The ancient philosopher Aristotle taught that COURAGE can be thought of as a middle path between the two ditches (or vices) of cowardice and rashness/recklessness. He also taught that it is important to know which ditch we are more likely to fall into! Home Connection Materials for COURAGE were sent home last week, but you can also access them here. We hope your family enjoys using them together!
Virtue Update – COURAGE (PPC)December 8th, 2022
CCE Corner – Faith Formation: The Importance of Inter-age RelationshipsNovember 30th, 2022
Faith is central to our mission at Trinitas, and so we take seriously the task of cultivating an environment in which faith can grow. In addition to striving to maintain high standards in the context of warmth and demonstrating that we are “all in,” we also intentionally foster inter-age relationships as part of faith formation.* In the study mentioned in our previous posts, the authors focus on the important role of grandparents and great grandparents as moral and religious models for children. Their findings suggest that strengthening intergenerational bonds strengthens faith.
In addition to family, church is the place where children are most likely to engage with those who are generations removed from them. Our own family has been deeply blessed by witnessing the faithfulness of older congregants and hearing their stories. And our children have been blessed by opportunities to share their own stories as well. One Sunday, a nearly ninety-year-old gentleman asked our sixth grader if she had read any good books lately and if she would be willing to write a review for the church newspaper. As soon as we arrived home, she eagerly ran to the computer and quickly produced a piece on The Narnia Chronicles. The older man’s interest in her and her ideas eventually led our daughter to become a regular contributor of poetry for the church paper. This prompted others of his generation to warmly express their appreciation for her work. These and similar experiences, like singing in the Holiday Choir next to choristers five to six times her age, have given her a deep feeling of belonging to this intergenerational family of God.
CCE Corner – Faith Formation: Parents Who Are “All In”October 27th, 2022
We continue our series on faith formation looking at three characteristics of families who successfully pass on their faith: 1) high standards combined with warmth, 2) strong intergenerational relationships, and 3) parents who are “all in.” * Our previous two posts focused on high standards and warmth. In this post, we’ll focus on what it means to be “all in,” saving intergenerational relationships for a later post. If we want to pass our faith on to our children, they should be able to see our own commitment to and delight in the ways of God.
We tend to do this more naturally with things like careers and hobbies. Children often follow in their parents’ footsteps, ending up with similar interests and pursuits. In our family, four of our children explored STEM but eventually chose humanities majors in college (and the fifth is headed that direction). They just couldn’t get away from the passion for philosophy, religion, politics, history, and literature that seems to be in the air of our home. And, we know Trinitas parents whose own passion for the sciences has been passed on to their children. Whatever one’s passion—football, golf, choral music, hiking, woodworking, cooking—the interest and excitement we show and the energy, time, and even money we spend in pursuit of it will be evident to the young eyes watching us and learning from us. In very many cases, children grow to love what we show them we love. That’s not to say that children always follow in their parents’ footsteps. Sometimes they surprise and delight us and expand our worlds with interests and loves that are unique to them. Still, we should be aware of the influence our own interests, commitments, and loves have on them.
As a school, we hope to help you help your children cultivate God-honoring loves, and we try to provide various ways for them to see that when it comes to the Christian faith, you are “all in.” We are almost through the first quarter. Much has happened since the first day of school. New people have been met. New things have been learned. New routines and habits have been formed. One of our daily routines is all-school Morning Prayer. This time isn’t just a way to start our day; it’s a way to center our hearts and minds. What do we do in Morning Prayer? We sing and pray and meditate on God’s word. We’d like to remind you that parents are always welcome to stay and join their children in worship! And we would also like to encourage you to follow along at home as well. You can use this link to The St. James Daily Devotional Guide for information on subscribing to the same materials we use at school.
A Message from the Trinitas Board PresidentOctober 27th, 2022
CCE Corner – Faith Formation: High Standards and Warmth, part IIOctober 6th, 2022
In our previous CCEC on faith formation, we referenced a comprehensive study on religion and family* which concluded that having high standards combined with warmth is crucial to passing on one’s faith. We observed that having high standards sometimes requires us to speak with vocabulary that differs from the world’s. In that post, we looked at the un-worldly word “holiness.” In this post, we look at “reverence.”
Reverence is not a commonly used word nor a commonly pursued posture. Various dictionaries define reverence as “a feeling of great respect or admiration for someone or something.” Some include “a gesture of respect (such as a bow).” The verb, revere, not surprisingly, is “to regard or treat with reverence.” An important part of faith formation is cultivating such habits and feelings of reverence where they are due.
