Curricular & Spiritual Connections 12-11-20

Spring Semester
With the arrival of the holiday season here, that means we are almost halfway through the school year!  The first semester’s mitigation efforts have prevented classroom and school-wide spread. Hats off to our students, their families, their teachers, and the staff at St. Paul’s for their resilience! We know there are several families that chose not to enroll their children in preschool, and some that decided to homeschool, or enrolled in remote learning. We have missed all of those students and we are inviting them all back for the 2nd semester!

We also want to take a moment to ask you to share with others what makes St. Paul’s a great place for school choice, in hopes to recruit others to join us during the 2nd semester of 2020-21 and/or to enroll for the 2021-22 school year. We currently have room in all of our classrooms, including our full and half day preschool classrooms, and we are hoping that we can increase our enrollment for the spring semester. Please share the good news with others and have them give us a call and/or visit our website for enrollment information.

The Annual Tradition Lives On!
The Iowa Department of Education recently adopted new fine arts standards for music focused on the artistic processes of creating, performing, responding, and connecting. Our music program here at St. Paul’s is outstanding and our Advent Vespers performance demonstrates all of those components, even with the restrictions due to Covid. Throughout the fall singing has been considered a “high-risk” activity. Knowing this, Katie Idler, St. Paul’s vocal teacher, has taken careful consideration in all the activities she has done with her students. In knowing that the annual Advent Vespers Service in our historic church has been such a tradition Katie brought together the staff at the church and school to brainstorm ways to keep this tradition alive. After viewing the Advent Vespers Service ( you will see how the creativity and outside the box thinking of this remarkable teacher overcame the obstacles that Covid presents. With the help and support of a generous donation by church member, Myna Culbertson, Katie was able to purchase musical instruments for the students to play in lieu of singing. These instruments were utilized throughout the performance.

Mrs. Idler also found another way to communicate music through signing. Each one of the classes learned sign language as a way to express their internal voice. Congratulations to Katie Idler! Also a huge congratulations is in order for Devin Wipperman, the genius behind putting together such a video masterpiece. The lighting Devin created in the sanctuary allowed us all to see ourselves sitting in those pews watching this delightful performance. Thank you to the students and staff of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church & School for this video archive, focused on the reason for the season filled with hope and faith.


Reason for the Season
Have you ever wondered how to deepen your child’s love for the real reason for the season? With Christmas becoming so commercial and that list of wants and needs growing longer and longer it is sometimes a difficult task for parents to give their children chances to have fond memories focused on the birth of Jesus. As holiday stress begins to grow we need to get the focus back on giving the best gift of all for our kids, the memories of Jesus being the center of attention. Recently I was reading an article about the Charlie Brown Christmas story which appeared on tv fifty-five years ago. In the scene at the end when Linus shares “what Christmas is all about,” you’ll notice he drops his security blanket when he says the words, “fear not”.  The article questions if Charles Schultz did that intentionally, after all, the birth of Jesus separates us from our fears, trusting and clinging to Him instead. As quoted in the article, “But in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found.” Increase your child’s faith and gratitude, create stockings filled with notes and memories filled with love for friends and family, participate in some type of charity, have family members select favorite scriptures to share, take a drive and look for nativity decorations, create a Christmas tree filled with the fruits of the spirit, play Christian carols, instead of Elf on the Shelf play “Find Jesus” and every time he is found talk about things we can do to keep Jesus in our hearts.  Keep the focus, eliminate stress through conversations and scripture, and have the faith.