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Providence Forum a Cause for Celebration

March 24, 2017 by Elaine Rottman

John_Ashley_F17Nearly 600 people gathered at the Granada Theatre for the seventh annual Providence Forum on March 15. It was a beautiful evening of community, food, conversation, music, and sharing the joy and impact of the Providence experience.

The opening reception bustled with activity, as guests mingled, enjoyed bountiful appetizers, and listened to the music of alums John Butler (Class of 2016) and Ashley O’Brien (Class of 2015). social_F17

The program opened with the Providence Chamber Singers beautiful singing of “Be Thou My Vision,” under the direction of Rebecca Hodson, followed by a conversation between Dr. Scott Lisea, Head of School, and author Gabe Lyons. Mr. Lyons spoke about the intersection of faith and culture, and the necessity to lead with love in a culture that frequently finds Christians to be irrelevant and extreme. Citing research that finds 59% of Millenials leave the church at adulthood, he said “Two things stand out in the likelihood of our kids having a lasting faith:  their ability to trust Scripture’s authority in their life, and the influence of at least five adults of faith surrounding them, who are interested in them personally.”

After their conversation, Dr. Lisea provided an update on Providence and the school’s vision and ability to be a counter-cultural agent for the common good, as Lyons said is so important for the future. “What we’re seeing is that a thriving Christian educational option in town, much like a healthy church, offers strength to the faith community at large,” said Lisea.

Foreman_F17Lyons_Lisea_F17Musician Jon Foreman, a Grammy-award winning frontman of several bands, most notably the crossover rock group Switchfoot, closed the evening with his exuberant, artful music. Foreman also led a chapel for Providence students earlier in the day, where he shared his story of becoming a musician and performer. “Our dreams are important,” he told students. “I’ve found I’m most fulfilled when my dreams are reflecting God’s love for us, and also my love for God.”

A committee of volunteers and Providence staff organized the event, under the leadership of co-chairs Scott and Jamie Lisea. With more sponsors than ever supporting the Forum and more guests than ever responding with a gift or wanting to engage further with Providence, the Forum met goals for engaging the Santa Barbara community with a relevant message and a fun evening together and raising vital funds to allow more families to make a Providence education a reality for their children.

A new short video telling the Providence story was unveiled at the Forum. Watch it here!

Photos by Tys vanZeyl, Class of 2018

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