FSUMC recognizes graduates during special Worship Service ceremony

Education and Higher Education Committee Chair Dianne Brown, far left, with cap and gown, with graduates displaying certificates and gifts.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Education and Higher Education/Black College Committee at Fenimore Street United Methodist Church (FSUMC) in Brooklyn on Sunday recognized students, during a special Worship Service ceremony, who attend and who are graduating from their respective educational institutions.

Committee members presented certificates, and the church’s United Women of Faith distributed gifts to the graduating students.

“It has always been a great pleasure to celebrate and reward children, especially when they make you proud,” Jamaican-born Committee Chair Dianne Brown told Caribbean Life afterwards. “Parents and guardians who make time to put in the effort of shaping a child’s mind into thinking possibilities by believing in themselves are always pleased when the outcome is favorable.

“One of the most important components of rearing and helping a child to build confidence is instilling a belief system,” she added. “It is a system that sets principle, which forms the basis of your preferred religion, philosophy or moral code. Believe me these principles do help to build courage, strength and perseverance in individuals regardless of their age.

“Every year, a special graduation service is prepared in their honor,” Brown continued. “It gives me warmest pleasure to learn about their success and their future plans. With their ambitions, I am assured of a greater society that will make humane decisions for the people.”

Zuria Thorpe addresses graduates, with Liturgist Min. Cynthia Grant seated in background.
Zuria Thorpe addresses graduates, with Liturgist Min. Cynthia Grant seated in background. Photo by Nelson A. King

2024 graduating students and classes were: From pre-k to kindergarten — Daen Blemur:  participates in Sunday school, was part of the 2023 Christmas pageant and graduated from Therapy Learning Center.

From kindergarten to 1st grade — Aleksen Blemur and Akiera Goodman. Blumur participates in Sunday school and graduated from P.S. 397 Foster Laurie.  Aleksen was presented a certificate for outstanding achievement in writing. Akiera attends Sunday school, and she graduated from PS 111 Jacob Blackwell. She wants to eventually become a medical doctor. Her favorite saying is “God is good all the time.”

From middle school to high school: Ashley Smith – Sunday school student and an usher.  She graduated from IS 392, The School For The Gifted and Talented.  Ashley will be attending Ethel Walker High School. Her course of study is science. Ashley aims to become an anesthesiologist in five years. Her favorite bible verses are Romans 5:3-4.

From high school to college — Hannah Henry and Shilah Griffith. Hannah participated in Black history, bake sale and volunteering. She graduated from Brooklyn Institute of Liberal Arts.  She is an outstanding student in science and attained cum laude honors. Hannah will be attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Course of study: criminology. Hannah wants to attend law school in five years. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 23.

Shilah volunteers on Family Life Committee, graduated from Cristo Rey Brooklyn H.S., and will be attending St. John’s University hoping to major in business management and studio arts. She wants to be in Graduate school in five years.  Her favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13.

The Young Adults Praise Team participating at the service.
The Young Adults Praise Team participating at the service. Photo by Nelson A. King

College graduates – Zuria Thorpe and Ezinne Nwosu. Zuria participated in the Dance Ministry, United Voices of Praise (UVOP), Young Adult Praise Team and Staff Pastor Parish Relations (SPPR).  Zuria graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.  She wants to work in the Operating Room or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in a hospital. Zuria wants to become a home owner in five years. Her favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13.

Ezinne Nwosu participated in the Dance Ministry, UVOP and Youth Ministry. Ezinne will be graduating from the Swedish Institute College of Health Science and New York City College of Technology. Her intended degrees are Associate of Science in nursing and Bachelor of Science in healthcare policy and management, with a minor in psychology.  Ezinne plans to work as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. Her favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13.

Zuria, the daughter of Barbadian immigrants, told the graduating class to “keep God first, take your time, but do not waste your time.

“Lean on your support system,” she urged. “Let us not forget – faith still plays in your journey. Congratulations, and may God inspire you this excitement day!”

Guest preacher, the Rev. George Haigler, also urged the graduates in his sermon, “Don’t Be Afraid”.

“I pray God’s blessings to all the graduates,” he said. “I say to the graduates, don’t be afraid because your parents and grandparents – you’re standing on the shoulders of the Great One.

“Don’t be afraid; if you’re holding God’s hands, don’t be afraid,” Rev. Haigler added. “God says don’t worry about a thing.”

The near two-hour-long service was punctuated, among other things, with a special selection from UVOP.