The Campion Academy Orchestra and select choir, Koinonia, traveled to the Fort Collins Seventh-day Adventist Church last Sabbath to lead out in their worship service. Several Campion students and staff are members at this church, just 30 minutes from Campion.
The music department provided the worship music for Sabbath’s church service at Campion Church on October 14. View the performances from Orchestra, Choir, and Koinonia on Campion Church’s livestream page. The Choir performance begins at minute 26:40 and Koinonia performs at the end.
The Junior Bible class took their biannual field trip down to HMS Elementary to study the Bible with the younger students. The Junior Bible students reinforced their lessons with fun activities like a blind fold to emphasize the need for help from others, legos to build Neiamiah’s wall, and playdough snowmen to illustrate the Trinity.
This last Sabbath, all of the residence hall students traveled to five different churches in the surrounding areas to lead out in their services, in a school-wide SWAT (Students With a Testimony) event.
The Campion students were divided into groups of 10-15 people, going to churches in Aurora, Brighton, Greeley, and Fort Collins. They could share their testimonies and musical gifts by leading worship and sharing special music that inspired people in those churches.
Carlos Santana, Campion Chaplain, came up with the idea of having a SWAT trip on a bigger scale. He shared, “I feel God inspired me to plan this event. One day over the summer I was talking to Molly, my wife about it, and I asked her, ‘What if the whole school did a SWAT trip?’ We thought that if everyone would be a part of SWAT, they would each touch different hearts. I was scared because it was a major undertaking to plan, but it ended up going well.”
After the service, over potluck, the students got to talk to the church members and share a little bit more about their life at Campion and also hear some feedback about the service.
Damaris Lopez-Morquecho, junior, reflected, “I enjoyed sharing my testimony and seeing how my group and I worked together. It was also awesome how the church members at Adventure church accepted us. They are all so welcoming.”
Maxwell Bicknell, a sophomore commented, “When I went on SWAT, my favorite thing was talking to the church members and hearing some of their thoughts. I also really enjoyed being able to give my testimony and felt like I was doing something that God wanted me to do.”
After the success of this event, Chaplain Carlos plans to continue more individual SWAT trips to different churches throughout the year, and potentially make a school-wide trip an annual event.
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
The Campion Academy Girl’s Club took a break from campus, spending the weekend in the cabins at Glacier View Ranch and learning more about different ways to study God’s Word. The Girl’s Head Dean, April Riseley, and Assistant Dean Cherie Haffner, planned the weekend full of activities and worship services in the Long House.
Carol Turk, the speaker for the retreat, explained a variety of ways that she studied the Bible. She talked about the different ways everyone thinks and how not all bible study techniques will be beneficial for everyone. Ariel Patterson, a senior, shared, “Something I learned about from the speaker is that your relationship with God is personal, and that you can express it in your own way. Everyone has a different way of glorifying Him.”
Turk expressed that when she was younger she also didn’t enjoy just simply sitting and reading the Bible. She enjoyed studying the Bible in depth with art and sharing that with others.
Turk taught the students some techniques to study the Bible through art, including making decorative booklets to write down important messages. Olivia Arizola, junior, recalled, “I loved learning how to make little books. It was so unique and fun to try and do.”
The girls bonded with each other discussing spiritual topics and creating art. They ended the weekend having a fun board game night while enjoying hot chocolate and chips.
The girls were able to not only reconnect with each other, but also with God's nature.
There were lots of outdoor activities available to do, like paddle boarding, hiking, and star gazing. Beatriz Moraes expressed, “ I liked seeing the beautiful sunrise on the hike. We were able to have time to sing and worship God.”
Vashty Segovia Santos, Student News Team
This past Sabbath, a Campion Academy SWAT (Students with a Testimony) team traveled to Sidney, Nebraska to put on the church service for the local Seventh-day Adventist congregation.
The students shared testimonies, prayers, music, poetry, and scripture. The members of the church commented that they were blessed by hearing the students' testimonies as they participated in praise and worship together.
Elizabeth Shannon, senior, reflects, “It's fun getting to know other church members and seeing how God works through you to impact their lives. A lot of people told us - ‘I loved how you guys came and I want you guys to come again,’ which I really appreciated.”
The students and church members bonded over delicious food in a potluck following the service. Mabel Cabandon, senior, shared, “This was my first time going on SWAT and the church members made me feel so welcomed. I loved eating potluck and getting to know the church members. The root beer floats and mashed potatoes were so good; definitely the best part!”
Teresa Johansen, Campion Church Administrative Assistant, helped organize the trip and accompanied the students. She reflected, “My favorite part of SWAT was learning more about the kids when they told their testimonies and their stories. They did a really good job and the people at the church really appreciated it. It was really fun!”
Campion Academy has a tradition of sending students to various churches in the Rocky Mountain Conference. This year, Chaplain Carlos Santana has placed sophomore student, Izuchi Nwankwo, in charge of finding students to participate in SWAT events. Nwankwo explains, “Being in charge of finding students for the SWAT trips makes me think outside of the box. I try to find different people for the trips, which also helps me make new friends and understand more people. SWAT has helped my leadership.”
This year, Chaplain Carlos Santana plans to take students to different churches about once a month.
Eva Resz, Student News Team
Photos by Eva Resz
Campion students united in prayer and praise for a Sabbath youth service in the chapel led by Chaplain Carlos and Student Chaplains Eva Resz and Jovanna Maldonado, after Mountain Church at GVR had been canceled due to weather.
