Announcements

Cheerleaders are Selling LL Vacuum Sealed Tumb...

Cheerleaders are Selling LL Vacuum Sealed Tumblers [read more]

2017 6th Grade Orientation Presentation

2017 6th Grade Orientation Presentation [read more]

Technology Information Meeting

Technology Information Meeting [read more]

Latest Featured Articles

A February "Warrior Thought"

Click to read full article

A February “Warrior Thought”

This Warrior thought represents the third of seven monthly articles intended to celebrate within our Warrior Family the blessings we have in Christian middle and secondary education.  As a reminder, in each of these publications, I will reference statements from the LCMS Office of National Mission-School Ministry explaining “Why Lutheran Schools.”  I will then share excerpts from a document titled “Why Lutheran High?” created by a sister school written to debunk some of the most common hurdles preventing a family from choosing a Christian education for their child.

Two statements from the LCMS Office of National Mission - School Ministry –

“Why Lutheran Schools”:

To Demonstrate the High Value the Congregation Places on Children:

Lutheran schools require a considerable investment of prayers, energy, money and staff.  Such an investment by a congregation clearly demonstrates to the community that it places a high value on children, God's beloved little ones.

To Fulfill the Congregation's Responsibility for the Christian Education of its Children:

When the Synod was formed, it became a requirement of synodical membership that congregations would provide Christian education for their children.  This was before public schools were available and before Sunday schools were popular.  Thus a congregation was expected to operate a Lutheran School if it was to become a member of the Synod.  The Great Commission was not given only to parents, but to all members of the church.  A current proverb, "It takes a village," reminds congregations that it is their corporate responsibility to provide a Christian education for the children of the congregation.

These two statements represent the true blessing of Lutheran Education.  There is a rich and strong tradition within the LCMS to do what is best for children - to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  The Lincoln Lutheran School Association has seven member and two mission partner congregations.  Most of these churches have either a day school and/or preschool as a part of their ministry.  Those that don’t have schools make considerable resources available each year to encourage families to choose a Lutheran school for their child.  This type of support is part of the DNA of Lincoln’s LCMS Lutheran community.

Being a parent is a very humbling responsibility.  This is not an easy time to raise children.  Our world is full of temptations, relative truth, and many challenging stumbling blocks.  I am thankful that Sara and I don’t have to raise our daughters on our own.  When I think about our Warrior Family, and the Lutheran Schools Family in this community, the proverb “It takes a village” truly applies.  Our families and congregations seek to create a foundation for children built on the ROCK of Christ.  We unite and share resources to make possible an excellent education that teaches a Christian Worldview in a rigorous academic setting to create a wonderful experience for our students – from preschool through high school.

Originally Lutheran Schools were viewed as a way to serve the students within a congregation’s membership.  There are many who still view Lutheran schools this way.  Our schools have become so much more!  While the schools still serve students of the congregations, we also desire to be a resource to families seeking a small, caring, loving and Christian environment for their child, regardless of their church membership.  This type of “Great Commission” ministry allows us to serve students who may come to our campus with limited or no knowledge of Christ.  Some of these students get baptized and join the body of believers.  To God be all the Glory!!!

Our friends at Wolf River Lutheran High School respond to a question they often hear from families in the excerpt from their publication below:

Shouldn’t a teenager be able to choose which high school to attend?

One of the toughest challenges faced by any parent is balancing the desire to make their child happy and doing what is in their child’s best interest.  Simply put, teenagers often have issues with decisions their parents make, including decisions related to choosing the right school.  For instance, friends are extremely important to the average 13-14 year old.  It is not surprising that they would want to do what their friends are doing and go where their friends are going.  High school can be a scary proposition in the best of situations and going into a new environment with their best friend at their side can be very appealing and puts pressure on parents to give too much weight to that fact.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking a child’s thoughts on all manner of decisions, including school choice, it is ultimately up to the parents to determine the most appropriate course of action.  When such a decision goes against the child’s will, scripture reminds everyone that parents have the ultimate responsibility of doing what is best, even if the decision isn’t a popular one.

As for the potential loss of friends, the reality is that teenage social circles are constantly evolving…even attending the same school is no guarantee of a life-long friendship.  Personalities change, priorities change, and needs change, all of which can drastically impact a teen’s social outlook for better or for worse.  Besides, they can and will stay in touch with their existing friends wherever they may go, by hanging out after school and on the weekends, texting, and talking on the phone, but they will make new friends as well.  In some ways, in fact, closer, more meaningful friendships are easier to find in smaller, Christian schools like Wolf River Lutheran High School.

