301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Banner

St. John's weekly newsletter to parents, faculty and staff

Banner #15; November 26, 2012

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 26 November 2012

St. John Lutheran School


Number 15

November 26, 2012

The Principal’s Pen

How much time do you and your family spend getting ready for things? You get dressed and eat breakfast to get ready for school or work. You clean and prepare food to get ready for guests. You pack your suitcases to get ready for vacation. You practice and rehearse to get ready for a game or dance recital. Each and every day we spend time doing things, and getting ready to do things.

The word ‘advent’ means a coming into place, being; an arrival. During these weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas we focus specifically on the coming of Christ. We prepare to celebrate Christmas in many ways: we shop, we bake cookies and other treats, we decorate our homes, we write and mail Christmas cards, and more! All of these activities are good for helping us prepare for Christmas.

But celebrating Jesus’ birth is much more than just presents, cookies, decorations, and Christmas cards. How can we prepare for the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus coming to live with us and in us? Here are 4 easy ways for your family:

Advent calendar: These calendars usually include a ‘window’ that opens to reveal a Bible verse or picture connected with the Christmas story. Opening the windows in the calendar is an easy and fun way for the kids to be involved.

The Christmas story: One of the simplest ways to focus our attention on Christmas is to read the Bible accounts. Luke 2 is the most commonly read account, but you can also find the story in Matthew.

Advent services: These mid-week services help remind us that Christmas is all about Jesus (see the article in this Banner about Advent services at St. John). For 45 minutes you can block out the busy-ness of the week and focus on Jesus’ birth. (continued next page)

Christmas books: Many Christmas books have been written and are a great way to share some special family time. Check the library for these possibilities: Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, and The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg.

However you choose to prepare, I pray that over the next few weeks you will be able to connect with your family in preparing for Jesus’ birth and the true meaning of Christmas!

Seeking to reach all with Christ, St. John Lutheran School partners with families to provide a Christ-centered education which nurtures faith in Christ,

promotes discipleship, develops God-given abilities and skills,

and encourages academic excellence.

Elementary Spell Bowl Team Triumphs!!!

On Thursday, November 15, several of our students in fourth and fifth grades participated in the Hoosier Spell Bowl sponsored by the Indiana Academic Competitions for Excellence. Eleven students from our school were on the Spell Bowl team, which was led by Summer Moser. St. John finished first in its size division and first of all the teams competing at West Noble Middle School.

Spell Bowl team members are:

Fifth grade – Haley Bloom, Leah Kline, Andrew Schroeder,

Emma Schroeder

Fourth grade – Hanneliese Brandgard, Gavin Burtch, Aliyah

Jimenez, William Kirby, Marcy Treesh, Caleb

Walz, Joshua Walz

A big THANK YOU to Mrs. Summer Moser for coaching the Spell Bowl team this year! She has done an outstanding job in making this a fun, learning experience for the children! Thanks, too, to Debbie Hayden for serving as proctor. Congratulations, spellers!

Principal’s Coffee and Chat

Please join Principal Walz at Joana’s Delicious Treats this Wednesday night, Nov. 28, from 6:30-7:30 P.M., for the 3rd Coffee and Chat session. These informal sessions allow for the open communication of ideas between the principal and parents. We hope to see you there!

Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas. There is no better way as a family to prepare than to spend time in worship on Thursday nights along with your school family as the children lead the Advent worship services here at St. John. This Thursday, Nov. 29, our 6th-8th grade students will lead the worship service. The service begins at 7:00 in the Worship Center. You can also enjoy a light supper starting at 5:30. The 3rd-5th grade classes will lead the service on Dec. 6 and the Preschool-2nd grade will lead the Dec. 13 service. We hope your family will take the opportunity to prepare for Christ’s birth by participating in these worship services!

Menu listed on page 7 of this Banner!


Remember that we have a Suggestion/Question box in the lobby area (with the soup label, Box Tops, pop tab and ink cartridge drop off boxes). Your feedback is welcome!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who made this year’s collection of shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse such a success!

I’ve been chairperson here at St. John for a few years now, but this was our first undertaking as a Relay Center and it was a great deal of fun! I don’t know who was more blessed – the kids that will receive the boxes, or me!

I challenged the congregation and school to fill 200 boxes and our final tally was 206!! THANK YOU! Our Relay Collection Center took in a grand total of 1,136 boxes! That’s 1,136 children who will “meet” Jesus through your gracious, generous gift!

