Staff gathered one week after the final suitcase clambered down Hillcrest's stairs, wheels clanking on each stair in a parting goodbye to Hillcrest's halls that now hold echoes of students' voices from the 2016-17 school year. Staff sat around a table, some sunburned from afternoon naps outside done in recovery of a graduation weekend that held little sleep, to share what God had done in 2016. The gathering was a conscious move to turn attention from what God had done to what God is calling Hillcrest to do.
"Nones" are the fastest growing religious group. It's a group of people who unify to say they don't believe anything. They associate with no faith system. Many in the group sat in pews of churches before picking up the banner reading "no religious affiliation". So, what keeps students from ditching their faith? We believe a lack of intentional training and mentorship could be a reason, a lack of community that builds a cohesive Christian perspective. We think the uniqueness of a Christian boarding school can help students build a life-long faith for many reasons, but here are 3 that we think are unique in the Hillcrest experience.
The Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Brad Hoganson as the school’s next President. Brad will assume his new role July 1, 2017.
...if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools; if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.
This week students participated in a special singspiration after requesting an elongated chapel time to respond in song and Scripture reading to what the Lord is doing in their life as they're going through their year at HLA.
Basketball, in particular, is a very long season. Captains’ practices can begin before Thanksgiving and tournament play can last well into March. This season encompasses Christmas break where many coaches give up time with their families to host practices or take their teams to holiday tournaments. The same is true of Saturdays. Most high school coaches are paid small stipends for the amount of hours they put in--practices every night after school for weeks--many of whom have spent all day teaching, and games up to 3 or more evenings a week.
As an academic institution, our focus is heavy on intellectual growth here at HLA, as you would expect. As a Christian school, we put great emphasis on spiritual growth as well. But there is another significant area needing nurturance in our students that lies beneath the surface of everything else we do, and that is social training.
As creatures fashioned after the Divine we are, at our cores, social beings. God Himself did not exist in singular but in triunity when He said, “Let us create man in Our Own Image.” One of the cruelest forms of human torture is isolation. None among us can grow, can thrive, in seclusion.
Headphones on, eyes glued to a computer screen, a member of Hillcrest's technology team was in a video conference on training students to be digital citizens. The headphones slipped-off easily as the seminar ended. The staff member grabbed his legal pad, poured a refreshing cup of coffee, and walked into an administrative meeting where he shared his thoughts. One could almost taste the disgust from the staff member, who unpacked the information he gathered from the seminar.
"I'm kinda down...you could just pray for me." The words that almost marked the exit of a student from my office yesterday. Another staff member gently closed the door, leaning against the wall, popping questions to the student to hear the story behind the emotions. It's a routine most students are accustomed to.