Grace Christian School

Archives - December 2016

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Headmaster's Blog

Archives - December 2016

A Wonderful Concert!

December 19, 2016
By John Morrison

I was not planning on writing a blog this week, but was so moved at our annual Christmas concert conducted this past Thursday evening, that I simply had to rave a bit about this wonderful experience.

While the pictures can speak for themselves, the radiant faces of our students coupled with their enthusiastic renditions of Christmas music was so very deeply moving for me.  In fact, while I am seldom at a loss for words, I was so moved that at the end of the concert, with my “attempted” closing remarks, I could hardly express myself.  And based on comments from a  number of you, I was not the only one!

I want to express congratulations and my deep appreciation to our four musical directors for their outstanding work with our three choirs and string ensemble: Mrs. Joelle Miller (string students); Mrs. Marie Masincup (elementary chorus); Mrs. Karen Palumbo (middle school chorus); Mrs. Lynn Vogan (high school chorus).  These ladies are doing an outstanding job working with our students, and we can never adequately thank them for the way that the pour their heart and soul into their ministry.  To you four, I would say simply that you are making an eternal impact in our students through your tutelage and influence in their lives!

Of course, if I try to thank everyone who made the concert possible  -- the accompanists and parent volunteers, our teachers and administrative team -- this blog would become quite lengthy.  And then there are the wonderful folks at Wayne Hills Baptist, who have graciously hosted this concert now for many years.  THANK YOU TO ALL FOR YOUR PART IN MAKING THIS WONDERFUL CONCERT POSSIBLE!

We also thank all of our gifted students for their hard work in preparing this very special Christmas blessing for those of us who were able to attend!  We are proud of you!

May this Christmas season be a very special time of amazement and awe at the fact that God eternal reached down into our humanity through His Son to draw us into restored relationship with Himself, in spite of our sin.  Can you think of anything more wonderful?  And all He asks of us is that we simply receive His gracious gift with the empty hands of faith!  Wow!  May He open our eyes to better see this stunningly good news of the Incarnation!

Merry Christmas!  

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

 

Some Holiday Thoughts

December 16, 2016
By John Morrison

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As I grow older, I increasingly appreciate this marvelous good news of the Incarnation of God, who took on our human flesh in order to carry our humanity to the cross and, ultimately, redeem and restore us to a place of unhindered communion and fellowship with Himself.   If we properly understand the ravages of sin and how it alienated us from God, then this Christmas message as articulated in Isaiah 9:6 is stunningly good news, to say the least!  My Christmas prayer for each of our school families and friends is simply that our eyes may be opened more completely to the wonder of what this season represents.  May we never take the Incarnation for granted or be satisfied merely with the shallow trappings of how much of our secular culture celebrates it.  

Indeed, as the angel stated to the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth:

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14)

The words of the angel demonstrate the limitations of human language, for I am certain that the terms “good tidings”  and  “great joy” merely scratch the surface of the depth of rejoicing and praise the heavenly host expressed before God.  It must have been quite a scene!

So, I pray that during this Christmas holiday, we each may reflect for a time on the true meaning of Christmas -- the Christ Mass -- and catch perhaps a greater sense of just how incredibly good is this gospel news of the Savior come to restore us to right relationship with God.  Indeed …  “good tidings of exceeding great joy!”  

May such joy be much a part of your Christmas holiday!

PS.  Hope you enjoy the following pictures of our GCS assembly on our last day of school before the holiday.  Students from both campuses joined to worship and celebrate together before the high school students traveled to Wenonah Elementary in Waynesboro to deliver the Christmas bags which our GCS families so generously donated to many who are so less fortunate in their circumstances.  What a special time of experiencing the reality of Jesus’ words that “it is more blessed to give than to receive!”

