2/4/2018 - We live in an age of singing praise choruses. These are wonderful worship songs that form the backbone of our weekly chapel services at CCA. But sometimes the old hymns say it better that anything else can. William Arthur Dunkerley (12 November 1852 - 23 January 1941) who went by the pen name John Oxenham, penned this hymn. It is based on theverse Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
In Christ There Is No East Or West
In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord,
Close binding humankind.
Join hands, then, members of the faith,
Whatever your race may be!
Who serves my Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet North and South;
All Christly souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth.
This was on beautiful display in the CCA gym Friday night as peoples from many different heritages and ethnicities gathered at our third annual International Festival to celebrate our God-given diversity and also our God-given unity. Hundreds from the CCA family came out to celebrate the food, culture, musical and dance performances from places as varied as Brazil, China, Italy, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Greece, Germany, France, India, and Philippines.
Global Community Prefect, Kevin, Zhao, organized a great event complete with a “passport” for students to take to each table and get stamps. The passport was creatively designed by math teacher Robin Lawrenz. Kevin also had a map where people could indicate with a marker where they were from. There was also a puzzle with numbered pieces and people were encouraged to “put in a piece” to help complete the puzzle by theend of the evening. What a beautiful symbol of the mosaic of unity that we form at CCA than a completed puzzle of a world map.
The performance time was hosted by Global Community committee members Jordan Ann Sperounis (12) and Adam Farris (10). Some of the highlights included Jimmy Yanplaying a Chinese one-stringed instrument and Jason Li singing a Chinese song in a passionate pop style. There was Irish step dancing and Italian accordion playing and and Nigerian alphabet song in the Yoruba language. Freshman Hannah Goncalves sang theworship song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” in Portuguese; Brianna Benkley opened theevening with “America the Beautiful.” It was a beautiful evening indeed.
In a time when racial tensions seem to be on the rise in our nation, it was gratifying to see a school community come together in the name of Christ and celebrate the beauty of our diversity and the strength of our unity. It’s good to remember and embrace the fact that in Christ there is no East or West — but one worldwide fellowship of believers. What a great message that is to model for our children! There was a happy buzz throughout the gym, even at the close of the evening, as CCA families reconnected and enjoyed the delicious food and drink from around the world. It was a bright, colorful, warm festival on a cold winter night — hopefully it serve to remind us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” all year long. This is something CCA is doing better and more intentionally with each passing year. Thanks to all who participated and all who came to celebrate and experience theInternational Festival. We are a part of an amazing Christian family, aren’t we?