The topic of student choice is coming up more and more as decisions are made regarding school enrollment at both the middle school and high school level.  As parents, Sara and I recognize we are fully responsible for our girls through high school graduation.  Once they graduate we will still love them, we will continue to support them in a variety of ways, but they will begin to fly on their own and take more of a role in all of life’s biggest decisions.  Our job as parents is to make sure we provide them everything they need to be a disciple of Christ as an adult.  It is our responsibility to decide what education/school will be best for them.  Our daughters know this.  I believe they find a certain safety and assurance that in our home Christian Education is non-negotiable and a very high priority.

One comment I’ve heard is “my child is very mature and can make the decision for themselves.”  Regardless of how “mature” a child might seem, all the research suggests that the brain doesn’t fully develop until the early to mid-20’s.  An adolescent, regardless of how much responsibility and trust they might have earned from a parent’s perspective, simply doesn’t have the wisdom and bigger picture decision-making skills of an adult.  I certainly want to give my daughters more and more responsibility as they show they can handle it, but their elementary and secondary education is not on that list of responsibilities.

I pray that a Christian education already is, or might soon become, a non-negotiable in the homes of our current and prospective students.  If it isn’t non-negotiable, school choice for our children starts to compete with a lot of other noise - cost, friends, convenience, programs, athletics - the list goes on.  Once it becomes negotiable, kids are smart and they know all the right buttons to press.  Our children are too valuable to let the noise creep in.

I am so appreciative of all those who’ve paved the way to make Lutheran Education possible within our community.  I look forward to continued efforts to provide a ministry parents can trust to connect their desire for growing their children in Christ with strong programs and academics.  I pray we can work together to quiet the noise that can get in the way of celebrating the amazing work God is doing in lives of our students and their families.

May God Bless our journey through Lent as we look ahead to a cross we deserve and an empty tomb we did nothing to earn!  Thank God for His grace found only in Christ!

Because of Him,

Scott Ernstmeyer, EdS

https://luthed.org/page/view/id/4/name/Why_Lutheran_Schools%253F

http://wrlhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Why-Lutheran-High-Booklet-Fi...


COT at Center for People in Need

Click to read full article

Together Everyone Accomplishes More

You may notice the blatantly cliché phrase in this month’s title.  As you probably know, the acronym spells TEAM.  My apologies for the cliché.  However, the reason clichés become overused is because they are simple and true.

Never was this truth more apparent than Saturday, Jan 31st, when the Community Outreach Team spent the morning at Center for People in Need. A total of 39 volunteers, made up of Lincoln Lutheran students, staff and parents, unpacked and organized 22 pallets of donated items.  One of the more touching moments came when a watery-eyed volunteer coordinator shared with us that it would take her staff over a week to accomplish what this group did together in a matter of hours.  Possibly even more touching was our students’ reaction. Without using words, they projected an attitude of “happy to help…”

The COT was bolstered in numbers thanks to the inclusion of the boys’ basketball team, which used it as a team-building service project.  One joy of the day was seeing different groups all working together.  The work was simple: open boxes stacked on pallets and sort the donated goods in preparation for distribution.  Another joy of the day was observing young men and women “get it” so clearly.  That work was simple as well: help those who are helping others in need.

In past events, I have noticed that people are very anxious to do something that involves instant results of service.  And, certainly, that is a good thing.  However, there is also a great need (often times overlooked) for helping those who are doing the serving.  We don’t always need to do everything ourselves.  I guess it ties in once again to the T.E.A.M. mentality.

 “Wow! 22 pallets.   We are so grateful to the Lincoln Lutheran volunteers,” said Special Events Coordination Barb Solomon.  “The Center for People in Need is funded by grants and donations, like the one Lincoln Lutheran made, but we need to have community volunteers to help us assist those in need.”

The day got off to a great start with junior Kacey Kohlhof’s devotion and a basketball mom bringing in bagels and juice.  Kohlhof reminded us that everyone is someone’s “son” or “mom” or “grandparent.”  She had us reflect on the fact that none of us wish for our loved ones to go without care and provisions.  And, those feelings are just the beginning of how God sees each of his creation.  Each person is loved by God and are worthy of giving care and provisions.

This event marks the fifth event this academic year.  Total volunteer hours (446) and total volunteers (90) are well ahead of the goals set by the school when this all began last spring.  A huge thank you to all the people who help grow a culture of love and service at Lincoln Lutheran.

Boys Basketball Coach Jason Glines noted that attitude throughout the day.  “Yes, it is important to serve like we’re doing here today.  But, to me, what is even more important is the serving attitude and the way that service is being done,” Glines said.  “There is always going to be a need in our communities.  If our students learn this at a young age, they are so much more prepared for life.”

If you’d like to help us accomplish more at our next event, please consider how you might help in February.  The event is scheduled for Monday, February 16th at Matt Talbot Kitchen.  We have enough staff to serve the meal.  However, we still need people to donate side dishes or bags of chips.  To do that, you may sign up on the bulletin board at school or contact Mr. Stoltenow (jstoltenow@lincolnlutheran.org). 





