The Rising 7th Grade Visit to the Upper School campus was on November 29, 2018. This is a special event that happens for the current 6th grade class every year. Students get a glimpse of what their next year will look like on a new campus!
The 6th grade students arrived to the Upper Campus just in time for Chapel. Students were greeted by our Upper School Ambassadors and Principal, Mrs. Bacon. Bracelets were passed out to the students with the phrase “#FA2025” on them. 2025 is the year this class will be seniors at FA and graduate!
Ambassadors led the students to their special seating at the front of the auditorium. The anticipation for their first Upper School Chapel was evident! Students loved that they could gather at the front of the stage for worship. After worship, Pastor Ken brought up volunteers from 6th grade and 12th grade, and challenged them to compete in a dance-off! You can see the dance-off below, filmed by one of our parents who were in attendance:
Pastor Ken then spoke on fervency. What a strange word! He told the students about how easy it is for God to become “background noise.” He used the example of the Israelites seeing God’s presence in a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day during their time in the wilderness. It made no difference in their consistent complaining in the wilderness and fear about entering the Promised Land! He challenged the students with the question “How do we keep from taking God for granted?”
After Chapel, the Rising 7th Grade Visit continued with tours for the students. They were able to see several classrooms, meet several of their future teachers, and ask questions about the many electives offered at our Upper School! After finishing their tours, the students were treated to yet another surprise: Jeremiah’s Italian Ice! Students enjoyed their icy treat with one another as they were already planning their schedules for the next year!
We are so excited the 6th graders enjoyed their visit. Our faculty and students alike loved hosting them for the morning, and look forward to them joining Upper School next year. Enjoy the gallery below of pictures from their visit.
November 15th chapel on the Upper School centered around loving one another as commanded in Romans 12:9-10. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Pastor Ryan spoke to our students, and had an interesting exercise for them to do. He pointed out how the end of verse 10 says “Outdo one another in showing honor.” Right then and there, Pastor Ryan challenged students to come and honor their peers, teachers, etc. Could they outdo one another?
Students lined up at the front of the stage for their turn to honor someone well. Students honored their friends, their siblings, and faculty. It was amazing to witness our students showing honor to each other in this way. Pastor Ryan actually had to cut the line off because time was running out! He encourage the students to keep it going. To continue to outdo one another in showing honor. It didn’t have to stop when they went back to class.
Students left with big smiles, their heads high, and a challenge that they wanted to take on.
Students line in front of the stage to outdo one another in showing honor.
Upper School Chapel on November 8 revolved around the theme of showing mercy. After worship, Pastor Ken gave the definition of mercy. Mercy is showing compassion and forgiveness toward an individual who deserves punishment.
Pastor Ken interviews Mr. East about bullying and how showing mercy applies.
Pastor Ken invited our Assistant Principal, Mr. East, on to the stage to practically apply to the students how they can show mercy to one another. They talked to the students about a very prevalent subject in schools today: bullying. Mr. East helped to define what bullying is for our students. He reminded students of the rule “see something, say something” when they are going about their days.
The way that mercy is practically applied to bullying is through forgiveness. If someone you know is a victim of bullying, it is important to say something to a caring adult. That caring adult then can take the necessary steps to get the one bullying the help they need. Mr. East reminded students that many time in a bully-scenario, the bully needs just as much help as the one they are bullying. Mercy is offering to help the bully, even though our flesh just wants to see them punished.
After Mr. East spoke to the students, Pastor Ken reminded them of the power of serving one another. Serving those older, serving those younger, and serving those who we think may not deserve it. He referenced the verses Ephesians 4:29 and 2 Timothy 1:7.
This Chapel has been able to begin opening doors for students to talk about anything that might be bothering them. We encourage parents to use this as a beginner to a discussion with their family. Who do we need to show mercy toward today? Who do we need to serve today?
Pastor Jarian speaks to students about how we can worship in many different ways and languages.
Upper School Chapel on November 1st had the focus of Leading. What does it look like for YOU, personally, to lead? Some of us will lead from up front, others will lead from backstage. Both are necessary.
Chapel began with our praise band leading in worship. Pastor Jarian then came up and spoke to the students about how there are many ways in which we can worship God. He introduced the ASL Club who lead the students in worship through sign language.
After worship, Pastor Ken spoke to the students about leading, He mentioned 3 steps needed to become a good leader. First, we must follow God. Second, we must be able to lead ourselves. We do this with self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit. Once we accomplish those two steps, we can finally lead others around us. We lead others according the example Jesus set for us. He led by serving others.
Scripture references used with the three steps were Numbers 9:17-18 for step 1, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 for step 2, and Matthew 20:25-28 for step 3.
Enjoy the gallery below of images from our November 1st chapel.
Upper School Chapel on October 25th focused on the topic of giving. Specifically, what are practical ways to give as teenagers? Chapel began with giving God our worship.
Mr. Grosshans and Mr. Bales share what makes a good story to them.
