Service work: VCA class leads weekly chapel

Published Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION – The Victory Christian Academy Worship Tech class plans out chapel each week at the school. The class includes, from left, Hayden Stone, Jaden Osborn, teacher Taylor Lambert, Michael Rhine, Erica Blackburn, Davis Shriver, Katie Henderson, Parker Slaten, Natalie Watts, Bailey Roberson, (not pictured) Iliana Rodriguez, Corbin Crawford and Faith Hicks. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

During a stressful school week, there’s one class that Erica Blackburn looks forward to as a hiatus from the rigorous academic work.

As part of Victory Christian Academy’s Worship Tech class, Blackburn and her classmates are tasked with planning, leading and organizing the school’s weekly worship service. The class runs the lights and sound and selects and prepares the music for the weekly service held on Thursdays or Fridays.

“It’s a break from the regular academic work where I’m not graded on figuring out the square root of something. I’m not counted off against if I can’t get the harmony exactly right,” Blackburn said.

The students in the elective class range from freshmen to seniors. Taylor Lambert teaches the class, asking her students to jump on the “Choo, choo, chapel train.”

“The students are awesome,” Lambert said, pointing out their hard work and attention to detail in putting on a great service for their peers.

Each week’s service includes similar elements with music, games and messages delivered by a different person.

Michael Rhine regularly plays the guitar to accompany some of the music. Several of the girls in the class serve as the worship leaders, selecting the contemporary music for the service.

“As worship leaders, we prepare the songs throughout the week and lead the songs,” said senior Katie Henderson. “The main reason, I joined the class was to serve the school and God. I get to do both at the same time.”

The members of the class rotate the other roles from working lighting and sound.

Parker Slaten said he prefers to work sound, but has enjoyed the opportunity to learn the other roles.

“I wasn’t planning on being a part of the class because I left as a freshman,” Slaten said. “All my friends are in [the class], so I joined. It’s been a great experience. It’s my favorite elective and it’s real impactful.”

Similar to an athletic event or performance on stage, there’s some anxious moments leading up to the weekly service to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

“We always talk about how nervous we are,” Blackburn said.

Henderson added: “To get rid of the nerves, I remind myself what I’m doing this for.”

Each week those nerves quickly fade.

“They do such a great job you can’t tell they are nervous,” Lambert said.

Henderson gives credit to Lambert for the group’s success.

“She’s a great mentor and a great person to look up to,” Henderson said.

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