For eight days in January, students at Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst, Illinois, participate in Renew classes: short-term classes that allow students to explore a variety of interests. This year, 15 students chose to participate in the class reFashion and reNew, which focused on women of noble character and on those things that influence our image.
“Students are pressed on every side to follow the flow, even if that flow goes against biblical principles,” said Cynthia Wagle, who teaches the course. “We had good discussions on this and other related topics. We also are such a throw-away society that I wanted the girls to re-purpose some discarded items into something new, fun, and creative. God has blessed us with so much—materially and creatively—and it is time to join those blessings together.”
The class focused on a woman of noble character as described in Proverbs 31:10–31. Each day the class read and discussed a few verses, then wrote the words that best described her qualities and the qualities to which the students in the class aspire: integrity, confident, humble, trustworthy.
The class considered these qualities while studying the language of fashion, visiting the Fashion and Design Department at College of DuPage, and researching ways to upcycle clothing. The students went shopping at New to You, a resale shop that Timothy Christian supports, to purchase items to transform into new garments. Students worked for three days sewing and creating, then invited residents of a nearby retirement community to their classroom and presented them with a fashion show. Finally, they presented their creations to the student body during a Renew Celebration assembly.
“It was a marvelous experience,” said Wagle. “Some gals had never sewn before and others had some experience. They supported and encouraged each other's ideas and creations. It was a highly relational and fun time. I witnessed a true growth in confidence, not only in creating, but also in being a special woman of noble character.”