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Christ-Centered Spiritual Development at WMC

Fall/Winter 2019 Wrap Up

ABC: Authentic Biblical Community

The spiritual development theme for the 2019-2020 year is ABC, Authentic Biblical Community. What that means for the students attending WMC is putting others over self. This can be applicable in the classroom by helping others when they miss a class or writing an encouraging note to lift up one’s spirits, and sharing prayer requests and prayers.

It’s the idea that no man is an island and you never have to walk alone. It’s a shared responsibility to live for Christ and demonstrate love for others since He first loved us. We see this in chapels, Project Grace, Warrior Weekend, theatrical performances, the lunchroom, and anywhere in between. It’s simply living out our calling to be united by the Spirit of Christ by being the body of Christ.

Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School students convene at chapel on day one of school for the 2019-2020 school year. Principal Samuel Greer delivers a sermon-like call to these students to encourage them to “Rise Up” to being an “Authentic Biblical Community.” This word, from Pastor Greer, was followed by two days of community service where students served a host of local nonprofit organizations giving of themselves and forgoing their own “personal joys” to put others first.

First Days of School: August 26-27, 2019

The first-day back-to-school at WMC looks quite different from most middle and high schools. Our students show up in scruffy clothes ready to get to work! Days of service have long been part of the WMC culture.

From left, Juniors Aurora Iversen and Katelyn Morris painting.

This year our juniors and seniors worked with Community Encompass and AmeriCorps. One hundred-thirty high school students rode in chartered busses to Muskegon to work on sprucing up some group homes and another group cleared a parking lot of weeds and junk. The goal of performing these acts of service was to display Christian principles and attributes, portraying our call to an “act of faith.” 

From left, Juniors Olivia Hendrie, Alisha Leffring and Taylor Folkema lend a hand with some yard work.

The Bible says, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Our school lives out a mission to show that we as Christians need to serve others, as well as serving God. 


WMC Juniors Tyler Gould and Caleb Kozal help with yard work.

Back on campus, middle schoolers, in a demonstrative effort to help build an understanding of authentic biblical community, worked together in small groups. 

Separated by grade, they went ahead and created coloring books for children who are categorized as ESL (meaning English is their second language) in the foster system with Bethany Christian Services. Some made “grocery bags” for families, which consisted of basic living necessities such as hygiene kits, and soaps, etc. The students worked very diligently to ensure the job got done. 

7th grader Paydon Jackson writing a positive message to be sent to foster children.

Freshman and sophomores stayed on campus working on various services projects that blessed organizations. There were multiple assembly stations that included making DIY cat toys for the Noah Project (WMC loves God’s creatures too), making DIY laundry soap for MOCAP, packing lunches for the Kids Food Basket, creating care packages for folks in assisted living at Christian Haven Home, and even some “home improvement” projects around the WMC campus for Mr. Hain.

On day two all middle and high school students enjoyed some team-building activities led by Camp Roger out on the soccer field.  This was an opportunity for students to work together, communicate, problem-solve in groups in order to complete a variety of challenging activities.

From left, Kevin Jackson and Daniel Mott prepare care packages for MOCAP.
From left, Kim Nguyen, Taylor Pham and Madison Brinkert plank-walking.

This day of service and team building ended with the very intentional reading of Acts 2: 42-47 and discussion about what Authentic Biblical Community looked like in the New Testament and what it would look like at WMC today.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

ACTS 2:42-47
Senior Dagen Bayes prepares for the parachute drop.
From left, Claudia Kingma, Sawyer Arkema, Carson VanHekken and Jaden Binnendyk discuss their parachute drop.
from left, Kaylynn Pearce, David Clausing and Kendal Young discuss in small groups.
From left, Thien Bui, Jocelyn Kruithoff and Anh Lan Nguyen work on puzzle.

Project Grace: December 2-16, 2019

Project Grace started many years ago by Principal Pastor Greer as a way for WMC to bless and support local families during the time of Christmas.  This effort includes a variety of opportunities for students to raise funds. In fact, everyone gets very creative! You’ll hear and see this all over town as they work together for this worthy cause. Student classes (everyone’s 2nd hour) compete against each other and the winning group gets the blessing of being able to hand-deliver the gifts.

Parents and the WMC community have the opportunity to join in on this giving spirit at the Project Grace Boys Varsity Basketball Game on Monday, December 16 where donations are encouraged!

“We are passionate about this work. It’s not only important to us as students through Project Grace but these are real people in the community where we live. It’s truly the best use of time and energy and I am proud to be a part of it,” explains Senior Chloe Mitchell. 

Complete Project Grace coverage will be featured in the next Prayer Warrior newsletter.

You’re Invited to a WMC Chapel!

On Tuesday, December 10 we have Alan Seaborn as a speaker at our High School Chapel.  Alan works at Winning at Home in Zeeland. All WMC parents are invited to attend this chapel. 

WMC begins the year with SERVICE

Day 1

Western Michigan Christian students started the day Tuesday August 28 with praise and worship together and Principal Samuel Greer challenged the students to not only “get better” this year but to do so with a higher purpose: to shine for Christ. The students spent the rest of the day doing things together in purposeful way, including service in our community.

