Forest School Newsletter – November 2020
Earlier this month I had the delightful experience of exploring the depth and relevance of the word “perspective” with a class of fourth graders. We used a book written by Chris VanAllsburg to guide our discussion. If you’re familiar with Mr. VanAllsburg’s work you know that he not only writes children’s books, he illustrates them as well. Many of his illustrations tickle the imagination because the angle and “perspective” are unique and atypical. For example, a cup of coffee from a human’s perspective is seen as a bit of warmth and much-needed energy in the morning. But that same cup of coffee as seen from the perspective of “Two Bad Ants” who find themselves swirling about in the deep end of a morning cup of jo is quite a horrific experience. It’s all about perspective.
Our adult world has been saturated with varying perspectives these last few months and the tension therein seems to be mounting. As we approach a historic day next Tuesday, may I share a prayer as well as a reassurance with you? In John 17 we find the longest prayer written in the Bible. Jesus offers a prayer over his disciples and, more broadly, over His Church. His fervent prayer, being offered just before his arrest and crucifixion, is for unity. Unity for his beloved disciples as well as unity for his beloved Church. That includes you and me. That includes our children. It is in this unity, Jesus states, that His Church will bear witness to the glory of God to a watching world. “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” 17:23.
I don’t know the outcome of this historic election next week. We don’t even have assurances of when we’ll learn of the results. I do know that we have a myriad of varying life stories giving valid reasons for varied passions and perspectives. Our school theme this year is “woven together”. God weaves together our unique stories and varied perspectives into a people that, together, in unity, build a stronger Church to our watching world. Jesus calls us to link together in unity to bring glory to our great God, who is MUCH greater than our own individual perspective or singular storyline.
I don’t know the outcome of our election next week but I do want to reassure you of what your watching children will find when they come to school. Our children will find their loving teacher greeting them warmly as always with a peace-filled smile, with joy in seeing each child take up his or her place in the classroom, with enthusiasm in leading through the day’s learning experiences. We check our own storylines at the door and stand “woven together” in our calling. Why am I so assured of this? Because, as followers of Jesus, we know that our God reigns. We claim the truth that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Jesus calls us, His Church, to live in unity and this we can do. Our own perspectives are important. Each story is unique and beautiful. We can engage in robust, respectful conversations and discussion but, in the end, we stand together on the Word. We are unified. Our God reigns and is sovereign over all of the kingdoms of this world.
And so, people of the Living God, I urge you too to accept the blessing of Jesus’ prayer over his Church. Live in unity. Love one another. And face each new day in the knowledge that our God reigns.
Yours in Christ,
School Supplied Snacks
The USDA has created a federal program feeding all school children lunch, at no cost to families, during this pandemic. We have received notification that two SNACKS will now also be offered to all school children each day. Beginning November 7, you may choose to keep your snacks at home. We’ve got your child covered (and well fed!)
You don’t often think of learning God’s laws listed in Leviticus from first graders. Or of it being necessarily very exciting. But our Forest first graders will be preparing that very learning in preparation for a Thanksgiving celebration. Our students will design and create structures in the Forest to learn and teach about the Jewish Festival of Sukkot (pronounced sue-coat), as described in Leviticus 23. You may recognize it as the Feast of Booths, or Feast of Tabernacles, as it’s often called in the New Testament. It’s a seven or eight day festival that works like a week long Jewish Thanksgiving Day celebrated after their harvest, but it also commemorates God’s care while the Israelites traveled through the wilderness for 40 years. It was a time throughout the New Testament, and even into modern times, when the Jewish people acknowledge their complete dependence on God, a time when they remember first leaving Egypt and living in tents (or booths, tabernacles) for those 40 years in the desert, and recall God’s complete protection and provision for them.
As is customary, a week before their final feast, the first graders built and decorated their own sukkot, or “booths,” (sukkah is singular, sukkot is plural). Be sure to ask a first grader about their work this month!
Parent Teacher Conference – Thank You
We are thankful to have celebrated the gift of your child with you by plugging in together during conferences! We value your partnership and are pleased to spend time in prayer and conversation around the growth of your child. Thank you for taking the time to do so.
Please report to us if your child(ren) is going to be absent. This needs to be done each day they will not be in school. Also, we would appreciate it if they were reported in by 8:45 AM, but you can call and leave a message anytime before that time. If you do not call us, and if the child’s teacher does not know about the absence, we will try to call you. This policy is to protect your child; we want to ensure your child’s safe arrival at school.
Hot Lunch Menu
November’s month-long menu will be published next week. For November 2&3, the Forest School menu will be:
November 2 Hot Lunch
- Mixed up Pizza
- Pepperoni, ham, salami
- Mozzarella cheese stick
- Marinara sauce
- Naan bread
November 3 Hot Lunch
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Uncrustable
- Bug Bites crackers
- Apple Slices
- Carrot sticks
18 – Sukkot Celebration Chapel at 9:30
25 – Half-day
26-27 – Thanksgiving Break
/ Requested Announcements
Little Maroons Information
Ski Club Announcement
Bittersweet Ski Resort is once again offering discount cards for the season for $22. With the card, lift tickets are $22 instead of $45 and rentals are $22 instead of $32. Holland Christian will NOT be offering bus transportation this year and will Not have designated ski club dates due to COVID. We will, however, continue a Holland Christian Ski Club and offer to get the discount cards for you.
Please fill out the correct forms (adult or student) and return to any HC office with payment made payable to Bittersweet Ski Resort.
Student Ski Club cards offer the student discounted lift tickets and rentals after 3PM on all Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (including December 20, 2020 through January 3, 2021; January 18, 2021; February 15, 2021), and 10AM-10PM during the week. Two (2) class lessons are included with each card to encourage students to improve their skiing and snowboarding techniques. All students must be evaluated prior to entering more advanced areas. This policy is for the safety and enjoyment of all participants. The student’s ability will determine the area they will be allowed to use. Lessons are limited due to Covid 19 restrictions, so please contact Bittersweet Ski School for availability prior to arrival.
Questions? Contact David DeKruyter 616 834-1985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.