Each year WCA celebrates the reconciliation of our sins through the crucifixion and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with our Flowering of the Cross ceremony. This year, the event will be preceded by a week of reflection, prayer, and discussion of the events of Easter in Spiritual Emphasis Week, which runs April 15-18th.
Spiritual emphasis week had been held in the past and is revived this week as students will increase their focus on Christ and the construct of kindness as viewed through the Biblical lens. The week is arranged so that upper and middle school students attend a chapel discussion Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with a youth pastor, and will then have Bible class each day to reinforce and develop practical discussion and road maps about how they can act in a way honoring the sacrifice that Jesus made for them.
The Lower School will be participating as well, as their Praise and Worship will be centered as well on kindness, and putting that message into practice by doing multiple acts of kindness for their neighbors. “The things we will be reinforcing to our students are asking the question of who their neighbor is, and how can they perform acts of kindness for their neighbors,” explained Lower School Principal Michelle Flanagan. “One of the passages we are focusing on through the course of the week will be Micah 6:8, which explains what God wants from you: to act justly, love kindness and walk humbly with Him. So we are honing in on loving kindness, an outcome we want to reinforce.” That Bible passage will not only be utilized with students but will also be presented to teachers in WCA’s weekly faculty devotions the Friday prior.
The predominant theme for the week is Easter, and more specifically the aspect of kindness in relation to Easter. The week serves as a kickoff to a school-wide campaign to instill various Christian character traits on the student body, starting with kindness: putting kindness at the forefront of our students’ everyday lives- kindness toward other students, whether they are friends or not the best of friends; to teachers, to parents, coaches, etc. “Kindness has become something of an overused or oversimplified concept,” explained Upper School Principal Beth Fletcher, “What we want our students to come away with on the week, and especially heading into the Flowering of the Cross ceremony, is kindness as described in the Bible. We want our kids making gestures and exhibiting the behavior of sacrifice and elevation of others over self that recognizes the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for them on the Cross. Kindness driven from a place of compassion and service to others.” Flanagan echoed the sentiment that what WCA is viewing in terms of kindness is not the token brand of kindness pushed forward by the world, but the more challenging version explained in Scripture, “The kind of things we are asking from all of our students is hard…kindness should have tension involved, it should be hard. Kindness takes sacrifice.”
And of course, the week will culminate on Thursday, as WCA will celebrate the sacrifice of the Son of God on the Cross through one of our most beloved traditions, the Flowering of the Cross. Students and teachers proceed to our cafetorium to affix flowers to a unique cross wrapped in wire on stage. The ceremony, which is student led and planned by the senior class, will also include the reading of numerous Bible passages (in multiple languages including Russian, Chinese and Sign Language!) around the story relayed to us through all four Gospels regarding the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Flowering of the Cross will also include music from our praise band, and background piano music by freshman international student Ian Chen.
WCA warmly invites and would enjoy seeing all of our parents and community in attendance and strongly encourages you to attend regardless of whether you have attended Flowering of the Cross in the past! The event starts at 8:30AM on Thursday, April 18th.