Singing Valentines

Click to read full article

The Lincoln Lutheran Choir are selling and delivering Singing Valentines again this year!  Valentines are available in Lincoln and Seward.  You can even request your favorite Lincoln Lutheran music student to deliver the Valentine!  Valentines are $30.00 - order forms are available in the LL office or you can print one from this article.  Orders submitted after February 9th are an additional $5.00.  Call the LL office if you have questions (402.467.5404).  Make your sweetheart's day and order a one-of-a-kind Singing Valentine!


A January "Warrior Thought"

Click to read full article

A January “Warrior Thought”

This Warrior thought represents the second of seven monthly articles intended to celebrate within our Warrior Family the blessings we have in Christian middle and secondary education.  As a reminder, in each of these publications, I will reference statements from the LCMS Office of National Mission-School Ministry explaining “Why Lutheran Schools.”  I will then share excerpts from a document titled “Why Lutheran High?” created by a sister school written to debunk some of the most common hurdles preventing a family from choosing a Christian education for their child.

Two statements from the LCMS Office of National Mission - School Ministry – “Why Lutheran Schools”:

To Strengthen the Congregation:

Lutheran schools equip children to become Christian leaders in the congregation. The school also involves young parents in congregation activities more than in congregations without schools.  These young parents frequently become new leaders of the congregation.  Students are encouraged to become future pastors and teachers, ensuring an ongoing supply of church workers.

To Strengthen their Communities:

Every community needs students who are academically qualified and have learned to practice appropriate morality and respect.  Since Lutheran schools accept students from all parts of the community, they can have a strong effect on the community itself.

The most important resource within any congregation or community is people.  The first statement above highlights the impact a school has on encouraging engagement and leadership for parents of the school’s students.  This reality is reflected in our congregations with schools in Lincoln.  We at Lincoln Lutheran also draw upon parents to fill important and key leadership positions on boards, committees, and the delegate assembly of the Association.  Being invested in a child’s faith-based education creates a passion and commitment for improvement and growth, which keeps our ministry ever changing and expanding to better serve students.

When we consider formal vocation within the church, a young person’s time being mentored and cared for by teachers in a Lutheran school has a profound influence on those who enter formal ministry.  That was certainly the case for me.  I was blessed to have some great teachers who loved and mentored me, making an eternal impact.  The Spirit grabbed hold of my heart to convince me I wanted to play a similar role in the lives of young people.  Many of our staff members have a similar story.  We are so blessed to have staff who truly love and care for our students!

Ask an employer in the city of Lincoln about the impact of Lincoln Lutheran on students.  I have heard the following phrase countless times: “I know if the young person attends Lincoln Lutheran they are going to be a great employee.”  Our students are respectful, caring and willing to do their best and it shows when they start working out into the community.  The community of Lincoln is a better place because of the great Warrior students and graduates who now serve and work within the community!

Our friends at Wolf River Lutheran High School respond to two questions they often hear from families in the excerpt from their publication below:

Isn’t a public high school a neutral environment?

Isn’t the public school experience good enough?

First, a disclaimer is needed. Any thoughts shared in this booklet are not intended to disparage the public school system. It is widely acknowledged that many outstanding Christian students, parents, and teachers exist within the public school system doing their utmost to be ‘the salt and the light.’ Many parents are emotionally attached to their own public education background or their local public high school. These thoughts are not meant to discourage those feelings. The intent is to encourage people to consider, on a more equal footing, the benefits of a Christian secondary education.  

Scripturally speaking, the message or worldview espoused by any school CANNOT be neutral. A worldview is either Christian or non-Christian.  Christ put it this way, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” (Matthew 12:30) Is it realistic to believe that when Christianity is removed from a school that it leaves ‘nothing?’ If the worldview of a school isn’t centered in Christ, then something else must assume that role. That something is most definitely a religion of sorts – secular humanism. In today’s public high schools, teenagers are often told in some fashion that Biblical principles are irrelevant, that absolute right and wrong do not exist, and/or human existence is due to evolution. Secular education, officially and deliberately, excludes God from the classroom. By doing so, public high schools will inevitably promote, intentionally or not, a non-Christian worldview.

What does this mean? At best, a Christian student in this environment will fight the constant battle of discernment – dissecting what is being presented and avoiding the influence of the humanistic worldview. At worst, a Christian student will entertain non-Christian ideals; mixing them with his or her Christianity resulting in potential strain on their relationship with God.  

Granted, much of the life of a Christian is spent in environments that are non-Christian in nature. Discernment of right and wrong while in the world is indeed an important spiritual discipline. However, many teens are not ready for 35-50 hours a week of a message that says, “Your worldview is wrong, intolerant, and/or old-fashioned.” Christian parents have the opportunity to help shape the worldview of their children for Christ.

