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Beacon Blog


Vision for Life

February 27, 2019
By Rebecca Fritz
Volunteering at Catholic Charities

 Vision4Life at Concordia Academy began in the fall of 2007 as the student body responded to a very real need in the recently flooded area of southern Minnesota. Since then, the program has become an integral part of the curriculum of each school year, with three academic days set aside to focus on the three pillars of the program: small group fellowship, personal spiritual growth, and community service. 

The program became known as Vision4Life because Concordia Academy values lifelong learning. Graduation from an institution is bound by time, but lifelong learning is not. What Concordia Academy hopes to instill in its students is the pursuit of these three pillars which transcend the academic institution by experiencing a taste of each of them in these three days.

1. Small group fellowship is fostered throughout the academic year as each student is a part of a same-gender group of 12 – 15 students called Family Life Groups. Each group stays constant throughout high school; as seniors graduate, that group’s juniors move into the leadership role. The groups meet twice a month during the school year working through a curriculum developing trust, friendship, and communication. Our vision for this pillar is that students learn the value of fellowship in a purposeful community supporting a life of faith and spiritual growth. 

2. Personal spiritual growth is encouraged as we take time to stop, set aside the business of academics, and sit at the feet of a spiritual mentor and teacher. Every year, Concordia brings in one leader for the boys and one for the girls, charged with teaching Scripture and encouraging us all to take the next step of growth in faith. Side by side, teachers and students worship and reflect on the encouragement from our leader. Our vision for this aspect of the program is that students learn the value of pursuing continual faith growth by pausing in their daily routines to seek out solid Biblical teaching throughout their lives.

3. Community service takes place as we send those small groups out into the Twin Cities area to work. Students, in their Family Life Groups and with an adult leader, step out of the familiarity of the Concordia Academy building to step into the unknown project ahead of them that day. Groups have done a myriad of projects throughout the years, such as preparing and serving a meal, ripping apart a basement ceiling, cleaning up a home destroyed by fire, painting an entire dormitory, playing games with children, or tending to the neglected gravestones of a cemetery. Projects vary, but the purpose does not: the vision for service is for students to see the needs of our community and to respond in a way that serves people in the name of Jesus. 

Ultimately, Concordia Academy desires to train disciples according to the plan Jesus modeled. As it is clearly outlined in the Gospels, Jesus chose very ordinary people to be His followers. He interacted with them in small groups. They sat at His feet and listened to Him in order to be more like Him. And Jesus showed them how to step into the plight of their neighbors and help them. We want to be more like Jesus—to see ourselves and others through the eyes of Jesus. 

That is Concordia Academy’s Vision for Life.

CA's 2019 Vision4Life days are February 27 and 28 and March 1. The program is coordinated by Rebecca Fritz.