APRIL 2021
Leading students to reverence truth, desire goodness, and rejoice in beauty.
Celtic Cross by Annabelle, Grade 5
From the Director's Desk

Dear parents and friends of St Timothy's,

It is with some sober reflection that we are approaching Easter this year, marking just over a year of this global pandemic with its far-reaching effects. Within this, it is with a deep gratitude that I am writing to you. 

This gratitude is firstly for your faithful support over this past challenging year, both financially, with donations covering many of the increased costs that we have faced, as well as through your prayer support and encouragement.

It has been a privilege to see how our faithful Lord has provided for us in so many ways, not only with the use of the "Myers Building" next door to All Saints, but also by keeping our community safe and healthy. He has enabled our dedicated staff to persevere in difficult circumstances to inspire and equip each child, in partnership with their parents, churches, and grandparents; to gently train them to be wise - having a proper fear and love of God and man, and encourage godly habits (virtues) in them.

It is our aim as a school to not just impart knowledge, but to inspire a real love of God, of our neighbour, along with a love of learning. How is this achieved? How are our hearts touched? The eighteenth century preacher Jonathan Edwards discussed this in detail in The Religious Affections. He wrote of how God through His word, with His Spirit moves our hearts, or affects, just these things, as we humbly, contritely, prayerfully come to Him. The idea of how to train the affections or loves in students in a school setting has been expanded further in the article below by Peter Vande Brake, whose prayerful mentorship I have been very grateful for over the last few years.

Please pray with me this Easter, that our Risen Lord would move each of our hearts to deeply know, love, and praise Him who died for us.

For His Glory,

Jenny Small

Scripture Memory Work

Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart,
O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

The Virtue of Faith

Despite their moral strivings after the virtues of justice, self-control, bravery, and wisdom, the Greeks did not hold out much hope for the future. They worshipped gods they could not trust and would try to appease them with sacrifices, along with acts of bravery and heroism. Sometimes the gods responded in favour. But sometimes they did not. It is clear in The Iliad that Hector's worship is superior to that of Achilles and that Achilles has been acting unvirtuously for much of the book. However, the gods give Achilles victory over Hector. Their gods could not be trusted, and therefore life and the afterlife promised only unhappiness.

The God of the Bible is radically different from all of these gods. Our God can be trusted. Because of this,  Christians can talk about a virtue unlike anything found in Ancient Greece and any other religion or philosophy. The Greek word is pistis, and we usually translate it as faith or trust.

Recent Events

Our students took the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous winter weather by safely skating with their cohorts.

Although our beloved Mid-Winter Festival looked a little different this year (performances recorded at home instead of in-person at school), the spirit of the event was very much alive! Kudos to our students for their creativity in bringing their favourite literary, biblical, or historical figure to life!
Skipping has been part of our school culture since the early days of St. Timothy's, culminating each year in our annual Skip-a-thon for our friends in Bangula, Malawi. Our older students have been encouraging the younger ones to work hard on their skipping skills and tricks with a skipping demonstration and giving out stickers for the levels achieved.
We have been privileged to have Pastor Luke Thompson continue his engaging series of talks on virtues with the first of the Theological Virtues: Faith.
Now Accepting Registrations

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year, and are delighted to still have space available for Senior Kindergarten and some other grades. | 613.794.1750
Cultivating the Affections

by Peter Vande Brake, Ph.D.

Leadership consultant for the CiRCE Institute and Director of the Upper School at The Geneva School, Orlando.
Our older students passing on their love of reading (2019)

Christian parents and teachers have a problem. Much of the research that has been done on young people who are transitioning into colleges in the last decade has not been very encouraging. Many young people who identify themselves as “Christian” do not behave any differently than their non-Christian peers in college. Most of these “Christian” young people grew up in Christian homes, went to church regularly, or attended Christian schools. The statistics from these studies show very little difference between Christians and non-Christians in the areas of sexual activity, alcohol abuse, and drug use. Another study found that most young people (approximately 80%) leave the church during their college years and do not return until years later—if they return at all.
This problem inevitably begs the question, “What can we do about it?” Some have answered that we need a greater emphasis on worldview training and apologetics to combat this tide of promiscuity, bacchanalia, and church desertion in this population of Christian young people. We need to offer them the cognitive tools and vocabulary to be able to work through these problems in a sensible way. We need to teach young people how to think properly about these things so that they will respond differently to the temptations that are placed in their path when they get to college. 
The underlying assumption of this proposed solution is that if we teach people what is right, then they will do the right thing. This approach presupposes that human beings are basically thinking things; that is, thinking is the most basic and important part of what it is to be human. If this is true, then it would make sense to deal with human beings primarily on an intellectual level. Thus, if we wanted to cultivate the affections of our students or to produce virtue in human beings, then we would teach them what is true and right and be able to produce virtuous people. The problem is that this approach does not yield the desired result as often as we would like. 
Trying to solve this quandary by giving our young people intellectual tools and worldview training alone is something like telling a person who is sick and hungry to be well and to be satisfied without actually giving him any medical care or food. These are not primarily intellectual problems. These are appetite problems. These are heart problems. All too often we underestimate the role of the body and the significance of our desires when we think about how to instill virtue.
Merely teaching people about how to think about living virtuously does not necessarily result in people acting in a virtuous manner because we are much more likely to be directed by our longings and our loves than our thoughts. We are not so much constituted by our intellectual life as we are by our loves. What we love is what defines us and leads us to act in virtuous or dishonorable ways. The question is not whether we love, but what we love and how we pursue our desires.
If we want young people to live virtuously, then we must teach them to think about how to live virtuously, but that is not enough. We have to work on training their desires and wills also. Therefore, we are going to have to go beyond merely intellectual learning to practices that aim their loves in the right direction. Thus, as David Hicks has said, “The noble intention of [the great teacher’s] teaching, like that of all great literature and art, is the antithesis of pornography: to move his students to will a moral act, as opposed to an immoral one” (Hicks, 73). The question is how do we do this? How can we move a student to will a moral act? There are no guarantees, but if we are going to make any headway in this direction, then we must cultivate the affections of our young people; we do this by means of liturgy, love, and example.

