Thursday, 30 October 2014

Reformation Day

Yesterday, we acknowledged Reformation Day in our weekly chapel. 

Here are some thoughts from this week's Pot's Ponderings as well as a video highlighting some of  our chapel. 

Nearly 500 years ago a movement took place within the existing Roman Catholic Church in Europe that profoundly impacted the development of western civilization. At the heart of this movement was a call back to the truths expressed in Scripture and echoed by early church leaders. These truths were summarized in five Latin phrases:
Sola Scriptura – by Scripture alone
Sola Fide – by faith alone
Sola Gratia – by grace alone
Sola Christus – by Christ alone
Sola Deo Gloria – To God alone be the glory
It is my prayer that these simple statements will guide our school community in the years ahead. May we acknowledge Christ alone, as Lord of all things. As we read in the Bible, it is by grace, through faith we are made right with Him. And for that, may we give God alone the glory.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pot's Ponderings - Entering The Story

Our lives are full of stories. Funny stories and sad stories. Redemptive stories and tragic stories. Compelling stories and boring stories.  Helpful and destructive. Joyful and despairing. Good and bad. Light and dark. 

Our many individual stories weave together to create the story of our life. In many ways we write our own story through decisions, impulses and actions that we make each day. In many more ways, the story of our life is written for us. Many of the threads of our stories are interwoven with the stories of others. Parents, relatives, friends, teachers, co-workers, etc. Each person we meet plays a part in our story. Our stories are complex, to say the least.

On Thursday and Friday of this week, our teaching staff will be attending an EDIFIDE conference. The theme for the conference is "Entering the Story'. 

As educators, we live in the space where our own personal stories intersect with the stories of our students, their families, our school community and the community in which we live. We tell our stories in part to multiply joys and divide sorrows. We seek to be part of God's story - one where he is calling us to be part of his perfect plan for redemption.
-Shannon Marcus, Chair, EDIFIDE Board of Directors

As a school and as a staff, we are thankful that we are part of your family's story. It is our hope that all of our students will recognize that they are part of a much larger redemptive story. And may we  "...fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith." -Hebrews 12:2

Monday, 20 October 2014

Fairglen - By Grade 8

Fair Glen was awesome. It was one of the best experiences ever. From canoeing to rock 
climbing, we got to know each other in different ways. We had great bonding time and 
got to know each other. Through the many activities around Fair Glen, we challenged 
ourselves mentally and physically. We beat and set records in high ropes and rock 
climbing. Everyone encouraged each other. Archery was a popular sport. We learned 
more about ourselves, nature and about leadership. We learned good things and bad 
things about each other as we saw each other’s good sides and bad sides. Throughout all 
the injuries, we still had fun. We had to show a lot of the fruits of the spirit throughout 
this trip such as patience. We had to work together, as we canoed together and got stuck 
together in a swamp. We were servant leaders as we cleaned up before and after our 
meals. We were treated like royalty as we dined at the Fair Havens hall after a luxurious 
hay ride. The staff was very kind and the food was very delicious. We uncovered 
Winsten’s and Pebble’s true identities. We made many memories.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Thanksgiving through Worship

Last week we met together to worship and give thanks to our God, the giver of all good gifts. 
This tied in with our throughline this month of God worshiping.

We began our chapel with this thought:

Apostle Paul reminds us to give thanks in all circumstances. We were reminded not to act like Eyeores,
but to live with thankful hearts. Some Gr. 4 students shared some skits about what it looks like to live with an Eyeore heart, and then the same situation with a thankful heart.  It was very thought provoking to see how our reaction makes a big difference!
We were left with the challenge to choose many times, today, tomorrow and the next day to live with a grateful heart, praising God with our lives and our actions and the choices that we make.

We also enjoyed a time of worship in singing and music. 
Our Grade One class plays and sings Praise and Thanksgiving.

Our Grade Two class plays and sings Our God Reigns

Our Grade 3 Class plays and sings Thank You.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mike's Miracles Soccer Tournament

Last Tuesday was our annual Mike’s Miracles Grade Six Soccer Tournament.

