Religious Education Newsletter – Week of March 6, 2016
FROM MR. GALE
OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW. There are so many opportunities for us to grow in our Faith and go DEEP. Daily Mass. Stations of the Cross and Alpha during the Fridays of Lent. Weekly Bible studies, Formation Groups, and other parish gatherings. Rosaries, adoration, Catholicism 101 sessions, and TONS of free media on the FORMED website. Did you know several of our parents stay during Religious Education while the kids are in class? Mr. Lucas Sponsler has agreed to lead that group for the remainder of this year, as the adults look into seven letters Jesus sent to seven Churches (from the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation). Also we have an amazing event this Friday (March 4) at St. John; check out http://www.stjohnjackson.org/2016/come-let-us-adore/.
What I’m getting at is that we all need to engage our Faith. The tendency is to drift in our spiritual lives if we are not intentional. Drifting will take us further and further away from the Truth and Holiness of God. Don’t drift. Paddle madly. Or start the ignition on your motor. Or if you don’t have the inner strength yet, hitch up to a tug boat!
TESTS AND EVALUATIONS. Last week I reported that the students scored 47% on average on the pre-test for Religious Education and then 75% on the post-test! A 28% increase. My favorite response: When asked what do we say at Mass when the Lector says “The Word of the Lord,” after the first and second reading; three students wrote: “Thanks Speedy God!” (Ha! That should be “Thanks BE to God!”) I have received more than two dozen evaluations back from parents (thank you!!) that were all positive. Most said the Religious Education program is “Warm and Welcoming” and “Fun, light, happy.” All but one evaluation said that the classroom catechist is “Very Professional” or “Well-trained” or “Sincere About Faith.” I also have started doing classroom observations, and have been utterly delighted with our catechists—we have a dynamic team of volunteer teachers—and with the students. Each class so far has been behaved, engaged, and participatory. I am so, so proud of everyone involved!!
UP-COMING DATES AND EVENTS
Remember: NO CLASS
NO CLASS Easter Sunday March 27 and the following week, the start of Spring break April 3!
LAST CLASS April 24!
SNACK SCHEDULE 2016
3/6 WE provide 3/13 A-D 3/20 E-H 3/22 – I-M 4/10 N-R 4/17 S-Z 4/24 WE provide
SACRAMENTAL DATES FOR 2ND GRADERS
First Eucharist for 2nd Graders and for the RCIA students:
Retreat Date: Sunday, March 13 from 2:00-4:00. St. John Parish Center. 2nd Graders and RCIA students DO NOT have to attend Religious Ed class next week, March 13!
8th Grade REGIONAL CONFIRMATION RETREAT
Saturday and Sunday April 16 & 17 at FaHoLo in Grass Lake. Details coming soon!
A LITTLE SPIRITUAL BOOST…
During Lent I want to spend a few weeks digging into a short section of Scripture from the Gospel of John. Let’s look at the SEVEN QUESTIONS Pontius Pilate poses to Jesus during the trial in John 19 & 20.
LENTEN QUESTIONS: # 3 Then, you are a king? Just in case Pilate didn’t hear Jesus the first time… and just in case we don’t get it… we ask it again. Is Jesus king over YOUR life? Jesus needs to be Lord over everything in our lives. He is not just one of many programs running on my life’s computer; he is the operating system! He is not just one of several cards I shuffle in my deck of life; his image is stamped on every card!
Jesus gave his ALL to us, as his sheep. Our response cannot be just a little in return. And what is so amazing about King Jesus, is that somehow when we take on his yoke and we give him our time and treasures and our very selves… somehow, just as he multiplied bread, he multiplies our time and our treasures and the essence of our selves. He makes us MORE than we were before, his grace perfects our nature.
When we invite the King into our lives and give him the throne, he is eager to come to us JUST AS WE ARE. He loves us and wants to shepherd us RIGHT NOW. But once we let him in, he’s going to go to work. He’s not going to LEAVE US the way we are right now. He wants to perform a supernatural work in our lives, if we only allow him.
Is Jesus YOUR King? Invite him into your life, clear off some space on your throne, and allow the Good Shepherd to pastor you.