The average teenager attends school for 8 hours a day, including athletics and other activities. That’s 1440 hours per school year and approximately 40% of his or her weekly awake time. That’s a big number! The question is where might that time be best spent?  Current scientific research tells us that a teenager’s brain is not fully developed. An underdeveloped frontal lobe explains certain teenage behaviors like recklessness, emotional outbursts, and poor decision making. Simply put, high school plays a pivotal role in the development of the brain and there is no doubt that it can have an effect on how the brain of a teenager is hard-wired.

The truth is that Christian high schools have the one thing that public schools can never have – the intentional presence of Jesus through His living Word, the Bible, which forms the basis for our Christian worldview.

In our high school, we use the Holy Scriptures for:

Salvation – Our students do, with the help of the Holy Spirit, develop a close personal relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Training – Our students not only learn daily about God’s grace, but also gain the academic skills necessary for success, how to defend their Christian faith, and discover what it takes to thrive as a Christian in today’s world.
Giving Praise – Our students learn more deeply of God’s goodness for us in life and faith, and are moved to reflect a sense of joy and thanksgiving in all that they do.

This is a very well written response to the issue of influence within the lives of young people.  As the father of three daughters, I question each and every day if I am doing the right things as a parent to teach and prepare my girls for their future.  I will make bad choices and won’t always get it right as a parent.  However, I know that Kayla, Addi and Jordan are being surrounded and influenced by teachers, friends, and families that reflect a Christian worldview.  

A couple of years ago I attended a presentation at my church when Messiah was going through a fundraising campaign.  Several people shared testimonials about the impact the ministries of Messiah were having on their families.  One parent, whose daughters had been attending public school, stated that when her girls first started elementary school the education and experience they were getting was “good enough.”  She eventually came to the determination that she didn’t want “good enough” for her girls; she wanted something more, something that only a Christian school can give, Christ!  Her testimony brought me to tears.  

I attended public elementary and high school.  I was blessed to attend Lincoln Lutheran Junior High.  My time in 7th–9th grades established a path for me that only God knew at the time.  God is working in both big and small ways each and every day in the Warrior ministry.  Don’t take for granted the blessing our ministry is for students as their hearts and minds continue to develop and mature.  Don’t underestimate the strong non-Christian influences that exist within our society and culture.  I praise God for the sacrificial leaders who stepped out in faith over 50 years ago to start a junior high and over 20 years ago to start a Lutheran high school.  To God be the Glory!

Because of Him,

Scott Ernstmeyer, EdS

 

https://luthed.org/page/view/id/4/name/Why_Lutheran_Schools%253F

http://wrlhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Why-Lutheran-High-Booklet-Fi...

 


A December "Warrior Thought"

Click to read full article

In the daily hustle and bustle of life, it is too easy to take for granted the many blessings God places in our lives.  One such blessing is a Lutheran middle and high school in Lincoln, NE.  It is a privilege to serve in a ministry where God uses outstanding teachers and staff to do amazing work in the lives of young people and their families.

Over the course of the next 7 months, I would like to take time to remind our Warrior Family (and myself) why a faith-based education is so valuable.  In order to accomplish this, I will draw on two sources.  First, I will reference statements from the LCMS Office of National Mission-School Ministry explaining “Why Lutheran Schools.”  I will then share excerpts from a document titled “Why Lutheran High?” written by a sister school to debunk some of the most common hurdles preventing a family from choosing a Christian education for their child.

A statement from the LCMS Office of National Mission - School Ministry – “Why Lutheran Schools”:
To Nurture the Children's Faith:
Faith is nurtured by daily proclamation of the Gospel, teaching children the Word of God and how to read and understand that Word on their own, and by modeling and challenging students to live the Christian faith.

This statement captures the very heart of why we have a ministry called Lincoln Lutheran.  It demonstrates why schools have always been a focal point of the LCMS since churches first started forming in the 1800’s.  The first established and longest serving LCMS church and school in Lincoln (Trinity) has been serving the community for nearly 150 years.  The school has always been an integral part of their mission and their ministry to families. 

As a Christian father, I am blessed with three wonderful daughters.  Sara and I have been given a huge responsibility by God to bring our daughters up in the training and instruction of Christ.  While this begins in the home, and is reinforced by our church family, this faith-nurturing responsibility is maximized through the care, love and Biblical instruction our daughters receive each day in a Christ-centered school setting.  While things don’t always go perfectly, we recognize that the blessings more than outweigh the occasional challenge or frustration.  We are so thankful for the village at Messiah and Lincoln Lutheran schools as they help us raise Kayla, Addi and Jordan.

One of the strongest challenges to serving more families in Christian Education is the cost.

An excerpt from the publication “Why Lutheran High?”, developed by Wolf River Lutheran High School:
Isn’t a Christian high school too expensive?
It is true that Christian education comes with a price tag. Lutheran high schools across the country range in tuition from $2,500 to $15,000 per school year. Spread out over ten school months, it can mean a commitment of $250 to $1,500 a month for a single student. Consequently, a family that otherwise sees the potential value of a Christian secondary education is reluctant to pursue the opportunity assuming that the cost is prohibitive.

