Mount Clare Christian School
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It's been almost a month ago now, but we want to congratulate Russell Sapp and Aaron Deichmiller on their graduation from high school. It was a long hard road, especially for Russell who stayed an extra year so he could get his diploma. Both young men persevered through some difficult times. It was a privilege to have them as students and we wish them the best as they go on from here.
We are working on enrollment for next year. We continue to have students on the waiting list for our elementary classroom. One neighborhood school is closing its middle school, so we have also been getting requests for those grades. We pray again this year that God sends the students he wants to be here.
We thank God for providing for our needs throughout the year. We realize that we are totally dependent upon him and all the people who give so generously so that we can continue this ministry. We hope and dream to have a gym someday and more space for the younger grades. We pray that God will raise up the means to do this. He has always led us one step at a time and has given us more than we thought possible. We know that he will provide for any new expansion at just the right time.
We appreciate your prayers as we look forward to another year and to the future beyond!
Embarrassed!!! Apologies in Order...
... to those of you who visit our website and wonder who we are and what we are doing, WE NEED TO UPDATE! We have been here all year doing what we do - teaching and loving our students. Challenging them to do their best in their schoolwork and in their lives. It isn't an easy task, but we are grateful to see God at work again this year. We have 43 students, with the middle school being our biggest group this year. Two high school seniors are working toward graduation. Check out our facebook page to see a video of our students taken by photographer Rena Cerquetti as well as other pictures of school activities.
We are so grateful for all the people who lovingly and sacrificially give to us in so many ways. Just this week we have students from several area colleges giving part of their spring break to volunteer here. Last week several speakers came in to share with our students for Spiritual Life Week. Others came in to share information and expertise in our Life Skills class during our six weeks of Resource classes. Still others pray and faithfully give financial support. We appreciate all of these gifts so much!
We continue to believe that God is working to transform this community in southwest Baltimore to produce young men and women who will make positive and significant contributions to their world and to the kingdom of God. That is what Mount Clare Christian School is about! We want our students and their families to experience the thrill of living for the Lord. We want to see lasting change that passes from one generation to the next to break the chains of addiction, the despair of absent parents, and the general feeling of hopelessness that pervades the neighborhood. It is a real battle sometimes, but we see with eyes of faith the purpose of God for these students. We continue to join with him in working toward the fulfillment of that purpose!
We hope to connect with you again before another year passes! If you are not on our mailing list, see the newsletters section for more about the school year.
Yes, Mount Clare is still here. We realize we are way overdue for an update. Since our last update was before Christmas, let me briefly go month by month through this calendar year:
Now students are pushing to complete work by the end of the third quarter this week. Pray especially for our seniors who only have one quarter left at Mount Clare. They are excited as they begin finishing up credits in some subjects and nervous about some others, but they are persevering to the end!
It was great to see some of you at the Celebration of Church Life in Lancaster. Thank you for stopping to chat with us. And thank you again for your wonderful prayer and financial support.
Today is the last day of school until we return in January, so there was activity and excitement all throughout the school. Classes were having parties and exchanging gifts and good wishes with each other. Every time we are closed for an extended period of time all the students help to give the school a good cleaning. So now, everyone is gone, and it's quiet and clean. We're all ready for a break...
...but first, let me reflect on some of the blessings we've received:
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus and end this calendar year, we are filled with the joy that comes from knowing Immanuel - God with us. We pray that you will also have the wonderful knowledge that God is with you. May the joy of the Lord be yours!
Early in the school year, each "classroom" goes on its annual retreat. These past two weeks have been our retreat weeks this year:
The high school students returned to Woodcrest Retreat in Pennsylvania. They had a wonderful time doing the ropes course activities. The staff member at Woodcrest was impressed with the way that they encouraged each other. Many of the students came back excited about the way God met them during the input times, answering their doubts about him and speaking specifically to their individual needs. This was an answer to our prayers.
The middle school students went to Camp Andrews, as usual. The first day of the retreat was very rainy, causing the schedule to be rearranged. But the students were flexible and enjoyed the indoor challenge activities. They showed lots of perseverance in getting through some of the difficult ones. Later on, they had an awesome time with glow sticks in the dark. They did get to do the outdoor activities the second day.
The forecast was predicting rain for the one-day elementary retreat (again at Camp Andrews), but it was wrong. Beautiful weather, crafts, the zip line, and lots of excited children made for a wonderful time.
These retreats always help to establish good relationships between the students and help them to connect with nature and with God. They are a high point of the school year. Thank you to our speakers: Horeb & Sonya Pena, Michael Booth, and Kristen Beiler. God used you to bless us!
