Dr. Christina Belcher, Professor of Education
Dear Department of Education Graduates, 2020,
You will be so pleased that this luddite attempted a video! Still shaking...but I do miss you. Every class is unique, and memories of you will linger. You have added to a community of learners, a meeting of friends, and a cohort of professionals. We have been blessed by your presence and wish you all well. Numbers 6:24-26 is so relevant here, and from the heart:
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you,
The Lord lift up his countenance on you,
And give you peace.
Blessings and prayers,
Prof. Morgan Braganza, Assistant Professor of Social Work
Hi graduating students!
I just wanted to say congratulations on the successful completion of your degree! You have worked hard over the last number of years, and I hope that you have learned a lot during your time here at Redeemer!
I wish you many blessings in your future endeavors! Pursue God in all that you do, and He will be faithful to guide your steps.
Know that your instructors are still here to support you, so please continue to stay in touch!
Professor Morgan Braganza
Prof. Laurie Busuttil, Associate Professor, Business Program
May you know the Father’s pleasure as you do justice. May you hear Jesus’s voice as you love with mercy. May you sense the Holy Spirit as you walk humbly with God.
Dr. Timothy Epp, Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences
Dear graduates: As you graduate, please note how important you have been to me as a professor. The discussions and debates in class, the times of prayer and contemplation, and the moments of sincere wrestling with difficult topics in class will live on in my memory, and hopefully in yours, for years to come. I pray that you will remain safe and well, and that doors will be opened to you which will allow you the opportunities to grow and serve in God’s kingdom beyond your wildest imaginations. As you take your next steps into a world that often seems very uncertain, rest assured in the faithfulness of God, who will be there to guide you all along the way.
Prof. Thomas Froese, Part-time Instructor, English
Dear Graduates, congratulations on your accomplishment and being set on your vocational journey. Our prayer is that you now build on what you already know, on the desire that you already sense, that you find not only a job and career path, but something larger, that is a purpose and calling beyond yourself.
These are unusual times with a global pandemic changing the nature of your graduation. These are also days when it’s easy to be distracted by the noises of our time. Our prayer, then, remains that you find something that the market may or may not hold, that is a deeper filling of your spirit, a deeper joy, as you cultivate the corner of the garden that’s given just to you, where you and you alone can grow something worthwhile for the glory of God and the benefit of the world and your own joy.
This is the spirit of Redeemer University, a spirit you will now always carry. Congratulations again for receiving it, and for your years of tremendous work, and for the fullness that this will continue to bring to yourself and those people who you will touch along your way.
Ron van der Heiden, Lab Instructor
To the graduating class of 2020 I offer my congratulations. By diligence and grace, you have completed your studies at Redeemer. I trust that during your time at Redeemer you have learned that the God we love, the God we joyfully and thankfully serve in response to all the graces He shows us, is the God of the sweeping story, the God who is orchestrating the grand play of history (His-story) for His glory and our good. He is also the God of all the tiny details, as He sustains all of His creation from moment to moment, including all the details of your life. I have had the privilege of trying to show you that in the study of that part of His creation that we study in the discipline of science. My prayer is that you never lose the sense of wonder at all that our God sustains, from moment to moment, even in your own life. Revel in His grand design and purpose for His creation, and for your life. But revel also in the tiny details of that part of His creation you have been called to explore and to turn to His glory and the good of others. Revel in the way our God sustains your life from moment to moment. He is ever with you. May knowing His sovereign power and grace comfort you, strengthen you, inspire you to acknowledge Him in all your ways. May God continue to richly bless you as you seek to faithfully serve Him.
Dr. Ken Herfst, Assistant Professor of Ministry
Let me share this Benedictine Blessing with you:
May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
Dr. Jonathan Juilfs, Assistant Professor of English
Greetings, Graduates of the Class of 2020 from Redeemer University! In spite of the strange new world you are soon to inherit, I congratulate you on your fine achievement: it is no small thing to complete an undergraduate degree, and your family, your friends, your faculty, and your staff are all very proud of you!