Fortunately, this obstacle isn’t always as daunting as it first seems.  Wolf River Lutheran High School, like most Christian schools, doesn’t rely solely upon tuition to pay the bills. To do so would make enrollment too expensive for virtually any family. In fact, the average cost to educate one of our students exceeds $13,000 and yet our current tuition rates are only $3,900 for students of association churches and only $4,900 for non-association students. The remainder of the income is generated through church association dues, donations, adopt-a-student sponsors, fundraisers, etc. To be blunt, you get far more than you pay for even if you pay full price. 

The best news is that MOST families don’t pay full price! We want Christian education to be available to anyone who wants it, so we aggressively work to provide financial assistance to any family that is willing to formally apply and qualify for a reduction in tuition. We also offer interest free payment plans, paid-in-full discounts, work service credits, and multiple child discounts to help ease the burden.  Even with assistance, the tuition amount may still seem discouraging, especially when public schools seem to be free.

How does a family get past this? A positive attitude can be the key. When something becomes a priority, it is easier to find a plan to make it work.  If you believe that a Christian high school education is important in the academic and spiritual development of a child then sacrifices in other areas become more acceptable and realistic. It isn’t always easy, but tens of thousands of families across America find a way to make it work year after year. A little thought and creativity can go a long way. There are countless ways to adjust spending habits like adjusting cell phone or cable television packages or eating out less.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to cost for education.  The information above digs into a lot of the same concepts we experience at Lincoln Lutheran.  Regardless of a family’s ability to pay, all families seem to wrestle with the issue of cost - is this investment worth it?  There are endless examples of the ways God has used Lincoln Lutheran in the lives of young people to make an eternal difference.  One doesn’t have to look back too far to recognize 4 baptisms in our senior class last year.  Countless alumni reflect a depth of faith and maturity which sets them apart from their peers.  I’ve watch God use Lincoln Lutheran take a young person, confused by adolescence and challenging family situations, and form them into young adults of such strong faith and conviction.  In many ways, one cannot and should not put a price on the work the spirit does in the lives of our students.

Still, there is a price tag.  The average cost of education this year at Lincoln Lutheran is nearly $8500 per student (the state average in our public schools easily exceeds $10,000).  Cost is higher for the upper grades and less for our lower grades, but that cost represents an average.  Of that cost, parents pay 62% of the overall cost to educate our students.  Our Association picks up an additional 29% and our fundraising efforts cover the rest.  Over $200,000 was issued this year in the form of discounts, scholarships and financial aid.  Our goal is to make Lincoln Lutheran accessible to any family who wants to be a part of our family.

For most families there is still a sacrifice that must be made.  I especially like the phrase from above, “When something becomes a priority, it is easier to find a plan to make it work.”  A parent of three alumni once shared with me, “We decided to send our daughters to Lincoln Lutheran.  I don’t know where the money came from (he knew the exact dollar amount).  It wasn’t in our budget.  With all the miles we drove (from Seward), our vehicles never ran out of gas, never broke down, and we never had an accident.  We asked God to bless our decision of Christian education and He took care of the rest.”  What a testimony!

I am thankful to work with a Board of Directors that works hard to keep costs down while running an efficient and impacting ministry.  They recognize the impact tuition increases have on a family and continue to develop new ways to slow the impact the increased cost to teach our children has on families. 

So is it worth it?  Listen to our kids speak about the Bible, explain doctrine, and reflect a spirit of service in our community.  Their level of knowledge and maturity humbles this life-long Lutheran.  God is doing amazing things in our Warrior Family.

May God’s richest blessings and peace surround you this Advent and Christmas season, where we celebrated the ultimate gift - a baby born in a manger - who would one day die for you and for me!

Because of the baby Jesus,
Scott Ernstmeyer, EdS

 

https://luthed.org/page/view/id/4/name/Why_Lutheran_Schools%253F

http://wrlhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Why-Lutheran-High-Booklet-Fi...


Lincoln Lutheran Spanish Students Mentor Trinity Kids

Click to read full article

Lincoln Lutheran's Spanish 1 students had the privilege to share their knowledge with their 4th and 5th grade Spanish buddies at Trinity Lutheran School. Miss Kelly took her high school students over to meet with Mrs. Ziems' classes, which has become a bi-annual Spanish class gathering. 

Lincoln Lutheran students reminded Trinity students of blessings that God has given to all of us, using phrases in Spanish and pictures to aid in translation.  Overall, student learned that Dios nos da mucho, or God gives us a lot! All students sang two Christian songs together and then the high schoolers led small group review games with the elementary kids.  Trinity passed along a big gracias for the great time of fellowship and teaching.  Both classes look forward to our next gathering, when we will have another mini-Christmas celebration together.  What a special partnership!



