By the time you complete TfT training, you have prayed the Romero Prayer
By the time you complete TfT training, you have prayed the Romero Prayer

TfT Bulletin #12  |   March 8, 2023

By the time you have completed TfT training, you have prayed The Romero Prayer at least once. When we began the practice of opening circles, these words became a core prayer within TfT. In fact, right around the time this Bulletin arrives in your inbox, these words will be used for an opening circle at Surrey Christian for the pre-conference day for the Deeper Learning Conference. This prayer is a TfT staple.
Despite the prayer’s title, this prayer was not written by Oscar Romero, the Salvadorian Catholic archbishop assassinated while celebrating mass in 1980. These words were written by the late Bishop Ken Untener for a homily to celebrate the work of departed priests.
Minutes before his assassination, Romero did share the following words when preaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ:
One must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us, and that those who try to fend off the danger will lose their lives, while those who out of love for Christ give themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies, but only apparently. If it did not die, it would remain alone. The harvest comes about only because it dies, allowing itself to be sacrificed in the earth and destroyed. Only by undoing itself does it produce the harvest (see John 12:24).
In the last Bulletin, I explored the idea that root causes can often be traced to hope or fear. The Romero Prayer and the words above from Romero himself invite us to further contemplate the paradoxical relationship between hope and fear. To suppress hope or love is to prevent our full participation in God’s Story. As we teach and learn within our Christian schools, may we experience God’s fullness, planting deep roots in Deep Hope.

Power in a Name

In a recent article for In All Things, TfT School Designer Jessica DeWit reflected on the power in a name. In the post, Jessica shares her personal experience with the TfT design practice of “reframe and rename” in which a 7th Grade Music unit goes from “Jazz Music Unit” to “Jazz: Making a Joyful Noise.” 
The protocol for reframing a unit can be found in the resource section of the TfT website. This summer, TfT teachers will have the opportunity to learn from Jessica and fellow TfT School Designer Jaime Wernet as they co-lead our new Masterclass on the TfT Transformational Lesson Design tools. All teachers are strongly encouraged to consider this Masterclass. Registration info coming soon!
Elementary TfT – 8th Grade Spanish at Meadowlark Christian School
Students in Nestor Gil’s 8th grade Spanish class at Meadowlark Christian School live into the Deep Hope of using language within their community to further God’s Kingdom. This Deep Hope came alive during a unit on clothing as the students were invited to consider how their work could support Ukrainian refugees preparing for the winter weather of Edmonton, Canada. (This idea took root as Nestor hosted two Ukrainian families at his house for Thanksgiving). Nestor shares this meaning-filled and joy-filled story that made both the front-page news and the evening news as the students enthusiastically lived into the Storyline of Speaking God’s Language.
Secondary TfT – Avail Academy
On a recent Zoom meeting with instructional leaders from across the TfT network, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction Wendell Schaap of Avail Academy shared that the mid-year parent/student/advisor conferences at Avail Academy High School center around a set of letters written to each student (a different one for each grade level). These letters connect the student's growth and gifts to TfT’s Throughlines.
Avail's Deep Hope for these conferences is that the letters speak truth and life into Avail students as they grow in their understanding of their place in God’s story and as they continue to learn to live as disciples. As an advisor, Wendell notes that the rich conversation these letters elicit is always life-giving: “Every single time the letter is read, and we discuss who they are and the gift they are, the kids just beam. It's a beautiful moment because the student feels like a beautiful work, and that he/she matters in God's story.”
Wendell shares both the instructions for this practice and example letters from each grade level.
TfT’s Webinar Series: Listening to TfT Stories
Every year TfT hosts a series of webinars in which TfT teachers and school leaders share their learning stories and experiences within the design framework. These cohesive stories reveal how the Deep Hope and Storyline (See the Story!) provide the context for students to practice a Throughline way of being during the “real work, real needs and real people” of FLEx. We are excited to begin sharing these learning stories in the TfT Bulletin. To kick off the series, here is a 6th Grade Science story about thermodynamics from Tim Leugs at Legacy Christian School.
The TfT Tips Trio 
Opening and closing circles are often celebrated for how they build culture and a sense of belonging. Check out this week’s tips for ideas on how to design opening and closing circles as a way to regularly engage Storyline and Deep Hope!