God is Greater! He is over all, through all, and in all.
Our school theme for 2016-2017 has permeated so much of what takes place at Woodstock Christian School, our learning and our growing together. God created the seasons and God is in all the rhythms and patterns that we see and experience. On Wednesday June 21st, the sun will reach the highest point in the sky for this year - the solstice - and summer will officially begin. On Friday afternoon at 1pm, the students will board their buses and parent vehicles, the WCS staff will wave them off, and the student/family summer break will officially begin. For teaching staff, next week they will attend meetings, clear classrooms and other work spaces, complete the Ontario Student Records and other year end tasks, and their summer break will begin. For our office staff, the building will become really quiet, until the Woodstock District Developmental Services camp moves in and the construction begins. Their work will continue through the summer. Teachers will pause and relax for some weeks and also participate in professional development and planning. Families will work, camp, travel, work some more, visit, and enjoy the rhythms of summer. May you experience God's blessings this summer.
C. Verbeek, Principal
It can be difficult to watch the news. Newsmakers speak excessively - sometimes their words feel empty, sometimes thoughtless and aggressive, sometimes wise. There are terror attacks in London, car bombs in Kabul, destruction in Aleppo, trouble in south Sudan. There is illness and death, fractured relationships, selfishness and greed. These occur in the world the media shows us. These occur in our own lives, in our own 'backyards'. The world can be a hard place. In John 16:33 Jesus tells us: "I have told you these things (read the rest of John 16), so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Do we really want to be like Jesus? Then we must seek to be what he was. Blessed are the peacemakers, said Jesus. "In other words, deeply contented will be those who bring God's shalom to broken people and are the hands of God to a world desperately in need of healing in the chaos. They expect conflict but continue to build hospitals, provide homeless shelters, minister to the broken and lost, and lead relief efforts anyway. They may be dismissed, because they are hypocritical and sinful people, as we all are. But they embrace God's goodness and grace, and love God above everything else and love their neighbours regardless."
In all of it, this remains. Our God reigns. He is greater. The word of the Lord will endure forever. God has called us to serve in a broken world, bringing the good news of the gospel and living as disciples of Jesus who are focussed on advancing his kingdom. Do not let the problems of today distract you from your kingdom calling. Teach these things to your children. Model them for your children. Do not let the troubles cause you to lose hope in the One who truly reigns. We worship the Lord. We serve him only. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and might. Love your neighbour. That is the kingdom mission of those who are called to be like Jesus.
(Source: called-to-lead.com/?p=2288 by Jeff Blamer, Christian Schools InternationaI, Nov 1, 2016.)
At WCS, we regularly receive communications from our local Public Health Nurse. These messages range from cycling safety to immunization, nutrition, counseling, and, now that the warmer weather is here, sun safety. Here is the latest update from our local public health department.
The Canadian Cancer Society reports that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood -- and that just one blistering sunburn can double the risk of getting melanoma later in life. Protect your children by following these tips recommended by the Canadian Dermatology Association.
1. Limit outdoor playtime between 11a.m. and 4 p.m. and when the UV index is 3 or higher. Avoid unnecessary exposure when the sun's rays are at their strongest. Even on cloudy or cooler days, ultraviolet (UV) rays remain strong. Shady spots can be just as tricky because of reflected light. If your child is playing outdoors during these hours, make sure to apply sufficient sunscreen.
2. Apply sunscreen properly. Generously apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your child goes out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. Scented and colorful sunscreens appeal to some kids and make it easier to see which areas have been covered well. Don't forget nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck; lips can also burn, so apply a lip balm with SPF protection. It is important to reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours, or after sweating or swimming. Good sun protection habits will keep skin healthy while involved in an active outdoor lifestyle.
3. Cover up. Wearing protective clothing and hats is one of the most important ways of warding off UV damage. When wet, light-coloured clothing transmits just as much sunlight as bare skin. Keep your kids covered with dark colors, long sleeves, and pants whenever possible. And don't forget the accessories: sunglasses with UV protection to guard against burned corneas, and wide brimmed hats to prevent sunburned scalps and faces. Caps offer minimal protection. Sunglasses are just as important for babies. At the beach, bring along a large umbrella.
4. Keep watch on medications. Some medications increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to ask your doctor whether your child may be at risk. Prescription antibiotics and acne medications can create an increased risk so talk to your pharmacist or the doctor.
5. Set a good example for your kids. If your children see you following sun-safety rules, they will as well. Skin protection is important for every member of the family.
