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Student Life: A day at the “Ren Fair”

Author: Caanin Fausone | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 1 min. 30 sec.

One recent weekend, the students of Living Education-Charlotte spent a beautiful autumn evening enjoying the classic revelries of the North Carolina Renaissance Festival in the quaint town of Huntersville.

This event was especially significant because it added a framework for one of the different eras they are learning about in several different LE classes this year. Many of the students dressed up as knights, ladies, and squires from this long forgotten age, blending right into the joyous atmosphere as they feasted on turkey legs, a popular delicacy of the time. 

The events offered at the festival this year were quite expansive as well. Some of the more popular activities included; knife throwing, dungeon exploration, throwing tomatoes at a rather rude court jester, and the main event of the festival, jousting. As if this was not enough, the grounds also had many merchants that boasted every manner of wares. There were beautiful courtly dresses for the ladies and shiny ironclad suits of steel for the men. And for those who were especially interested, the displays of swords, scimitars, and daggers were tantalizing artifacts to be purchased at just-so-outrageous-a-price. 

Thanks must go out to Ryan Price (a student at LE this year) who faithfully coordinated this event and whose idea it was to attend the festival in the first place. I think I speak for all those who attended in stating that it was a worthwhile experience and that despite some trepidation at the idea of trying something a little outside of their comfort zone, it was more than a little rewarding. Maybe just maybe, the next time the festival comes into town you might catch LivingEd students walking amongst their midst.  

Student Life: A Trip to Valdese

Author: Caanin Fausone | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 2 min.

On Wednesday, November the tenth, this year’s LivingEd students took a trip down to the storied and historic Waldensian Trail of Faith located in the small-but scenic town of Valdese, North Carolina.

There, they had the opportunity to learn about some of the brethren who kept the true teachings of Christ alive in what can only be called an especially dark time for the Church of God. This trip not only served as an opportunity to learn some interesting things about our spiritual forefathers but also was very helpful in supplementing Mr. Wayne Tlumak’s Biblical Doctrines class in which he explains the different eras of the Church of God. At the “Trail of Faith” itself, the students had the chance to see firsthand what set God’s people apart from the apostate believers of the Thyatira era. Seeing the documented debates of when to keep the Sabbath as well as the storied discourse over whether to keep Easter or Passover was especially interesting. 

Another important aspect of this trip was seeing just how the Waldensians lived, forced to worship in caves and being more than just persecuted for their faith, but in many cases laying down their lives for what they believed. It was really eye-opening to see the liberty we so freely enjoy in many parts of the world today be desperately fought for by devoted people of faith who came before us. Though the Waldensians eventually did succumb to the protestant dogma that swept through Europe in the 1600 and 1700s, their desire to do what they believed was right no matter the consequence is an admirable quality no matter the time or era. 

After seeing all that the exhibit had to offer the students went a short way down to a local park in the Valdese area and enjoyed a relaxing walk to an old water mill and the babbling stream that used to run it. All in all the trip was an educational, enlightening and enjoyable experience and I’m sure it will have a lasting impact moving forward throughout the year.  

Student Life: A Ladies Weekend

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2021


On February 13, at 1:00 p.m., Mrs. Christy McNair, Mrs. Carol Weston, Miss Rebekah Ross, and the female Living Ed students joined the Walterboro congregation for services. Later that evening, after an adventure of several wrong turns, U-turns, and GPS malfunctions, they happily arrived at their booked Airbnb outside the Historic District of Charleston, South Carolina.

The ladies spent a rainy Sunday morning on a “Charleston’s Alleys & Hidden Passages” tour. They followed their guide through romantic city alleys sandwiched between historic brick pubs, meeting houses, and homes. Magnolias, ferns, and camellias sprawled in the tiny spaces around intricately wrought iron gates, red brick walls, and cobblestone pathways. They walked “Rainbow Road,” where old merchant buildings that originally stood on the riverfront were restored in the 1900s into today’s most-photographed section of Charleston. The ladies stood on the Battery promenade—a civil war defensive artillery site—where the Ashley and Cooper rivers pour into the Charleston Harbor. Through the rain, they could just glimpse Fort Sumter, Fort Johnson, and Fort Sullivan across the water.

That afternoon, they walked and shopped the Charleston City Market, only slightly chilled by the cold rain. The girls warmed up that evening with cups of hot chocolate and cheerful conversation They asked Mrs. Weston and Mrs. McNair about their experiences and shared their own. The next day, they rounded off the trip by visiting the Charleston Tea Garden Angel Oak, a huge 1400-year-old southern live oak.

When asked what she enjoyed most about the Charleston weekend, Meredith Hodges replied, “I really enjoyed the car ride. Getting to know Mrs. Weston was really fun… Also, the tour—all those little alleys and plants were really cool. And dancing in the rain.”

The ladies drove back to Charlotte in more stormy weather—but not even a little rain could dampen their fun this weekend.


Juliette McNair headshot

Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Student Life: A Need for Speed

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Do you have a need for speed? If you do, you may wish you would have tagged along with the Living Ed students this past Sunday. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in downtown Charlotte. Thankfully, it is only twenty minutes from the student’s residence—so they didn’t have to race to get there by 10:00 a.m. Mr. Jonathan McNair and several Living Ed teachers and their wives accompanied the students, providing some stiff competition for the races later in the day.

After the students registered for their I.D. cards, they made their way through the levels of the exhibits. They walked the ‘Glory Road’ exhibit and examined 18 cars from the 1920’s up to the 1990’s, handpicked by Dale Earnhardt Jr. These iconic stock cars were parked on a display track with banking gradually increasing to 33 degrees. Speedways use steep banking to apply centripetal force to the cars—this prevents them from being flung off the tracks due to lack of friction between the tires and the road.

