Celebrate1517: Sola Gratia – During the months of January and February, we will be focusing our attention on the third pillar of the Reformation: By Grace Alone. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Perhaps the most familiar cry of the Reformation is that we are saved by grace alone. Opposing the position that we are saved by grace and good works, the Reformers firmly stated that our salvation comes only by God’s grace. Consider the darkness of the human heart. If our salvation depended on the good we do, no one would be saved. Our very best works are “like filthy rags,” as we read in Isaiah 64:6. The Reformers found Paul’s words in Ephesians crystal clear: our salvation cannot be bought or earned by us; as a gift it comes by grace alone.
Grace means “free and unmerited favour.” Salvation is God’s gift to us. Anything we might try to do to earn it would be ridiculous, and completely unnecessary. You can’t earn a gift. As Frederick Buechner (an American theologian) put it, “Grace is something you can never get but you can only be given.” John Newton, who wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” was a former slave-trader whose life God turned around. He learned that his salvation could only come by God’s grace.
Where should this amazing grace put us? It should drive us to our knees in awe and praise that God loves us. It should shape our thoughts and actions as we strive to love the one who loved us first.
Greetings everyone and Happy New Year, under God’s blessing! Hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas Break whether you spent it at home or on vacation. May our Heavenly Father guide and bless the students, staff, parents, board, and committees throughout the Year of our Lord, 2018. We do not know what the new year will bring but as long as we put our hope and trust in our immutable God, we can move forward with whatever He puts on our path.
At Monday morning’s assembly Mrs. VanSydenborgh read from Hebrews 6:13-20. She then spoke to us about the immutable character of God, the fact that He never changes. Mrs. VanSydenborgh illustrated God’s immutability with examples from Scripture, i.e. stories about Abraham and Balaam, as well as the promises given in the Form for Baptism. 2018 is looking good because God keeps His Word at all times; even when it hurts and there are challenges. Remember that God kept His Word about allowing His Son to die on the cursed cross for our sins.
Our hope is in the Lord our God, our Anchor, who always does what He says He will do and who will always be there for us. We don’t hang on to ourselves but we hang on to the immutable, unchangeable Anchor. The assembly concluded with the singing of Psalm 93:4, “Your word stands firm, in your decrees we trust; your statutes are dependable and just…”; and Psalm 110:4, “…He gave his word and will not take it back.” We thank Mrs. VanSydenborgh for the encouraging assembly as we enter the calendar year, 2018.
A few items for your attention:
*On Monday, January 22, at 8:15 a.m. Mr. R. VanAndel, a vice-principal at Guido de Bres Christian high school will be speaking to the grade eight students about grade nine course selection and life at Guido. The students will need to fill in a course selection sheet as part of their grade nine registration.
*On Monday, January 29, Guido de Bres Christian high school will be hosting a parent information evening for parents with children in Grades 6-8. This meeting is especially helpful for parents whose oldest child will be entering Grade 9.
*End of term report cards are scheduled to come home on Friday, February 2nd with Parent-Teacher conferences for all parents to follow on Tuesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 8.
*This year’s JCS PTA annual meeting will once again be a combined effort with the Wednesday night Post-Confession group. Final details are still being worked out but a date has been selected. Please mark Wednesday, February 14 on your calendar for this meeting which will take place in the Smithville Canadian Reformed church.
Have a good weekend everyone, and a blessed Sunday. We’ll touch base again next week Friday, the Lord willing. G. Hofsink
Welcome 2018, and welcome back to Kindergarten! We trust that everyone had a refreshing Christmas Break. After a week of reviewing our letters and words, we look forward to learning the letter “Uu” next week. Our new sight word will be “to”, and our colour word will be “orange”. In Math, we are learning about spheres, cones, cubes, and cylinders. In our Bible stories, we have returned to Moses who will be leading God’s people out of Egypt on their way back to the Promised Land. In Social Studies, our theme is Winter! Our memory work due next week is Psalm 134:1.
A special thanks to the volunteers who have been giving us a hand in the classroom when we need extra help. Usually these are moms and grandmas, but we would also like to thank Camryn’s Dad for making a fantastic stepping bench for the boys’ bathroom. Now we can all reach the soap! At this moment of writing, we are still in need of a few more volunteers for next week. Please contact one of the teachers if you can help! NR & FVI
It has been a rather wet ending to the week with lots of wet socks, pants etc. We have a supply of socks in both classes which are disappearing rather quickly. If you happen to have a pair at home we ask that you send them back by Monday. Thanks! An extra set of socks in the school bag would be great as well. We will be finished our Science unit in the coming week and will wrap it up with a test. On Wednesday, students will be taking home their Bible notes to review for a test on Thursday. No new words have been put in the agendas this week. Instead, we will continue to review last week’s words as the students are not solid on them. Please continue to review them at home. Have a great weekend and a blessed Sunday! Til next week.