From: Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services, WCS School Nurse, M. Condruk.
What Does Ascension Day Mean for Us?
This week we will celebrate Ascension Day at Woodstock Christian School. Actually, celebrate may be an overstatement as this day does not take on the same dimensions as other Christian holidays in our calendar. But should it? As we, at WCS, are guided this year by the words of this year's theme chapter - Ephesians 4 - we are reminded of the importance of Jesus' ascension.
Paul writes: As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people."
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-13, NIV)
Jesus, our ascended Lord, fills the whole universe. Jesus is KING! He has ascended and is enthroned. Great glory, splendor, majesty, and goodness come from Him - it is who He is. EVERYTHING is under His rule and authority. Grasp the impact. We can know that whatever is going on in our lives, Jesus has power over it. Difficulties, trials, temptations, heartbreaks, illnesses, persecutions…whatever name it goes by, Jesus' name is greater.
We have been saved by grace to serve. The Holy Spirit equips us, and our children, to serve. As Christ ascended, we are tasked to be his hands and feet and heart, to love, to serve, to transform the spaces and relationships within which we live and work. Ascension Day illustrates that God is Greater!
C. Verbeek, Principal
This is a big week at WCS. Track and Field Day is on Wednesday. This is either a day children love or one they don't want to see come every year. I was the later student. Track and Field Day was not a highlight and it usually resulted in tears and feelings of being inadequate.
For the children who excel at or enjoy running and jumping this is an awesome day. They shine and get to show their ribbons with pride. We love seeing these children doing their best and receiving recognition for a job well done!
For the children whose bodies are not good at running or jumping this is a tough day. They try their best but don't receive those colourful ribbons. I want to encourage those students to continue to try their best and try to make their personal best for the events they compete in.
My prayer for this Wednesday, is that we will be able to celebrate with each child who does their personal best, and revel in how God has created us all perfectly and with our own unique talents. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Remember that whether you win or lose, God can be glorified through your hard work and effort!
N. Van Andel
Jesus - Living Water
Living in Southwestern Ontario versus living in the land of the Bible times are two very different matters. Lush green versus desert country. Humid continental vs arid climate. It is difficult to imagine living in a land where rain is rare. We have been experiencing abundant rain but the rains only fall in Israel periodically from late November to mid-February. During that time, the people collect rain water into cisterns for the eight months of drought that always follow. We can imagine how stagnant and polluted the water becomes after months in a cistern. Flies and little critters need that water, too. Polluted cistern water was considered gathered by the hands of humans and not, therefore, God-given water. The other kind of water is living water. It is water not collected by humans, but flows from the hand of God. Rain is living water. Water that flows underground and bursts out of the ground is living water. Water that flows off of Mount Hermon to the north to fill the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River is living water.
John records a story in chapter 7. Verses 37-38 say, "It was the last and most important day of the feast. Jesus stood up and spoke in a loud voice. He said, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Does anyone believe in me? Then, just as Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from inside them.'" Jesus declared himself to be the Messiah, Living Water. Then, he said that those who believe in him, follow him, and make disciples for him are living water, too. And when the people of God act like the people of God, rivers of living water will flow from God's community of believing disciples. That is the effect when the people of God are living water to a world dead in sin. We are called to be disciples and to be like the one who we serve. Jesus. Messiah. Living Water. (Source material: J.Blamer, Christian Schools International)
Dear parents of WCS students,
I write these words so that you may be encouraged to "tell the next generation about the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done." Having recently been blessed with my first child (a son, named Jude) this quote from Psalm 78:4 speaks volumes to me, and has been a topic of discussion in the Gr. 5 class lately. We've unpacked this verse and have concluded that God wants us to pass on our faith to our future kids so that they may grow up to know the Lord and learn about his power and mighty acts (i.e. sending his son so that we may be saved). Each student in the school has been given the task of working on an art project based on Psalm 78:4. These art pieces are turning out to be very beautiful! Please feel free to come to WCS and walk the halls (starting May 10) as they'll be put up by then.
Our class is also finding that this verse ties in well with another theme we've been exploring in our science unit on human organ systems: Psalm 139:14 which says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." This verse captures the miracle that life is. It's amazing to think that we all started off as one cell, and now we're made up of trillions of cells. It's incredible to think about how small we are in this infinite universe. It's wonderful to think of how powerful God is. I encourage you to share those wonders with your kids often, so that the next generation can learn give credit where credit is due and pass on that knowledge/wisdom to their kids some day. Furthermore, if we are intentional about seeking for those wonders, we start to see them often.