The Youth Church was centered around this school year’s theme: God’s Will. It included worship music, prayer, activities, a sermon, and time to discuss. “It was awesome to hear all the different takeaways and reflections across the group about how each person viewed the story and how it impacted each individual’s walk with Christ,” said Ekenna Nwankwo, senior.
The students also enjoyed center campus by hanging out with each other, laughing, and playing games in the afternoon. “Youth Sabbath was filled with spiritual happiness. Not only did I feel connected with God but with all the students as well. Hanging out with friends, singing songs, and having Bible studies. Such an amazing sabbath!” shared Mabel Cabandon, senior.
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
Campion Church and Campion Academy students worshiped together on Sabbath for the first time this school year. On this dedication Sabbath, Pastor Rodlie Ortiz had his first sermon at Campion Church’s lead pastor.
In his sermon, he encouraged the audience to let go of their personal burdens and go to God for rest. Ariel Patterson, senior, commented. “I really like the new pastor. His sermon spoke to so many students. He explained how we must go under God’s yolk and He will help us.”
Students in the Music Department helped lead worship, which included a performance from Koinonia, Campion’s select choir, after just two days of rehearsal. Abby Waworoendeng, one of the soloists in Koinonia, expressed, “I was nervous, at first, to sing because we didn’t have a ton of time to prepare, but once I was up there singing, I felt better. I knew God was there with me.”
During the service, the teachers and staff were invited to come forward and were prayed over for their ministry this academic year.
After church, all of the students and church members enjoyed food and games together on Center Campus. Students from Campion and kids from the church played friendly games of football and soccer together. The new pastor joined in, getting to know students and families. Ortiz shared, “I love being around young people! The students have a buzzing energy. I’m so excited to be here and get to know all the students.”
Vashty Segovia Santos, Student News Team
The Campion Academy seniors bonded as a class and grew closer to God over the five days of Senior Survival in the mountains of Glacier View Ranch.
When they arrived last Wednesday, each pair of students was given supplies to build a shelter to stay dry. Many students brought duct tape and rope to help build their shelters. Several students brought hammocks and others slept on the ground. Thankfully, the students had relatively warm and dry weather.
Each group that camped together collected sticks and chopped wood to build a fire, which they used to make their own breakfasts and suppers. They cooked meals such as stew, French toast, hotdogs, and breakfast burritos.
At night, the seniors gathered around a campfire as Chaplain Carlos Santana led them in discussions of faith centered around the theme “Level-up”. Senior Carlos Lopez commented, “My favorite worship was when everyone sat around the fire, and we were finally honest with each other and shared our fears because now we know that we are not alone and have friends that have become like family to help us through.”
During the days, the seniors all participated in team-building activities where the had to work together to cross through obstacles. “I really enjoyed the spider web and the Ground is Lava activities because they got me closer with the other seniors, and taught us teamwork,” commented Noah Greenemeier, senior.
Early on Sunday morning, many of the seniors climbed to the top of a hill to watch the sunrise before packing up their camps to return to campus.
Santana said, “This was my first time going to Senior Survival, and it not only met my expectations but surpassed them. I saw God working in this senior class of 2023. God not only worked in them, but in me as well. It gives me hope for the spiritual future of the young people here at Campion.”
Haley Beckermeyer, Student News Team
Light in the midst of darkness: Adventist teens share how the pandemic has affected their spiritual life
Voices filled the air, shoulders rubbed up against each other, friends linked arms and swayed back and forth; Hankin’s Hall was filled with high schoolers praising God. Before 2020 this was a Campion student’s everyday worship experience. Throughout a full year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been unable to worship together in the same way. How can we help each other connect to God through a mask? How can we show our love for each other from six feet away? Despite all the restrictions, God has still been at work at Campion.
Milka Mendoza, senior at Campion, felt it was especially hard being separated from her friends. “COVID has made it a lot harder to stay close with God. A big thing for me is being able to worship with my friends. Because we have to be home most of the time, that has happened less this year.” Despite the circumstances, Milka has managed to stay positive. “Through this pandemic, I have felt God’s presence closer than ever. Why? Well, because despite everything that has been happening, He has still found a way to bless me and the people that I love. Waking up with good health is one of the biggest blessings.”
The pandemic aroused doubt in many people, including Jayden Anggormas, senior. “My spiritual life was affected a lot by this pandemic. There were a lot of problems and doubts because I was worried about how my life was going to turn out.” Jayden realized that he had to let go of his doubts and just trust God. “I started to notice others around me lose their faith because the in-person contact was gone. It was really tough, but I found it to also strengthen my faith. Despite the discouraging setbacks, it reminded me that God is stronger. He can work through situations that are even worse, and by keeping this close to my heart, I was able to become closer with Him.”
Teens may find themselves wondering where God is in the midst of the pandemic, but some have been able to use this time to gain a clearer vision of God’s kingdom. “It honestly feels a little difficult to understand why God has "allowed" COVID to happen,” explained Mark Zelaya, senior. “However, if the world was perfect, we wouldn't look forward to heaven. I think that maybe God is allowing this to happen because He wants us to see how messed up and cruel the world is, and the sooner we accept that the sooner we'll want to be reunited with Him.”
Jayce Treat, Campion News Team