This past Sabbath, Campion’s church service was filled with colorful flags, greetings, and songs in different languages. Students and church members paraded in a variety of flags from countries all around the world, with many wearing traditional cultural clothing.
The congregation sang in six different languages and students read Bible verses in other languages, too. Airi Nomura, an international student from Japan, said, “It was very hard but fun to sing in many different languages. I really liked when everyone was trying to say “Jesus loves you” in Japanese.”
A group of Indonesian students performed for special music. “I loved how I could speak to God in another language and sing for Him. I was able to express my culture in a way people could remember,” commented Blessing Simamora. “This International Sabbath was definitely worth performing for and it’s something I will cherish for a long time.”
Continuing on the global theme, the academy’s international club created a special evening activity for the dorm students. Students rotated to four stations representing the home countries of the international students. In the gym, the Brazilian students organized a game of taco, which is a Brazilian form of cricket, and Carnival mask painting. Also, the students from the Democratic Republic of Congo held soccer games and hosted a drum circle.
In the Student Center, the Chinese students offered games of ping pong as well as learning to write the Chinese character ‘love’ for Valentine’s Day. In the chapel, Airi hosted Japanese karaoke and origami. Throughout the stations, students could win traditional Chinese red packets with a raffle number for their participation. Five winners received a free take-out meal. The night ended with sparklers and fireworks in celebration of Chinese New Year.
Sophie Baez said, “I really enjoyed how we could all come together and share our cultures even though we are from different countries. I liked the evening games because we learned new things and games from other countries.”
Tiffany Dien, Student News Team
After preparing throughout the first semester, the instrumental groups of Campion Academy serenaded the Campion Church last Sabbath.
Allegro Vivace Ringers performed first and played Let the Bells Peal. For children’s story Music Ring Supreme played I’ve Got Peace Like a River. The groups also accompanied the congregational worship music. To end the Sabbath celebration, Caritas Chamber Strings played Brandenburg Concerto for postlude.
It was a highlight to hear live music performances during the COVID pandemic.
When I was young, I lived in El Salvador, where there were massive rain storms. Every once in a while, it would get so bad that church would be canceled, and we would have church at home. My family would put on our own mini church service with a sermon, offering call, and everything. Of course, that was before there was such a thing as online-church. Now, it’s a lot more convenient to have church at home. However, it still takes a lot of work to make it happen, and there are many dedicated individuals who have put in the work.
Many churches already have a media team and a live streaming system in place, but there have been other obstacles they have had to work together to overcome. Since outreach is such a huge part of the Adventist church's mission, it has become a major goal for pastors all over the world to make sure that they can still reach out and connect to their church families and the community. The church staff and members have been doing things like driveway visitations (while still respecting the parameters of social distancing), calling to pray with people, spirit weeks, and Instagram take-overs to name a few. Church leadership is encouraging people to get creative and find even more new ways to stay connected.
There are many volunteers who have also contributed and are making an impact. Sabbath School teachers record sabbath school lessons for kids. Whole families have joined together to provide music for Sabbath Schools and for the main service. Pastor Micheal Goetz of Campion church says, “We have seen an increase in individuals and families who are coming up with their own way to care and show ministry to other people. And that's really what the church has dreamed of being about.”
Many Campion Academy students have stepped up to help in their home churches. Ben Maxson, a junior at Campion Academy, says, “I run the video camera and help with sound and slides. I also help the associate pastor with the church’s social media presence. I also go with my parents when we visit people’s houses and just stand outside and talk. I love that I can stay active and help out my community.”
Many other students including musicians, Andy Obregón and Kylie Wehling, and speakers, including Robyn Quillin and Erick Maldonado, have all been involved in Campion Academy Friday night vespers. Campion Academy is also planning to have an online week of prayer the first week of May, hosted by the senior class.
Social distancing may have physically separated the church members, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still gain a blessing by worshipping together at a distance.
Ashley Reyes, Guest Contributor