Muskegon ( Mich. ) Christian School was the only elementary school to receive a worship renewal grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in 2006.
The school, whose theme is “Go Vertical,” used the grant to develop a curriculum that focuses on the “Vertical Habits” of worship, which include adoration, confession, intercession, proclamation, lamentation, thanksgiving, dedication/service, and blessing.
Muskegon Christian’s development director, Tara Macias, wrote the curriculum. She said her goal was to integrate worship training into classrooms in practical ways, and she hopes it will provide a model for other Christian schools.
Each month the curriculum focuses on a Vertical Habit for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Eight suitcases contain items, activities, and suggestions for teaching each Vertical Habit.
Chad Beisel, a fourth-grader, wrote in his journal about having Jesus in his life and reflected, “It’ll be a good time in heaven.”
Middle-school science teacher Linda De Vries had students release monarch butterflies they named with words of praise.
Seventh-grade teacher Mary Vermeulen reflected on how she saw the habits become relevant through the middle-school student accountability groups. “The Vertical Habits are at the heart of our relationship with God and how we treat others and treat our bodies.”
“We all have different [worship] habits,” said Vermeulen. “It doesn’t matter what country or denomination—we all confess our sin and adore the One who made us.”
The worship renewal grants from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship are supported through an endowment from the Lilly Foundation.
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