As another SJCS school year is about to come to a close, I can truly say that it has been wonderful to see the growth in our students as they have progressed in their education, skills, faith, and emotional development. It never ceases to amaze me when I see the progress in the younger students as they learn to read and the older students as they learn to reason and defend their beliefs. We will be saying goodbye to our graduating 8th graders with mixed emotions—sad to see them leave us but excited for what their future holds. I am reminded of what Oswald Chambers said almost 100 years ago in one of his Bible lessons: “Wherever the providence of God may place us, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labor along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought – ‘I am of no use where I am,’ because you certainly can be of no use where you are not!” This is a good reminder, not only for our 8th graders as they head of in diferent directions for high school, but also for the rest of us as we labor together in God’s kingdom work. As we look forward to our 60th year here at SJCS, our prayer is that we will continue to instill in our students the Christian values and worldview that will help them to “give an answer for the reason of the hope” that is in them because of Christ.
And we are off and running! What a great start to the school year. I now have two reasons that I love the first day of school. The first has always been that I want to get going! As a teacher, I planned and prepped through the summer and had high hopes for the year so I just wanted to get going and get teaching! The (new) second reason that I love the first day is all about what we experienced in community on Wednesday morning. When we gather and commit the year and your children, to God and his glory, when we huddle up and pray over them, it is a true picture of God’s kingdom. We trust each other, we encourage one another, we hold each other accountable. This year promises to be a great one as we STOP & listen, GO & do.
Over the summer, I read several articles about the importance of faith-based education in today’s world. Many articles came out of what we would consider “worldly” publications – Time, The New York Times, Huffington Post. Highlights from these articles were about how teachers being invested in individual student success, community like-mindedness, and Biblical values that promote acceptance and encouragement build unity. Those words describe SJCS, but we are much more than that. We are a school were students find their voice, where students learn to appreciate others’ opinions, where students encourage and pray with each other, celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness. In our intimate environment where teachers take an active interest in all students, where buddies between grade levels foster leadership, and where we build connections between subjects and Biblical thinking, students are active learners and growing believers.
Thank you for trusting us with you children, the students of SJCS who are the leaders of tomorrow. Let’s pray together for a year of understanding what it truly means to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)