WCS Blog

800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492

     

October 2017

Reformation



October 31st is a day to remember Luther, the Protestant Reformation, and the 95 Theses nailed to the castle church door in Wittenberg. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was not about one or two big names - Luther, Calvin, Zwingli - but about a massive movement of Christian conviction, boldness, and joy that cost many men and women their lives - and scattered the seeds that are still bearing fruit in the twenty-first century. Not only was Luther surrounded by many Reformers in Germany, but lesser-known heroes of the faith rose up all over Europe. Luther was the battering ram, but he ignited, and stood with, a chorus of world changers. In an age of corruption and false teaching, the Protestant Reformers returned to the Scriptures. There they found the way of salvation. Instead of indulgences, the Mass, relics, and other superstitions, they rediscovered the ancient way of salvation: the gospel. The five solas were their attempt to summarize biblical teaching on salvation. The Five Solas are:
1. Sola Scriptura ("Scripture alone"): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
2. Sola Fide ("faith alone"): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
3. Sola Gratia ("grace alone"): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
4. Solus Christus ("Christ alone"): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
5. Soli Deo Gloria ("to the glory of God alone"): We live for the glory of God alone.
The men and women of the pre-Reformation and the Reformation rediscovered essential Christian truths in the Bible and changed the course of history. (Source: John Piper  desiringgod.org & kootenaichurch.org)
 
C. Verbeek
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Educator's Convention

Educator's Convention - October 26 & 27
 
This week the WCS staff has the privilege of joining hundreds of other educators from Thunder Bay to Charlottetown to New York state to attend worship sessions, workshops, and to listen to keynote speakers at the annual Edifide Educators Convention. Edifide is a professional association for Christian educators. The Convention is held at Redeemer University College in Ancaster. The theme this year is "A Life of Grace and Adventure". It is based on John 10:10 (NIV) 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.' The keynote speaker will be Curt Thompson. He is a psychiatrist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia, and the founder of Being Known, which helps people explore the integral relationship between deep, meaningful connections with God and the development of healthier minds, healthier communities, and ultimately, a healthier world. Not only will we be challenged as educators but we also be inspired, encouraged, and better equipped to teach at WCS. 
Mrs. J. Hickey
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Responsive Classroom

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (of which WCS is a member school) is promoting Responsive Classroom training for educators. The OACS is praying for and working toward flourishing Christian schools across Ontario. We, at WCS, were introduced as a staff to this framework at our regional PD day last April. As a result of that introduction, this past summer our staff reading book choices explored components of The Responsive Classroom Framework. This approach blends beautifully with our understanding of Christian community and with restorative practices. You may be wondering, "What is this 'Responsive Classroom' all about?" Let me provide some background. Future editorials will expand on the key principles below. Stay tuned!
The Responsive Classroom approach came  about in the early 1980s as a group of public school educators sought to share the knowledge, skills, and philosophies they had acquired through years of teaching. The result of their combined experiences is the Responsive Classroom approach, which emphasizes the social, emotional, and academic growth of elementary school students in a strong and safe learning environment. The Responsive Classroom approach incorporates the students' social and emotional growth into their academic learning, stemming from the notion that children learn best through social interaction and when they are explicitly taught social and emotional skills along with their academic lessons. The seven key principles of the Responsive Classroom approach, as outlined by the Northeast Foundation for Children, are:
* The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
* How children learn is as important as what they learn: process and content go hand in hand.
* The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
* Children need certain social skills in order to be successful academically and socially. These include: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
* Knowing the children we teach -- individually, culturally, and developmentally -- is as important as knowing the content we teach.
* Knowing the families of the children we teach, and inviting their participation, is essential to children's education.
* How the adults at school work together is as important as individual competence: lasting change begins with the adult community. (Source: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/principles-practices/)      
 
C. Verbeek
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Thankfulness

Thankfulness
 
Each one of us has so much to be thankful for. We have loving homes, Jesus, the Bible, healthy bodies and minds, food, clothes, toys, parents, brothers and sisters, and the list goes on. I pray each of you will remember how much you have been blessed by God.
We, at WCS, have so much to be thankful for. We have a great school building, loving teachers, friendships, an amazing playground, good buses and bus drivers, and the list goes on. The Woodstock Food Bank was so thankful, on Thursday afternoon, when they saw how much food we donated to people in Woodstock who are in need. I pray that each of you will use these blessings to learn and to let God use you in this community.
We, in Canada, have so much to be thankful for. The trees are changing colour, we have peace, beautiful weather, a good harvest, freedom, diversity, and the list goes on. I pray that God will keep our great land strong and free.
At WCS, we will be hearing Michael Mitchell this week. His songs tell about how great this country of ours is. His visit will be exciting and entertaining. Come out on Thursday afternoon at 12:30, if you can, to share in song, how great and varied our country is.
Natalie Van Andel
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Forward Drive 2017

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.

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How Does the Bible Define a Hero?

How Does the Bible Define a Hero?
 
Says Dr. Anne Bradley … When my son was younger, he watched The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, a Veggie Tales movie, all the time. A royal family needs rescuing from an evil tyrant. At one point, a fight breaks out on a pirate ship transporting the family. One of the pirates proclaims, “Where are the heroes? We need some heroes!”   
Where are the heroes, indeed! There are many cultural narratives about heroism. Some are biblical. Some aren’t. So how does the Bible define a hero?
When I think of heroism in God’s terms, I think of Romans 15:1-2. “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.” This verse describes the different characteristics of heroism: Helping those in need
Buttressing the weaknesses of others with our strengths and vice versa 
Contributing to the welfare of our neighbours
These are all active words. Being a hero means being a helper, supporter, and friend. Hollywood portrays heroes in quite a different light: they have supernatural powers and wear capes. As much as I enjoy a superhero movie, I think this is a sad definition of what being a hero means. It’s sad because it’s intangible. Since I can’t fly and I can’t always discern good guys from bad guys, how can I be a hero?
The Bible defines being a hero as helping those who in need. We need to offer our strengths to others to support their areas of weakness. This is how God calls us to love and serve others.
(Source - Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics, Dr. Anne Bradley, 11/11/16. https://tifwe.org/how-the-bible-defines-a-hero/)
Image: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ncF3YfBGgUw/maxresdefault.jpg
 
C. Verbeek
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