Spring is here! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and you’re probably sneezing constantly… But, it’s also time to start thinking about our graduating seniors and how we can support them in the coming transition.

Graduation is such a meaningful time in our ministry. It brings the school year to a close and paves the way for summer. But in relational terms, it’s a time to celebrate with students whom we have watched grow up in our church.

One of the places our minds always go in these moments is how to commemorate the special occasion. What can you get for a graduate to help celebrate this time of transition in their lives? I want to suggest a few gift ideas to empower you not only to celebrate, but to create some meaning as you do so.

Gift 1: The Gift of Meaning

Give them something that shows them that you appreciate them and that they have been a valuable part of this church. Whatever it is, the goal here is to give them something that will go with them long after Baccalaureate Sunday.

Gift 2: The Gift of Time

Carve out some intentional time to talk with each student to encourage them and invest in them as they’re transitioning into a new phase of life. Take them out to eat or for some coffee. Go fishing. Play frisbee golf. Whatever you do, give them some focused time as a way of sharing with them how much they matter.

Gift 3: The Gift of Words

Give them the gift of your own words; not just a text, or an email, or a face-to-face conversation, but a hand-written note, or letter that they can hold and read over any time they choose. Consider it an opportunity to cast your vision of where you see that specific student going and what you see them doing.

As a congregation, we are given a great opportunity to affirm and encourage these students as they continue on their journey.