Every Tuesday our students and staff gather for worship. This weekly worship event allows for us to deal with some of the larger spiritual questions that young people ask. While attendance is required, you’ll find our students eager to be there because so many are highly involved in the planning and programming. It’s awesome to see students leading worship music each week and, many times, hearing them speak from their hearts about their walk with God. We’re also blessed to have many youth pastors speak and from time to time professional speakers like Holocaust survivor, Alter Weiner; former Giants pitcher, Dave Dravekcy; and Youtube sensation offering hope in Jesus, Nic Vujicic.
Friday COMMUNITY VESPERS
Attendance for our Friday events is always optional but we find that they are the most popular and highly supported by parents. About two Friday evenings a month, our Campus Ministries team plans an event for students to gather in a family home or on campus for a time of worship. These informal gatherings are a great place for students to simply “be together.” This usually involves refreshments, singing, and small group discussion. In the spring we hold an Agape Feast and at the end of the school year our students enjoy the tradition of Flower Vespers, in which they give thanks for, confess to, and forgive each other. Specific information about times and locations will be available in the Student Week at a Glance (SWAAG) sent each week.
Four times each year PAA provides a Sabbath worship service on campus called The Summit. The intent of the service is to bring our PAA family (and families) together to express our love for God as a community. The service is mostly student planned and led. Summits are scheduled later Sabbath morning to encourage families to attend their church Sabbath School or early worship.
OREGON CONFERENCE BIBLE CAMP
This is a yearly event sponsored by the Youth Ministries Department of the Oregon Conference of SDA is often the highlight of a students school year. Over 400 High School students from around Oregon and Washington gather to join in worship, recreation, and general fun. Washington Family Ranch – Creekside, is an incredible camp featuring swimming pools, adventure courses, mini-golf, bouldering walls, a gymnasium, and a huge water park. Each morning and evening students gather for worship with great music and special speakers. While this event does cost extra, we are fortunate to have donors who are committed to making sure no student is left out because of financial limits.
WEEK OF WORSHIP
Each season we have a special week of spiritual emphasis. During these weeks there is a chapel each day. In the fall and spring we bring a special speaker to lead out in chapels while students plan the rest of the program. In the winter, we have a fully student-led week of prayer, complete with a couple of student speakers each day. These are very important weeks in our school calendar and we thank you for praying that God will speak to the hearts of our young people through them.
Mission trips at PAA enhance the spiritual development of students and build relationships with communities and organizations both local and global. More than 20-years ago, mission trips became so popular that it was decided to set aside two-weeks for Spring break to allow for the additional travel time the trips require. That tradition remains true. For more than a decade, PAA’s relationship with Jabez Humanitarian Foundation has helped serve the people on remote Fijian islands with general healthcare, education on waterborne illnesses, and infrastructure to eliminate waterborne illnesses and death. We also frequent the Bahamian islands with Sail & Serve, an organization helping communities with hurricane relief. Sus Manos means “Hands & Feet” in Spanish. This group is led by Rita Barrett, our Spanish teacher, who is committed to helping her students experience being Jesus’ “hands and feet” in Spanish speaking countries like Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru. Each year, PAA students also have the chance to serve the people of Portland with a local mission project.
INSIDE/OUT COMMUNITY SERVICE DAY
Every spring, all of our students and staff participate in an area wide service day called Inside/Out. We work hard to find meaningful projects that students can not only work on, but learn from. They learn about organizations and groups in our community that are feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, and helping to heal the sick. Inside/Out is a great change of pace during the stress of the final days of school and is a reminder to see our own home as a mission ground.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Absolutely. Let me count the ways … Here are some ideas:
- Youth love snacks … if you would like to provide snacks for an event it would be a tremendous blessing to all of us!
- Be a sponsor – some activities like Bible Camp, Mission Trips, and Community Service projects – need more sponsor help than our PAA staff is able to provide. Your assistance could make the difference in whether or not we can successfully accomplish our goals.
- Fund Raising – there will always be great kids who want to participate but do not have the cash available in their families to make that possible. Your assistance through donated dollars or help in fund raising projects could make the difference for that student.
- Prayer – my hope is that our students will become more aware of God’s presence in their lives through these activities and programs. Your prayer support in that goal opens up greater potential for the Holy Spirit to be active. It is needed!
In addition to handing out forms to our students, they are always available at the front desk. For special events, like mission trips, you may need to speak with your group leader. We’ll also do our best to make them available online, when it’s appropriate.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to ask questions or offer advice. I am here to love kids and help them to become aware of a very loving God who has awesome plans for their lives. I can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 503-255-8372 ext. 254.