Jacob's Well Part 1: Faithfully and Joyfully

Click to read full article

This article will be somewhat different in the report December’s partnership with Jacob’s Well. It will be a bit of a devotion first, followed by images from Part One of our service in the community.

At a recent chapel, I was struck by the lines of the Christmas hymn, “O Come All Ye Faithful / Joyful and triumphant…” And actually, I was tempted to use those words as the title of the article, inviting us to come and serve our neighbors faithfully and joyfully. I was thinking it could really elevate the prominence of the Community Outreach Team. But, then I realized that really isn’t what the song is about; it’s a meditation on God’s marvelous incarnation with an angelic host bearing witness. And, those who went faithfully and joyfully were there to celebrate God’s first coming, not really looking to serve in the community.

But it did get me thinking. Indulge me in some reflection during this Advent season, and feel free to reference Matthew 25:31-46 ahead of time for hints as to where this is going.

If we ever were to adore Him and behold Him, and if we ever were to encounter this king who is now in flesh appearing, what would we do? Actually, there really is nothing we can do to initiate that. It is not about us going to be with God. Just the opposite, the point of this hymn is to remind us that God has come to be with us ("Immanuel" in the Hebrew). Apart from God’s revelation in his Son, we would never know our God or anything about his first coming.

Speaking of God’s revelation, though, Christ himself tells us a little about how it will be like in his second coming. Consider the Message translation of Christ’s words in Matthew 25:40 “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored – that was me—you actually did it to me.”


How amazing to think: God can be found here on earth when we lose ourselves in acts of service for others. Isn’t that just like God? He has never required us to look “up” and go find him, but rather look around, right among us. He was found in the lowly manger. Anyone could have come to behold, adore and worship him in his first coming. Similarly, anyone can find time to serve those in need as we look forward in hope for his second coming. And, in the meantime, who knows, maybe we’ll find that service brings peace to our little corner of the world? And, maybe this connects nicely with Luke 2:14 from that first night when angels bore witness to God’s first coming, announcing, “Glory to God and peace on earth.”

With that in mind, here is the latest report of the Community Outreach Team in our little corner of the world and its partnership with Jacob’s Well. We will have two more outings this month (details below), so stay tuned. Here are photos and some reflections for those involved in “Jacob’s Well: Part One”


Community Leader Mark Thornton

“The importance of partnerships between local ministries and different churches or schools is important because it provides volunteers, dedicated prayer partners, encouragement, and financial support,” said Mark Thornton, executive director of Jacob’s Well. “And, many people simply don't realize there are people in need in their community for a variety of reasons. Serving with local ministries puts faces and names and friendships next to Matthew 25:34-40 and gives the group a way to out those words into action.”


Thornton went on to recognize the universal call to the body of believers. “The real importance of these partnerships is the way it promotes a ‘kingdom work’ mindset. We may have our different areas of town or individual churches that we worship at, but at the end of the day we are serving the same God and are working together to build His kingdom. And that is awesome.”

 

Parent Amy Blum

“It is hard to put into words the value of participating in events like the Jacob's Well food distribution,’ said Amy Blum, Lincoln Lutheran parent. “The main thing for me is that it made us take a step back from our busy lives and focus on helping others. We become closer as a family by realizing how fortunate and blessed we are and that just a little bit of time and effort on our part can make a huge difference in someone else's life.”


Student Nathan Gebers

Senior Nathan Gebers found joy in the highly repetitive task of organizing vegetables for the distribution table. “Even though putting 8-12 bell peppers into a bag only helps people carry things, knowing that it helps people in some way makes it fun.”

If you are looking for ways to serve along with the Community Outreach Team, please contact Joel Stoltenow (jstoltenow@lincolnlutheran.org). Upcoming events in December include the following:

Dec. 14th @ "F" Street Community Church
Evening Worship - 6pm
Potluck Dinner - 5pm

Dec. 20th @ First Presbyterian Church
Food Distribution
Meet @ School - 9am
Return - 12noon



Community Outreach Team & Tabitha Create Firsts

Click to read full article

The first major snowfall landed Saturday, and on that same day the Lincoln Lutheran Community Outreach Team chalked up a few of “firsts” of its own in a partnership with Tabitha.  It was the first time some of the crew delivered Meals-on-Wheels to the home-bound.  It was the first time some of the crew spent a couple of hours visiting with elderly or singing piano tunes.  And, for a few of our international students, it was the first encounter with snow.  For all involved, it was a great reminder that God brings us together to share his love through service.


A group of parents joined 18 students inside with those students visiting and sharing stories of snowy days, holidays and days gone by.  Four other students joined Mr. Stoltenow shoveling sidewalks and making local runs for Meals-on-Wheels.