Sincerely, Axel Hiemstra (Gr. 5 Teacher)
Christian Education Week
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty - and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works - and I will proclaim your great deeds. Psalm 145:3-6
Each year Christian Schools International designates a week in April to be Christian Education Week. Our schools are established to glorify God, to recognize the lordship of Christ over every square of creation, and to nurture and equip students to become the next generation of those who answer the call to advance the kingdom of God across the globe. We have reason to remember and to celebrate God's blessings. Christian Education Week is an opportunity to be reminded of what God is doing and to consider the difference that our school is making in the community, in families, and in the lives of God's children. Our students are learning to be God worshippers, justice seekers, servant workers, beauty creators, creation keepers and to be equipped for a life of praise and service in their communities. You are invited to join us this week at WCS in a celebration of God's gift of Christian schools.
Next week marks an exciting week of celebration here at Woodstock Christian. We are joining together in a variety of activities to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and Woodstock Christian School itself with Christian Education Week. We are grateful to live in a glorious and free country that embraces religious freedom.
The events begin on Monday, April 24th at 9 am. We invite volunteers who worked directly with our students (classroom volunteers, coaches, etc.) to the Volunteer Tea. It will be wonderful for the staff and students to show their appreciation at that time. We are extremely grateful for the many ways countless volunteers help to run and assist at Woodstock Christian School. This event is hosted by the students so they can showcase their thanks to the volunteers they recognize from classroom interactions.
Tuesday is Bus Driver Appreciation Day! Please remember to thank our bus drivers! Small tokens or notes of appreciation are a blessing to the work they do.
Student artwork will flood the hallways to lead us on an Art Walk! Join Welcome Wednesday visitors or feel free to look at the walls in the afternoon when you attend the Picnic Lunch. It will take place during 2nd recess (1:30 pm, Wednesday). There will be no food for purchase this day, please pack what you want to eat!
On Thursday, we end our celebrations with Grand Friends Day. The schedule has changed! The students will present in the morning this year BEFORE lunch. As a result, registration time is scheduled for 9 am! Please invite your Grand Friends to come to WCS that day! The morning will be filled with a variety of music led by Elizabeth Martin. Classroom visits and lunch will follow. Invitations are available from the office if you would like to hand one out.
Looking forward to all the fun!
Advancement & Communications
A Celebration of learning!
Share the music day
May 1, 2017
Woodstock Christian School Auditorium
8:45 - 9:15am
* grade 1 – Sound Stories
* grade 2 – Silly Songs with Some Puppets
* grade 3 – We've Got Rhythm
9:30 – 10:00
* grade 4 – Recorder Rocks!
* grade 5 – KWS visit showcase
* grade 6 – Instrument duets
10:15 – 10:45 grade 7 & 8
* Sr. Choir – From Latin to Sol-Fa-La
* Concert Band – concert repertoire
A Celebratory Cupcake will be enjoyed by all after the program!
Words from the Cross
Jesus was God. God the Son died on the cross for our sins. But Jesus was also perfectly human. Because Jesus, as a human being, suffered hunger, thirst, solitude and many other hardships, he is able to understand and sustain us. (Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15,16). Just before giving up his spirit, Jesus cried out, "It is finished." (John 19:30) Three of the Gospels mention that Jesus cried out just before dying, but only John reports what Jesus said. His cry was not a cry of death but a cry of victory. He had just won the greatest victory ever. By his life of perfect obedience to God and his death on the cross, he had just opened the doors of Heaven to men. He broke down the wall that separated men from God and that deprived them of his good presence.
At the moment of rendering his spirit, Jesus opened his mouth again and cried out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46) These last words of Jesus corresponded to the prayer that the Jewish mothers taught their children to say before going to sleep. This prayer is an expression of total trust in God. It comes from a psalm in which King David put his future into the hands of the Lord God (Psalm 31:16). By dying, Jesus threw himself into the arms of the Father, because he knew that God had prepared wonderful things for him. Actually, Jesus knew that after he suffered, the Father would raise him from the dead and would lift him up above all else. When Jesus mentioned his sufferings to come to his disciples, he always mentioned the glory that would follow them. (Matthew 16:21; 17:9; 17:22,23). (source: bible.org)
As we remember and celebrate Jesus' journey to the cross, his death and resurrection, may we also put ourselves in the arms of our God and Father. He holds the victory. Give Him praise and glory.