2nd Annual GCS Imago Dei Week: Love One Another

Written by: Ijeoma “EJ” Unegbu, EdD, Director of Community and Culture

Each February, we hold our annual Imago Dei Week for students. Imago Dei Week is a time to highlight the beauty of God in all people. The headline speaker for this year’s event was Dr. Henry Kasonde Musoma from Zambia.

Dr. Musoma discussed with students the power of a 3H approach in loving people, through humanity, humor and humility. He shared the transformative change that happens when we practice life-giving love to others, the way God loves us. To listen to his powerful message, check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txxE8FtrVe0 

In an effort to involve our lower campus in Imago Dei Week, Jasmine Hardwrick, elementary art teacher, did a video and art project with GCS 4th grade students on what it means to be made in the image of God. As a gift to Dr. Musoma, she did an art piece with the word, Nalikutemwa, which in the Zambian Bemba language means “We love you.” Our Grace Early Education students also learned facts about Zambia through video and participated in some art work.

Imago Dei Week also organizes G.R.A.C.E breakout sessions for students. These sessions are from friends and professionals in our community to share with students topics from a biblical lens, namely, gender or generational; race or religion; age or ability; community or culture, and economic/ethnic. Some of this year’s speakers were missionaries, Chris and Christy Hill, serving in Ukraine, local wellness expert, Erin Kerry sharing on how our spiritual and physical health impacts our abilities, and Leslie Wise with Mangos Dancesport and Event Center, who gave students a dance lesson and history of swing dance. A special breakout speaker duo was GCS senior, Seyi Olusola and her dad, Dr. Bola Olusola of Nigeria, who discussed their unique experiences of culture shock. Seyi discussed her visit to Nigeria as a Nigerian-American, and Dr. Olusola discussed his culture shock experiences when he first came to America. We also had single mom advocate, Valerie Cooper visit with students on her path to restoration when she was a single mom. Jesus Flores, banking center president for Prosperity Bank, shared the importance of financial literacy and economic disparities of various people groups.

For our Feast of the Nations portion of Imago Dei Week, we showcased some samples of international, ethnic, and cultural and regional cuisine. Students tasted delicious samples of Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Venezuelan, Asian, Honduran, Mexican and African dishes. It was a big hit with students.

For chapel, we welcomed Grace Español Church with our chapel practicum students for a beautiful time of Spanish and English worship collaboration. A Spanish GCS mom sent the following in an email afterwards: Sending a little note to say “Thank You.” Today’s bilingual chapel was exceptional. We loved seeing several nationalities represented on stage worshipping God. We know that it is difficult for some of our kids to feel like they belong and we pray that activities such as the one today gives them a bit of comfort in knowing that we’re all one in Christ. We pray this is only the beginning of an incredible connection between all students, of all backgrounds.

Friday of that week, students also had the opportunity to serve at Breckenridge Village Tyler, a residence and day program for adults with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities. Our students engaged in a Valentine’s Day themed get-together in the chapel at Breckenridge Village with their residents to play games. To round out our special week, for Imago Dei Worship Sunday, Pastor Kilton McCracken and his congregation, One Nation Church, welcomed Grace Community for worship.

Overall, Imago Dei Week serves as a beautiful tapestry of God’s image shown throughout humanity and we look forward to continuing this wonderful tradition in our school as we foster Revelation 7 community.