Making a Difference

Post by Tom Rietkerk, SCS School Board President from the 2016 Presidential Report

The theme for our school year this year is “Make a Difference.” It comes from Philippians 4:13, where Paul is encouraging the church with the reminder that “we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength.” I find this theme to be especially compelling for our family as my youngest child is preparing to graduate this year and we are knee deep in college applications, scholastic testing, and working through the emotions of this transition for parent and child.

I’m so grateful my children have experienced the same education and faith formation I did as a student here. We are not just a private school, we are a Christian private school where our students are challenged every day to explore God’s creation around them, how they fit into that creation, and how they affect both positively and negatively those around them by their conduct and actions. This is reflected in our mission statement, “Celebrating that all of creation belongs to God, responding by developing students’ unique God-given gifts and abilities, and living as dynamic and transforming influences to God’s glory.” Like our daughter, the rest of this year’s seniors are anxious to graduate and to take the next big step. They are continuing their journey to explore what it means to make a difference in the world. 

Your school board is also exploring what it means to “Make a Difference.” We are engaged in thoughtful discussion of the James K. A. Smith book, You are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. I’ve found this book study to be a great addition to the strategic planning sessions we have had as a school board each fall for the last several years. We have begun to ask how our habits, our liturgies, challenge or promote our mission. For example, as we have welcomed a great number of new families into our community, have we modeled what our parent-governed structure (Society) asks of our families? Have we modeled what it means “to live as a dynamic and transforming influence to God’s glory”? Have we assumed we have a strong community without continuing to build it? As our school continues to grow, we have an opportunity to model what it means to “Make a Difference” in the lives of our children, our churches, our neighborhoods, our work and our world. What an exciting and awesome challenge and privilege!
Our school year is off to a great start. We enjoyed getting together for our school picnic, the new floors in the secondary building look great, we gathered for a fantastic auction at Inglewood Golf Club, and our annual All School Open House provided the opportunity to celebrate how our children continue to learn and grow, and invite our friends and families to see for themselves. None of this would be possible though without the work of the parents, pastors, alumni, SCS staff and students who make up our community.
Our school has been making a difference since 1952 – we want to continue this on for another 65 years. It requires a strong community willing to invite others to join us. Will you join us?
Now is the time to make a difference! Partner with us financially as we move forward in faith to raise up the next generation at Shoreline Christian School. Read full report