301 S. Oak St. • Kendallville, IN 46755

The Banner

St. John's weekly newsletter to parents, faculty and staff

Banner #5; 2020-21

Cathy Thiem
WRITTEN BY Cathy Thiem - 08 September 2020


St. John Lutheran School

September 8, 2020 Number 5

The Principal’s Pen

What does this mean?….It’s a questions Lutherans often ask, modeled after the question Martin Luther frequently asked in his Catechism. Whether you are deeply connected to the Lutheran faith or another form of Christianity, we can all learn and grow in faith. This first installment of a new monthly feature serves to share one of the distinctive beliefs that we as Lutherans hold, for the purpose of building us all up in the faith.

This month we look at Law and Gospel. The Law is the 10 Commandments and all of the rules, orders, and commands that we follow. The Law includes phrases like…have to…need to…should. One way to remember what the Law does is the letters SOS. In the case of the Law, these letters stand for Shows us Our Sin. The Law is very important for us and our kids. It helps provide order and safety and well-being. On our own, though, we can not keep the Law. We fail, we fall, we sin. Every time. The Law does not motivate us to change, at least long-term. Most importantly, it is essential that we understand that the Law does not save us.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

The wages (what we deserve) of our sin is death. This is why the Gospel is so important. The Gospel is the Good News. It is the message of forgiveness and salvation through faith in Jesus. It is a free gift from God. The Gospel can also be summarized with the letters SOS. This time they stand for Shows us Our Savior. In Jesus, we are free to follow God’s Law, not because we have to, but because we get to. We are forgiven when we fail and we are strengthened to try again.

Understanding the difference between Law and Gospel and how the two work together is a foundational belief for Lutherans. It is foundational for our school, too. The Law is important, but it’s not enough. The Gospel gives us forgiveness, freedom, and the strength to live as God’s child.

Bible Study Opportunities

Want to learn more about the Lutheran faith? Consider joining us on Sunday mornings at 9:15 for:

Introduction to the Lutheran Faith with Pastor Rigdon in the Conference Room. Learn the essentials of the Christian faith from a distinctively Lutheran perspective.

Or, consider one of our other Bible studies:

Run Hard – Rest Well with Principal Tim Walz in the Sanctuary. Most of us work hard but we don’t know how to rest well. Learn that rest is a gift from God.

One Nation Under God – Healing Racial Divides in America with DCE Paul Wendt in the Worship Center. Racism is an unavoidable issue. What does God’s Word say about this?

Confirmation Instruction

Confirmation is another way our young people can grow in t heir faith. Our 6th and 7th grade students (and perhaps 5th and 8th) are able to participate in this course.

Confirmation Instruction begins Sunday, September 13th at 6:00 p.m. in the Worship Center. Contact Pastor Rigdon or DCE Paul Wendt with questions.

Sunday School Begins

Sunday School for ages 3 to grade 5 will begin this Sunday, September 13th at 9:15 a.m. We welcome all school children to join us!

ParentAlert TEXT

While our normal method of communication is The Banner and the classroom letters, we also use emails for more timely updates and texts for urgent information and short reminders. The main use of the ParentAlert text notifications is when we have delays and cancellations. We have used ParentAlert texts several times already this year. If you have not received these texts or have someone else in your family that you want to receive them, please contact the office with that information.

Welcome Back, Georgia and Rosie!

This week we welcome back Rosie and Georgia Sexton to St. John. Rosie joins our kindergarten class and Georgia joins the second graders. We hope it won’t take long before both girls, and their family, feels a welcome part once again!

The Banner

Starting today, The Banner, our school newsletter, will be sent home with the youngest child in the family. This is an important communication method and one that we hope you will read each week. Other information from the school office will also go home with the youngest child in the family. If you would prefer another child in your family be the one to bring items home please notify the school office. In a few weeks we will be asking whether you want to continue to receive a paper copy of The Banner or read the copy that is posted to our website.

Student Directory Coming Home

Parents will be receiving a new student/parent directory this week or next. This is a valuable publication which contains class lists, teacher credentials, family addresses and phone numbers, and addresses for area schools (for sporting events, etc.). Every attempt has been made to provide correct information, but if you should spot an error, please bring it to Mrs. Thiem’s attention so a correction can be printed in the Banner.

Please remember in prayer…

These students and their families, prayed for this week:

Hank Timmerman, Addilynn Treager, Reece Acker, and Piper Arnold.

Barrett Klink and his family upon the death of his grandma, Joan Hixson

Bayleigh Gibson upon the passing of her father, Steven Gibson

School Pictures

School pictures have been scheduled for Thursday, October 15. Parents of 4-year old preschool students that meet on M-W-F may bring their child to school on the 15th for Picture Day. Or, if you prefer, Picture Re-take Day has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 11, and preschool parents may choose to wait until that day. This year we will again be using Derby Photography for our class pictures and yearbook services. All students in our school will be pictured during their normal class time. Order forms will be sent home with students as soon as we receive them. We will need a parent or two as volunteers for this event. Please let Mrs. Thiem know that you are interested!! THANK YOU!!!