As a word of wisdom to offer you in these uncertain times, I wish to share with you a personal favorite, Proverbs 3:5-6, which says:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and he will make straight your paths.”
May God richly bless you and keep you throughout all the days of your life!
Kimberly Lammers, Registrar
Congratulations graduates!! We are so proud of all your hard work on this significant accomplishment! Thank you for all your contributions to the Redeemer community over your years here. I hope you are able to celebrate this remarkable achievement in a special way!
Dr. Terry Loerts, Associate Professor of Education
Congratulations to all the Redeemer graduates of 2020, especially to my teacher candidates from the Bachelor of Education program! This is a graduation to remember for many different reasons during this unprecedented time. I also want to say a heartfelt congratulations to my son Greg Loerts and my new daughter Lauren Loerts after being married this month. I was looking forward to hooding both of you at your graduation ceremony this year but it is still a privilege to be mom to both of you now! May God bless you in your new married life, new jobs, and new friends that you will make where you are living. To both of you, and all the graduates of 2020, “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121: 7-8). Blessings to you all!
Prof. Dianne Elizabeth Moroz, Assistant Professor of Physical Education
YAY!! Happy Graduation!! This is your graduation day! And today, I’m just as excited for you and just as proud of you as if I could clap as you cross the stage and don your Redeemer hood. Graduation is a day to feel accomplishment, gratitude, and deeply blessed. It’s also a day to recognize how much you’ve grown over the last four years. I’m proud of you for your part in that and grateful to God for His. And I feel ever so blessed to have been a part of your journey. And when you have time, I hope you reflect on how meaningful these last four years have been not just in academics, but also in personal growth like social skills, confidence, self-discipline, accountability, and stick-to-it-iveness (yes, it’s a word. Google it, but don’t trust Wikipedia ;)). I hope your faith and love for Jesus grew stronger through experience, knowledge, and even need. For all of this you’ve earned sincere and heartfelt congratulations. I hope you never stop learning, always keep growing, and are never afraid of failure. And most of all, let’s all do our best to love one another as Jesus loves us. May you always see God’s blessings!
Leanna Nightingale '18, Alumni Council
A huge congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2020 from Alumni Council! You have worked so incredibly hard to get to this point. I hope you take the time to celebrate in the ways that you can during this time. I know this probably isn't the way you expected to graduate but please know that this is a neat time to reflect the last two, four or five years that you have been at Redeemer. Take this opportunity to reflect and dream of the future that God is calling you to. Many blessings as you go from this place, and please know that Redeemer will always welcome you back with open arms.
Dr. James Vanderwoerd, Professor of Social Work
How do we find certainty in the midst of a global pandemic? We can get certainty and assurance from knowing that we are part of God’s story.
Ephesians 2 tells a story that helps us answer this question, especially at times like graduation. It talks about what we were — “As for you, you were dead in your sins (verse 1).” It describes what we are — “But God made us alive…. For we are God’s handiwork (verses 4, 10).” And finally it offers a picture of what we will be doing — “Created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (verse 10).”
It’s often in the telling and retelling of our individual stories in the light of God’s bigger story that we can begin to hear and see what God is doing in our own lives. That means we have to be patient enough to listen, wait, and learn.
So, even though you might be uncertain about what exactly you’ll be doing this summer, or next year, or beyond, you can be certain of this: right now God is preparing good work for you to do.
Congratulations Redeemer University Class of 2020!
Jolene Veenstra, Library Circulation Supervisor
Class of 2020, we are so proud of you! You have struggled through exegesis and theorems and revised essays, and you've done it all with aplomb. You have continued to set aside time to help those in need in our community and beyond. It has been a pleasure to serve such an affectionate, wise, kind, and hard working group of people. It was so hard to just walk away from our campus in March; unceremoniously disappearing to toil in secret for the rest of the term. However, you have done even this with grace. I have every confidence that you will thrive, that you are the group of leaders who are needed to face the intimidating times we find ourselves in and to radiate love and confidence into any atmosphere of fear and confusion. May God continue to bless you on your journey and bring you great joy!