Memory Work for Friday, Jan. 19: Psalm 42: 1; Matt. 7:12
Spelling words: many, so, them, then, there
Happy New Year! Grade 2 had a great start to the 2018. Next week we are starting our first Church History unit. We will be learning about the worship service and how to prepare ourselves for worship each week. We are thinking of Simeon in Grade 2B as he had his tonsils removed this past week. We hope and pray the recovery goes well! We have begun assessing students’ knowledge of math facts. Please remind your child to practice their math facts. Even 5 minutes a day has great benefit. Have a great weekend! RG & JA
Spelling Words: with, pull, put, to, snap
Mem. Work: Psalm 90: 1
The LORD is immutable! He never changes, He is always with us. He promised this to us at our baptism. He gave this promise already in the times of the patriarchs. Thank you, Mrs. VanSydenborgh for telling us about this during Monday’s assembly. What a blessing to begin with His Holy Word and comfort in this new year! We have begun to take a look at Communion of Saints in our Church History unit. Christ is the head of the Church and we are the body; what a blessing to be part of this. In Science we may stand in awe of God’s order. Positive and negative charges were felt, we could see a balloon stuck to the board and learned about open and closed circuits. Ask us all about it. In due time we will have a test; check your child’s agenda. Spelling will be a review of all 14 words learned in December. We practised the 0-3 times tables this past week. Ask your child how he/she has done. And of course we hear and read about Mr. Popper’s penguins. Miss B. introduced us to the very exciting Barbara Reid art. We can’t wait to get started! It is so good to be back at John Calvin School. We wish you a blessed weekend. MP/JB
Memory work: Ps 135:2, 3; Text: Ps. 24:1-3
Spelling Review: anyone, can’t, don’t, everybody, everything, hidden, our, are, right, terrible, trouble, won’t, wouldn’t, write
What a great first week back!
Grade 4A: Social Studies test Wednesday January 17 (Lesson 1-7)
Grade 4B: Church History test on Albertus VanRaalte Tuesday January 16.
Social Studies test Wednesday January 17 (Lesson 1-7)
Spelling words: calf, pups, squirrel, dinosaur, colt, beaver, shark, visit, chipmunk, trout, quick, chicken, sheep, mare
Memory work: Hymn 6:1 (January 19) Psalm 3:2 (January 26) Isaiah 40:28-29 (January 19)
In Science we have started a new unit about investigating cells, and we were able to see some very interesting things in the microscopic world. We’ve also been working with Lego as part of a fun writing exercise. We will soon be starting a project in Art that requires corrugated cardboard. Parents, if you have some at home and can send it along with your child, we would really appreciate it! Have an enjoyable weekend and a blessed Sunday.
Memory Work: Ps. 109:1; Text John 15:5-8
Devotions: 5A – M. Aiden, Tu. Damon, W. Eli, Th. Erin, F. Noah
5B – M. Janaye, Tu. Jaxon, W. Kara, Th. Jonas, F. Ethan
This first week of the New Year flew by; we are certain that that was because of the fascinating programs we are doing. In language Arts we have started a novel study and you will probably have heard about Underground to Canada. The students are so enthusiastic about the topic that they want to watch the special documentary on the History Channel about the Underground Railroad, even during lunch recess. Every day they write an entry in their diary and imagine that they are the runaway slaves. We are so excited that it will tie in with the Black History Month of February. Teaching and learning become so much easier when the topics have the full attention and interest of the students. In Math we have started a unit about geometry which will last for 3 weeks. In Science our eyes are opened to the wonder of our immune system and soon we will enter the world of our brain, how it works and how it is the center of all our thinking and moving. We are having great times. The students have to be able to play Hymn 38 on the recorder and they have to learn stanza 3. Thank you all for being so supportive in sending your children to school wearing the right equipment for snow and rain and freezing temperatures.
It is great to be back at work…work that matters. Our training continued again this past week in Grade 7A. In History we learned about the War of the Austrian Succession/Seven Years War/French-Indian Wars. Even though England will win the war, it will cost them their Thirteen Colonies. We’ve been introduced to the particle theory, thermal energy and we’ll put it into practice by building a better energy barrier. Many students have confirmed their interview with their expert/professional and several interviews have taken place; next the recorded interview will be transcribed. If your child needs more time or help getting to an interview, please let me know. Enjoy your weekend.
It was good to get back into our regular routines again this week. In History we saw how Canada created a government system that represented the desires of the people but still stayed true to the British Monarchy. In Math we discussed the ‘Golden Ratio’ and Fibonacci’s Spiral; the students even taking the time to find examples of the ratio throughout the school. Finally, on Friday, we introduced our new PBL adventure for the remainder of the school year! Stay tuned. Have a blessed weekend. Cheers, Mr. J
The first school week of 2018 has flown by and we are well into the swing of things. It has been a week of adjustments and new starts in our classroom and we have experienced the blessing of the Lord. If you have any concerns or questions about what is going on at school, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have started our study of the Sermon on the Mount in Bible. Ask your child what it means to be a Kingdom citizen. In Math we are working with ratios, and in Science we are looking closer at Fantastic Fluids. Students have also determined whether they want to read a poem or present a speech at the upcoming Poetry Speech Contest at the end of the month. Topics are being selected and worked on all month in Language Arts. Welcome to Mrs. Bouwman this coming Monday who will be teaching us Art and Music. Have a blessed weekend! EH
© 2015 Canadian Reformed School Society of Smithville and Surrounding District