“I have shoveled snow before, but I have never delivered meals or even considered what it takes to get 500 meals out to the Lincoln community,” said Mr. Stoltenow. “What a great service Tabitha provides.  It is amazing that they never skip a day – 365 days a year.  I learned that some volunteers do this on a regular basis.  That is commitment to loving your neighbor more than yourself!”


Like previous partnerships, the COT efforts went beyond Saturday’s service.  The team prayed for Tabitha’s ministry all month long, the team enclosed a donation check with a card of appreciation and the team provided some fellowship time before and after the service.

Before the event, Senior Sam Otte led devotions at school before the group served.  In it, he shared a story of dishtowels.  The towels were a reminder that serving like Christ means finding joy in service to others; and, that service calls for our best.


“I believe that after this service event at Tabitha, the whole group can agree that service can come in a variety of ways.” Otte said.  “Whether it was shoveling snow, painting fingernails, visiting with the elderly people, I think I can say that we can serve in many different ways, not for us, but for others.

After the event, some students went to lunch while Mr. Stoltenow and the Vietnamese students had a (mostly) friendly snowball fight outside in the snow. Senior Trung Doan even demonstrated the proper form in the art of snow angel making.

“It was really fun to serve other people, especially people I didn't know before,” Doan said.  "I really enjoyed the beautiful snow, but the most enjoyable thing that I experienced that day was I had a chance to meet a 87 years old lady.  [By the time] I was done talking with her – a stranger for when the day started – I felt like I had talked with her for a while."

Doan continued, “I felt like I talked with my grandmother who I miss a lot.  Besides that, had a chance to make a snow angel after serving other was also a fun experience.  Even though it was really cold outside, I had fun so much fun, it made me felt warm inside.”

Janelle Nosal, volunteer coordinator at Tabitha commented on how visiting groups help make meaningful connections.  “The connections made during these encounters bridge the generational gap and give the pure joy of spending time with one another.  Everyone leaves feeling like they have made difference in a person’s life.”

And those differences are a two-way street.  Many students found themselves reminded of the value of our elderly to our community.  They have been through a lot in life and have important stories to share.


Trung wasn’t the only one who thought of his grandparents.  Another student put it this way, “I don’t see my grandpa very often.  And today I saw someone else’s grandpa.  That’s kinda neat to think about.”

Neat indeed!

As a result of the November outing at Tabitha, the COT surpassed the 200-hour mark in its first year of organized outings.  Over 60 different people in the Lincoln Lutheran community have contributed service: a combination of students, parents and staff.  If you would like to be involved in the December partnership, please contact Joel Stoltenow (jstoltenow@lincolnlutheran.org).  The COT will partner with Jacob’s Well in the month of December.



Device Satisfaction Survey Results

Click to read full article

Next week we will send out our annual device Buyer’s Guide, but before we do that, we would like to share with you the results of our survey of how satisfied students are with the devices that they currently have. These results come from surveying all of our students at all grade levels with a 95% participation rate.

Devices used

Approximately 65% of our students have an iPad or an iPad Mini. This is not surprising as this is the device that we indicated our teachers were most familiar with. It is also the type of device that we lease to students. About 7% of our students use Android tablets and about 4% use Windows tablets. 23% of our students use laptops (13% Apple, 10% Windows) and 2% of our students use Chromebooks. Note the relatively small number of Chromebooks and Windows tablets when you read the data below. It is a pretty small sample size.

Would/Did you switch devices?

Approximately 11% of students have switched devices since the start of the school year. Students with an Android tablet were the most likely to switch to a different device (28% of them switched). Most students who switched to another device chose the Apple iPad as their new device followed by an Apple laptop.

We also asked students if they would chose the same device again if they were starting the school year over. About 80% of them would keep the same type of device. Students with an Android Tablet (42%) or Chromebook (50%) were the most likely to switch with the Apple iPad and laptop the most likely device to switch to.

Note that Android tablets and Chromebooks tend to be lower priced devices and Apple iPads and Laptops tend to be higher priced devices, so this may just be students wanting a more expensive device.

Also worth noting is that we did not include students in the above statistics if they switched or indicated they would switch to a newer version of the same device, for instance, from an iPad 2 to an iPad Air.

Battery usage

Most of our students report that their devices (94%) have batteries that almost always last for an entire school day. Windows tablet users report that their battery life lasts the longest (averaging 8 hours) and Windows laptop users report that their batteries last the shortest amount of time (averaging 5.6 hours).  Keep in mind that these are survey results and that actual usage will vary by student and by day.

Problems with school work

Students with Android tablets, iPad Minis and Windows tablets reported the most problems working on school related tasks. Students with Windows laptops and Apple laptops reported the fewest problems. One reason that laptops had the fewest reported problems is that it is assumed that you cannot annotate assignments with a laptop and that you can with a tablet. Annotating with eBackpack has been somewhat problematic.

