This world is full of contaminants, harmful and toxic ideas that may seem harmless to the naked eye. You must learn to filter this world through the Word of God.”

The baccalaureate speaker asked the audience to look to the Bible to answer their questions. God has given people the workbook – and there will be a test.

“The good news is, it’s an open-book test,” Frederick said. “To benefit, you need to know what’s in the book and how to use it. The Bible is a love letter from the creator of the universe, the one who hung the stars and calls them by name.

“He formed you in your mother’s womb. He knows the number of hairs on your head.”

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CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES

The Yukon Baccalaureate speaker reminded the 2021 YHS graduates they will face both challenges and opportunities they have never faced before.

They will be faced with more knowledge, more pressures, more ideas, more opinion, and more excuses (“more, more more”) than any generation before.

Rev. Frederick shared this Bible verse, from Deuteronomy 31:6:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The speaker asked YHS grads to begin their post-high school journey with the end in mind.

Audience members – including Yukon High School Class Vice President Adrian Charquero, Class Secretary Camdyn Terry and Class Treasurer Wendy Pina – bow their heads during an invocation by Class President Cade Pope to begin the 2021 Yukon Baccalaureate service. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“Where do you hope to arrive? And what is the path to get there?” he said. “Maybe most importantly, just like the first day of kindergarten, do you have the tools that you need to get there? In my opinion, that answer is yes.

“I believe God has been equipping these tools in you for many years. I believe you have seen these tools in action from your parents and your teachers, even though you many not recognize them. I believe these are the tools you absolutely will need to arrive at your goals, and to come into the fullness of what God has for you.”

Yukon students were encouraged to have their priorities named – and in the right order.
“You will need to regularly evaluate and adjust them,” Frederick told his audience. “Right now, a spouse may not be your priority. But passing Chemistry might be.”

Priorities are easy to list and challenging to live, he added.

“Priorities require you to be proactive in choosing them,” Frederick emphasized. “If you don’t choose your priorities, priorities will choose you. But I must warn you, when you allow priorities to choose you, they are rarely beneficial – they tend to be extremely self-centered, self-indulgent, self-reliant, self-defending, self-promoting.”

Another part of baccalaureate sermon focused on Exodus 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me” and Matthew 22:37 -“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”

“You are first and foremost, a child of God,” Rev. Frederick explained. “These commandments that God gave us are not about restriction. They are given for your protection.”

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LEARN FROM THIS DISCIPLE

The YHS Baccalaureate speaker asked Yukon’s seniors to learn from the Apostle Peter.

Jaedyn Kanatzar (right) sings while Camden Carlisle plays guitar as they perform “Another in the Fire”. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“When the storms of this life are surrounding, look to find Jesus,” Frederick said. “He’s there. “When Jesus calls for you, step out of the boat. The first step is always the hardest.

“Remember that Jesus causes the miraculous to happen. All he requires of you is your obedience and your trust. “

Yukon’s graduating seniors were reminded they are going to fail at times.

“That’s OK,” Frederick said. “Failure is your best teacher. We learn more from failure than success.

“The thing about Peter was – the boat was full of disciples. He was the only one who got out of the boat. And when he fell, he was a lot closer to Jesus. In your pursuit of Jesus, have faith. And if you fall, you’re going to be closer to Christ.”

Yukon High School graduating seniors who participated in the 2021 Yukon Baccalaureate service are: Front from left, Camden Carlisle, YHS 2021 Class Vice President Adrian Charquero, Makayla Gilbert, Class Secretary Camdyn Terry, and Class Treasurer Wendy Pina; back from left, Jaedyn Kanatzar, Drew Stomprud, Class President Cade Pope, and Amanda Letter. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)