With the sun setting behind the Castle Hillcrest students gather on the front lawn. A piano was delicately pushed across the front drive while guitars were set on stands and the drum set was pushed into separated blades of grass preparing for the final gathering of student led worship of the 2017-18 school year.
Mr. Garvin has led the praise team this year, pushing students to build leadership skills through music. In the final worship night he called out student's names between songs, the cue for certain students to lead their friends who were sitting on the ground or standing around the circle of instruments to start-up the song with instrument or vocal leadership.
The group started singing shortly after 7pm. The songs, rehearsed in chapel throughout the year, echoed off the ominous walls of the Castle where students stood in its shadow while the sky turned a soft amber yellow to a comforting dark blue. The call of evening signified a gentle wind-down of the year, where the Comets of 2018 established a characteristic as a school that praises the Lord in good times and bad.
The group sang until nearly ten o'clock. Their voices called for one more song three times, a foreshadowing to what is known as a "Minnesota goodbye" where students linger in closing to bask in the delight and joy of community. Hillcrest's training in leadership, expressed through their worship program, is equipping students with much more than a diploma, prepared to live lives of eternal significance.