I was asked to speak at the Baccalaureate Service by the Neah Bay churches.
I prepared the following:https://t.co/14uFqyiN7K
— Bud ✝ Denney (@Buddad1957) June 5, 2017
I spent one of the best days of my life here. 35 years ago I married Robin Olson at this alter.
What is Baccalaureate?
Dictionary.com defines it as
2. a religious service held at an educational institution, usually on the Sunday before the commencement day.
Today the churches of our community celebrate your accomplishments. We get to talk to you about God. In the balance of state/church activities; the school gets 12-13 years of required attendance, the Neah Bay Churches get one voluntary service.
Many of you will ask:
He saved us
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17, NIV)
His Grace and Mercy are Boundless
Micah 7:13 (NIV) says “You delight in showing mercy,”
He Makes All Things New
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(NIV: 2 Corinthians 5:17)
He’s Always With Us
Psalm 46:1King James Version (KJV)
46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
He cares about you
The more you talk to Him, the more you realize you have learned how to pray.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
But, Because death takes no holiday
Some will ask:
To those who have lost a child, parent, sibling, or friend there aren’t any words that wouldn’t seem cheap or empty when they ask, why? All you can do is pray, be there, take comfort in giving comfort. You pray, sit with them sometimes in silence, sometimes speaking, to let them know that they are not alone in their suffering and grief. But, when faced with the question why my response is
I don’t know.
In response to this why question from OP-ED COLUMNIST Maureen Dowd of the New York Times
Father Kevin O’Neil associate professor of moral theology at the Washington Theological Union wrote,
” I remember visiting a dear friend hours before her death and reminding her that death is not the end, that we believe in the Resurrection. I asked her, “Are you there yet?” She replied, “I go back and forth.” There was nothing I wanted more than to bring out a bag of proof and say, “See? You can be absolutely confident now.” But there is no absolute bag of proof. I just stayed with her. A life of faith is often lived “back and forth” ”by believers and those who minister to them.
A life of faith, if you don’t have it yet, it’s not too late. Ask questions, seek answers, open the book you will be given today and study it. It can be the most important book you will ever read. One key to Christianity is,
It’s YOUR choice.
Many sitting here today will be willing to help you explore what faith is. I am. Though I don’t have all the answers, I have my faith.
— C. S. Lewis said: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
The next step in life is yours to take.
Anne Frank said, “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” —
Some will be living off the reservation for the first time, paying bills for the first time.
Judith Martin made this observation, “The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes — naturally, no one wants to live any other way.”
In this age of social media, when connections to family and friends no matter where they are just a text away, there still may be days when you feel down and lonely
“If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.”
– EARL WILSON
It used to be only death and taxes were inevitable. Now, of course, there’s shipping and handling, too.
What will you do with your life?
– ELLEN DEGENERES advises:
Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost, and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.
Think of your daily activities:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course… We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night, and we watch television.
– PAUL Hawken
Stand outside this evening. Look at the stars. Know that you are special and loved by the One who created them.
I once saw a post on social media that said, I don’t know how people can cruise around Neah Bay all day, the only thing that changes there are new dogs running around the street.
It made me think;
I moved to Neah Bay in 1967, I was ten. Yes, I’m 60 now, and I had to write all this down before I forgot… There were no HUD houses because there was no Housing Authority; meaning No Diaht housing or East Nursery Housing. The 200 line was where you took your garbage to the old garbage dump. There was no Wellness Center. Now there are two housing developments there, and Sail River Heights has been added in the last few years. When we lived up on the 200 line, we found out there really was a downtown Neah Bay.
There was no Marina or Mini Mart, and Washburn’s and the Post Office were in the vacant lot across the street from the mini-mart.
There were “resorts” leased to nonmembers. They pulled their floats at the end of tourist season, leaving their stinking floats by the roadside, for residents to enjoy all winter and early spring, but taking the bulk of the income from the summer fisheries with them.
There was a movie theatre! They showed second run and third run movies, but it was a theatre! They had expensive popcorn, candy and pop like any theater you go to today. A theatre was needed since the only TV stations were channel 12, KVOS out of Bellingham, then a CBS affiliate, Channel 2, CBUT and Channel 6 CHEK TV out of Canada. This may explain why families were bigger back then.
