PASTOR DISROBES IN BACCALAUREATE

June 11, 2000 12:00 am

Paster Jonnie Wattersons theme for the message at the Brookings Harbor High School Graduating Class of 2000 Baccalaureate service was change, which he demonstrated graphically with a mini strip tease.

He warned parents they might find his message unusual and told the students this is something youll be able to tell your children about.

Before removing his top layer, he said, A baccalaureate is a religious observance for those graduating from high school, and I encourage a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Watterson started out in a business suit, and stripped down to shorts and T-shirt, even changing to running shoes before continuing his message.

The opening prayer for the service was led by Rick Cave, assistant pastor at the Brookings Church of the Nazarene and Jim Lamb, pastor of the Brookings First Baptist Church offered the closing prayer.

Jessica Moffit and Adam Weisenborn provided the special music, in a duet with fitting lyrics, Its Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday, reminding class mates of the goodbyes they will be saying to many people and activities this weekend.

Watterson, who is the youth pastor at the Brookings Calvary Assembly of God, spoke directly to the graduating students about choices they will be making as they face the coming changes when they leave high school.

He told them that those who are followers of Jesus Christ have the cure for their friends problems and heartaches, which they must share.

He suggested four things that helped Jesus minister to the multitudes that will be helpful to the graduates: He sought rest, he was never in a hurry, he related one-on-one, and he surrounded himself with positive, praying people.

Your choices will determine what your life will become, he told the young people.

He used the book, Three Trees, to illustrate how life can turn out to be even more rewarding than their dreams.

He closed with a challenge to take the high road and do whats right.

He said the athletes would appreciate his encouragement to be on the right team.

In the end God wins, he said. In the end satan loses. Choose a side.

It was an emotional night for parents as well as graduates. One mother said, Its going to be an emotional weekend. I just drive by the field where theyre putting up the stage (for graduation), and I cry.