After worship, Pastor Ryan invited Mr. Grosshans and Mr. Bales up to the front. He asked each of them “what do you look for in a good story?” As they answered based on their backgrounds, Pastor Ryan brought up a similarity in their answers. A good story involves a “hero” overcoming an obstacle. He gave examples of Braveheart, Abraham Lincoln, and Moana to show this similarity in story telling. Also in similarity is that the “heroes” all reflect the character of one individual: Jesus Christ.
Jesus overcame the greatest obstacle of all, death. And how did He do this? He gave of Himself. That is the example Jesus set for us. To serve and to give of ourselves. John 10:10 says, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
Many teenagers feel they don’t have anything to give, but Pastor Ryan challenged them to think differently about giving. What are practical ways to give? It’s giving away of what you have. Students can give of their time, their talents and abilities, and even their money. Look outside the normal constrains of giving and follow Jesus’ example, which is promised to lead to abundant life.
Upper School Chapel on October 18 began, as always, with energetic worship. Pastor Jarian encouraged students to be bold in their worship. If you feel the need to move, then move! It doesn’t matter if it’s a hand clap, jumping, raising your hand, or even dabbing. As long as it’s done for Jesus, then you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Pastor Jarian encourages students to be bold in their worship.
This time of worship was a perfect way to prepare students for the topic of Pastor Ken’s message today: Exhortation. To describe exhortation, Pastor Ken used the phrase “persuasive encouragement.” He pointed to the biblical example of Barnabas, whose name means “son of encouragement”. Pastor Ken used referenced 8 different passages of scripture to show why encouragement is so important! (The list of references is below.)
Encouraging people is a sign of maturity in believers. Tearing others down shows immaturity. To build up a stronger body, we need to persuasively encourage one another. Tearing each other down only cripples the body. We don’t lack the strength, we lack the will. That’s why commUNITY is so important.
Our Upper School Chapel on October 11 focused around the question “What are you really teaching those around you?” Chapel began, as it has become accustomed, with energetic and enthusiastic worship from our students. There was a point where the students were louder than the praise team! It was truly a beautiful sound to witness.
After worship, students led in prayer and reading scripture. Pastor Ken then spoke on the topic of Teaching. Your words and your actions are teaching people around a lesson. What are you really teaching those around you? He had four points for students to take with them:
Be Teachable (Colossians 3:16)
Choose Your Teacher Wisely (Luke 6:40)
To Teach, You Have to Remember (Deuteronomy 4:9)
Don’t Just Say – DO. (Exodus 18:20)
A fun part of the lesson was when Pastor Ken brought Coach Lord onto the stage. Coach Lord thought all he had to do was announce the October 12th football game. However, Pastor Ken and several of the team members had a different plan. They instead taught Coach a fun touchdown victory dance! The students cheered him on, and the team enjoyed getting to teach Coach something for a change.
Football Players teaching Coach Lord a popular touchdown victory dance.
Please enjoy the gallery below of images from this Chapel time.
October 4th’s chapel centered around the question “Who are you serving?” The service began with a inspirational time of praise and worship. Students were reminded that God is our Way Maker, so we should be able to put our full trust in serving and following Him.
Ashton and Diamond speaking about service dog training.
After worship, Pastor Ken invited junior Ashton K and Diamond to stage. Ashton and her family train service dogs for people with disabilities. Diamond is the dog currently with Ashton and her family, and will be training with them for several months. Ashton spoke of how God has blessed her with a passion for serving people with disabilities in this way.
Pastor Ken then went more in depth on what scripture says about what it means to serve. There are three questions one can ask when looking to serve:
Where is the need? (John 5:17, 19-20)
What’s your attitude? (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)
Who are you serving? (Colossians 3:23-24)
He finished with one final question to the students: What is one thing you can do to serve today?
This Chapel on the Upper School was a very special one, ending in the baptism of 5 students. The morning began with students being led in worship by our praise band. Our ASL Club led the students in worship through sign language.
We continued worship by celebrating the salvation of several students. Before the baptisms took place, Pastor Mann explained to the students that baptism is an outward demonstration of an inward transformation. It is a a declaration that we have been buried with Christ, and are then raised to life in Him. Pastor Mann also pointed out how our bodies standing in the water and the water line create a perpendicular line – a cross.
Parents were able to be a part of the baptism, and the joy they had was indisputable. We are so proud of these students and their public profession of faith in Christ. Please enjoy the gallery of images from this Chapel below.
Chapel started again with enthusiastic worship led by our students. The opening song was “God is Able”, and Mr. Bales joined the praise team to rap during a portion of the song. The students cheered Mr. Bales on as he spoke about how good our God is through rap.
To highlight diversity and unity in Christ, Pastor Jarian had the students sing the next song, “Holy Spirit”, in their native languages. Our students come from many nationalities and family backgrounds. Praise team students led in English, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole while students in the audience joined in with many other languages.
Students read from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, and Pastor Mann spoke on Unity and Diversity. We each have a unique part to play in God’s plan. We find our unique part by embracing God, embracing ourselves, and embracing the people around us.
He demonstrated unity and diversity to the students by asking all those who like to dance to come to the front of the stage. Pastor Mann pointed out that the many students that came forward were of different grades, backgrounds, etc. and yet a love to dance brings them all together. This is how the body of Christ is. We are all different, but we are united as one for the same purpose of bringing glory to God.