SBC Celebrates Class of 2020
Steinbach Bible College was pleased to celebrate the graduating class of 2020 in an outdoor ceremony on Saturday, October 17 at Quarry Oaks Golf Course. In all, four 4-year Bachelor of Arts, fifteen 3-year Bachelor of Art, seven Associate of Arts, twelve Certificate of Biblical Studies, and six Pursuit Certificate of Experiential Leadership graduates were recognized. Thirty-four of those 43 grads were able to be present to mark this occasion.
With graduation ceremonies cancelled or altered across the globe, we were pleased to be able to offer this special opportunity to the grads who, though aware they may not have the chance, waited patiently for their time to walk the stage (in this case, the “green” of Hole #1) just days before the snow arrived. Though there were numerous changes made and restrictions in place to accommodate a safe event, graduates were in good spirits to be able to unite one last time with the classmates they were forced to abruptly depart from in March.
The event began with a private lunch for graduates and faculty where guest speaker Howard Jolly, pastor of the Winnipeg First Nations Community Church (C&MA), encouraged the class to truly savour this moment, celebrating their accomplishments. He continued to encourage them to follow God’s call for their lives. He quoted from Proverbs saying, “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from him…be steadfast in all your ways.”
Grads proceeded to don their cap and gowns over layers of warm clothes in the crisp October air. Limited invited guests arrived in the afternoon for the official ceremony, lawn chairs and blankets in hand. Seated in spaced out clusters across the green, President Rob Reimer welcomed the guests saying, “I’m very proud of our students for their accomplishments, especially in the face of this COVID-19 environment and leaving 5 weeks early.”
As an avid golfer, Reimer took the opportunity to find a golf analogy providing him the chance to take a swing in full regalia stating, “With grad, as in golf, sometimes you need a mulligan – a do-over. This feels like a mulligan: an opportunity to take a situation that didn’t work and try again in honouring our grads and their accomplishments.”
Class valedictorian, Justin Marchand (BA Ministry Leadership), spoke to his fellow classmates sharing the analogy that graduation is a transitional phase, as though passing through a door to the next room. Marchand noted that this grad felt particularly different as they had already begun their venture on to “the next room.”
Despite the differences and “strangeness” felt, Marchand pointed out the importance of these moments between past and future: to breathe, feel proud of accomplishments, and be thankful for God’s faithfulness. “I believe that the Lord our God goes ahead of us and is with us, and that he will never leave us nor forsake us,” Marchand concluded.
Reimer commended the faculty for their commitment to mentoring and coaching in the face of the online transition, helping guide the graduates to complete their education at SBC as well as possible.
“We as faculty commission the graduates to follow Jesus, serve the church, and engage the world as they transition from SBC to what lies ahead.”
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5