Mike’s Miracles is a charitable foundation that was set up by a student at Beacon named Mike VandenDool in the spring of 2008. Mike fought vigorously against the cancer that was invading his body for over a year before the Lord took him home, in his grade 6 year.

During his time in treatment he became increasingly aware of the hardships that many kids faced when diagnosed with cancer. He started Mike’s Miracles as a way to bring some joy to the lives of these same kids. Mike’s parents have continued the work of Mike’s Miracles since Mike’s passing. You can read about what the organization has already accomplished on the website –

Mike was an avid and talented soccer player. He was also a student who would go out of his way to include others in activities. This grade 6 tournament has been designed to encourage students to get to know other students, to work together and to celebrate their healthy bodies while playing the sport of soccer. We are excited that the VandenDool family has agreed to partner with Beacon on this event – making it a Mike’s Miracles event. Students were given a chance to play some soccer, hear about Mike and Mike’s Miracles, and meet some of the students at neighboring Christian schools.

It was a beautiful day of sport and fellowship! It was also a time to share a message about Mike's Miracles and how it tied in with Jesus' message to "Love your neighbor". The students were encouraged to "Make a positive difference" in the lives of others.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Pot's Ponderings

Delivered on my desk this morning was a magazine entitled Christian Educators Journal. As staff, we receive this periodical several times per year. The most recent issue struck a chord with me on a number of fronts, but especially the article entitled, "The Task of Christian Education in Creating an Inclusive Worldview" by David W. Anderson. As board and administration we are exploring how we can become a more inclusive school and are taking steps in that regard. The last paragraph of Anderson's article summarizes well, why inclusive education is important for all students. It reads:

Effective inclusive education is rooted in a Christian worldview that acknowledges all people as created in God's image and seeks to promote human flourishing. It is responsive to the academic, social/relational, and spiritual needs of all students. It reaches out to all students by creating a hospitable and welcoming classroom environment. Effective inclusive education makes a difference in the classroom, the school, the community, and the world by altering how people with disability are viewed, promoting acceptance of others, and contributing to the healing and reconciliation that we desire.     - David W. Anderson

This seems like a great vision for the kind of school we aspire to be.  If you would like a copy of the full article, copies will be available in the office.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Pot's Ponderings: God Worshipping

Over the last few days I have had the opportunity to be present at a number of worship services. In the last four days, I attended a funeral, participated in communion with a diverse group of Christians while at a concert, witnessed the baptism of one Beacon student and her four siblings, and attended my own church where our pastor preached and led communion for the first time as a fully ordained pastor within the Christian Reformed Church.

Our throughline for the month is God-worshipping. What struck me the most in the varied services that I happened to attend was the common thread of God’s sovereignty – the acknowledgement that Jesus is Lord of all things, all times, all places and all people. This is a central belief of the Christian faith, and one that is common across Christian denominations. Jesus is Lord of all things. He alone is worthy of our worship.

We will be exploring the theme of God-worshipping at our Thanksgiving Chapel on Wednesday. It should be a great chapel with lots of student involvement. As always, parents and visitors are welcome to attend.

A Glimpse of Grade Four

This picture illustrates a Social Studies project entitled: "Where am I in God's World?"

 Students got the chance to make their own globes out of balloons. On these globes, students had to label the Equator, the Prime Meridian, as well as the four hemispheres (North, South, East, West). 
In addition to this, students had the task of figuring out where St. Catharines was on their globe

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Decomposer Scavenger Hunt

Grade 2 headed off to Heartland Forest for a field trip to
 check out God's Recycling Plan in action.  

Armed with clipboards, magnifying glasses, colour charts and shovels, students headed off to turn over rotting logs and search for decomposers like earthworms, spiders, ants, millipedes, slugs, moss and fungi. We also spotted squirrels, salamanders and even a snake!

It was such a beautiful afternoon for a hike in the woods! 

 God's recycling plan in action brings new life from death. Students have been learning this cheer:
Plants are producers
Animals consumers
Decomposers live on things dead
The cycle continues
From death there is life
Our God is a Hero of Hope - Hooray!