Welcome to the New 2018 School Year

By: Michael C. Smith, Ed.D.

“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” These words from Revelation 21:5 are our verse for the year. As I told various members of our community about our selection, the typical response was, “I don’t think we ever had a verse from Revelation before.”

Well, there you go – already something “new.”

As school begins again, we are very conscious of all things new. There are the usual things – new supplies, maybe some new clothes, a new grade level, and most importantly, new families.

But this year, we have much, much more: over 10 new staff members, and many who have shifted into new roles; a new Pre-Kindergarten class; a new secondary music room; a new administrative structure with a team of directors overseeing our programs; and I hear there’s even a new Head of School.

New can be exciting!

It can also be a little scary or painful.

Sometimes, we prefer the comfort of what we know. Sometimes, the old ways seem like the best. And, when our friends and colleagues move on to something new, we miss them.

It’s important to note that when Christ says, “I am making all things new” in Revelation, that is not so much an act of original creation as it is a renewal of creation, including us. We are participants in this work, as our own mission says, “living as dynamic and transforming influences to God’s glory.”

Renewal is not a process where we just start over and forget the past. We start with what we already have, just as Christ does with us. This year, we will not abandon our mission for something new. We will renew our commitment to our mission with two major initiatives.

First, we have begun a collective process to pursue clarity of our vision and values. Our staff spent some time on this work last week. We will continue the process with the board and our entire community throughout the year. Our goal is to have a compelling vision statement and a well-defined statement of our core values that flow from our mission.

Second, we will pursue the very practical goals of our business plan. This plan has been a work in progress with our entire community for the past several months. The overarching goal is to achieve long term financial sustainability that will renew the mission of the past 66 years for the many years to come.

We invite every member of our community to join us in these initiatives. To that end, we will have an all community meeting on September 17. We will send more details soon.

We welcome the new school year. And we look forward to walking side by side with you and with Christ in this journey of renewal.

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