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Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary, Eau Claire, Wisconsin —

Sorry that a few of you missed the concert at Immanuel Lutheran College on Friday evening, May 22.

The willows and arborvitae in their containers on stage looked more alive this year. Like the choir concert on the eve of graduation, all was graceful and vigorous in spite of the humidity — which was enough, as they say, to steam your stamps off. The 90 minute concert was wonderful, not as entertainment but as worship for the 900+ participants.

Saturday’s graduation service was jam-packed too. Since my seat on the sidelines was close enough to gain some reverb from the smiling graduates stepping off stage as photo opportunities, I was almost distracted from President Pfeiffer’s memorable keynote address. With Colossians 3:1-4 as launching pad, and the theme “Keep your heads in the clouds” (where our Head has already ascended), he maneuvered us away from the secular into the sublime.

Four Seminary graduates left ILC ready to serve in public ministries; then came the two pre-theology college grads (Bachelor of Arts degree), who plan to attend the seminary next fall; (no teacher candidates graduating this year! Imagine!); next, a duo of young ladies received their Associate of Arts (two-year-program) degrees. The group of twenty-six high school graduates really rounded out the squadron.

Everybody came outside grinning–or crying–and as all milled about for pictures and congratulations, I took a last peek inside. On stage the willows were flexing and the arborvitae looked bushed, but I think they approved. You would have too if you had been there.

By the way, I’ll add a picture or two to help you visualize the May 23,1998 graduation.

See you next year?

— Paul R. Koch

Immanuel Lutheran High School, Mankato, Minnesota

“I look not back; God knows the fruitless efforts . . . I look not forward; God sees all the future . . . I look not inward; that would make me wretched . . . But I look up into the face of Jesus . . . “

With such spiritually thought-provoking strains from one of its musical numbers, the high school choir of Immanuel, Mankato gave expression to the solid Christian education they had benefited from the last four years. How refreshing the objectivity of the Savior’s gospel in all their songs. So different from the thrust of secular schools, the emphasis here was more on what God has done, is doing, and will do rather than on man’s accomplishments.

Nine high school graduates heard instructor/speaker Craig Owings declare one more time: “Prepare for a test!” Only this time the test referred to was more far-reaching than any other(s) yet taken–the tests which enemies such as the devil, world, and flesh have in store for God’s believing children.

Ah, but the Lord does not leave His own to be on their own for the fray! Mr. Owings directed all to the effective “whole armor of God” described in detail in Ephesians 6:10-17. So prepared and armed, “God has equipped you for the upcoming tests,” the speaker assured the graduates.

Truly a word to the wise, also to all who in the future will — or in past years have — graduated!

Pastor Paul Fleischer reporting