“May Jesus Christ Be Praised!”

Most of the Hillcrest family is aware that after every home football game, the One Spirit One Sound band gathers in a circle in the center of the field and plays what has been referred to by some as “that sad-sounding song.”  Some people have even complained to past band directors, “Why can’t you play something more upbeat? Why does it have to sound like a funeral?”  Many, however, are not aware that the words of the hymn played during the Spirit Chorale, “When Morning Gilds The Skies,” are a near-perfect reflection of Hillcrest Christian School’s mission to operate in a manner worthy of the Lord.

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Recently, Mrs. Monica Fountain, a long-time HCS parent and band booster, wrote the following observations which so accurately explain the reasons this hymn is such an appropriate choice:

One of the long-standing traditions of the One Spirit One Sound Band is the Spirit Circle. This worship moment is centered around the playing of the hymn “When Morning Gilds the Skies” at the close of a performance day. As many churches today prefer praise songs rather than traditional hymns, there is treasure in these hymns which may become increasingly unfamiliar to our youth. The tune of “When Morning Gilds the Skies” is known to our band family, but the words may not be. The original song had 28 stanzas, but most hymnals include only 4. Shown below [the page break] are 16 of those stanzas. Even though the title refers to “morning,” this is a hymn which beautifully carries us through the realities of life with a reminder that in all things, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”  Whether we… are celebrating a success or struggling with a difficult day, no matter the circumstances, we finish our day together in the playing of this hymn in praise of our Lord.

There is also a meaningful relationship between the words and the music. As the melody rises from the beginning of the song, it symbolizes the rising of the morning sun. The melody ends on unusually high notes for a hymn, proclaiming, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”  Whether singing or playing an instrument, these high notes require extra effort to sing or play, which boldly and enthusiastically capture the meaning of this hymn.

May this hymn always hold a special place in our hearts, and may we be mindful of its application to our daily lives. Especially to our Seniors, as you prepare to leave Hillcrest and focus on your future, remember the significance of this hymn and the many blessings God has given us individually and as the One Spirit One Sound Hillcrest Band.

Wherever you go or whatever you do, in all things, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”

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ACT (Over)Achievers

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The students pictured above recently received certificates which designate each of them as members of the MAIS ACT “25 and Over” or “30 and Over” Clubs.

Pictured from left to right:  Ansley Myers made a 30 on the ACT; Anna Grace Browning made a 31; Kofi Quartey made a 26; Lauren Parkinson made a 29; and Spurgeon Sanders made a 31 on the ACT.

Congratulations to all of you on your impressive achievements!

Fun Times at Reading Fair

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Thursday, October 13, the fourth through sixth grades of the Lower School held their annual Reading Fair. This event provides students with the opportunity to share their favorite books while learning about plot, character, setting, and other elements of fiction. These features are then displayed on a creative storyboard designed by each student; as part of their presentation, readers also dress up as a favorite character from the book.  The goal of Reading Fair is to help students enjoy the process of reading, creating a project, and discussing books of their choice.  Ultimately, participants will experience a deeper understanding and enjoyment of reading.

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Student Spotlight – Thomas Wilson

Thomas Wilson has spent the majority of his life at Hillcrest Christian School; this senior has been attending HCS for 13 years, since he began K-5.  Thomas is a member of Envirothon and Honor Society, and he plays football, basketball, and baseball, and runs track.  Not only does he stay busy at school, beyond the HCS halls Thomas enjoys hunting, fishing, biking, spending time with family, hanging out with friends, and going to church.  Furthermore, he has a long-standing job helping his family maintain their farm and land, caring for animals, gardening, and working in the yard.  Above all, however, Thomas says his parents make sure that his school work always comes first.

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Thomas believes his best characteristics are his positive attitude, his love for people, his ability to forgive, and his encouraging nature.  He counts his Christian faith, however, as his greatest strength. His advice to his peers reflects that: “First and foremost, they need to get their lives straight with Christ.  Secondly, give your very best to your academics, THEN sports.  Thirdly, see your failures as a chance to learn, grow, and eventually succeed.”  The secret to his own success is Philippians 4:6-7, his favorite Bible verse; it states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Thomas says this takes pressure off him and puts all the focus on God.  “I don’t have to worry; I don’t have to hurry.  All I have to do is pray, give it all to God, and the peace comes.”

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Perhaps this reliance on the peace God provides is a reason for Wilson’s not knowing for certain what he wants to do once he graduates in May.  He plans to attend Hinds Community College to give himself a little more time to decide; however, he says he’s interested in athletic training, nursing, working with animals, or engineering.

“And the Correct Answer Is…”

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From Left to Right: Sarah Grace Brownlee, Gage Mitchell, Jared Bewley, and Amber Speegle; Back Row: JoJo Moss, Spurgeon Sanders, Anna Grace Browning, and Connor McDavid

This is a seriously dedicated group of scholars; practice begins at 7:30 in the morning and takes place two or three times each week.  No doubt, though, it’s worth it to these students.  Each member of the Quiz Bowl team hones his or her “mental muscle” in a variety of subject areas in order to show rival schools from the area that Hillcrest students are hard to beat when it comes to general knowledge.

According to National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), “At the high school level, quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for which players attend periodic practices and then represent their school at varsity tournaments based on the school’s athletic conference, district, county, or state.  Quiz bowl questions range over the entire spectrum of a high school curriculum and also include a certain amount of current events, sports, and popular culture. The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration, since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subject areas. Quiz bowl can reinforce classroom lessons and also encourage players to go beyond their assignments to master other areas as well.”

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