A New Year
We've been back in school since September 1st and have gotten off to a good start. We have 46 students this year - nine of them are new to Mount Clare. We also lost some of our students from last year because they moved or just decided to go to different schools. Mr. Matt, our middle school assistant for several years, is at a different job this year, so we have one less staff. Despite these losses, we have great students and staff again and anticipate a good year.
We ask for your prayers as we work with these students. There have been deaths in the families of several of our students since school started. Some of them have had difficult summers and are having trouble getting back into the routine and discipline of school.
There is a lot of sadness in the lives of some of our students and in this community. There is a lot of trash and neglect and disease on many levels. We are aware that we can not fix many of these problems. But we can be instruments in the hand of the One who does bring healing and wholeness and knowledge that changes lives. And so we give ourselves - our time and our energy - to him and trust that He will continue to work miracles here in southwest Baltimore.
If you would like to be a prayer warrior with us, for the school in general or for specific staff or students, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. We need you.
We hope that you are all having a wonderful summer. It's been a HOT one here! Even though it's quiet here now, summer has been a busy time at Mount Clare. First we had two weeks of summer school for students who wanted to get a head start on the next school year. Fourteen students attended and most of them got several PACEs done. Thank you to the teachers who were willing to do this on their own time!
In July, a work group came from Hastings, Michigan. They did more than a week's worth of work!! We were going to have them repaint the front of the building. However, because of some lead paint issues, we had them cover it with cement instead. It required two coats, and they completed the project. It was hot and they worked really hard. They also worked on a mural in the lunchroom, tore up the floor in the elementary room, and had activities for the children in the community. Thank you so much, friends from Hastings - and thank you to all the other people who helped as well.
Now we are getting ready for a new school year. We will have several new students. We will have six seniors this year. There are some staff changes. Please pray that the new students will adjust quickly and that the seniors will have a good year. Some of them have a lot of work to finish. Pray that the grace and favor of the Lord is upon us all. We truly appreciate your interest, your prayer support, and your financial support. We especially thank those of you who continued to send financial support over the summer.
ANOTHER YEAR IS OVER!
The End of the Year - Sorry we are so late with an update - the end of the year was busy!!! The last few weeks of school were filled with students trying to finish up all their PACES (workbooks) for the year, catching up on all our reward activities, and cleaning up the school. Our eighth graders, Rachel and Kenerah, graduated the night of our awards ceremony. It was a joyful time recognizing the academic accomplishments of our students as well as their noteworthy character qualities. We had a great bunch of students this year and many reasons to celebrate!
Baptism - Several students had expressed an interest in baptism as a result of discussions in their morning meeting. After permission was granted from their parents, several weeks of classes were held with all interested students before their baptism on June 6. We are grateful for the way these students are allowing God to work in their lives and would appreciate any prayer support you can give them.
Hershey Park - On the last day of school, we loaded more than 60 staff, students, and their families into vans and headed for Hershey Park. This end-of-school activity is always greatly anticipated (although sometime we go to Six Flags). The weather was hot, but sunny, and we all had a great time.
Summer School - Now 13 students are back in school for 2 weeks working to get some extra PACEs done. This is especially important for our seniors to help relieve the end of the year push to get all the work done before graduation. Others too, are trying to catch up on some of their work. We are proud of their diligence.
Finances - We want to express much gratitude for all of the donors who gave so generously so that we could cover our expenses for the year - especially so we could meet payroll for our teachers. Although our school does not have the kind of budget other private schools have, it is more than what we or our families have. We cannot thank you enough for your support!!!!
All glory be to God for another year at Mount Clare Christian School in Baltimore City. This is his work, and he gives us everything we need to accomplish his purposes!
High School Happenings
New York - On Thursday, May 8 a very excited group of high schools students left Mount Clare to head for New York City. Jim Gochnauer, from Followers of Jesus School in NY (along with his wife, Ruthi, who is a native Baltimorian) had offered to host our kids and show them the city. The students quickly decided to make this their end of the year event rather than the usual Baltimore City Harbor Cruise.
The days were packed with exciting events, and the weary, but happy, teachers and students returned to Baltimore on Saturday evening. Some of the impressions and favorite activities were:
Much prayer went into this trip, especially for safety. There were several incidents when the students were aware of God's protection and his wonderful timing in keeping them safe. We were thankful for that and for the beautiful weather. The trip was a true memory maker!
Graduation - Melinda Weaver has been finished with her school work for several months now. This Saturday, May 22 at 5:00 PM she graduates. She plans to attend Rosedale in the fall. Congratulations, Melinda!
