The focus for Forward Drive 2017 is Psalm 78:4b:
"We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done."
Watch your mailbox for the full package! Inside the booklet you will find a condensed version of the article below.
If you want to know where a nation like Canada is going, where do you look? At the churches? No! You go to the schools. Schools set the direction of the nation. Abraham Lincoln said one time that the philosophy in the classroom will be the philosophy of the government in the next generation. Instead of having our children captured by the false beliefs of Darwinism and Evolutionism and a host of other isms, we attempt to teach our precious children in the light of the truth of God's Word.
Truth is under attack today. The compilers of the Oxford Dictionary 2016 recognized a new word of the year. The word is post-truth. No wonder. We live in the so-called post-modern era in which everything is relative and there are no absolutes. So, no right and wrong. Ironically, these relativists are most absolute in their positions.
In the context of that kind of society, we educate. We do that under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The task of Christian education is to nurture our sons and daughters academically, socially, and practically for living in the kingdom of God. That kingdom is as broad as life itself. It begins in the believers heart through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and then extends into every nook and cranny of the universe as well as into every area of human activity and relationships. Psalm 78, especially, makes that very clear. It speaks of educating God's people about the past. What God did in the past is amazing and awesome. The author shows how he did that from the time of Moses until the time of David. Asaph, the author, is going to show the deep seated meaning of history.
What our parents told us, we have to tell our children. Consequently, the history of God with His people becomes our teacher. The present younger generation must be taught, so that they can eventually tell their children.
We in 2017, have much more to tell than Asaph did. We know so much more than Moses, the Old Testament mediator and David, the Old Testament king. We know about Bethlehem, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. We know Jesus Christ, in Whom all things hold together (see Colossians 1:17) and Who will come again a second time.
This Jesus is Lord. We acknowledge that in our families, but also in education, from kindergarten right through university. Nothing is outside of his domain. Humbly, and be it ever so imperfectly, it is this Lord and Master we try to serve. What a challenge! What an immense privilege! What a responsibility! We do it all relying on Him guided by the Holy Spirit.
~Ralph Koops, Supporter, Grand Parent
Thank you so much for support from our community to pull this Drive together! May it be a blessing to the staff, students and all of Woodstock as we work together to bless Woodstock Christian School.
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