Fresh Words
Fresh Words

Bulletin 7   |   November 18, 2020

Fresh Words

See the story. Live the story. The fundamental purpose of the core practice Storyline is to connect the learning and the learners to God’s story. Sometimes we need fresh words to explain these deep truths. Recently I found such words in Rachel Held Evans’ Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

Christians believe we live in the “and then” after Jesus’ resurrection and before his return. We live inside an unfinished story, a story that began with the Spirit of God hovering over the primordial waters at the beginning of time and which took a dramatic, climactic turn two thousand years ago when that same God became human, lived among us, and beat death once and for all.

We share this story with Mary Magdalene and the apostle Paul. We share it with Saint Augustine and Julian of Norwich, Desmond Tutu and Leymah Gbowee. We share it with the pastor who runs the soup kitchen out of the church basement and with the first guy in line to eat there each week.

The stories we tell with our lives, then, aren’t meaningless absurdities, tragic in their brevity, but rather subplots of a grander narrative, every moment charged with significance, as we contribute our own riffs, soliloquies, and plot twists to the larger epic, the Holy Spirit coaxing us along with an ever-ebullient, And then? And then? And then? (p.217)

Justic Seeking and Image Bearing: Minnehaha Academy

The killing of George Floyd shone a spotlight on the realities of racial injustice in the very backyard of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. Executive Director of Faith Formation David Hoffner describes how the Academy staff dove deeply into the Throughlines of Justice Seeking and Image Bearing as an intentional, faithful response to what their community faces.

Throughlines: A Resource for Teachers and Parents

This resource produced by the Prairie Center of Christian Education features the Image Reflecting Throughline. Whereas these materials were originally designed for the purpose of supporting parents during remote learning, they serve as an excellent resource for teachers during face-to-face learning as well. This Image Reflecting resource represents the last of the 10 Throughline resources produced by PCCE and shared via the TfT Bulletin--a special thanks to PCCE for both the production and permission to share.

Social Emotional Learning Resource: Opening Circle Activities

Many of our TfT schools have adopted the practice of opening and closing circles as experienced in our training sessions. The purpose of these circle practices is to build a community of belonging that leads to the flourishing of students. Educating during a pandemic emphasizes the need for our schools to ensure students’ social emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness, but planning for community building activities does require extra time. Thankfully, Asphalt Green has identified and accumulated many activities for circles that are socially distant, organized according to age, and readily adaptable to secondary settings as well.

Stories from the classroom: Central Valley Christian School

In Ally Kornelis’ eighth grade English/Bible class at Central Valley Christian, students were invited into the class’s Deep Hope of “engaging language and literature in order to discern and live ‘The Good Life’ that God calls us to.” Throughout the year students discerned between the competing stories of “The Good Life” found in the world and those laid out in Scripture. Students were invited to see the distracting and distorting effect of sin by reflecting on Plato’s Cave Allegory found in Book VII of the Republic. Check out further context, photos, and student reflections here.

Stories from the classroom: East Linn Christian Academy

Without a doubt, Covid-19 has added an extra layer of challenge for FLEx projects. But across the TfT network, there are stories of teachers designing a FLEx in response to Covid-19. One such story is from Tricia Knox’s art class at East Linn Christian Academy. In Tricia’s own words:
When the pandemic hit, I called the hospital and inquired about creating artwork for patients in need of encouragement. Specifically, we talked about patients without COVID, who may feel like their health crisis has been overshadowed by the pandemic. We wanted them to know God sees them and is there with them. The hospital was excited about the idea, and we talked about creating something for patients undergoing heart surgery. I often talked about all the ways my students can use their artwork after graduation, in careers or ministry. It was exciting to talk to them about using it now. This project asked something more of my students. It wasn’t just for a grade. It meant more. It was important.

TfT and Curriculum Trak Webinars
Here is a reminder for schools to sign up for one of the following webinar options to learn more about the TfT tools within Curriculum Trak (CT).

For TfT schools who already have a CT account:
· December 1 @ 3:30 PM (CST)
· December 7 @ 5:30 PM (CST)
For TfT schools who do NOT have a CT account:
· December 1 @ 5:30 PM (CST)
· December 7 @ 3:30 PM (CST)
We encourage at least two people per school to attend these webinars as there are many details to share.

If you have any questions about this TfT/CT partnership, please contact me at Specific questions about Curriculum Trak can be directed to Curriculum Trak’s support manager Michael Arnold:

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