Wednesday, October 24, 2012

News From Here and There

Grandparents and Special Friends Day, November 19
All grandparents of PCS students are invited to campus on the morning of November 19 to visit the school, go to class with their grandchildren, and participate in a worship service together.  Some grandparents may live farther away, and might not be able to come, so those students are welcome to bring a special adult friend, perhaps someone from their church, or a neighbor, who can substitute for grandparents that day.  Invitations have already been sent.

First Nine Weeks Grades Go Out October 31
This Friday, October 26, is the end of the first nine weeks.  How time flies when you're having such fun!  Grades will be distributed October 31, however, if you want a sneak peek, you can always go to Edline and take a look. Grades will be posted Monday, October 29.

Over the Head Achievement for Soccer, Volleyball Teams
We are very proud of our varsity soccer and volleyball teams this year.  After winning nine league games, the volleyball team found itself in a logjam tie for the last remaining playoff spot from the Western Division of SWCAC.  They missed the tie-breaker by just one set, and played in Division 2.  That was an excellent performance for a team with no starters returning from last season, and only two experienced players from last season.  We have high expectations for next season.

The soccer team, 9-6 overall, 9-3 in SWCAC play, defeated West Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Jefferson County Christian on their way to the soccer finals where they lost to Evangel Heights in a hard fought game at Geneva College.  They will be playing this week in the NCSAA tournament at Geneva, with one game on our campus on Friday at 4:30.  We also look forward to next season, since there are no seniors on the soccer team this year.

The Junior High Soccer team is playing for a GPCAL championship this week, with soccer games on our campus.  They will be contending for the league championship, after finishing in a tie with Trinity Christian.  They have also exceeded expectations, and have had an excellent season, finishing with a 10-2 overall record.

Accreditation Self Study Moves Forward
Three self-study committees have completed, or are nearing completion of their work for our ACSI accreditation renewal process.  The committees are mainly composed of faculty members and board members, with a few parents.  They focus on specific areas of the school program, measuring the school's compliance with the written standards.

Accreditation is extremely important for private, Christian schools.  What it says to parents is that we have an organized system of operating, standards are in place to guarantee the quality of the education and services we provide, and students who attend our school are well prepared for college when they graduate from here.  There are also standards which guarantee that the education provided by Portersville Christian School is distinctively Christian, and true to the guiding principles of scripture which are at the core of our ministry as a school.  At the present time, Portersville Christian School is the only fully-accredited, private, Christian school offering education in grades PK-12 in Butler, Mercer or Lawrence County.

SAT Scores Released
Though PCS has only eight senior class members this year, the group is following in the footsteps of previous graduating classes in high academic achievement.  PCS students scored an average of 1579 on their recent SAT, which places them among the highest achievers in the region, and in particular, among their fellow high school students in Butler County. That is 107 points over the Pennsylvania average, and 81 points over the national average.  Though we did not have any national merit semi-finalists in this group, several students came very close to qualifying.  We look forward to continued improvement for those students who will take the test again.

Fall Drama, "The Return of the Pink Panther" November 15-17
If you're looking forward to a great performance by our fine arts department, it is coming November 15-17.  "The Return of the Pink Panther" will be performed on three nights in the PCS Gym/Theater.  Stage setup is beginning this weekend.  As usual, this is shaping up to be another excellent performance.

Tour of College Athletics
Three recent PCS graduates are on their respective college athletic teams.  Justin Santoro, class of 2010, is a sophomore at Cedarville University in Ohio, and plays on the soccer team.  Katie Coomber, class of 2010, is a sophomore at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania, and plays both volleyball and basketball.  Mary McDonald, class of 2011, is a freshman at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and will be playing on the womens' basketball team this fall.  The head administrator makes an effort each year to attend at least one of their games.  The accreditation and annual fund drive are making that tough this year, but hopefully, it will happen.

By the way, check out this picture from the front page of the Cedarville University soccer site:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Being Blessed

We are blessed.

We talk about blessings in our Christian culture, and connect them to just about everything we do.  The word fits into our conversation in a relatively easy way.  Someone asks, "How are you?" and you respond, "I'm blessed."  I like the way that a trend has worked its way into the common statement, "Have a nice day," turning it into "Have a blessed day."  As Americans, because of the cultural context in which we live, the term is most frequently measured by, and associated with, money.  We have lots of it, as a nation, because we are blessed.  Or so the reasoning goes.

When I read about blessings in the Bible, they have much more to do with what God does than with what we do.  A blessing, literally, is a touch from God, a visitation from the Holy One.  It is defined as the favor of God being bestowed on someone, an infusion of holiness.  Perhaps the most vivid description of a blessing occurs when God passes by Moses on Mt. Sinai, and reveals a little bit of his glory to him.  Moses is never the same after that, and his concept of God is greatly expanded. 

It seems that the one condition required for receiving a blessing is willingness.  You have to be willing to receive it, and you have to be willing to share it.  It doesn't seem that there is a pathway to earning blessings, nor is there a bank in which you can keep, and accumulate them after you receive them.  I'm old enough to remember the old hymn, "Make Me a Channel of Blessing Today" and understand what that means.  Receiving and giving are both parts of the experience, and without either one it isn't a blessing. 

There are many ways to receive a touch from God, and pass it along.  Think about how many times that happened today, and be happy that you were used as a channel of blessing.