Career Testing - As I write this, the juniors, seniors, and a few MCCS alumni are taking a 3-hour career test that will help them determine their giftings and which careers they might want to pursue. We are thankful that we can provide this service free to our students through the ASVAB Career Exploration Program. Thank you folks at Cedarbrooke Academy for making this connection for us.
Many of our students come to Mount Clare because of concerns they or their parents have about the public schools here in Baltimore City. Someone who knows and works with our kids confided that in her observations of the children she sometimes thinks, "This kid would not survive in a public school!" This may be because of academic difficulty or other social factors. One of the students said about her previous school, "We were just trying to survive in that school! We didn't learn anything!"
Here at Mount Clare, we hope that our children will not just survive, but that they will thrive! We are excited to see students graduate from high school, push through their work when it would be easier to give up, and learn better ways to interact with each other. We are excited to see them learn to know the Bible and the ways of the Kingdom of God. We are excited that so many of them have chosen to give their lives to the Lord.
Our job here is not only to teach, but also to show by example what it means to live as successful people in our families and communities. We are aware that the things we tell many of these kids about how to live with their fellow human beings and how to follow God they are not hearing anywhere else. We wonder how much difference it really makes in their lives.
But we also know that God says his word will not return empty, but will accomplish what he desires (Isaiah 55:11). We know that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). So we continue to speak the truth, love these kids, and do the work to which God has called us. And we trust that we will all go beyond merely surviving. We trust God for victory over ignorance and evil. We trust him to bring abundance and lush growth to our lives and our school. Thank you, Lord, for the ways we already see this happening.
Things we learned during spiritual life week
Things we learned during spiritual life week:
Thank you, Daniel Miller (aka Frank Wittem), June Kauffman, Marita Scholtz, Michael Booth, and Sonya Pena for delivering God's words specifically for us this past week.
We're back from spring break, finished third quarter, and heading toward the end of the year! There are many activities planned over the next 2 1/2 months - trips (to the zoo, the orchestra, New York City, etc.), spiritual life week, ceremonies, and graduation! Our one senior has already finished her school work, but she still comes in some days to work with other students who need help.
We mentioned previously that our teacher's fund is really low. Thank you to those who sent extra money, to those who faithfully give every month, and to those who may not be able to give, but pray that God will provide for our needs. We trust him for that daily and continually find that he is faithful.
"...since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, ...[we] run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1 Thanks for cheering us on!
There are also new pictures up on the media page!!
To participate in our Fundraiser
Our fundraiser will help to cover our trip to Hershey Park. If we take in more than we need for that, it will go to other expenses. If you live far away and want to participate, you are invited to go to www.Joecorbi.com and order pizza, cookie dough, or any of the other tasty products Joe Corbi sells. They say there is a rather hefty shipping charge, but if you are feeling generous, we do get money from your order. Just click "On-line Ordering", enter our group ID # 0L00MTCCS, and click the "Group Fundraiser Orders" button. Orders will be shipped directly to you.
Thank you to all who sent money for our teacher's fund. We did have to take from our general operating fund to cover the paychecks this month, so we are still behind for next month. But checks have been coming in and we are certain that God will meet all of our needs. As always, keep us in your prayers. We are so grateful for all of your interest and support.
We're Taking a Break!!
It's the last day of school before Spring Break! Our students have been working hard to get as much work done and pass as many tests as possible because the quarter ends a few days after the break. Then we are on our home stretch toward the end of the year. We have so many things planned. Some of the events coming up in the next months are : Spiritual Life Week, field trips to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Zoo,and an all-school roller skating day. We are also doing a fundraiser, planning a high school trip to New York City and a last-day trip to Hershey Park. And yes, we are doing school work also! It will be a busy spring!
We took time in chapel this morning to look at the story of the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples. The children got to experience a bit of what happened there as they watched a reenactment of Jesus washing Peter's feet. The teachers then carried soapy water, towels, and hand sanitizer so the students could have their hands washed before a "meal" of juice, donuts, and fruit. Ms. Gwen told the rest of the story of the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. We took communion together to celebrate the victory of Jesus and his great love for us.
May you also know the love and victory of Jesus in your life as you celebrate the Easter holiday!
Thank you to all who came to the talent show to see our lovely students perform and support the high school students. It was wonderful to see a full auditorium! There are a few pictures from the show on the media page. Also our latest newsletter has been posted. Many thanks to Marita Scholtz and Tiffany Lynch for the great job they do putting the newsletter together.
