The 50-year reunion Class of 1965 did not want this special milestone weekend to go by without challenging one another to ponder God’s purpose in their lives.
In that sense, the two days class members spent with one another was no different than their four years on the Calvin campus—during a tempestuous time in history.
It didn’t take long for the thoughtful nature of the reunion to become apparent as class member Mary Appel Kooy led the group in a beautiful and meaning-filled litany for devotions—a litany that called on every table in the room to recite various lines in the piece. Kooy wrote the litany with classmate Micki De Young Hage.
The litany began:
With thanksgiving for the past,
Joy in the present,
And hope for the future,
We gather to celebrate
The 50th anniversary of the Class of 1965
We are thankful for the memories—
For a Calvin education
That challenged and grew our knowledge,
Developed our imaginations,
And opened new vistas and worlds
Led us to new paths.
Now we, the Class of 1965,
Look back to remember,
And in this time together,
To refresh and rebuild
Our Calvin community.
It then recounted the many unique events that occurred at Calvin, in the country and in the world during those years, concluding:
That in the midst of all the victory and violence
We were students at Calvin,
Living and Learning
Challenged by the big questions
Of life, of knowledge, of God
And charged with the hard work of making sense of it all.
And we also remember,
That in looking back at our storied lives
God’s guidance only becomes clearer,
When looking back we see
The hand of God
Etched and evident in each of our lives.
Thus began this inspiring weekend, which continued with stories from various class members, tours of the campus, a “Hootenanny Sing Along,” a class member improvisational comedy team performance, chapel service and Commencement re-enactment.
As the reunion weekend concluded with participation in the Class of 2015 Commencement ceremony in the arena, the final words of the devotional litany came into focus.
The Class of 1965 prayed for the Calvin College of today:
We pray, God, for Calvin College—
That it continue to engage students in transformational education
That drives them to explore knowledge,
Fills them with the joy of learning.
We pray professors continue to challenge and inspire
And remain sensitive to their high calling and responsibility.
We pray, God, that the college continue
to prepare critical, thoughtful, committed graduates
Who take up their places in transforming your world.
To God be the glory. Amen.