At the baccalaureate service on Sunday, June 10, a group of graduating seniors, parents and distinguished guests came to hear spiritual advice and congratulations for the seniors who will graduate from CHS on Thursday. Senior Class President, Jacob Siaosi who conducted the service, called the meeting an "Interfaith Celebration."
Siaosi will attend BYU next fall, and was the only student who addressed the congregation. He thanked his teachers by saying, "Thanks for all you have done for me, I wouldn't have turned out to be the guy I am without you." He also gave this advice to his fellow classmates, "Do what's right, and know that God loves you."
The baccalaureate service brought together a unique group of local religious leaders, who each addressed the congregation. The service took place at the Carlsbad chapel of the , which is located across the street from CHS. Speakers were; Reverend William Rowland of , Pastor Mark Foreman of North Coast Calvary Chapel, and President Steven Pynes of the Carlsbad Stake LDS congregation. Reverend Madison Shockley of Pilgrim United Church of Christ gave the invocation. The Mayor of Carlsbad, Matt Hall was also one of the guest speakers.
Pastor Mark Foreman admonished the students to not feel threatened in the arena of ideas, even when sharing their faith with others. He suggested that the youth "establish common ground" and find things you agree on when discussing your faith. He told them, "Love wins in the end, and it is the same mercy that God offers to us."
Father Bill, of St. Patrick's Catholic church, explained to the students that he had spent 13 years at San Diego State as a minister to young college students, and admonished them to search out their faith in the campus ministries where they are heading to college. He advised them, "The path is there and God is with you. Now, walk that path with God."
Steven Pynes, Carlsbad Stake President of the LDS Church, described the difference between a mirror and a window, saying that mirrors reflect light, and that windows allow light to shine through them. He then quoted famous journalist, Sydney Harris who said that "The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." President Pynes' advice to the students was taken from the New Testament and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and it's reference to being a light to others. And he told the students now that they are graduates, instead of being mirrors, they should become "windows" that light can shine through. He quoted, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works."
Mayor Hall told the students to achieve success, they should "dream the impossible dream," and that they won't "achieve dreams unless they make them." He also told them they should make a 100% commitment to their work, their family and their spouse, and asked them, "Do you want a life of just 50%?" He also admonished the students to give back to their God, their churces, and their families, and the cities where they may live.
The Baccalaureate service was also attended by Carlsbad High School Principal, Matthew Steitz. The CHS Chamber choir, under the direction of Christy Owen sang a popular anthem, "You Raise Me Up."