In this section we asked students how often they had problems with the following school related activities:

  • Getting assignments from eBackpack (best: Apple laptops, worst: Android tablets)
  • Turning in assignments with eBackpack (best: Apple laptops, worst: Android tablets)
  • Using Google Drive/Google Docs (best: Chromebook worst: Windows tablets)
  • Using Moodle (best: Chromebook, Windows laptop, worst: none)
  • Using email  (best: Chromebook, worst: none)
  • Using Kahoot, Quislets & Socrative  (best: Windows laptop, worst: Chromebook)
  • Using word-processing software  (best: any laptop & windows tablet, worst: chromebook)
  • Using spreadsheet software  (best: any laptop & windows tablet, worst: chromebook)

Chromebooks performed surprisingly bad on word-processing and spreadsheets. This may be due to problems printing or turning in assignments rather than creating them (an area where we expect Chromebooks to beat tablets).

Of all of the questions we asked, this is the one that will most strongly affect the types of devices that we recommend. In general we will be suggesting that parents avoid certain kinds of Windows and Android tablets and devices with small screens in the future.

Satisfaction with devices for school work

We next asked students how satisfied they were with using their device when working on the same types of activities as above. From most satisfied to least satisfied they were: Apple laptops, iPads, Windows laptops, iPad Minis, Chromebooks, Windows tablets and Android tablets.

Satisfaction with devices for personal use

Because some parents buy devices as birthday or Christmas presents, we also asked how satisfied students were with their devices for personal uses. We asked them about listening to music, reading books, playing games, using social media, browsing the internet and reading news. For personal use the devices fell into three groups. At the top were Apple laptops, iPads and iPad Minis. In the middle were Android tablets, Windows laptops and Windows tablets. At the bottom were Chromebooks.

That Chromebooks were at the bottom for personal use is not surprising and not necessarily a bad thing. They are usually viewed more as productivity devices than personal devices.

Device quality

Overall, students with Apple laptops and Apple iPads were most satisfied with the quality of their device. Students with Android tablets, Chromebooks and Windows laptops were least satisfied with the quality of their devices. Specifically, we asked students about these items: Durability, Battery Life, Screen Size, Screen Quality, Camera Quality, Speaker Quality and Ease of Use.

Under Durability, Apple laptops came in first by a wide margin. Chromebooks came in last, but we are not aware that Chromebooks have been damaged at a higher rate than other devices. This result is to be expected as Apple laptops are, on average the most expensive devices that students have and Chromebooks are the least expensive.

For Battery Life, Apple laptops come in first and Windows laptops come in last. You can buy Windows laptops with just as good battery life as Apple laptops, but they cost more than cheaper Windows laptops (our buyer’s guide will have Windows laptops with a battery life over 7 hours).

Students with iPad Minis and smaller Android devices were the least happy with the Screen Size of their devices. Apple iPad and laptop owners were the most satisfied. This result was mirrored in the Screen Quality section with the added note that Chromebook users were also unhappy with the quality of their screens.

Students with Apple devices thought more highly of the Camera Quality of their devices than any other group. This result was mimicked by Speaker Quality with the exception that Windows Laptops also performed above average in this category.

As far as Ease of Use goes, students with Apple laptops and iPads thought their devices were much easier to use than others. Users of Windows tablets and iPad Minis were in the middle of the pack and users of Android tablets, Chromebooks and Windows laptops were at the bottom.

It should be noted that there are many different types of Android Tablets, and that the higher end devices scored higher than the low-end devices. Also, Android tablets with a more recent edition of the Android operating system tended to score higher. The same thing applies in general to all devices. Students gave higher marks to the iPad 4 than to the iPad 2.

Conclusions

There were students who were happy with each kind of device and students who were unhappy with each kind of device. All we can present here are general trends. We hope these are helpful for you when you decide that it is time to purchase a new device.

Next week we will publish the list of devices that meet our requirements. If you are interested in receiving an email when we find a good price for one of these devices, please subscribe to our “Device Deals” email list here: http://bit.ly/LL-device-deals

Lloyd Sommerer

 


Fine Arts Sound Enhancement Fundraiser A Success!

Click to read full article

The Fine Arts Department extends a huge THANK-YOU to ALL who contributed to the success of our recent Music Department soup supper fundraiser – Thanks to the students who blessed us with their performances; the parents, faculty and staff who invested their time and talents in the soup supper and fundraiser; and to EVERYONE who attended the soup supper and Fall Sampler Concert and donated generously to the project!

We are excited to announce that your donations helped us reach our goal of $5,000 to be applied to the project!  With this $5,000 added to the funds already committed, the Fine Arts Sound Enhancement Project is fully funded.  Work has begun on the project and our plan is that the members of our Lincoln Lutheran family will soon be able to experience the enhanced quality and enjoyment of fine arts events held in the small gym.  Again, we extend our sincere THANKS to all who stepped up to support this project!