Religious Education Newsletter – Week of February 28, 2016
FROM MR. GALE
Over the next few weeks, I have several schedule conflicts because of RCIA and sacramental retreats. We have asked Ann Marie Raehtz to help coordinate our Sunday mornings; Ann Marie will help with dismissals, closing up, locking up and on two days opening up the building for us. I will be sure to introduce her to the students and parents this weekend so folks know who she is! Thanks so, so much Ann Marie!
We have compiled the mid-term test results from the students; at the beginning of the year we did a pre-test to see if they knew some of the standard prayers, mass responses and general “facts” of our religious beliefs and then we compared those results to a mid-year post-test. At the start of the year, the students overall scored 47% on the pre-test and then 75% on the post-test! A 28% increase. My goal is to have that original score doubled by year end: I’d like to see 94%! I’ll keep you posted.
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
We will provide most snacks, but would love to have you help on a rotation if you are able. If in any way this is a financial hardship, please don’t feel obligated to participate! When you are scheduled for snack, please bring enough for approximately 12-18 people to the hallway outside the Gathering Room (103 in the South Hall). Remember, this is a light SNACK not a MEAL! The teachers and most of the other parents would appreciate LESS SUGAR if at all possible. Things like granola bars, breakfast bars, graham crackers, cheesy crackers, fruit snacks, fresh fruit, fish crackers, applesauce, raisins, fruit muffins, peanut butter and crackers…
On the date below, if your LAST NAME begins with the letters, please bring snack! You are only on the rotation THREE TIMES for the whole year!
2/28 WE provide 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:
Retreat Date: Sunday, March 13 from 2:00-4:00. St. John Parish Center.
First Eucharist Practice: Thursday evening April 28, 6:30
Celebration of the Sacrament: Your choice between Saturday, April 30, 4:00 at St. Joseph or Sunday, May 1, 2:00 at St. John
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. I’m behind a week or so!! We’ll have more than one this week…
LENTEN QUESTIONS: # 1 ARE YOU THE KING OF THE JEWS?
Jesus never acted like a warrior-king. The Jewish leaders knew the only way to get a death sentence from the Roman civil authorities was to make Jesus out to be a revolutionary, a threat to Caesar. They accused him of trying to undermine Roman rule. So Pilate, upon seeing this broken and bruised little man with no standing army, and apparently no wealth or power, asks the obvious: “Are you the king?”
We ask Jesus this same question. Jesus, are you king? Are you the king of the Jews? Are you OUR king?
In Scripture, especially after the time of King David and the Psalms, kingship is often symbolized by shepherds. The Greek word for shepherd actually is pastor. Shepherds pastor their flocks of sheep the way a king is SUPPOSED TO pastor his people. The imagery is rich. The kings of Israel were not meant to be power-mongers who cheated the citizens of their property through heavy taxes or enslaved them for military campaigns or forced them to labor for the king’s personal projects. The rest of the world had kings like that; kings that were separated from their people. Israel’s leaders were supposed to be more like shepherds. Shepherds walk among their sheep. A good shepherd smells like his sheep. He is with the sheep all the time. They lead from within the flock, not pushing or shooing from the back; not arrogantly stepping out in the lead. The sheep have an uncanny ability to recognize the voice of their own shepherd and build trusting relationships with their shepherds. Shepherds are good to their sheep. Sheep trust and rely on their shepherds.
This is the kind of king God wants for His people. Is King Jesus the king over you life?
LENTEN QUESTIONS: # 2 WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
The nation of Israel and the chief priests handed Jesus over to Pilate, and Pilate could see the accusations were nothing more than trumped up charges. This whole thing didn’t make sense to him. So he asked Jesus: What have you done?
From the point-of-of view of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, Jesus was a rebellious trouble-maker. He performed miraculous signs; he blasted the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes with sarcasm, wit and harsh words; he attacked their temple marketplace; he forgave sins; and he was winning whole crowds over to his way of thinking. The Jewish leaders did not like this guy at all.
What have you done? Indeed. He taught and he healed and he forgave and he loved and he demonstrated holiness and he dignified everyone and he pointed to the Father and he gave us a glimpse of heaven on earth. It wasn’t enough for God to just get involved. God the Son became one of us. He put on human trappings and humbled himself to walk in our lies and our lust and our lack. He looked us in the eye, he befriended us, touched us. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to just be our friend and teach and heal and role model. He took away our sin by taking all the sin of the world into his real flesh and blood body. He then took that sin and wrestled it to hell. It was a battle that cost him everything. He became our sin, and sin is death; so he died. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to die in our place for the sin that WE commit. He then rose from the dead, perfecting the body as well as the soul. And he offers that resurrection to US right alongside the death to sin.
What have you done? Indeed. Be overwhelmed, be totally overwhelmed by what He has done.