Whitefield Academy Blog
Every year at Whitefield Academy, students in the junior class write homilies and present them to the entire upper school. Read below junior Mary Grace Wilson’s homily from this week, drawing on the example of Jonah and remembering when she too ran from the Lord as a middle schooler worrying about transferring schools.
The sentiment is as common as the color red in Kansas City during the playoffs: “We need to offer more practical training for our students so that they can get good jobs.”
Have you looked at the weather forecast for this weekend?! High of 2 degrees on Sunday! I think our freezer is warmer than that. Might be a good time to have some cozy indoor activities up your sleeve.
When my husband and I began to consider sending our 15 year old daughter Annika to Whitefield Academy, one of the costs we counted was travel, the minutes and miles we would spend on the road. We live 40 miles from school and knew we would spend at least 40 minutes in the car each way. We decided the long commute was worth it, and we were not wrong. However, it is a hefty commute– especially on those days when I make the two-way trip twice. Lots of minutes and lots of miles. I have been searching for ways to redeem that time in the car–both when my daughter is riding shotgun– and when I am making the trek by myself.
I’d probably be correct in saying that face to face education is something that most of us never thought we would have to argue for. It was just a given. Of course our kids would walk into the school every day! But as we know now, that’s not always the case.
Most of us remember a few bits and pieces from or days in elementary school. If we attended a typical, modern American school, we had our classroom and a little desk. We had a teacher who gave us lessons in reading and math. In those classrooms, we learned to tell time and count money and do a thousand other little skills.
This past Saturday, my husband, my girls, and I spent the day in one of the buildings on Whitefield’s campus helping our students build some racks for the rowing team’s boats. “I’m sorry,” you say, “racks…in a building…in Kansas City…for boats?” Yes, much like Noah we are just going with this one. The racks went up great and now it’s super spiffy, but the thing that really struck me happened toward the very end of the day.
Screens are everywhere. Screens in our living rooms, our workspaces, our family rooms and many times in our kitchens too. Screens in our mini-vans and SUVs. Screens in our toys and games. Screens on our wrists and in our hands. It sometimes seems an impossible task to find a balance for our children in our digitally saturated world.
The fact that our littlest students are able to be in in-person is a blessing that is not lost on our families and our faculty. Having our Pre-K and TK students in our classrooms and on our playground instead of in front of a screen is something that we know is unique and precious in Kansas City today.
If you are not familiar with the church calendar, you may be surprised to find that the Christmas season, or Christmastide, does not actually begin until December twenty-fifth and then proceeds for twelve days until the Epiphany. The season before Christmas is called Advent. Of course, the season of Advent is vitally connected to Christmas, so I recognize I am being somewhat pedantic. Nevertheless, I think we could benefit from some reflection on the meaning the church throughout history has assigned to the Advent season as opposed to the Christmas season.