Education Sabbaths Build a Godly Heritage
Three years ago, Streams of Light hosted its first education rally in Sandpoint, Idaho. Thirteen rallies later, Upper Columbia Conference was still excited about the education Sabbaths and launched another three-year cycle with the theme “Building a Godly Heritage.” Streams of Light is a $6 million capital campaign sponsored by UCC with $4 million going to scholarships.
“Each event gives church members opportunity to embrace our children wherever they are and wave the flag for Adventist education,” says Patsy Wagner, UCC director of philanthropy and coordinator for each event.
The goal is to hold a rally in as many places as it takes to give every school in the conference a chance to participate. “It’s nice to include all our children,” says one church member from the St. Maries area, “public, home, and church school children.”
Each hour-long “Celebrate Children” Sabbath School program involves a variety of people and ages. Some contribute musically, while others share testimonies.
Thomas and Lori Cometto told their story at the second education Sabbath in Sandpoint, Idaho, held this spring. Unable to find a Catholic school in the area, they sent their children to public school. Still looking for an alternative, they did some more research and found Sandpoint Junior Academy.
“We wanted to give our kids a solid religious foundation as well as an academic one,” says Lori.
Whenever possible, visiting students and musicians from academies also join the group. Danielle Shull, an Upper Columbia Academy student from Alaska, told how her family hit financial crisis. She lived in a tent when she had nowhere else to go. Because of scholarships, she has been able to attend UCA—“the happiest place in my life.”
In the afternoon, youth spread out in the community to do a service project. Research shows that most students who are actively involved in service-learning programs raise their GPAs.
The Kids in Discipleship afternoon seminar shows parents and church members how to integrate each child into the heart of worship, ministry and mission of the church.
The next "Building a Godly Heritage" event will be in October in Colville, Wash., with Mark Witas, Cascade Christian Academy principal, sharing his story. Several more education Sabbaths are scheduled through 2010. Be watching for information about the “Building a Godly Heritage” events coming to your area or go online at www.uccsda.org/development/Calendar.