I have previously shared that our school has implemented a new, biblical-based, friendship curriculum this year. The theme for this month is “love at all times,” which is rooted in 1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show truth by our actions.” This theme blends so beautifully with the feast of Christ the King, that we celebrate this weekend.
Reflecting on this feast, Pope Benedict XVI said: “If we put into practice our love for our neighbor, according to the Gospel message, we then pave the way for the lordship of God, and his kingdom is realized by means of us.” At school, we are working hard every day to help kids learn that love is not just a feeling, but it is an action. Whether it is our friendships, our coworking relationships, or our family relationships, love is in action.
God calls us to love at all times. We know and believe that, and we can only instill that in our children and in our community by working together. Through mutual support, we can create a culture here at St. John the Baptist that seeks to bring about the Kingdom of God and not just to prepare a feast of Thanksgiving this week, but rather to join him at his banquet, one day in heaven.
Lord, I invite You, today, to come reign in my heart. I give You complete control of my life. You are my Lord and my King. I love You and want to live in accord with Your perfect and holy will. Jesus, I trust in You.
GRACE CALENDAR RAFFLE – WIN CASH ALL YEAR IN 2021!!
I share this with a tinge of embarrassment, but I’ve been rewatching (yes, a second time) Downton Abbey with Laura. We are in the early seasons set during World War I. It has caused me to reflect on suffering and sacrifice a great deal. These extremely young men go off into arguably the bloodiest war we have seen in the modern era. And yet, for many of the soldiers we get to know, the biggest battle they face is their internal struggle. Downton becomes a hospital of sorts for the wounded, and we observe the family battle their own internal wounds and fears as the soldiers suffer from their war wounds. Interestingly, and most profoundly, this external suffering provokes deep reflection for each of the family members on their own anxieties, hurts, and anger. Which battle is greater? This battle in the heart and internal pain, or the battles in the trenches?
During this time of pandemic, we have a medical battle going on. Likewise, we have this medical crisis evoking issues of mental health, insecurities, and well-founded anxieties. In a conversation with a children’s psychologist, I had last week, the doctor shared with me that she has never seen so much suffering and that this time is rousing unprecedented responses in children and families. All of this amidst deeply political and scientific questions of what the right way to respond might be.
As Downton Abbey concludes, we see real-life unfold. Real external and internal pain resolves but never completely goes away. Questions of self-worth and true happiness are tempered but are not resolved. In some ways, it is this pain, and this drama that brings life meaning. This struggle to be at peace with oneself despite the melodrama of the heart is at the very center truth of life. This moment we are in now is no different.
The episode I watched last night ended with Anna and Mr. Bates, amidst some drama the likes of day-time television, kneeling to pray. And although there was no end in sight and a certainty of more pain to come, they knelt in prayer. No words were shared, but rather stillness. I pray each of us finds this same stillness and peace amidst the turmoil of 2020.
Thank you for supporting our annual auction. We had great engagement during our three-hour live stream and strong financial support the evening of the auction. Your participation and your sharing of the event have done so much to support our school. If you did not win the item you were hoping for and still wish to make a gift to our school, you are invited to call the office or to send in a financial gift to support us.
Thank you in particular to our auction chairs, Jenn Warpinski and Colleen Van Egeren. Thank you to the families that helped pull off the virtual event: Guzowski family, Chrudimsky family, Schroeder family, Tooley family, Williams family, and Rob Sobieck. And finally, a shout out to Fr. Jim for revving up his motorcycle the night of and for leading us in prayer.
We are very proud of our new efforts to help build strong friendships and to support mental health. This year we added Ms. Cheslock, a 50% FTE counselor, to our staff. We are also proud to be implementing Friendzy, a new friendship curriculum rooted in biblical values. Please take some time each month to read about the Friendzy theme of the month. A parent letter is located further down in this newsletter. In it, you will find ways you can support this theme at home.
Principal’s Blog: Support our Auction and Javelins Return
Support our Auction
I humbly ask each of you to support our auction. Your support of the auction helps us to provide financial aid to students, to update curriculum and technology, and to provide the best for our students.
The entire event is online this year. Bidding on all items is open right now, and the first section of auction baskets closes on Friday at 6:45 p.m. You can help us by inviting your friends and family to visit sjbauction.com or by bidding on items yourself. As we could not hold our annual auction last school year, we are hoping that the auction is a huge success this year.
We have had a wonderful week back at school. The last four days have been remarkably uneventful and smooth. Thank you to our parents and teachers for their hard work ensuring protocols and health practices are followed. 99% of our student body returned to face to face instruction, affirming our community’s desire to return. The staff and I will continue to work our hardest to ensure that as many students come to school for as many days as possible.
Please be vigilant about taking your child’s temperature in the morning and accurately filling out the screener slip. Now that colder weather is here, the accuracy of our infrared thermometers at the door has dramatically decreased. Thank you for your support and cooperation.