In Mrs. G’s First Grade we have been learning about our country and special fall holidays. We are learning about Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. We did a chapel about men and women who helped protect our country by being in the military. We thanked all the branches of the service for their dedication to God and our country.
We are thankful for the military service members give our country. We continue to pray and think about them and their sacrifices that keep the USA safe. In addition to the Veteran’s Day Holiday we are learning about Thanksgiving and how our country was started by brave men and women who came to our east coast to start a life that included worshipping God. We also made Native American hats to think about how they helped the Pilgrims through their first winters in America. Thanks you God for our Country and all the people who protect it and us.
We read many books about the beginning of America. Happy Fall!
This week in third grade we have been discussing how our God is a mighty fortress. Students enjoyed creating a 3-D fortress and background. This activity allowed students to be creative and artistic in designing and setting up their fortresses!
This is a special week for Lutheran churches and schools all around the world as we celebrate Martin Luther and the reformation of the Christian church over 500 years ago. We want our students to know our rich Lutheran heritage founded on the ideals of “Grace Alone”, “Faith Alone”, “Christ Alone”, “Scripture Alone”, “To the Glory of God Alone”.
Throughout the month of October, we sing Luther’s most well-known hymn in Chapel, “A Mighty Fortress”, based on Psalm 46. Our 6th graders have their annual Martin Luther competition, culminating in the winner “nailing” Luther’s 95 Theses to a church door, as Luther did on Oct. 31, 1517. Dr. Heide shares his travel photos from his many trips to Germany and the important sites from Luther’s life.
It’s a month-long celebration for the blessings of having God’s Word to learn more about His amazing Grace and the man who started a revolution of teaching everyone how much they are loved by God the Father and freely forgiven through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
I have a small card under the glass on my desk at school that bears a simple, yet profound, message: “Everything seems impossible until it is done.” I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about that card lately.
It wasn’t too many days ago that none of us were too sure how the school year would begin. New (and often contradictory) regulations and guidelines were hemorrhaging out of Sacramento, seemingly hourly. Newscasters made the most of the confusion, predicting a crisis in classrooms through California and the nation, as a whole. Meanwhile, here in Orange, St. John’s Lutheran church and school leadership quietly spent the last seven months intensely studying the guidelines, creating policy, and then deftly shifting it to follow the new guidelines that would ultimately determine how St. John’s Lutheran School would face a challenging (and, at times, a daunting) future.
Yet, here we are.
It’s the second week of school for all of us. Preschool through the Sixth Grades are in their proper classrooms, being taught by hardworking, caring, and somewhat exhausted Christian teachers. While the Seventh and Eighth Grade students are still learning online, the word going around is that, given the current trends, Seventh and Eighth Graders could be back in the Chapman Building in a couple of weeks.
Far from the potential train wreck predicted by some, the opening of St. John’s Lutheran School has been, calm and orderly and, in a sense, predictable. We’ve met the challenges and pressed forward. Given the predictions of disaster, how has St. John’s Lutheran School achieved such a feat?
It wasn’t us.
God’s Hand has clearly been at work. In His eternal foresight, Our Lord has placed the right leaders in positions where their skills are in direct alignment with what needed to be done – and when. The right people became “Covid-19” experts. The right campus management team envisioned the right policies that allowed the right administrators to compose the right words for the waiver, which was submitted to the right people, at the right time, to effect the right outcome. The right teachers prepared for both styles of learning – online and face-to-face – so that, whichever mode was needed could be implemented immediately. Parents stood in solidarity with St. John’s Lutheran School, praying, petitioning, and holding their ground as SJLS supporters even when things looked a bit dicey.
Because of the power of the Almighty, working with and through the people mentioned in the paragraph above, St. John’s Lutheran School opened, as it should have, on the date that was determined last January, before most Americans had ever heard of plague known as “Covid-19.” While not, perhaps, in the same league as changing water into wine, I consider what happened here miraculous, given the challenges the church and school faced – and is facing today.
God is good. God is powerful. God engages with His people. We’ve just seen that here at St. John’s.
Like you, I’m awed. And, of course, highly thankful.
Kevin G. Smith
Seventh Grade Language Arts & Christian Faith and Life
For the 2018-2019 school year, a brand new middle school elective was introduced, “Drama Club“. Drama Club students have the opportunity to practice acting and improv skills, work with partners and in teams, and learn the craft of stage acting. Students also have the opportunity to write and perform original scripts!
During elective class, we have an amazing time together laughing, rehearsing, and coming up with unique ways to tell stories.
All of this practice helps the Drama Club students with their most important work: sharing God’s word. The Drama Club has performed throughout the school year in chapel and at the fall pep rally. Their skits emphasize the truth of God’s love and His calling in our lives through humor and drama.
As their teacher, I am thankful for all the Drama Club students’ hard work and their willingness to get up in front of the school to share the Good News!
We are looking forward to a great spring semester-the Drama Club will be performing in chapel throughout it, and lead the school through our Holy Week chapel series before Easter.