View slideshow Convocation unites school with 'We Are One' theme
FC family commences school year through worship, prayer
The FC family begins another school year with a message from Superintendent Debbie Siebert, front, and music led by the worship team, Aug. 15. Siebert introduced the year's theme, "We Are One," hoping to see the entire school unite.
Before students dispersed to homerooms and new classes, the FC body gathered for a convocation, Aug. 15. The ceremony, held in the Peoples Church sanctuary, welcomed families and students to the school through worship, Scripture and prayer.
"I've been in education for 25 years and Fresno Christian's convocation is the best first day of school experience I've ever had," Principal Todd Bennett said. "Everybody's focused on one thing. It's a celebration, it's very welcoming and it also helps all of us focus on being a Christian school and the reason that we're all here."
In addition to music led by the worship team, Superintendent Debbie Siebert introduced the year's theme, "We Are One."
Siebert and senior Brady Lee took time to elaborate on the topic, delving into Scripture and stories, encouraging the FC family to unite.
"I was so excited to see so many more parents and grandparents come," Siebert said. "We are a family of believers and to be unified as one body, one mind, one purpose, to launch ourselves with that unity is something that is unique in the community."
In preparation for both the convocation and the entire school year, Lee joined his mother, Sheri, in prayer, hoping to see the student body live out "We Are One."
"Brady and I prayed together on the way to school today that everyone would feel included, unified and a part of the body of believers," Sheri said. "It's a great way to start the school year with everyone together, under one focus, one direction and one purpose."
"Everybody's focused on one thing. It's a celebration, it's very welcoming and it also helps all of us focus on being a Christian school and the reason that we're all here." --Todd Bennett, Principal
To illustrate the "We Are One" theme, Siebert provided an anecdote of a canoe race where her husband competed against three fit young adults. In accordance with the year's motto, the key to the race was working together with her husband rather than racing for individual conceit.
According to Bennett, Siebert's tradition of a boating story tied the convocation together.
"I always enjoy convocation and I liked how Mrs. Seibert did a little bit of a twist on her sailboat story," Bennett said. "It was a really great story that really did illustrate this years theme of unity and the power that comes from being united in an effort. That was the highlight for me."
On the students' side of events, sixth-grader Mattheau Casey relished the chance to be with his peers for the convocation.
"I liked seeing the entire school in one place and meeting up to talk about how the school year was going to be," Casey said. "I like seeing my old friends and making new friends too."
From kindergardeners to seniors, students and families from every grade level met in the Peoples Church Sanctuary for a convocation. For many attendees, this range of ages tied together the "We Are One" theme.
This year, senior Austen Houts experienced her final convocation. Rather than merely being an audience member, Houts led the group in music, singing with the worship team.
"I love leading people in worship, so I very much enjoyed the 2011 convocation, especially since I was not able to sing with the worship team in the 2010 convocation," Houts said. "I appreciate and take advantage of opportunities that allow me to sing for school events, so it was a fantastic, albeit bittersweet, way for me to start my senior year."
Like Houts, the convocation marked a momentous event for Sheri, with her son graduating in May. However, she chose to view the event in a positive light.
"It's hard to believe that it's the last one [convocation]," Sheri said, "but I'm excited to be here to see all the kids start the new school year. It's good to know that they are getting off to a great start, and that they are being prayed over."
For Siebert, the most meaningful aspect of the convocation was the variety of people involved, setting a standard for the school year.
"The thing that I love so much is the fact that student leaders participated in the service," Siebert said. "It's just not adults, it's mostly students. It's a community effort meaning the community of Fresno Christian to lead everyone in a worship service and a time of dedication and concentration for our year."
For more information on school events, read the Aug. 15 article, Staff examines 2010-'11 school events.