Reverence is due first of all toward God, the holy creator and sustainer of all. Scripture is filled with examples. In the presence of the burning bush, Moses was told, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Isaiah and John wrote of six-winged seraphim and ten thousand times ten thousand angels encircling the throne and unceasingly declaring “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come,” “the earth is full of his glory”, and “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” A life of faith involves this posture of reverence. As our former language arts teacher was fond of saying, true education begins with the recognition that there is a God, and you are not He.
CCE Corner – Faith Formation: High Standards and Warmth, part ISeptember 15th, 2022
The beginning of the school year is a good time to reflect on faith formation. Take a minute to think about just how important this is. If we believe that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), then passing on our faith is really important. In fact, neglecting to teach our children about our faith would be worse than neglecting to teach them to read. Think about that.
Just as we spend time at Trinitas learning how to teach reading well, we also spend time learning how to raise children in lives of faith. In Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations (Oxford University Press), the authors communicate the results of one of the largest studies of religion and family across generations.* Spanning nearly four decades, their research follows more than 3,500 people in over 350 families to determine how faith is passed on, or not. In this and upcoming posts, we’ll reflect on some of the characteristics of families who successfully pass on their faith. According to this research, such families have: 1) high standards combined with warmth, 2) strong intergenerational relationships, and 3) parents who are “all-in.” We’ll explore what these can look like both at Trinitas and at home.
The First Day of School – What You Need To KnowSeptember 1st, 2022
Backpacks, lunch bags, uniforms, folders. It’s time to get everything ready for Tuesday morning! Please note the office will be closed tomorrow and Monday for Labor Day. If you have questions about the first day, call or email by 3:00 p.m. today.
When: Tuesday, September 6
School begins at 8:00 a.m. Students should arrive by 7:50. (See note about arrival and start times below.) Afternoon dismissal is at 3:00 p.m. at the church narthex doors (upper parking lot). Students are to be picked up by 3:15. Read more about arrival and dismissal below.
Who: All students—including kindergarteners, even though Tuesday is not normally a kindergarten day
Parents may accompany their children as they enter the school on Tuesday morning and are welcome to stay for Morning Prayer which will begin at 8:15. Parents are welcome to gather in the gym as they wait for the classes to join them.
What to wear: All students should wear their PE uniforms.
We apologize for an unexpected delay that kept us from distributing apparel store orders at the open house. The orders have arrived and may be picked up today or Tuesday morning. If you wait until Tuesday, your child will be given the opportunity to change into the new PE shirt at the beginning of the day.
What to bring: School supplies (if you didn’t bring them to the open house), food for snack and lunch, and a water bottle—always bring a water bottle to school!
Please label your child’s belongings, including school supplies and clothing items.
What the day will look like: Students should go to their classrooms when they first arrive. At 8:15, their teachers will lead them to Morning Prayer. The rest of the morning will include some class time as well as an introduction to the routines of the school day (procedures, expectations, etc.). In the afternoon, students will participate in games and team-building activities, both in their classrooms and outside with the entire school.
What the staff would like you to know: We have been planning and preparing and praying for this year! Thank you for entrusting your children to us. It is our desire to see them flourish at Trinitas and to help them develop a deeper love of God and neighbor in all they do, from the classroom to the lunchroom to the playground.
Save-the-Date – Donuts with DadAugust 31st, 2022
Donuts with Dad is a favorite fall tradition at Trinitas! We hope dads (or VIPs) can join us on the morning of Wednesday, September 28, from 7:45-–8:15 a.m. for drinks, donuts, and fellowship. If your child is a big breakfast eater, think like a hobbit and treat this as “second breakfast.”
Morning drop-off will be upstairs (dismissal lot) for all students. K–2 students should leave their belongings by the narthex coat room. All others may go to their classrooms first, if they arrive early enough to do so. Following donut time, Dads and VIPs are welcome to stay for Morning Prayer at 8:15 a.m. Morning Prayer will conclude around 8:30.
Parent Orientation Next Wednesday NightAugust 31st, 2022
Attendance at parent orientation (September 7) is required for at least one parent, though we encourage both parents to participate, if possible. The evening will include introductory comments from the head of school, board president, and Parent Service Fellowship (PSF) chair. There will also be teacher presentations and Q&A time in the classrooms. Please note this is for parents only. Childcare will not be available.
A social hour hosted by PSF will follow the orientation. Please stay and enjoy some good food and good conversation!
Parent Partnership CreditAugust 31st, 2022
Many private schools have volunteer hour requirements for their parents; Trinitas is proposing an educational alternative to volunteer hours: Classical Parent Partners. As part of this program, we hope to host educational events throughout the year like Protect Young Eyes and book, article, or video discussions. We will also continue to regularly post our Classical Christian Education pieces and provide a variety of resources you can use at home in connection with our Virtue of the Quarter. We are exploring other ideas as well. You will hear more about this program at parent orientation on September 7.