Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pot's Ponderings: The City Harmonic

One of my favourite bands of recent years has been the City Harmonic, and not just because my wife used to babysit the drummer. I know many in our school community enjoyed a concert by them last night down the street at Glenridge Bible Church. I hope to catch them later this week at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario (I think there are still tickets available).
 My favourite song of theirs is called “Holy (Wedding Day)”(you can listen online here). It is a song that is powerfully played and draws heavily on themes from the book of Revelation, to a time when all is made right again. It is a song (story) of longing for something greater than our present circumstance. In many ways, this is the story in which we are inviting all of our students to play a part.
Our theme for the next month is God Worshipping. We desire our lives (and our students’ lives) to be part of God’s redemptive story. I love it that we get a glimpse of the ending of the story in Scripture. We see through a glass dimly, but it is good to keep a picture in mind of what lies ahead:
This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
But it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea
O death where is your sting
Cause I'll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord

This is the story of a bride in white
Waiting on her wedding day
Anticipation welling up inside
While the groom is crowned as king
O death where is your sting
Cause we'll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy is the Lord

Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
Who was and is and is to come

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
And it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea

This is the story of the a bride in white
Singing on her wedding day
Of the God who was and is to stand before a bride who sings
Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty
-The City Harmonic

Monday, 29 September 2014

Applesauce Day in SK

Our SK students are wondering about the changing seasons and things to do with apples. 
Very timely, with our Applefest coming up this weekend!
Have a look to see what they did with their apples last week. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Pot's Ponderings: We Are What We Love

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Christian Schools Canada Conference in Victoria, B.C. It was good to meet with Christian school leaders from across the country, attend some meaningful workshops, enjoy a beautiful setting and be challenged by the keynote speaker, James K. A. Smith. I received a copy of his most recent book, Imagining the Kingdom, at the conference.

Cover ArtThe ideas that he writes about and that he presented at the conference resonate deeply with me, as they get to the heart of why Christian schools exist in the first place. But they also challenge many of our assumptions regarding what a school should be. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom that I gleaned from the speaker that I found particularly thought provoking.

   1.     Humans are lovers. We are defined, not so much by what we think (believe), but by what we love.
   2.     A Christian education should capture the imagination, not just inform the intellect.
   3.     How we teach is just as important as what we teach.

   4.     The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people—a people who desire the kingdom of God and thus undertake their life’s expression of that desire. - James K.A. Smith

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Building Community in Our Neighbourhood

Today we met for chapel to work further on building community. 
We met in our GIFT groups (Growing In Faith Together), which are cross graded groups. 

(It was sports day today. The students and staff had a lot of fun celebrating the community we can find in sports)

Two of our students shared a skit about building community
(here's a hint: it can't be from a distance, using binoculars!)

After a few songs and instructions, we headed out in our GIFT groups 
armed with a mum with a note attached.

We knocked on doors and said "hello" with a smile (the easiest way to begin building community!) Each GIFT group had a student speak to the person answering the door to let our neighbours know we are glad to be their neighbours and to give them a small gift. 

It was good to be able to meet face to face with those who share our community. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Building Community in JK

Building community together in our new playground sandbox.

We are learning about the fruits God made for us to enjoy. Today we made orange prints in our fruit booklets.

In our dramatic play center, we sorted fruit to sell at our fruit market.

We can spend time reading quietly together during circle time.

We also enjoy building community in our classroom around the snack tables.

This is our creation show & tell day. Everyone brought something that God made to show to the
class. We are thankful for all the beauty we can see in creation.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Community Building at School

 (Looking good, SK boys, on purple day!)

This morning we had our second chapel about Community Building. This week we focused on Community Building in our school, beyond our classroom walls. 
We began together with some singing. It's always great to have student leadership in this area. 

 Then we broke off into our GIFT groups (Growing In Faith Together).
These are cross graded small groups that allow us to build community while digging deeper into our theme. We meet together at least once per month. 

First, everyone wrote his or her name on a star. These will go on our "Shine" bulletin board. 
This is in connection with our theme verse 
"Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky" (Ephesians 2:10)

After we finished our stars, we gathered in a circle. 
We got to know who in our groups has the same likes. 
Who likes pizza? 
Who likes hockey?
Who likes making crafts?

Then, the string was thrown to that person. It ended up making a neat looking web!
We are intertwined with each other because we belong to the same community. 
We have similar and different likes. 
But we are all joined as Children of God. 

It was great to meet our new GIFT group members today!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Community Building

This week, we had our first weekly chapel of the year. This year we will again be looking at throughlines as we strive to shine as lights for Him. Our focus this year will be on what living out these throughlines looks like in our school community and our broader community. 

Our chapels take place every Wednesday at 8:45 and we are always happy to have parents and grandparents join us. You are always welcome to come and worship with us!

Our theme verse for the year is: Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky, as you hold firmly to the word of life. - Philippians 2:15, 16

Our first throughline is Community Building. We start our year with this as we strive to build communities in our classrooms. 

Why do your parents send you to this school? was the question asked at chapel. 

The slide above shows the Faith at School section that is found on our report cards. We want our students to be aware of what we desire to see in our students. 

Mr. Kok had us hold a pose. Then we looked around and saw everyone was in a different pose. 
Pastor Jim Pot was our guest pastor and he spoke further on this very same idea. How boring it would be if we were all the same and how awesome and imaginative is our Creator!

We are so glad we are all created differently! And because we are made in His image, we also need to respect that our differences are really good things. 
This month we will dig deeper into these ideas. 

We will be memorizing this verse this month: 

...and we'll be learning this song this month:

Friday, 5 September 2014

First Week!!

It was great to see everyone again on Tuesday. We are so happy to welcome 31 new students and their families to our Beacon family this year. We hope they feel right at home very soon. 

We are also happy to welcome Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Kok to our teaching staff this year.

(Mrs. Boks and Mr. Brooks at recess)

The students quickly returned to their favourite recess past times of soccer, manhunt, football, soccer baseball, swinging, grounders and forts. 

We gathered as community on Friday to meet and greet and eat. Thanks to the Board for barbecuing up a great meal!


 The evening ended witha  game of Grade 8 vs. Parent soccer. 

During our opening chapel, we had a good look at this picture:

This picture has graced our library wall for a number of years, and it is a good picture to highlight the type of people that we would like all of our children to be. We desire all of our children to have the light of Christ shine through them so that they can be a Beacon of Hope for a world that often finds itself in dark and stormy waters. Sometimes in our lives we may be in stormy waters and need others to reflect Christ’s light in our direction. And other times we may be placed in situations where we are asked to reflect Christ’s light towards others.

Our theme verse for the year is:

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky, as you hold firmly to the word of life.                                - Philippians 2:15, 16

We look forward to digging further into these ideas  with our students this year as we learn to shine for Him.