SCRIP can save you money! Please stop in the office any time and purchase some SCRIP cards. The percentage that the school receives back from your purchases helps provide for the education of your children. Plus, St. John credits half of that percentage back to the account of your choosing back at St. John. The school wins and you win!

Worship with Us!

Everyone is always encouraged and welcome to join us for any of the three weekly worship services offered at St. John. They are:

Thursday 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary – formal service

Sunday 8:00 Sanctuary – formal service

Sunday 10:30 a.m. Worship Center –

contemporary service

Seeking Prayer Warriors

Are you a prayer warrior? Would you delight in being able to lift up prayers and praises for our school ministry? If the answer is yes, please contact Mr. Walz or the school office. Mr. Walz sends out a weekly email with prayer requests and would love to add you to the list of prayer supporters!

Tutoring Help

The Freedom Academy will now provide after-school tutoring at the Community Learning Center. Tutoring is available on Monday through Thursday from 3:00-8:00 and costs $10 per 1-hour session. Call 260-347-0887 for more information.

Financial Obligations – Important!

As was first shared in the Principal Need to Know sessions and since then in the Banner and in an email, the following policies are in place to help families and the school meet financial obligations and be good stewards of our resources.

Hot Lunch and Extended Care

● Families accounts must be current for students to participate in these services.

● Invoices that show Hot Lunch, Extended Care, tuition, and miscellaneous charges are sent home with students at the beginning of each month.

● Also, automated emails are sent out on Sunday night for families that have a -$10 balance in either Hot Lunch or Extended Care. Remember, a -$10 balance means you still have $10 to spend. A paper note is sent home on Monday as well.

● Also, automated emails are sent out on Sunday night for families that have a $15 balance in either Hot Lunch or Extended Care. Remember, a $15 balance means you have overspent your account by $15. A paper note is sent home on Monday as well.

● Students whose families have reached this level ($15 overdrawn) will be served an alternate breakfast or lunch entrée until a payment is received on the Hot Lunch account. Students whose families have reached this level ($15 overdrawn) will not be able to participate in Extended Care until a payment is received on their Extended Care account.

● Payments can be made online in your FACTS Family Portal account or by sending checks to the office. Please remember to send separate checks for Hot Lunch and Extended Care as they are deposited into different accounts.

● All balances left from 2019-2020 have been moved into the new year in FACTS Family Portal.


●Tuition payments must be made in one of three options:

● One-Pay Plan: Pay in Full - would have been completed over the summer

● Two-Pay Plan: First payment in June/July and the second payment in January

● Monthly Plan: Monthly automated payment plan through FACTS

If you have questions regarding any of these matters, please contact Mr. Walz.

Screenagers: The Next Chapter - POSTPONED

In order to provide a better experience for our families and those from the community, we are postponing this event. We will reschedule to a time on February or so when we can more safely gather as a group.

Retirement Celebration!!

Plan to join the fun in paying tribute to two of St. John's finest - Vernie Scheiber and LouAnne Pillers - as they begin their retirement. Due to COVID, the celebration has changed a bit from the beautiful reception room at the Community Learning Center to the pavilion near the entrance to the east side of the lake at Bixler Lake Park. All takes place on Sunday, September 13, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Please plan to stop by and say hi to these two fabulous teachers and friends!!

East Noble Special Education Meeting

East Noble School Corporation will hold an informational meeting for parents of children with special needs who reside within the East Noble attendance area and are home schooled, or attend a non-public school. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 17th at 1:30pm at the administrative offices at East Noble. If you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Luke-Scherer at 347-5236 or Matt Stinson at 347-2502 or Mr. Walz.

Emergency Contact Information

Remember to keep us up-to-date on how to reach you during the day. If any information changes, please call Mrs. Thiem as soon as possible.

FACTS Tuition Management System

Keep in mind that changes can be made in your FACTS tuition agreement should a need arise. Perhaps you have received a windfall and would like to make an advance payment, or perhaps you are having particular financial strains and need an adjustment. See Mrs. Thiem for assistance and she will direct you to Mr. Walz if needed. Please contact us at least 10 days before payment is set to be deducted from your account.

Free and Reduced Price Lunches

If you have not turned in your application for free or reduced price lunches, please do so immediately. The government reimburses our school above and beyond the cost of these lunches, so it is a benefit to us as well as you to use this if you qualify. Applications are strictly confidential.

Fitness Fact

Flexibility is the ability to move a muscle in its full range of motion or to bend and twist easily. Stretching exercises, yoga and tai chi are good ways of improving our flexibility. Muscles that are only strengthened and never stretched, shorten and tear more easily which leads to injury and pain – something we all want to avoid! For longevity sake, flexibility is a must I your fitness arsenal.

Parent-Teacher Conference Important Dates

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held Sept.16 & 22. These conferences are an important way for parents and teachers to communicate and work together for the good of each student.

We will be hosting these conferences online. You will receive sign-up information this week.

AR Home Connect

Our K-8th grade classes all use Accelerated Reader (AR) as a reading motivator. After reading certain books, students take multiple-choice quizzes to measure their comprehension. They earn points based on how well they did. Most teachers have students set goals for how many points they can get in a month or trimester. Some teachers give rewards for certain point levels. Some teachers connect these points to a small portion of the reading grade.

