At Denver Christian, faith formation is at the heart of what we do–not an afterthought. Through the theater production, Annie Jr., our students have learned about the ways that our broken world impacts families and leaves many without a family. They also learned about how God redeems our stories and adopts us into His family.
The Orphan in the 21st Century
Annie is a story about an orphan living during the 1930s–and the world has changed a lot since then! Our K-5 music teacher and theater director, Jen Last, helped our students envision what Annie’s life might be like in the 21st century. The cast of Annie Jr. partnered with Bethany Christian Services to could learn about what foster care and adoption look like. (Bethany Christian Services is an accredited social services organization that supports vulnerable children.) At the matinee performance, we will have 30 foster care families and students coming to see the show so we can honor them and organizations like Bethany Christian Services which seek to carry out the gospel by caring for children in our community.
The cast had a special visit from Ana, an 18 year old who spent most of her life in the foster care system. She shared her story and how she is “not being defined by her past. Who she is today is not who she was.” Ana also shared that God was always there with her, loving her along the way, even when she didn’t know him. After her visit, the students reflected on how Ana’s story impacted them. One commented, “I learned that foster care is a flawed system. It is difficult to believe that something meant to help people can actually hurt them.” Another student reflected, “I felt that I was blessed by God that I have a family.”
“I felt that I was blessed by God because I have a family.”Denver Christian Student
Faith in Theater
At Denver Christian, we want our faith to permeate all that we do. In theater, we are not only able to be entertained, but have important conversations. Jen Last was able to use the story of Annie to show how God works in our lives and adopts us into His spiritual family. “The students learned that families can come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us at Denver Christian are adopted or split between two homes. God is working in all of our lives no matter our story and I have seen the kids learn to love and accept that in each other.”
Each of our teachers have adopted a “deep hope.” This is a statement that encapsulates what transformation looks like in their classroom. Jen Last’s deep hope is to follow the true director in life’s story while shining confidently in the gifts and talents he has given us. “Music and theater is truly a gift and we are so blessed to be able to use our gifts to glorify God. Seeing the kids grow in their gifts and learning to follow the cue of God is beautiful to watch! I look forward to hearing from them years down the road and seeing how they were obedient to their one true director in life!”