We're starting to get Spring Fever around here and are looking forward to Spring Break. This week, several InterVarsity college students are spending their spring break here helping us. Linda Vesey, who has recently moved to Baltimore, is also volunteering her time every Friday to help in our elementary classroom. In the newsletter, you will meet Ms. McQuaide, who comes to us through the Baltimore City Title 1 services. We are thankful to have so much help. Most of all, I am thankful for the dedication of the staff who give so much here every day. As mentioned in the newsletter, our Teacher's Fund is very low. If you feel inclined to give toward this fund, please make sure you mark it on your donation. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
Talent Show Coming Soon
Please join us at the MCCS Talent Show on Saturday, March 6th. The show will start at 7:00 and admission will be $1.00 and will be held in the Wilkens Ave Menn. Church sanctuary. All money made will go to help pay for the High School class trip to New York this spring.
Change of Plans
Well, we thought the next big break wouldn't be until the end of March, but we were wrong! The calendar says we are in the last week of February, but where did the month go? I'm sure you all heard about, or experienced with us, the big snowstorm of 2010 when we were either stuck in our houses, or outside trying to shovel our way out. (There are pictures on the media page.) We missed 6 days of school this month and 9 so far this school year. We plan to make up some of them at the end of the year.
We also had to reschedule Spirit Week, so today many students came to school in their pajamas. There are still piles of snow everywhere outside, but inside things are back to normal (except for our attire!)
Please continue to pray for us in this second semester of school. Pray for good work habits, passed tests, and good academic progress in general. Pray for wisdom and perseverance for our staff. Pray that our financial needs will continue to be met. Thank you again for all the donations at the end of the year. This is the time when giving tends to drop off, but our teachers still need to pay their bills. We are so grateful for all who stand faithfully with us.
These are the days in a school year that can drag by slowly. The next big break is not until the end of March, so we are trying to keep the kids motivated. We took 17 students bowling this week as a reward for getting 18 PACEs done last quarter. As usual, they had lots of fun and showed the bowling alley what wonderful students come from Mount Clare!
Next week is Spirit Week and we look forward to lots of fun. We will have a PJ Day, Twin Day, Crazy Clothes Day, "This-is-what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up" Day, and will end the week with a Valentine's Day party. Of course we will be working too, but Spirit Week spices things up a bit. We will post pictures for all to see! Of course this is all contingent upon what the snow storm headed our way decides to do.
We also plan to do some activities and assignments for Black History Month. More about that later.
Happy Winter and Happy Snow Days to all!
The Semester Ends!
We are at the end of the second quarter of the year and, as usual, everyone has been scrambling this past week to get PACEs finished and tests passed! Many of our students are doing very well. Please pray for those who are struggling to keep on course, that their second semester will go better.
We are grateful to see improvements in our students who are working with the Title 1 teacher (see 11.11.09 post).
We also thank God for hearing our prayers concerning the drug activity outside the school earlier in the year. It has simply moved away! It is still in the neighborhood and we still need your prayers for our students and this community, but we are grateful that we are not seeing it outside our doors.
There are new pictures on the Media page.
A Website Update
Videos and pictures can now be viewed by clicking the Media button at the top of this page. We are working on posting all of our past newsletters too, so be sure to check the Newsletter section also at the top of the page.
Happy New Year!
We had a longer Christmas break than anticipated because of the snow, but everyone is back now and working hard to get on course for the end of 2nd quarter. We did have our Christmas program in spite of the weather and hope to be able to post pictures soon. There is one video posted on our Facebook page made by some of the middle school students and the high school boys. It was a great program and many parents showed up.
Speaking of showing up, seven of our high school students showed up when school was closed to take tests and do an hour of school work before a Christmas cookie baking party. Such dedication!
We were happy to have Russell Sapp back when we returned to school yesterday. He was thankful to be home from the hospital in time for Christmas. He is wearing a leg brace and will undergo physical therapy several times a week. Please continue to pray that he will have normal use of his leg.
We are full of gratitude for the many people who have supported us in the past year. If you gave a financial donation, you will receive a statement soon. We cannot thank you enough for all the ways you have blessed us. May you receive double from the Lord, and may he heap blessings upon you throughout the year!
Click Here to see the rap video from the Christmas Play
Our Christmas program will take place on Monday the 21st at 7:00pm. Come join us for a fun filled evening full of short skits. Everyone is welcome.
Joy, Sorrow, and Hope
There is anticipation in the air at Mount Clare these days. Christmas is coming! We are doing crafts, preparing for our annual Christmas program, and looking forward to the Christmas break. We are working hard also, to get as much school work done as possible before the break.