Last week you received a letter with information on how to access a website called Home Connect. This website allows you to see all of the AR books your child has read, in this year and previously. You can also see how well your child did on the quiz. You can also set up the system to email you with the results every time your child takes a quiz. We highly encourage you to take advantage of this website as a way of keeping track of what your child is reading and how he is doing on the quizzes.

Also, if you are ever wondering if a book is an AR book, you can search for books at www.arbookfind.com. There are over 170,000 books available!

Extended Care and Breakfast on Delay Days

Please be aware that Extended Care is still available on delay days. Should school be canceled after the delay was called, parents will be called to make arrangements to come and pick up their children. Also, on 2-hour delay days, breakfast is still served at 9:00. Please make sure to leave instructions for Mrs. Thornton and Mrs. Anglin about whether your child should eat a breakfast, or if they have a snack in their backpack. For students that normally don’t eat a school breakfast, it is unclear whether to allow them to do so on a delay day. Please send a note, or speak with one of the extended care personnel.

Travel Plans?

With Labor Day coming this weekend and Fall Break not too far down the road, you might be considering travel plans. Considering COVID-19, I would strongly encourage you to think through those plans carefully. We do not have anything in our plan restricting families from travel (not that we could really do that) or about isolating or testing after travel in order to return to school. However, we know that exposure to different locations and groups of people do increase the chance of bringing sickness back to others here. If you are thinking about traveling, I ask you to carefully consider:

● What is the state of COVID-19 in this area? You don’t want to be taking the virus with you!

● What is the state of COVID-19 at your destination? If you are travelling to a hot spot you should reconsider.

● How will you be traveling? Planes still have higher risk than a car trip.

● How long is your trip? A day trip is lower risk than a week-long vacation.

● What will you be doing there? Outdoor activities, being moistly with your family, avoiding large crowds are lower risk. Spending a couple of days with many people at a theme park, water park, large city, cruise, or museum are higher risk.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Walz. Our goal is for you and all our families to remain as healthy as possible!

Twenty-first Century Scholars

Twenty-first Century Scholars application forms should be available online at www.scholars.in.gov. The website also lists recent legislative changes to the program. Income-eligible students who take a pledge as a seventh or eighth-grader may be eligible for up to four years of paid tuition at an Indiana college following high school graduation.

Yearbooks Available

Yearbooks from the 2019-20 school year are here and are available in the office for $15.00 each. First come-first served. Checks should be made payable to St. John PTL.


The past couple of years, I have distributed tubes of mini M & M's to anyone who would like one. The idea was that the M & M's would be enjoyed and then the tube would be filled with cash that would be used to help ship the shoeboxes the children pack for Operation Christmas Child. I decided a few months ago that, due to the pandemic and loss of jobs and income, it might not be the best time to ask for such donations.

However, Vacation Bible School offerings were given to purchase items for boxes and I have been approved for a Thrivent grant to also fund items for in the boxes, so it will be necessary to raise shipping funds. Each box costs $9 to send and I hope we can pack 40-50 boxes.

If even just a few of you contact me and request M & M tubes, I will supply. Or, if you'd prefer to pick up your own tube, that would be fine too. Or just plain straight-up donations are super-appreciated too! I believe I have mentioned this ministry enough times that you know all about it, but if you have any questions, please never hesitate to contact me. I'm in the office from 7:15-4:00 each day (347-2444). Packing will take place in early November, so you have a few months to save. Thanks!!

Cathy Thiem, Operation Christmas Child Coordinator

Another Way To Benefit our School

When shopping on Amazon, consider using Amazon Smile. If you designate St. John, we receive a portion of the proceeds of your purchase. Visit amazon.smile.com!

The last days of summer are coming up fast

Our boxes are filling with love that will last.

Forever these kids, and their families too

Will remember the kindness that came from you.

Our boxes are filling with school stuff and things,

Hair ties, toothbrushes, washcloths, and rings,

Dolls and small stuffies to warm up their hearts

Cups and small bowls and things to take apart.

Small toys we could use to round the box out

A ball, or a wind-up they’ll love – no doubt!

How about a small book in which they can write

A small etch-a-sketch or little flashlight?

A toy car or two would light up some eyes

Or funny glasses with big nose for a laughing surprise.

A yo yo, a top, or a small coloring book

Will sure make them smile when in your shoebox they look!

Anything else that you think fits the bill

Can be placed in the collection box each month as well.

In the lobby you’ll find it upon the floor

Just lift its lid and fill it galore!!

Cathy Thiem, St. John’s Operation Christmas Child Coordinator

The Week Ahead - September 8 - 13, 2020

Tuesday, September 8

8:15 – Chapel

Wednesday, September 9

Thursday, September 10

7:00 – Worship Service

Friday, September 11

Saturday, September 12

Sunday, September 13

8:00 – Worship Service in Sanctuary

9:15 – Christian Education Hour

10:30 – Contemporary Worship in Worship Center

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St. John Lutheran Church
301 South Oak St.
Kendallville, IN 46755
(260) 347-2444