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Washington Students Learn “Vertical Habits”


In a unique partnership between church and school, Sunnyside (Wash.) Christian Reformed Church and Sunnyside Christian School are developing vertical habits.

Vertical Habits is a program developed by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to engage people more deeply in worship. Funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation, the church and school are working together to focus families on nine specific habits of the Christian life: praise, gratitude, service, illumination, petition, confession, creed, lament, and blessing.

 “The purpose is for the home, school, and church to partner together to help our children and their families focus on worshiping God every day, not just Sundays,” said Mary Werkhoven, worship administrator for the church.

 Sandy Vis, a teacher at the school and worship coordinator for Sunnyside CRC, said, “I love the way we have been connected with this theme . . . school, home, church, to see the same words and images/symbols in each of these places.”

Each month’s theme is preached on and supported with visual reminders (banners) at church and then addressed at school. Sunnyside teacher Dana Clark said, “It’s life-changing—the reminder that we have so many avenues through which to worship.”

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