“I would then have [the reader] trace the process of our moral decline, to watch first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern-day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them. The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through to avoid.”
Sounds like commentary on today’s society but it was actually written by Titus Livy (59 B.C. – A.D. 17) as an eyewitness to Rome’s decay. Our teachers are reading the book this quote is mentioned and preparing for a study they will go through this year that will further enable them to excel in teaching their subjects due to understanding those subjects from God’s point of view. No nation was able to avert the tragic moral decline that led to the demise of the nation with the exception of the Hebrews in the old testament. Even they went through times of tremendous revival of spirit, finance, social, and international relations and times of horrifying decay. When they were strong, the heart of that revival started with their strong relationship to God and when they slid into depravity and being dominated, it was based on their turning their backs on God. This relationship – whether for good or bad – wasn’t just on the days they went to the temple, but permeated all of their society and all of their thoughts and actions.
How does this relate to education? If we want hope for our children’s future, we must start with their relationship with Jesus and help them extend that into their studies and all of their life. As they let God rule in all of their life – home, work, play, worship – then they will begin to change our nation.
God’s sovereignty gives us peace. I am thankful that God worked through the Full Faith Church of Love (Now known as Cross Points Church) to start Maranatha Christian Academy over 40 years ago. He has used MCA to impact countless lives down through the years, and we are looking forward to how He will He will use MCA to impact countless more in the years to come. In light of the world’s choices of what is right or wrong in their eyes – whether it be the Supreme Court or your neighbors – it is wonderful to have schools like MCA who are committed to pursuing God as they educate the next generation. The commitment to that pursuit of God will cost us more in the days ahead in terms of freedom and acceptance, but with God’s help, we will stand united in our reliance on God’s truth and promises.
Thank you for being part of the MCA family. MCA is not a church but the principle of working as a body of believers can be transferred to our school in the sense that every person involved with MCA impacts our culture, effectiveness and success. For all of us to work in the same direction we need to understand that direction. Let me give you some principles that are guiding the faculty and staff:
- Implement Kingdom Education: 1) Make biblical worldview integration paramount in our instructional process. 2) Connect with the local church and the community to further kingdom work in students’ lives. 3) Help students resist conforming to the world by standing on kingdom principles today.
- Create and enable a team that pursues excellence in all that we do: spiritual, academics, co-curricular and business.
- Maximize the effectiveness of our resources (facilities, supplies and people)
- Position MCA for long-term sustainability in terms of finance, structure, policy and processes.
Recent efforts that have acted on these principles include:
- Hiring of new teachers and leaders across the Academy.
- Continuing into the second year of a formal training program called Theology of Work for all faculty and staff concerning establishing, living and teaching a biblical worldview.
- Sending 10 faculty and leaders to the Kingdom School Institute to learn about best practices in academics, Kingdom Education and other school programs.
- Establishing new review programs to coach and direct faculty and staff as they pursue excellence.
- Painting, trimming, cleaning, repairing, and upgrading our facilities throughout the summer.
- Obtaining upgraded furniture for many parts of the school.
- Reviewing our Statements of Faith and policies in light of the changing legal and social landscape.
- Implementing Office 365 which follows best practices of schools and universities in communicating with students and parents.
- Consolidating the reporting structure of the Elementary and Preschool to Mrs. Watt and providing an Assistant Principal – Chenaye Sutton – to bring stronger alignment and unity across the schools.
- Altering the dress code across the Academy to best position the school to encourage modesty and create an optimal learning environment while striving to create unity and establish an identity for MCA.
Let me tie the last point concerning dress code to the principles stated above. Ever since my daughter was in junior high, dress code has been a point of conversation in my family and it certainly continues to be a point of contention for some people. As I coached my daughter, dress code adherence is really about two things: 1) how do I want others to perceive me, and 2) am I willing to submit to those in authority?
After much prayer and discussion with students, parents, faculty and the Board, we decided that, following the example of many other successful schools, we would go to a unified dress code. Consideration was given to consistency and diversity, unity and enforcement, school spirit and community awareness, simplicity and self-expression, cost and convenience, and most of all to the impact on modesty and the learning environment. We believe that this decision, while a challenge to some in the short-term, will be beneficial to everyone in the long-term. We believe that
- Clothing decisions will be easier in the morning.
- Enforcement will be simplified for teachers as they juggle their many responsibilities throughout the day.
- Costs, while comparable now due to sales and discounts by Land’s End, will go down as we facilitate an annual re-sale from MCA family to MCA family.
- MCA students will be more readily recognized in the community which will heighten the awareness of the impact of MCA.
- The volume of dress code violations should decrease leading to less time in detention or the principals’ or dean of students’ offices. That means less disruptions of class time which leads to a better learning environment.
- Studies have shown that students test better when they are “dressed up”, and we all want that.
I am praying that we will not become a family divided over the approach to dress code, but rather unite and turn our attention to what having a good dress code points to: an Academy of students honoring God in everything they do whether that is their academics, sports’ performance, dress, speech, or behavior.
Note: in the flyer that went home, it stated, ” The fall of 2015 will require students in grades 4-12 to purchase pants, skirts, and shorts through Land’s End.” That should be “The fall of 2016 will require…”