Worthy Through Christ
Valentine, Nebraska was the site of the CLC Teachers’ Conference in late October 1996. The warm greetings and the overall hospitality of the host congregation, Grace, were greatly appreciated by all in attendance.
The devotional leader, David Bernthal, gave us “A Look At Ourselves” using three questions: Are you prepared to lead? Are you worthy? Are you content? The answer to each question is “no” in ourselves. However in Christ Jesus and what He has done for us we are prepared and worthy and can be content.
After the opening we were treated to a book review. Seth Schaller gave a short review of the Bible, especially picking out passages to which we might turn for comfort, guidance, strength, and perseverance. The booklet aptly named “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” turned out to be a resource for teachers loaded with scripture, devotions, and quotations. This short presentation was followed by “A Devotional Study of John 15:1-9” in which Seth reminded us that we never need to accept failure on our own part, reminding us that we can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens us.
Great cooking, wonderful service, and Valentine beef is all that need be said about the meals served at this conference. We were all satisfied and thankful for the bountiful gifts of our God given through Grace congregation.
After lunch Ted Quade presented a paper comparing and contrasting the “humanism” in the secular textbooks and the “decision theology” found in the A Beka texts. How should we go, which shall we choose, when we need to have a text to help impart the facts of history and science, and to teach reading? From the author’s struggles over textbooks, three conclusions were reached: 1) If textbooks are doing the teaching and not the teacher, then there is a major reason for all of us to be concerned; 2) It is a powerful warning to each and every educator to search and review all educational material thoroughly. 3) Keep Christ the center of every subject you prepare and teach. Keep Christ in front of yourself and your students every moment.
A short discussion of “how a Teachers’ Conference Should Be Run” was carried on with no conclusions reached.
Barbara Hulke and Deb Johannes led a discussion of the D’Nealian and Zaner Bloser handwriting methods. A lively discussion of handwriting problems and possible solutions followed.
The evening communion service was an inspiring service highlighted by the address of Pastor Steven Sippert based on John 21:15-17. Those present heard that God wants us to feed His lambs. The choir sang: “Glory to Thee, My God This Night.”
Doug Libby presented ways and means of self-evaluation for our schools. This was based on methods used by various organizations and schools. Lively discussion ensued. Jim Lau presented a three-part paper on our attitude over against public schools. He considered why and how we might cooperate with these schools and concluded with a section on why we most certainly need Christian Day Schools. Stewardship in connection with government aid and label saving was also discussed in connection with this paper.
Two interesting field trips — you could have your pick — took up most of the afternoon. One group went to a working ranch, and also visited a mud hut to hear an extremely interesting discussion of the area and its history. The other group visited the reservation and St. Francis church which was the mission church of the reservation.
The evening brought a wild and entertaining night of volleyball in a local gymnasium. Those who brought their shoes had a great time playing, and the rest of us had maybe a better time watching.
Before we said our good-byes at noon on Friday we heard Lane Fischer speak on the advantages of arts in the curriculum. Data seemed to point to the fact that students involved in the arts seem to score higher on the average on their ACT tests in both verbal and math. A spirited discussion was held.
Sprinkled throughout was the presentation of what the conference calls Title 5’s. This year they were presented by Alvin Sieg (math), Carrie Gerbitz (English), Leif Olmanson (history), and Marion Fitschen (newspaper). We are still wondering they are called “Title 5’s”.
The conference as usual was uplifting and edifying. I am certain that each and everyone present left Valentine filled with a greater resolve to feed His lambs. We were strengthened and uplifted by the fellowship and especially by His Word. We thank our God for these opportunities for mutual strengthening.
— Prof. Ronald Roehl