 

 

 

The middle school students went to Treetop Adventure Park in Grand Rapids having fun with a purpose. That purpose was to challenge themselves. “It was fun and challenging. I have done ropes courses before with my Scout Troup so it was not a new experience but it was still great to do,” said 7th grade student Hayden, “There were different challenge levels on the the ropes course and we could do easy, medium, hard. There were three levels of the easy and two levels each of the medium and hard.”  

 

The high school students spent the afternoon serving with a purpose. In the past, all WMC high school students have gone out into the community to serve on the first day of school. This year the format was changed to have partner organizations come to the WMC campus and 9th and 10th grade students rotated through different service opportunities that included Christian Haven Home , MOCAP ,  Kids’ Food Basket , The Noah Project , and clean-up work done on the WMC campus.

 

Serving on-campus

We appreciate the students making the laundry detergent today and including encouraging notes so they know where the detergent packs came from.” Lakisha Churchwell, MOCAP Client Services/Outreach Specialist.

Lakisha Churchwell, Muskegon Oceana Community Partnership Inc. (MOCAP) Client Services/Outreach Specialist was at WMC while students made laundry detergent to be distributed from their pantry and looks forward to students serving in the future. “MOCAP provides assistance to low income families with day to day needs including bills, food, and laundry detergent like what was prepared by WMC students today. We appreciate students volunteers helping in our food program because it gives them a chance to step into the shoes of people that are not as fortunate as them and understand what it means to have to come to a pantry or a food truck to get what you need. We appreciate the students making the laundry detergent today and including encouraging notes so they know where the detergent packs came from,” Lakisha said.

Service with Kids’ Food Basket

Katie Beemer, Kids’ Food Basket Muskegon Kids Helping Kids Program Assistant came to WMC and students helped prepare supper packs, “We serve over 8,000 meals a day in West Michigan and the meals today will help provide a community solution to childhood hunger. We thank Western Michigan Christian students and families for the donating 489 lbs of and decorating 500 bags. That donation equals a monetary value of $2400. We appreciate your school and all that you do.”  WMC Sophomore Cora helped decorate food bags, “I appreciate the opportunity to help others and it was fun creating positive messages and colorful pictures on the bags to help brighten a child’s day.”

 

Learning from Christian Haven Home

Marianne Stuparits, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Christian Haven Home in Grand Haven says she always appreciates being able to share their program with students, “Today we worked with WMC students to help them understand and experience the aging process. WMC students serve at Christian Haven Home throughout the year and this will help them to work with our residents in a more dynamic way.”  Students had their fingers taped to experience what it may feel like to write with arthritis. They walked on popcorn to replicate corns, bunions or aches from losing fatty tissue in the feet. They also wore glasses with cloudy yellow tape simulating cataracts and poor vision, and ate mints with their nose plugged to understand the loss of taste.

I am glad we had the chance to better understand what someone older goes through on a daily basis,” said freshman student Jonas, “the most impactful for me was wearing the glasses. It was blurry and tinted and much different than I expected.

 

Service for The Noah Project

Students also made cat toys for the Noah Project in Muskegon. “Those cat toys were amazing,” said Noah Project Director Mashele Arndt, “They were so different and creative. We had Pioneer Resources come in and hang the toys for the cats who are not able to roam around. What a great day we had hanging those toys and having the cats play with them.”

Summer Lile, WMC AP Biology teacher who helped coordinate day one activities was excited for new opportunities to serve. “I think this is great because it gives our students and staff to connect with our local partners and serve not only today, but for the rest of the year.”

Service off-campus with Americorps

What’s really cool about having the WMC students here to clear these lots is that they can cut, clean, trim and weed and be done in about two hours. With my crew of three or four it will take about a week to do one lot.” Jason from Americorps.

Junior and senior students went on-site to help the Americorp Urban Safety Corps clean local lots in Muskegon Heights. Jason from Americorp appreciated the hard work and help from WMC students, “What’s really cool about having the WMC students here to clear these lots is that they can cut, clean, trim and weed and be done in about two hours. With my crew of three or four it will take about a week to do one lot. The help we received today will help us get a lot more done as we do this throughout Muskegon Heights. Once the lots are cleaned they can be sold to neighbors or used by local community organizations.”

Luke, a junior, enjoyed being outside with classmates, “It was sweet to know that we were helping clear the way for more things to be done in that space. Plus it was just fun to be be working hard with my classmates.”

 

Service off-campus with Community enCompass

It is always fun to know you are helping others. I wish we actually had more time to work but it is good knowing what we did is a part of something greater.” Sarah, WMC Senior.

Other junior and senior students went to the former Nims school building to help Community Encompass clear it out and prepare for refurbishing. Noah Hanes, who works at Community enCompass and graduated from WMC in 2013, supervised WMC students and staff who helped out at Nims. “Community enCompass partners with AvaSure who owns the Nims building and they do a lot of charitable work and community development in Muskegon. We appreciate the great work by WMC students and staff today pulling nails out of trim and moving materials out so they can be repurposed for this project and other projects we are working on. Students and staff are also helping us clean it and prepare it so AvaSure can have a new place to build and grow their patient monitoring and telemedicine company in Muskegon,” Noah said.

“It is always fun to know you are helping others. I wish we actually had more time to work but it is good knowing what we did is a part of something greater, said Sarah, a senior.

 

This was a transformational day,” said Assistant Principal Scott Liggett as he reflected on the first day of school at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School. We have partnered with some local organizations along the lakeshore communities that we serve in order to live out part of our mission to equip students to work and serve Christ in their communities.

 

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.