It happened. Our youngest child, Sofia, just began her first year of university in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Heidi went with her last week to settle in and go through the usual orientation for first year students and parents.

It’s an emotional time for us. Obviously, there are mixed feelings:  we are sad that she is leaving our family in this context…and going so far away. We are excited for her as she moves forward towards what God has in store for her. We are nervous in many ways, wondering if we (and her village) prepared her enough…but we are confident that the Lord has equipped her and us for this next stage. Of course, going off to university is not forever, but there is a sense that this is a definite shift for both her and us.

Proud Dad

I am also excited that Sofia has chosen to attend my alma mater, Calvin University! I am extremely proud to be an undergraduate of Calvin. It’s a school whose posture seeks to be salt and light in this fallen world. Like many higher Christian education institutions today (as well as K-12 Christian schools 😊), Calvin is taking it in the chin from Christians who are polarized on almost every contemporary issue.

And yet Calvin is willing to do the heavy lifting with their faculty and students—to engage in the “messy middle” if you will, in the context of students ages 18-22 (as well as graduate level programs). All within the context of being the higher educational institution fully endorsed by the denomination that I am a part of (Christian Reformed Church of North America – CRCNA). I’m guessing Sofia won’t even notice this posture a whole lot in her own experiences, but it is still a part of what makes me proud that she chose Calvin.

In digging a bit deeper, I love Calvin’s mission statement. If you want to understand any institution’s posture, I suggest first looking at their mission statement.

“Calvin equips students to think deeply, act justly, and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in this world.”

I love it! It reminds me of how we decided on our theme and theme song.

New School Year, New Theme

So…I am excited to announce ACS’ theme and theme song for the 2022-2023 school year:

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8. The theme song is aptly named, “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly” by Pat Barrett.

The song begins beautifully: “It all comes down to this…that you require of us…to love my neighbour as myself and love God above all things.” This is his prelude to our theme that he then sings: “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.”

I think it is safe to say that it does all come down to this: to love our neighbour as ourselves and to love God above all things. We show this by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly. We look forward to unpacking this more thoroughly with our students throughout this school year.

Like Calvin University, ACS seeks to be a school that lives out its mission and annual theme authentically. It’s my prayer that for this upcoming school year, we will be noticed as a school community that seeks to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God!

Here we go!