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5/10/2007 Bishop to speak at Linfield baccalaureate

McMINNVILLE – The Rev. Bavi Edna (Nedi) Rivera, bishop sufragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Wash., will present the address at baccalaureate services to Linfield College graduates Saturday, May 26, at 6 p.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Her address is titled "What Does God Require?"

Rivera is the first Hispanic woman bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church, a position she has held since 2004. A focus of her church career has been getting more people involved in developing the future leadership of the Episcopal church and in developing multicultural congregations. She has a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College and a master in divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. She has served churches in several cities in California including San Rafael, Salinas and San Francisco. She has also served the church in several roles, both at the province and national levels. She has been active in several community organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Marin Association for the Retarded and the Center for Community Advocacy.

"Baccalaureate is intended to be a spiritual exclamation point to our academic pilgrimage, one that gives thanks for the awareness and knowledge we have gained and anticipates, through hope and prayer, the challenges yet to come," said David Massey, Linfield chaplain, who will preside over the service.

The Linfield Baccalaureate Brass, under the direction of Joan Haaland Paddock, professor of music, and the Linfield Concert Choir, under the direction of Larry Marsh, professor of music, will perform. A number of graduating seniors will also participate in the program, presenting readings and prayer. The baccalaureate service precedes Linfield's commencement exercises which will be held Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove.

Baccalaureate has existed for centuries in colleges and universities as a time of worship for graduating members of the senior class. College officials, faculty and graduating seniors wear academic dress for the occasion. Linfield's baccalaureate service is ordered according to the traditions within Protestant Christianity and strives to touch the universal theme of common humanity that can be found in all the world's great religions.