Lutheran schools are the second-greatest investment that we have for passing on the Christian faith to our children and young adults. LCMS churches are our first investment for helping us accomplish this task for children, young adults and adults.
The teaching of the Christian faith—Christian pedagogy— separates our Christian classrooms from other private and public classrooms. Christian teachers in our Lutheran schools not only invest considerable time in lesson preparation, but also intentionally look for moments throughout the day when they can share their faith and direct their students back to the cross of Jesus.
I have often written that Lutheran schools are the congregation’s porch to their community. Christian teachers in our Lutheran schools seek opportunities for students to participate in a variety of service projects and activities that engage congregation members and communities at large.
The theme for NLSW 2018 (January 21-27) is “It’s Still All About Jesus,” taken from Hebrews 13:8. Lutheran schools throughout the Indiana District involve their students in a number of activities before, during and long after National Lutheran Schools Week. Following are some examples of what our schools have done or are doing.
- Ascension, Fort Wayne – Students had a “penny war” for hurricane relief. Students raised $900 for volunteers to purchase and distribute supplies for those in need in small towns around Corpus Christi, Texas.
- St. Peter-Immanuel, Decatur – Students participated in Operation Christmas Child and put together boxes of goods for children. The school also collected items for Hurricane Harvey relief.
- Trinity, Crown Point – The church will send a team of congregation members to Guatemala this month. Students are gathering items for the trip. An eighth-grade student is participating in the trip.
- Indianapolis Lutheran High School / Concordia Lutheran High School, Fort Wayne / Trinity Lutheran High School, Seymour – Students in all three schools are helping families affected by Hurricane Harvey by purchasing gift cards or collecting needed items. In addition, students at Indianapolis Lutheran High School participated in “Changing Footprints,” a service project that involved students donating shoes for families in need. Students at Concordia participated in the Allen County Christmas Bureau’s Adopt-A-Family program. Students purchased and wrapped gifts and provided Christmas meals. Students at Trinity have designated their chapel offerings and collected items for families in Puerto Rico. Three students from Puerto Rico currently attend Trinity.
- Holy Cross, Indianapolis – Students are collecting and sending their chapel offerings to Lutheran South Academy in Houston, which was impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
- White Creek, Columbus – Kindergarten and second-grade teachers and students facilitated and hosted a luncheon for parents, grandparents and other family members. Junior high students performed a reenactment of the Reformation, wearing costumes representing key figures. Student narrators explained the significance of the Reformation.
- Ascension Lutheran Christian School, Gary – Faculty members are reaching out to the community by facilitating and hosting events for parents.
- Lutheran South Unity School, Fort Wayne – Faculty and students hosted Rep. Bob Behning. Student ambassadors led him on a tour of the school. Behning spoke with students and parents, and he was greeted in each classroom by room hosts.
- Wyneken Memorial, Decatur – Faculty and students have taken part in several activities, including writing and delivering Honor Flight letters, presenting a school musical on the Reformation and life of Martin Luther, titled “Echoes of the Hammer,” collecting chapel offerings for Pack Away Hunger, and hosting a “Bible Truths” night during which students creatively presented the truths of Scripture.
- St. Peter’s, Columbus – Faculty and students continue to support Redeemer of the World Lutheran School in Santiago Zamora, Guatemala. St. Peter’s recently sent 11 youth to Guatemala on a mission trip.
- Suburban Bethlehem, Fort Wayne – Faculty and students have been involved with Hurricane Harvey relief, supporting Lutheran South Academy in Houston through their chapel offerings. Students have also donated food items and stocked shelves at the community food shelf at St. Matthew’s on Getz Road.
- Calvary Lutheran, Indianapolis – Kindergarten through fourth graders partnered with senior congregation members, packing boxes for their service project, Operation Christmas Child Faculty and students are also involved with the Hurricane Harvey Relief Project.
- St. John’s Kendallville – Kindergarten through third-grade students participated in Operation Christmas Child and packed shoeboxes with items for families in need.
- Our Savior, Louisville, Ky. – Faculty and students continue to gather items and pack boxes for Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. In addition, as part of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Project, $650 was collected and sent to the Lutheran Education Association in Houston, and $250 in gift cards was sent to a former staff member whose school was damaged.
- Our Shepherd, Avon – Faculty and students raised $405 for Lutheran South Academy as part of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Project, and filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
- St. Peter’s Lutheran, Fort Wayne – This is the fourth year that students have collected socks for the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. Each year the number of donated socks has increased. Students hope to collect 5,000 pairs of socks.
- St. John’s, Indianapolis – Faculty and students partnered with congregation members for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Project, setting a goal of raising $1,065. That amount was selected because Houston’s Lutheran South Academy is 1,065 miles from Indianapolis. They raised $3,862 to support the Houston school, far exceeding their goal.
- St. Paul’s, Fort Wayne – Faculty and students partnered with Lutheran Social Services for the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program. Students donated items and chapel collections to families in need. The gifts were wrapped by students and taken to Concordia Lutheran High School for distribution.
- Central, New Haven – Faculty and students participated in two service projects: Operation Christmas Child and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Project.
Students at Our Shepherd, Avon, packing shoeboxes.
Lutheran schools throughout the Indiana District keep Jesus Christ as their cornerstone. Lutheran schools continue to offer students a rigorous curriculum that is integrated with various service projects to share the love of Jesus with many.
A parent whose children attended Peace Preschool, Fort Wayne, summed it up perfectly: “I’m waiting on Max to get out of preschool. I’m standing here and it is really hitting me that in just a few weeks this preschool won’t be a part of our everyday lives anymore because Max is starting kindergarten. I feel so thankful and blessed that each of our children was able to experience the love these amazing teachers and staff have for them! How do you properly express such a grateful feeling?”
We give thanks to God for Lutheran schools and Lutheran congregations. We give thanks that Lutheran schools continue to teach that “It’s Still All About Jesus.”
Originally published in January 2018 edition of the Lutheran Witness.