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

  

 

Mini Market Day

December 13, 2016
By John Morrison

                    

In my last two blogs, I featured our preschool and pre-kindergarten classes.  But lots of neat things are happening at GCS at all grade levels!  Read Mrs. Mary Ellen Barrett’s following account of our recent third through fifth grade “Mini Market Day” to get a better idea of how learning is not limited merely to traditional classroom routine. JM    

                                                                        ➰        

As part of a ten week integrated economics/computer unit in 3rd - 5th grades, the classes set up “”mini societies” under the direction of Mrs. Laura Doty, our computer teacher.  Each class named their society/city, formed businesses, created their own currency, made products, and sold their goods at the market in the gym on Mini Market Day, which happened last Thursday, December 8.  Along with having a lot of fun, much educational “mileage” was gained from this unit: economics and finance, computer skills, math, cooperation skills, and biblical worldview integration (especially theology of work).  Mrs. Dana Tacy, our third grade teacher, shared the mission statements written by her students for each of their businesses.  The students first named their classroom society “Dabbington,” and then named their separate businesses, as highlighted below.  Other than a classroom discussion on Christian and secular businesses, the children were not prompted on what to write in their mission statements.  As the little “business owners” discussed this together, they decided their statements should include “Scripture and honor to God.”  I think their mission statements are awesome for 8 and 9 year olds!

Special thanks to Mrs. Laura Doty for her hard work in coordinating this very special event!

                                Mary Ellen Barrett
                                Supervisor of Instruction and Curriculum


Business #1 DABYCORN CITY’S ORNAMENTS
We are  a Christian and godly business environment.  When we make and sell our ornaments, we hope that you will use them for God’s glory.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son for whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!"

Business #2 SUPER CHEESY LEGO DABBERS
Our product is for people who like Legos.  We are selling Lego kits.  We are making Lego products because we want to share the strong foundation of the Lord through Legos.  Matthew 7:20 says,  "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock"

Business #3 DABBING DUDES SPINNERS
We are the Dabbing Dudes.  Our mission is to make spinning tops the best we can for the glory of God and the joy of children.

Business #4 DABBING JUPITER COMPANY
We want to glorify God by doing our best and selling our Hovercrafts to kids so their minds can soar with God’s creation “on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 41:3).  

PS. The K, 1st, 2nd, and 6th grade campus “consumers” enjoyed shopping at the Mini Market, and all the business “producers” completely sold out of their products!  The classroom societies are now in the process of conducting “exit” discussions and counting their money to determine if they made a profit.  Who knows what Christian entrepreneurs will emerge as a result of this exercise!?!  

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

Precious Little Ones (Continued)!

December 07, 2016
By John Morrison

Last week, I featured our preschool students and teacher, Mrs. Shelly Weeks.  Such a piece would certainly be incomplete without also focusing on our two pre-kindergarten classes.  Indeed, these early childhood programs are vital  building blocks in laying a solid foundation for our children in preparing them for our full day kindergarten and elementary school program!

As never before, we are finding that our little ones are so very responsive as we purposefully stimulate and help bring to greater maturity their developmental capacities.  This is often an issue not well understood by many parents.  Indeed, as we often hear, little Johnny is a very smart child who already knows his ABC’s and even can read at an early age.  

But can little Johnny stay on task, follow directions, relate well and cooperate with other students and his teacher through developing a greater appreciation for the preciousness of others?  Has he cultivated the fine motor skills necessary for writing and related activities?  This is why so much of what is done at this level of education is geared toward what we call “developmental activities.”  By this we simply mean “hands on,” where as much as possible the child is engaging all of his senses through the teacher’s guidance in discovering the reality of the world around him or her, all the while developing his capacity for learning.  And he is learning to do so in a structured environment while cooperating with others.  

In other words, the child’s development needs much guidance and directive input.  And, thankfully, Mrs. Joyce Card and Mrs. Lynn Bailey do a great job with this aspect of preparing these pre-k students for the next level of their schooling.

Of course, the teachers also try to make learning for the students as fun as possible!  And I think most would agree that they are quite successful, based on observing the bright-eyed, eager-beaver students under their care.

We deeply appreciate the great job being done by all of our early childhood teachers … Mrs. Card, Mrs. Bailey, and Mrs. Weeks!  Let’s continue praying for God’s rich blessing to remain upon them and each of these precious little ones!

Let me conclude with this humorous story.  Mrs. Card reports:

During Bible a few weeks ago we were learning about different parables in the Bible.  In this case we were discussing the “Parable of the Lost Coin.”  We were reviewing the story, and I asked, "How do you think the woman felt when she found her coin?" One of the students said, "Maybe she did the Hokey Pokey!!"

Don’t you love it!  This is one reason some of my best memories of teaching are related to working with this age group!

Our pre-kindergarten is designed for older four and younger five year olds.  The classes meet daily from 8:10 - 11:50 am and AfterSchool Care is available until 5:30 pm if needed.  Click here to learn more about our pre-kindergarten program.

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

 

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