‘Listen carefully, live confidently’
MLC graduates 176 students
NEW ULM — “Our savior is bigger than our decisions,” Martin Luther College President, The Rev. Mark Zarling told 176 graduating students at the MLC Commencement Service in the college gymnasium Saturday.
“The father decided he would curse his blessed son because of my sins, your sins and the world’s sins,” Zarling said. “You can relax, don’t get stressed, live confidently in the peace that passes all understanding.”
Zarling provided direction for the graduates.
“You know that voice. It’s the voice of the perfect shepherd long promised by God. A shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep,” Zarling continued. “Listen carefully to him, for the shepherd’s voice makes it clear that the big decisions–the truly important ones–have already been made by the heavenly Father.”
Zarling told graduates the Lord is with them as they go into their fields of service.
“Most of you are considering gospel ministry. Relax. The Lord is with you,” Zarling said. “Since ministry is hard, there will be falls and spills. But your savior will pick you up, brush you off, and you will get better.”
Zarling told graduates whether they turn to the right or the left, their ears will hear a voice behind them saying, “this is the way; walk in it. Listen to the voice behind you and live confidently into the future, knowing that whichever way your choose, Jesus is already there, telling you to pray and study more fervently.”
Zarling told the story of being on a family road trip in the desert when his vehicle broke down and the nearest tow truck was 70 miles away, but that Jesus got he and his family through the situation.
“When things go badly, God says I want you here because there are people that will support you,” Zarling said. “You’ll have challenges. Be confident, no matter which way you go. Jesus is there. May he bless you.”
One hundred-fifty MLC students earned degrees marking the completion of their ministerial training at MLC. That included 45 pre-seminary Bachelor of Arts degrees and one non-pre-seminary BA degree, 93 Bachelor of Science in Education degrees (including 10 in early childhood education), nine Bachelor of Science degrees (including two staff ministry degrees and seven educational degrees), and two seminary certifications.
Twenty-four students received their Master of Science in Education degrees, and two students earned their Master of Science in Educational Administration degrees.
Local and area graduates included New Ulmites Joshua J. Koelpin and Daniel C. Wessel, Bachelor of Arts; Isaac W. Pappenfuss, seminary certification; Claire M. Boeder, Hannah J. Paustian and Maggie M. Schmudlach; Holly N. Wildeman, Gaylord; Bachelor of Science in Education, Elementary Education majors; Christian M. Kuether, New Ulm, Social Studies; Bachelor of Science in Education, Secondary Education major; Zachary A. Scharlemann, New Ulm, Bachelor of Science in Education, K-12 and Instrumental, Vocal and Parish Music; Jesse R. Rider, Gibbon; and Rylee K. Weisensel, New Ulm, Bachelor of Science in Education K-12 Physical Education; Joshua L. Enstad, New Ulm, Bachelor of Science in Education Life Science; Caleb M. Dobberstein, New Ulm, Bachelor of Science Educational Studies.