By Jodie Aakko – Brighton, Colorado … Brighton Adventist Academy (BAA) is back in school, real school, but with a five-page safe reopening COVID-19 protocol.

As plans were laid to reopen in-person education in North-Central Colorado, a common question was asked again and again. Will this list of regulations compromise what a Seventh-day Adventist Christian school has to offer, the real-life experience of the love of Jesus?

No one knew. Only God knew, and only time would reveal the answer.

As BAA opened to 51 students, eager to see their friends, classmates, and teachers, the question remained.

A few days in, the answer began to take shape, but wasn’t yet distinct.

The answer came during the first chapel of the academic year when staff witnessed students praising Jesus, talking with Jesus, and seeking Jesus as a best friend.

It was evident Jesus was saying, “See, I took care of you.  This is my school; these are my children.  We are together again.  Go teach.”

The moment was priceless, with students joining together–preschool through grade nine– hanging out to worship Jesus corporately.  It looked a bit different than usual, with students in the grass courtyard instead of inside a building, relaxing on beach blankets or mats or here and there, a chair. Their happy faces were partly covered by masks, and classmates were separated by six feet; cohorts, by twenty-five feet, yet despite this nod to pandemic regulations, they were happily praising God.

The assembly began with an enthusiastic and invigorating song service led by Tammy Kelley, ukulele and piano teacher, with her daughter Raelynn Kelley. The accompanying flashing laser light show ended with a new school theme song titled, “All About Jesus Love for Me,” an original composition Kelly wrote to fit the chapel theme for the school year, “All about Jesus.”

Traveling evangelists Lee and Marjie Venden were there to share a favorite parable, “The Elevator and the Ferrari.”  The message, “It is best to listen to Jesus and let Him be the driver on the journey of life,” will help educators and pupils traverse the unknown world ahead.

–Jodie Aakko is principal of Brighton Adventist Academy; photos courtesy of BAA Facebook page.