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Middle School Retreat: Providing Joy for All

 By Tessa Harmon
 
On Thursday, September 11th, Stillwater's Middle School gathered for a day of habituating into the 2014/2015 school year. Students participated in many activities, including worship time, three chapel times, and various games.
 
The excitement began at 8:35 a.m when students arrived at Trinity Lutheran Camp. Students were treated to a continental breakfast including donuts, muffins, fruit, and beverages. Afterwards, the students relocated from the dining hall to chapel for, as implied, Chapel. The chapel began with worship lead by Mr. Hashley, the Middle School and High School Principal.  After the session of praise, Mr. Clement, Middle School teacher, shared a message to the students. He spoke about the first six verses of the Middle School’s theme passage, Psalms 19. Because A general title of this passage is; ‘The heavens declare the glory of God’ , Mr. Clement began by speaking of the Glory of God.
 
His message went something like this: “Have you ever noticed visitors going ‘Oooooh! look at that!’ when all you see is a mountain, or a sunset? We become so immune to the beautiful area we live in that we don’t even stop to notice how everything tells about the glory of the creator.” He then went on to tell a story from when he was 12: “It was Christmas Eve of 1968, and at the time, Apollo 8 was on it’s last orbit around the moon. As most every child in the country was, I was glued to the television watching the broadcast from the moon. I was then interrupted by my parents, telling me that we had to leave for church service. I cooperated and got into the car, only to turn on the radio broadcast from the moon. The three crew members of the mission were told that they would give a live broadcast, so they said what they felt appropriate.
 
“ I remember this so vividly. Lunar Module Pilot William Anders began, saying : ‘We are now approaching lunar sunrise (meaning earthrise), and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.’In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.’ Next spoke Command Module Pilot James Lovell: ‘And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.’ Finally, Commander Frank Borman spoke, saying: ’And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.’

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.’ ” Mr. Clement then ended his message, reminding students that “God Reigns”.  

 
There was also 2 more assemblies of teaching from the bible. In one headed by Mr. Lodien, Psalms 19:7-14 was covered along with Psalms 51. Students were reminded to rely on God’s word. In another session, Mr. Clement spoke about the upcoming service day, teaching students about how John speaks of how God cuts off those who no longer are of service to him on this earth.
 
On a lighter topic, students also spent time playing games. In one of those games, students were divided into groups and given cards with numbers and letters on them.  They were then challenged with the tasks of making words from the cards, and making a math equation that equaled a small positive number. In another games session, students played a game called Everybody’s It tag. One could go into further detail on it, but let’s just leave it at this: everybody was it. After lunch, the day was ended with time spent swimming, playing gaga ball, or just relaxing, and, of course, rootbeer floats. Thereafter the root beer floats, Students returned to the school, with cheerful hearts and reason to believe that they were in the right place, among children of God.
 
Sources: http://www.manifoldgreatness.org/index.php/later/apollo-8s-genesis-reading/

 
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