At the Pit Crew Challenge, students and teachers teamed up and competed against each other to get their car jacked-up, gassed-up, and tires changed. Mr. Ryan Dawson, who teaches a class called “Living the Fruits of the Spirit,” joined the students with his wife and baby daughter. Mr. Dawson and his pit crew took first place on the leaderboard, finishing under nine seconds.

Finally, Mr. McNair led the group to the Racing Simulators. The students and teachers jumped into the driver’s seats of stock cars lined up underneath a huge video screen that projected the virtual race. The virtual track for the day was the oval Daytona International Speedway. The fastest lap-times and speeds were projected onto the leaderboard. DaQuan Rucker snared first place, at 193.790 mph, edging past German Roldan’s previous record at 192.642. Mr. Jerry Ruddlesden and Mr. McNair followed close behind.

As the group climbed into the vans and drove at normal speed back to the dorms, they geared up for the final push of the semester. Finals are looming and term projects are due soon. Deadlines are approaching and soon, unless the students shift into high gear, they will find themselves with a need for speed.


Juliette McNair headshot

Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Student Life: A Trip in Time

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


This week, Living Ed students took a trip 800 years into the past. At 9:00 a.m., on Monday morning, twelve students stood in the dorm driveway waiting for Ms. Rebekah Ross and Mr. Jonathan McNair, their taxi-drivers for the trip.

A couple hours later, they pulled into the Cottian Alps in the border-region of France and Italy—actually, they arrived at Waldensian Trail of Faith located in Valdese, NC. But, for just half a day, they journeyed into the Era of Thyatira.

At this outdoor museum, they stepped into an exact imitation of the old ‘Barbi’ college where young Waldensians memorized large tracts of Scripture in secret. Several intrepid Living Ed students crawled on hands and knees into the cave where dozens of Waldensians congregated in secret, studying and singing hymns. Only a sliver of light illuminated the back of the cave. The guide explained that, one terrible day, French-Catholic soldiers used that tiny crack in the rock to smoke the gatherers out. As they crawled out, they were killed one by one.

Mr. McNair explained to the group that much of the history exhibited here was not the history of true Christians. Early on, the majority of the Waldenses were absorbed into Protestantism and the true Church faded into Eastern Europe. Driving this point home, the students passed a replica of the Monument of Chanforan, dedicated to the Waldensians official entry into the Reformation in 1532.

Mr. McNair encouraged the students to appreciate the sacrifices of these people, even while recognizing their false beliefs. He challenged them, “Would you be willing to die for what you believe in as they did?”

After driving back to Charlotte, the students jumped out of the cars and back into their modern lives at Living Education 2020. For just a day, they visited the Era of Thyatira and stepped into the shoes of the Waldensians—but just as the Church has carried on in time, so do they.


Juliette McNair headshot

Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Student Life: A Common Enemy

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Living Education students woke up to a brisk 39-degree, sunny Monday morning. Daylight saving time brings the sun an hour earlier, filtering through the women’s dorm windows at 7:15 a.m. By 7:55 a.m., all the girls are rushing around their kitchen, packing lunches, making coffee, and grabbing book-bags. Often, at about 8:15 a.m., you’ll see three cars filled with Living Ed students trailing each other on East Independence on the way to the Headquarters office.

Harmony Talbott | Student Video Editor for Living Education

Occupying the thoughts of the students this week is an assignment due soon: six teams of two were assigned a 60-second video submission on one of the “Seven Laws of Success.” Mr. McNair notified the students that these segments will be compiled and edited into a seven-minute video by Harmony Talbott, his student-employee this year. The goal of the video is to present practical applications of these seven laws in daily student life. If the students create quality work, it will be posted to lcgeducation.org.

When asked about her part in the project, Harmony replied, “I’m looking forward to creating a video with more of a story-flow that connects everything with good transitions.” She says that the challenge will be “having everybody communicate and work together so viewers can make sense of the finished product.”

The students already have had to work together to brainstorm and decide on the over-all flow of video. But clear communication and teamwork will be required in the next few days as they nail down their individual ideas and record their segments. This video, like the program as a whole, is a mechanism. The assignment to cement the seven laws of success in the students minds and to practice working together against a common enemy: a deadline.


Juliette McNair headshot

Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Orientation Week Video

Orientation week may have come and passed us by, but luckily we’ve still got proof! We put together a short video so that you’re caught up on the exciting student life here in Charlotte, NC.

Orientation Week | 2019

The second year of Living Education is now underway!

This week was filled with activity as our new Living Education students arrived and began to learn more about where the next nine months will take them. Their three-day orientation program began on Monday with a trip to the Smoky Mountains, where they braved the icy waters of the Watauga River in a whitewater rafting adventure. On Tuesday, they spent the morning learning about the importance of education in the history of the Church of God, how to navigate the academic challenges for the coming year, and the principles that will guide them for the months ahead, before returning to Charlotte. On Wednesday they were welcomed by Dr. Douglas Winnail, Mr. Richard Ames, and Mr. Weston in a special forum, where they challenged to make the most of the opportunity.

For lunch, the headquarters staff gathered to meet and greet them, welcoming them to their new home. The balance of the day was spent learning more about their work-study program, becoming more familiar with the library, and taking a complete tour of the Headquarters facility. We’re so pleased to have these young people here to learn and also contribute their efforts to the Work. With our first day of classes drawing to a close, we can safely say that Living Education Charlotte 2019 has begun!

Click to check out the pictures from our Orientation Week!