RP 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.

***  ***  ***

A principios de este mes tuve la maravillosa experiencia de explorar la profundidad y relevancia de la palabra “perspectiva” con una clase de estudiantes de cuarto grado. Usamos un libro escrito por Chris VanAllsburg para guiar nuestra discusión. Si está familiarizado con el Sr. VanAllsburg, sabrá que no solo escribe libros para niños, sino que también los ilustra. Muchas de sus ilustraciones hacen cosquillas a la imaginación porque el ángulo y la “perspectiva” son únicos y atípicos. Por ejemplo, una taza de café desde la perspectiva de un ser humano se ve como un poco de calor y energía muy necesaria por la mañana. Pero esa misma taza de café vista desde la perspectiva de “Dos hormigas malas” que se encuentran dando vueltas en el fondo de una taza de café matutino es una experiencia bastante horrible. Se trata de perspectiva.

Nuestro mundo adulto ha estado saturado de diferentes perspectivas estos últimos meses y la tensión en él parece estar aumentando. Al acercarnos a un día histórico mañana, ¿puedo compartir una oración y un consuelo con ustedes? En Juan 17 encontramos la oración más larga escrita en la Biblia. Jesús ofrece una oración por sus discípulos y, más ampliamente, por su Iglesia. Su ferviente oración, ofrecida justo antes de su arresto y crucifixión, es por la unidad. Unidad para sus amados discípulos y unidad para su amada Iglesia. Eso nos incluye a ti y a mí. Eso incluye a nuestros hijos. Es en esta unidad, dice Jesús, que Su Iglesia dará testimonio de la gloria de Dios a un mundo que mira. “Que sean llevados a la unidad completa para que el mundo sepa que tú me enviaste y los has amado como me has amado a mí”. 17:23.

No sé el resultado de esta elección de mañana. Ni siquiera tenemos garantías de cuándo sabremos los resultados. Sé que tenemos una gran variedad de historias de vida que dan razones válidas para diferentes pasiones y perspectivas. El tema de nuestra escuela este año es “entrelazados”. Dios entrelaza nuestras historias únicas y perspectivas variadas en un pueblo que, juntos, en unidad, construyen una Iglesia más fuerte para nuestro mundo que nos mira. Jesús nos llama a unirnos en unidad para traer gloria a nuestro gran Dios, que es MUCHO más grande que nuestra propia perspectiva individual o historia singular.

Yours in Christ,

Miska (and a BIG shout out to Dinah for all of the translating! Thank you, friend!)


/ Announcements

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)!

Virtual Parent Teacher Conference – Thank You

We are thankful to have celebrated the gift of your child with you by plugging in together with remote 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.

Christ’s Birth for ALL

Jesus came into this world for ALL of God’s people, all around the world. Our children get pretty excited to celebrate the birth of our King in the upcoming weeks and months with familiar traditions and customs in the United States. We want our students to understand with their eyes, ears, hands and hearts that Jesus entered this world for the salvation of ALL children throughout our world. We are going to spend weeks learning how children throughout our world celebrate Jesus’ birthday with special traditions and celebrations that are unique and special. In the month of November and December, our children will be transforming Rose Park into a grand ‘Christ’s Birthday’, celebrated around the world, study. Ask your child to share with you all he/she learns about the traditions and customs he/she becomes an expert in. Once each classroom’s hallway space is transformed with representations of beautiful representations of other country’s birthday celebrations, our children will tour and learn during a walking tour of every nook and cranny of our building! We’ll be sure to send you plenty of pictures so you can share in the birth of Christ celebrated all around the world!

Student Absences

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

The month-long November lunch menu will be posted next week. For November 2 & 3, the PR/SS/RP menu will be:

Monday Nov 2 Hot Lunch

  • French Toast Sticks
  • Strawberry Cup
  • Sausage link
  • Mango Wango Juice

Tuesday Nov 3 Hot Lunch

  • Bosco Breadsticks w/marinara
  • Peach cup
  • Garden salad w/ranch dressing

/ Calendar

View the full Holland Christian Calendar.


25: Half-day
26-27: Thanksgiving Break

/ Requested Announcements

Little Maroons Information

Please see the Little Maroons Flyer for information on K-6th Basketball options. Sign up early for the best pricing. Thanks.

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 ddekruyter@gmail.com.