Yay Summer!

Yes, I am very willing to exclaim, “Yay Summer!” with the same enthusiasm normally reserved for “Yay School!” However, I do want to note that I am willing to do so as, in the world of education, the two are not mutually exclusive.

I am looking forward to summer! I look forward to the change of pace that summer provides with fewer activities on my calendar. I look forward to some rest and refreshment. I am definitely looking forward to extended time with family and friends. I even look forward to working through my stack of books that seems to grow during the school year rather than shrink. But, it should be noted that I look forward to these so that I will be refreshed and renewed when the fall rolls around and I get to serve as Head of School at Westminster Catawba Christian School.

This month marks the end of my third year at WCCS. I consider it a great privilege to serve here – and am finally to the point where I no longer introduce myself as the “new” Head of School.   The “honeymoon” stage has passed. I am home here! This also means that it is time to focus our energies on looking ahead and growing OUR school into one that really does educate students to bless our world as disciples of Christ! We have made some progress, but there is much work to be done, even this summer.

During these upcoming summer weeks, we will spend a great deal of time in preparation for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. We will be moving quite a few offices in the Upper School to increase the availability of our administrators in both middle and high school. We will be doing some re-organizing on the Lower School campus as well, looking to maximize space in early childhood and grow our people and programs in elementary school. We will be updating policies, particularly with regards to the safety, security and well-being of our students. And, we will be working to establish relationships with local ministries in the hopes that our students are able to start blessing the world as disciples of Christ right away. It is my fervent prayer that WCCS will continue to pursue the excellent Christian education worthy of the name of Christ.

Another change we are making is to this blog. If you do some digging in it, you will notice that this blog was established in the months before I began my formal service at WCCS – with the express purpose of introducing me to you, allowing you to “kick the tires” as you read my thoughts regarding a variety of topics. However, WCCS is so much more than me and my perspective. Therefore, beginning later this summer, we will be adjusting our blog to allow for a variety of writers to give those who read a much broader perspective of WCCS. I can’t wait to have teachers, staff members, students, coaches, and parents join me in writing on occasion. And, I believe that this will allow our readers to know more about WCCS, and, hopefully, more about the God that we serve here.

Yes, I am looking forward to summer. But, I am more excited about the fall! For now, I think “YAY SUMMER” will suffice!

Sharing HOPE with children…

There are several places in the Scriptures where Jesus looked out upon crowds of people and He “had compassion on them.”  Matthew 9:35-38 tells the story where Jesus was traveling, teaching, preaching, and healing.  Right in the middle of several miraculous stories, Matthew pauses and noted this compassion for those who were helpless like a sheep without a shepherd.  Jesus then turned to his disciples and told them about a plentiful harvest with few workers and encouraged them to pray that God would send workers into his harvest field.  There are so many lessons in this wonderful passage about missions, serving God, and our need for the Shepherd Jesus Christ.  However, as I have considered this passage recently, I am most convicted by the “compassion” that Jesus had as He looked around.

I have searched the headlines of various newspapers as well as my social media feeds and I see LOTS of stories about people who are noticing those around them.  However, there seems to be more condemnation than compassion; more condescension than concern.  And then, even when we do feel and express compassion, it often stops short of actually entering into the actual harvest field. That’s why I get so excited when opportunities arise for us to look, to have compassion, and then to enter the harvest field.  This happens when WCCS sends groups to the Dominican Republic each summer.  It happens on our senior trips.  It happens when classes adopt local projects and ministries and act on what they see.  It even happens when individuals see someone hurting and pursue them compassionately.

Throughout the 2016-17 school year, Westminster Catawba Christian School has been partnering with Samaritan’s Feet in their pursuit to put new shoes on children who have none or for whom this would be a rare occurrence.   Just this year, we have counted our steps (lower school), held a shoe drive (middle school) and badminton tournament (high school), and hosted a spirit night (whole school) to raise awareness and funds for Samaritan’s Feet.  And, during the month of March, our Athletic Department is looking to continue raising funds to support this effort during our home games.  From the beginning, we have sought to look around, to have compassion on those who would be most blessed by the ministry of Samaritan’s Feet, and to be praying that God would send workers into the harvest.  God has answered those prayers by giving WCCS the opportunity to HOST a Samaritan’s Feet Shoe Distribution at the CARE CENTER, a ministry of the Westminster Presbyterian Church Deacons.

On Saturday morning, March 25th, we will provide shoes to 100 elementary, middle, and high school children in the Catawba Terrace Neighborhood.  WCCS has been asked to provide between 15 and 20 volunteers who will spend time with each shoe recipient by washing his or her feet, placing a new pair of athletic shoes and socks on them, and encouraging them.  What a great way for us to serve as workers in the harvest field – sharing hope with children in need!!!

For those interested in volunteering, please sign up using this Sign-Up Genius link:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D48AEAE22A4FE3-wccs. 

For ALL of us, my prayer is that we would do as Jesus did – look out, have compassion, and pray for workers to enter the fields of harvest, even going out into the fields ourselves when called!