Evergreen Christian School

Mission Accomplished!

Gov Youngkin Addresses Graduates at 2024 Commencement

Graduation: The beginning of the end.
While graduation marks the conclusion of a course of study, it should never be viewed as an ending. To be sure, graduation ceremonies afford us the opportunity to look back and reflect. They are accompanied by shouts of joy over finally being finished with classes, and tears of sorrow over saying goodbye to friends and loved ones. This is certainly true of a high school graduation, whereupon being officially declared a graduate, students toss their mortarboard caps into the air and breathe a heavy sigh of relief - thirteen years of K-12 schooling is officially over! Thinking of this as an ending would be missing the whole point. Graduation is a beginning, the official kickoff of everything that one’s years of study have been preparing them to take on. Ironically, we could say that graduation is the beginning of the end. Of course, that turn of phrase is premised upon a particular understanding of the word end.  

Our true end is Christ.
The Greek word for end is telos, a word that communicates far more than the simple three letter word we use in English. Telos refers to an object or being’s ultimate purpose or aim. Greek philosophers understood that just as boats are designed with a specific purpose, such as floating upon water, each life has been created with an ultimate purpose in mind. We Christians understand that our true end is Christ. Jesus tells us in Revelation 22:13 that he is “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (telos).” In Acts 17:28 Paul connects our very being with “living and moving” in Christ. We are designed to know and serve him. In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” The life that settles for anything less than living for Christ and glorifying him is a life not fulfilling its true purpose — it has settled for a lesser end. While each student will have a very specific calling for their life, their ultimate end will always be Christ. 

Seniors accept their diplomas.
The 16 families who make up our first class of graduating seniors proudly gathered on campus to watch their children receive a diploma on May 24. They all chose Evergreen Christian School because they understood that an education that excludes the name of Christ, and that fails to ground students in God’s word, is one that is not preparing students for their true telos. That is why our school is committed to helping students not only know what they believe and why they believe, but to be able to clearly articulate, apply, and defend those beliefs. We do this not because we are simply trying to win the cultural war currently raging. We do this to help each graduate truly find their end in Jesus. And if our chief end is to glorify God in all that we do, then the telos of every believer in Christ involves bringing that message to all those in need.  

Virginia Governor Glenn A. Youngkin addresses graduates.

Governor Youngkin touched upon this in his challenge to our students, telling them that “the world needs you; the world needs your God-given talents, and the world needs your light.” While the times certainly call out for young men and women who are “grounded in Christian faith” and have the “courage to go against the grain,” he was quick to remind them that “what you have learned here and the character that you have built…will be put to the test.” But despite this, he expressed confidence in their ability to stand strong. He commended Evergreen for providing the kind of education where students are challenged to apply their faith to contemporary issues facing our world today. “You have wrestled with your faith. You've wrestled with difficult, pressing, real-world topics that so many shy away from. You have wrestled with defending the Christian faith.”  

He concluded his message with this charge: “Go out into the world with what you have been given. Go out into the world and be confident. Go out in the world and stand strong in your faith. Go out into the world with hope in the Lord and do not worry. You will soar!”  

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Photos: Click here to view graduation photos.

Ceremony Video: Click here to view the commencement video and hear Governor Youngkin’s speech.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!
Sidney Burris, Andrew Chandler, Joel Chigbo, Caroline Clegg, Rodney Ekwoanya, Jackson Harris, Hannah Judd, Lydia Ma, Benjamin Ocasio, Heidy Perez, Tyler Rogers, Matthew Shelton, Robert Spicer, Caleb VanDorsten, Joshua Voell, Zachary Zielke.


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