There were two fish buying docks; Bay Fish and the Co-op. There was Mel’s Resort on a barge where the second boat launch is next to the Minimart.
Cape Flattery Lodge was located where Theron’s trailer is, on the next street back was an old abandoned church.
There was no Woodland Avenue, just backstreet and it turned left at what now is Portage street, and joined front street, (the street names were so original) or what we now call Bayview Avenue. There was very little a block south of Bayview, the area that is now Butler’s Motel to behind the Post Office.
The tech center started as a business center; then was a bingo hall; until head start moved in, and later an alternative school before it became the tech center.
There was the Thunderbird Motel and restaurant. The motel was built on pilings and jutted over the water where Big Salmon is now. The Cafe was across the street in the Community Gym parking lot. Oh, and there was no Makah Community Gym, or McGym as I affectionately like to call it. The silver salmon resort stood next to Debbie and Kirks current lot, The Tyee was the most recent old “resort” torn down. Farwest Resort was across the street from Mel’s resort; sitting right next to Tryon’s 76 Gas station. A Chevron gas station sat next to where Jube’s home is now. The mini-mart was previously the site for a Chevron bulk fuel station. There were three colossal metal fuel containers the size of the tank once sitting in front of the fishermen’s coop.
Elvrum’s motel sat in the vacant lot in front of where the Post Office now sits. Elvrums cafe was across the street where the Warmhouse is now. Morton’s resort is where the Cape is now. There was no Hobuck cabins and campgrounds.
There was no MCRC; no Senior Citizen Center; no Senior Apartments; there were no rentals behind where Washburn’s is now or at the end of the block before you turn left on Fort to go to the school.
The old elementary school wasn’t replaced yet, the new primary was built in the early 80’s. The former high school was just the multipurpose room, the four classrooms around it, and five classrooms that started where the art room is now extending west. The hallways were all outside.
The old elementary also housed a band room that was upstairs and located over the school’s shop and also housed the gym, with a floor smaller than what was the Center gym (the Center Gym was located where Public Safety now sits); the bleachers were solid wood, and steep. The backboards were wooden, fan-shaped. You had to walk down to the locker/shower room. The visitors’ locker rooms were located underneath the bleachers, where you could only stand up on the outer edge because the ceiling slanted with the bleachers. I was asked to take stats there for Mr. Miller, then the Basketball coach and my sixth-grade teacher, only when he handed me a clipboard, I had to ask what a rebound and an assist were. My freshman year we played Joyce 5 times. Joyce was not Crescent back then. There was a stage lining the south side of the gym. We used to put on full-scale Broadway musicals there. I sang in some of them, but for some reason, my character always died or was already dead. I was Lt. Cable in South Pacific, who died, Dracula, who got a stake through the heart, and the ghost of Romeo. There was Bye Bye Birdie, starring Maria Pascua, Babes in Arms, and Lil Abner.
The new high school gym opened with the last game of the 1971-1972 season. The parking lot was still unpaved. The floor in the entryway was designed to capture dirt, and it did an excellent job for that first game. I played in the first game ever played there. Clallam Bay whipped us. Yes, I played basketball, football too.
The museum opened in 1979. There was still an active air base where the Tribal Center is now. The Tribal center was an old two-story naval building next to where housing is now. The housing office was built in the early to mid 70’s. That’s about the time Diaht housing went up.
The Air Force left in 1988, and the center became a YWAM, Youth With a Mission site for a few years. When YWAM went, they tried running the base as a resort; using the dorm rooms as overnight guest rooms. The Council renovated the “resort” and moved into it in the mid 90’s.
The Marina was completed in 1997. The offices and conference room came after that.
Now, that’s just the fifty years of change that I remember. The dates aren’t exact, but you get the picture.
When you leave this evening; try to imagine this Neah Bay, compared to what you see now.
Then think about what it can be.
You will help shape the next fifty years of change in Neah Bay. Use your imagination, think bigly.
I urge you to Follow this quote as a guide:
Some men see things as they are, and say why. I dream of things that never were and say why not.
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
– BETTE REESE
Many of the quotes I used may be from people you haven’t heard of. I don’t know them all. I found them by Googling them. Google is a great tool:
It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping.
– JERRY ZUCKER
Even if it was difficult with that mosquito flying around.
I close with
One last note:
Your best is yet to come!