Spiritual Emphasis. Those two words I had never used together before coming to Calvary in April of 2016. When I first heard it, the Calvary Parent Teacher Organization was discussing a way to raise funds to cover the cost. I remember thinking--$10,000…is it really worth that?
Calvary is a special place, and I think most who truly understand its purpose see that. Spiritual Emphasis Week is comprised of five days on this campus that are truly life altering. Not just for the Cavalier Middle and High School student, but also for Calvary parents and staff. The PTO provides the funding to bring in a outside speaker (Chad Poe in 2019) and an outside worship team (Lion’s Den in 2019). For two hours each day during this special week, the only focus on campus is the students’ personal relationship with Christ.
Even though I tried to sum up the basis of the week in the previous paragraph, it's tough to explain in words. What happens on this campus during that time is godly, young adolescents spending hours during the school day praising the Lord. If you have never witnessed it, I encourage you to make the time to attend.
Each day begins with parents praying in the Worship Center from 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. They volunteer to pray for every student by name. Parents of Lower School students and Calvary graduates who don’t even have a student participating in the Spiritual Emphasis Week activities still come to pray. Some pray out loud. Walking into a primarily empty chapel and hearing names of students being prayed for is powerful to experience.
At 8:57 a.m. the bell rings to signify the end of first period, then students start to pour into the Worship Center...sixth through 12th graders all buzzing with excitement. At the beginning of the week, I believe most are excited about getting out of class, but by the end of the week, they are excited to worship.
History teacher John Locke, in his 10th year at Calvary, begins by playing a game with the students. From Simon Says to Family Feud, this time requires the students to interact with one another and build interpersonal relationships.
After the games, a student gives a call to worship. The worship time was my favorite! Lion’s Den out of Athens, GA did an amazing job with some great songs. After worship, Chad Poe took the stage and shared the gospel through the theme of Belong.
When each message was completed, students broke up into grade-level small groups. These groups are led by a faculty member. In these sessions, students were encouraged to share about what they heard and felt.
Each year, the students choose a charity to support. For Spiritual Emphasis Week 2019, our school partnered with a great organization to bring food to students in need. P.A.C.K. is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to helping meet the basic needs of children in the Savannah community. The organization believes that God intended for us to teach our children to serve and give. On Thursday, January 31st, Calvary’s Upper School students packed 2500 snack bags for P.A.C.K. and we gave enough extra food to pack another 730 bags, for a grand total of 3230 bags. These bags were distributed to local elementary students throughout Chatham County the following week. By packing and distributing bags of food, clothes, and basic necessities, Calvary students were able to show God's love to those who need it most. Thank you to our parents, staff, students, and extended Calvary family for contributing and showing love to our community.
While the whole week was awesome, Friday was the most powerful day. The last day of SEW 2019 started with two student baptisms. All of the Upper School students witnessed senior Lauren Rowe and junior Peter Clifton make a public declaration of their desire to follow Christ. Lauren was baptized by Head of School Dr. James Taylor while Peter was submerged by football coach and Strength and Conditioning Instructor Logan Daves. Both students had friends and family that were in attendance, including students from other schools. At the end of the service, Chad asked all of the Upper School students to search their hearts and make a commitment to accept Jesus. Over twenty-two students submitted to Him that morning. It was one of the most impactful moments that I have ever witnessed.What a blessing it is to be a Cavalier! Take some time this week to revisit the Spiritual Emphasis Week videos on Youtube. If you only have time to watch one, watch the Friday video. Pray for those students who gave their lives to Christ. Pray for those who did not. I’ve enjoyed getting to know what SEW really means on the campus of Calvary Day School. Make it a priority to come out in 2020. I promise you, it's worth it!
Gordon Hunter is the Director of Development for Calvary Day School. He believes that all Christians are called to give: give of your talents, time and resources. Deuteronomy 16:17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given to you.”