There is also a sadder spirit here. One of our high school students, Russell Sapp, had open heart surgery on December 4. Of course, we were very concerned, and prayed earnestly for him and his family. We were happy to hear that the surgery went well. But then complications set in. There was a problem with the circulation in his leg, connected somehow with the bypass machine that was needed during the surgery. As a result, they had to remove a muscle in Russell's leg. This has serious implications for his walking, running, playing sports, etc. in the future.
But we talk daily with the God who "makes the lame to walk again." Our memory verses this month say, "By his wounds we are healed," Isaiah 53:5. Join us as we pray in hope and trust that Russell will be able to do more than the doctors predict. Join us in rejoicing in the presence of Jesus, who came into the world as a gift to us from God. He our hope and he is the hope for the world.
A Thanksgiving Celebration
We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with the students and their parents before our holiday break, and also enjoyed some time off. May we every day "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! "
Pictures from the Thanksgiving meal are now here for your viewing pleasure.
First Quarter Report Cards Due!
We have come to the end of the first quarter of school already and are thankful for how well the students have done. Each quarter they must do a minimum of 12 PACES with the goal being 18 PACES per quarter. All but one did at least 12 PACES and many did 17 or 18. A few did more than 20 with the highest amount being 31 PACES this quarter! This is how a self-paced, individualized program works. We are very proud of each student who worked hard to finish as many PACES as they did.
We are thankful also for the opportunity this year to have a certified teacher coming in to help some of our students who are struggling with the basics in reading and math. This is possible because we are working with many Title 1 students. These are children who come from low-income families. We hope to see these students improve in these areas and trust that will reflect in their PACE work.
Continue praying for us. We still have prayer profiles to send out if you are interested in praying for an individual student. Send us an email if you would like to do this or would like to receive prayer updates for the school in general. We continue to trust God for the finances to pay our teachers each month. If you want to give to the teachers fund, you must state that specifically or the money will go to general operating expenses.
Thank you once again for your interest and support!
Class Pictures for the 2009-2010 school year are ready for your viewing.
We Are On Facebook
MCCS now has a Facebook page. There are pictures from our school retreats on the page now. Don't forget to become our fan.
If you are not on Facebook and would still like to see the pictures you can see pictures from the High School retreat, the Middle School retreat, the Elementry School retreat and the Pumpkin Farm trip.
Answered Prayers and Prayers to be Answered
We came to school one day this week with news of arrests, drug dealers shooting at police, a stabbing in the bar around the corner, and plans for gang initiations. We pray a lot about our neighborhood and the things our students face in their daily lives. Although these things can be stressful, we're thankful that Mount Clare is a refuge and a haven from the craziness "out there."
Our retreats were wonderful. It was a joy to see the kids interacting with each other in positive ways, working together, and just having fun. The middle school students were challenged with understanding the Lordship of Jesus and what that means in their daily lives. The high school students experienced the lavish grace of God. Both groups worked on rope course challenges - one so tough it brought our high school students to their knees in prayer. The camp staff worker said that was the first time he ever had a group of students pray for a solution to a challenge!
As has happened many times over the years, we again experienced God's provision for this school as it came time for payroll this month. We were $500.00 short, but guess how much money was sitting in an account, undiscovered until two days before payroll! God again let us know that although we don't always know where the money is, he does, and he'll make sure we have what we need.
We mailed out our newsletter this week. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please let us know. And don't forget to keep praying for us!
As we move into our second month of school we are getting ready for our yearly class retreats. The Middle School and Elementary classes will be spending time at Camp Andrews and the High School will be going to Woodcrest retreat again this year. All the retreats are in Pennsylvania. Pray for safety for the children and teachers involved in the trips and for a meaningful time getting to know each other and God better.
We have one senior this year, Melinda Weaver, who is working towards graduating from the honors program. Pray for her continued hard work and dedication and for wisdom as she plans what to do about college next year.
Thank you for your continued prayer and donations.
Up and Running Again
We're off to a great start this school year! We have 44 students, including 5 new kindergarten students. We have one senior this year. Pray for a good year for her as she finishes here and makes plans for next year.
As stated in the last update, Jeanie Miller is our new administrator. She is very glad that former administrator, Gwen Martin, is still at the school to help her learn the ropes! We also welcome Sadie Miller as our new Kindergarten teacher.
We're so excited to see last year's graduates moving forward with their goals - two are in college, one is in the process of applying to the firefighter's academy, and one is still trying to decide what she wants to do next. Pray for their success!
As always, we are in need of outside support through prayer and financial giving. We are so grateful for all the support we are receiving. We cannot exist without your help!!
© 2008 Mount Clare Christian School