Evening of Gratitude: A Parent’s Retrospective

I think we’d all agree that parenting is not for the faint of heart. As we journey, we seek trusted partners along the way – grandparents, neighbors, Sunday School teachers, baseball coaches, or dear friends who can also model good and gracious living for our kids when we aren’t around.  As followers of Jesus, we want our children to learn not just what to think, but how to think. We want our children to learn and to love learning – and we trust they will come to appreciate the wonder of what is good, true, and beautiful.

On Saturday, November 12, Covenant faculty, students, parents, alumni, and friends came together to thank God for the many blessings bestowed on our learning community over the past years. The annual Evening of Gratitude banquet was just that – an evening focused on celebrating the unique Covenant experience. Held in the stunning Martin Commons at Messiah College, every detail came together to paint an altogether impressive, yet humbling, portrait of what makes Covenant a rare gem among private faith-based schools.

Among the evening’s many highlights:

Outstanding music: The Link & Creason families offered a string prelude featuring their 1st and 3rd grade students. The Chamber Choir closed with a stirring benediction of The Lord Bless You & Keep You.

Stirring testimonials: Alumnus Danny Haas (’14) and three current Covenant students spoke with poise about how their student experience is far from average. Each one acknowledged the grace of God in his or her life; placing as much emphasis on character and integrity as academic excellence. The Weaver family and their 6th and 2nd grade students stood together and affirmed the way in which Covenant is helping them raise global citizens, children who are both academically prepared and easily inspired to be kind.

A warm spirit of fellowship: Nearly 200 guests enjoyed lively conversation around a delicious meal. Where else might you find parents and teachers sharing a meal, strengthening bonds, discovering new connections, and joining together in giving thanks for our learning community?

A bold invitation: In his warm welcome, Dr. Dean Curry, Director of the Messiah College Honors Program, encouraged attendees with this thought: “Please send more of your Covenant students to Messiah College – not only are they some of our finest students, they know that their Christian faith is  a world-engaging faith & a world-transforming faith – it’s not a world-renouncing faith.”

A renewed call to leadership:  Guest speaker Dr. Peter Lillback of Westminster Theological Society underscored the importance of investing in an education that matters. His outstanding address on Christian and classical leadership virtues resonates with the mission of Covenant Christian Academy to train up the next generation of thoughtful, principled servant leaders.

Few things are more touching than watching your children’s past, current, and future teachers gather together and sing Non Nobis, Domine, a short Latin hymn of Thanksgiving that translates to “Not unto us, O, Lord, but to Thy name give glory.” Many schools have capable faculty. Many schools have intensive academic expectations. Many schools have positive test scores and nice facilities. But I would posit that few schools have the remarkable blend of deep faith, excellence, rigor, and joyful camaraderie that I have observed at Covenant Christian Academy.

Many generous donors and sponsors came together to make The Evening of Gratitude a success. If you’ve not yet considered making a gift, of any size, to support Covenant’s mission, please give the opportunity some careful thought. Our world needs Covenant graduates more than ever…as Dr. Lillback noted, the word character derives from the Greek word “charakter” meaning an engraved mark or imprint on the soul. Character is quite literally the impression of a life that never leaves until that life has been expended or worn out. As a Covenant parent, I pray that my children will fully embrace the way of Jesus and develop the kind of intellect and character that will make a difference for eternity. And I remain grateful each day to be able to provide this all-encompassing educational experience for them.

– A grateful Grammar School mom