There are many hands which made this project work. They are as follows:

• Relay Volunteers – Laura Pepple, Cheryl Young, Mary Getts, Ruth Kaiser, Belinda Corps, Joana Goddard, Sue Kratzman, Sean Walker, Katie Robbins, Jon Zinnel, Beth Zinnel, Jenna Anderson, Stacy Undeen, Sarah Burtch, Gavin Burtch, and Amy Buuck

• Those who loaded the trailer – Nick Hayden, Melissa Monn, the Youth Group, and the Seventh and Eighth grade students

• Joe Taylor – who donated his trailer for use and then drove it to the drop-off site in Ft. Wayne

• Those of you who donated a box!

I hope this year’s effort has generated enough excitement that at least some of you will consider collecting shoebox items throughout the coming year. I will attempt to do a better job of printing reminders to do just that!

Please pray for the children receiving boxes, that God will use that little gesture to touch a heart and save a life!

Cathy Thiem, Relay Center Coordinator

SHINE Students of the Week

Congratulations to the following students for being recognized as a SHINE student: Cole Christian, LAine Anderson, Jakob Copas, Katie Walker, Sahil Patel, Isaiah Alwine, Libby Goldey, Bethany Murphy, Grant Schermerhorn, and Rhett Norris.

We give thanks to God for these students who let their light shine before others.

These school families, prayed for next week:

Randy and Connie Kerrigan; Shawn and Chasity Kilburn,

Ben and Kerri Kirby; and Randy and Jenny Kline

All library books should be returned to the library

by Thursday, December 13.

Christmas is just around the corner…

Classroom Christmas Gifts

This year students in grades 1-8 will not exchange gifts between students at their classroom Christmas parties. Instead, some grades recently collected items to fill shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child”. Those boxes, filled with toys, candy, and school supplies are sent to needy children all over the world and are often times the first gifts those children have ever received!

Please watch for letters from your child’s teacher regarding the projects that will be undertaken by the classroom for Christmas in lieu of the gift exchange.

Students in preschool and kindergarten will continue the tradition of purchasing a gift in the $4.00-$5.00 range to exchange with classmates. Girls will buy a gift for a girl, boys will buy for boys. Again, please watch your child’s class letter for details.

Christmas Gift Collection

While the holidays can be an especially joyous time for most of us, it can be a time of sadness for a child of a needy family. To help in this cause, we will be taking a gift collection to be given to needy children of our school and congregation. This is strictly a voluntary donation.

Just after Thanksgiving, we will place ornaments on a Christmas tree in our school. Each ornament will have written on it either the name of a specific toy or a suggested type of gift certificate for clothing which would be enjoyed by one of our families. (We have switched to gift certificates for clothing rather than the purchase of actual clothing.)

If the item to be purchased is a toy, purchase the toy, wrap the gift, then tape the ornament on the front of the package. If you choose to purchase a gift certificate, simply place the certificate inside the envelope you take from the tree and return it to the school office. We will see that it gets to the family for whom it was intended.

Women of St. John Winter Festival

THIS Saturday, December 8 - 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Plan to attend the annual Festival organized by the women of our congregation. There will be lots of gently-used toys, crafts, a giant white elephant table, baked goods, and a delicious luncheon. The Women of St. John purchase the Bibles for our fourth graders each year, so your support of their event is very much appreciated!

World-Wide Day of Remembrance

Sunday, December 9, is the world-wide day of remembrance of children who have died. All across the world at 7:00 p.m. in respective time zones, candles will be lit in honor of these children. As most of you know, I lost my only son, Christopher, in a car accident in January of 2004. I know there are others among us who also have suffered the loss of a child, or at least know of someone who has.

We would like to print a listing in the Banner of all the children associated with our school families who have died. Please give those names to me by Friday, November 30. Names will be listed in the December 3rd Banner.

Cathy Thiem

Thursday, November 29 - 5:30 – 6:30

This week’s Menu:

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Grilled Cheese or Peanut/Butter/Jelly Sandwich



Free-will offering proceeds to benefit Washing D.C. trip or St. John Youth Group.

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All rights reserved.

St. John Lutheran Church
301 South Oak St.
Kendallville, IN 46755
(260) 347-2444