UCA Spiritual Kickoff Empty? Be Filled!
Upper Columbia Academy students and staff gathered at the UCA fire bowl at the beginning of the first Sabbath of the school year to kick off the spiritual theme for the year: "Empty? Be Filled." With two flickering fires providing warmth on a chilly night, God's presence was felt in this very special vespers service.
The vespers gave a new meaning to ordinary communion. The staff, church members and ASB officers washed the feet of those choosing this commitment. Then they distributed the communion bread and wine. Fred Riffle, pastor and UCA Bible teacher, spoke to the students and community members about God's love and how He truly loves to give us what we need. Kevin Eckvall, UCA taskforce chaplain, explained communion as a marriage ceremony. Communion is like a wedding to Jesus where we give up our will to God so that we can be filled by His love.
Eckvall also gave the students empty canning jars to be reminders of how God is filling them this year at UCA. Every time the students see a way that God has filled them, they will put something in these jars. That way when times get tough, they will have a physical reminder that God is still filling them.
The staff of UCA hopes the theme and tone of this first Friday-night vespers will set the tone for the rest of the school year.