Liturgy is a word that is laden with religious connotations, but recently James Smith has used it in a much broader way to describe the daily rituals, both sacred and secular, in which we partake that shape our desires. He has posited that we human beings are basically lovers, not knowledge receptacles. We are more apt to act on our affections than on our knowledge. In large part, we are creatures of habit. The various “cultural liturgies” that we regularly take part in have the power to shape our desires. To make this point in the introduction to his book, Desiring the Kingdom, Smith describes an outing to the mall in religious language as a form of a “cultural liturgy” in which many of us partake from time to time. He affirms the power of these kinds of liturgies in the following way:
Liturgies—whether “sacred” or “secular”—shape and constitute our identities by forming our most fundamental desires and our most basic attunement to the world. In short, liturgies make us certain kinds of people, and what defines us is what we love. They do this because we are the sorts of animals whose orientation to the world is shaped from the body up more than from the head down. Liturgies aim our love to different ends precisely by training our hearts through our bodies. . . . In short, every liturgy constitutes a pedagogy that teaches us, in all sorts of precognitive ways, to be a certain kind of person. Hence every liturgy is an education, and embedded in every liturgy is an implicit worldview or “understanding” of the world (Smith, 25). 

Thus, our affections and desires are trained by our schedules and rituals. Liturgies are “love aiming practices.” This perception is also affirmed by Hicks in Norms and Nobility when he says that “the purpose of education is not the assimilation of facts or the retention of information, but the habituation of the mind and body to will and act in accordance with what one knows” (Hicks, 20). Education is not merely the vehicle for training the mind, but also the way in which we bridle the heart. Training our young people to be more virtuous involves habituation. 
So then, the kinds of liturgies or rituals or habits in which we participate on a daily basis are important because they shape us in significant ways. Liturgies cultivate the affections. The ways we choose to spend our time shape our desires and affections. The liturgies we observe on a daily basis serve as a kind of practice or training for decision making and living. We can’t merely think about virtue, we have to do virtue in order to make it stick. We have to be diligent to present virtue in such a way that we get at the true attractiveness and desirability of virtuous living. We are competing with secular liturgies which are already attractive to young people by virtue of fulfilling their physical appetites and natural desires. 
We also cultivate the affections of our young people by loving them in tangible ways. We have to manifest a personal and genuine concern for the well-being and proper formation of the heart of our young people. This means that we must take an interest in their life. We talk to them about their challenges and their victories. We talk to them about issues of faith, and we help them to apply what they know and believe to the way they live their lives. We provide accountability and limits in their lives as well as grace and freedom.  We help them to look beyond themselves and their own needs to the needs of those around them. Ultimately, we become someone that they can trust. 
Finally, we teach our young people to make good choices by being an example to them. If we profess to teach the knowledge that makes a person virtuous and wise, then our lives need to illuminate our teaching (Hicks, 41). Our children learn more from our actions than our words. Cultivating the affections of a young person by living as an example of virtue in front of him or her is propagating virtue in that child. It is teaching a child to will a moral choice instead of an immoral one by imitation. It is by this modeling and through the work of the Holy Spirit that the conscience is formed, and good choices result. 
Intellectual training is important for the formation of virtue in a young person, but it is inadequate. The competition for the hearts of our children is too strong for a solution that merely captures their ideas; it has to be more all-encompassing than that. It has to move their hearts; it has to take over their desires. Christianity is not merely intellectual assent to a set of carefully chosen propositions. It is a way of life. It is giving up your whole life, not just the intellectual part of it. Faith without works is dead. Or as Hicks put it, “The idea without the deed simply demonstrates an absence of faith—no sainthood in that” (Hicks, 103).
We need worldview “plus.” We need to help young people connect their faith to their lives in ways that have integrity and authenticity. The call of the world’s liturgies is strong because it is an invitation to the appetites. Secular cultural liturgies often appeal to our most basic needs or desires—affluence, power, sex, intoxication, and acceptance into the group. The rewards of a life of faith are stronger—peace, joy, grace, life, and acceptance by God—but they have to be experienced to have any sway in the lives of our young people. Young people will never know the power of the gospel for the transformation of their lives if they have not been encouraged to apply what they know about their faith to their lives. We help our young people to make this application through liturgies, through loving them, and through offering our lives as an example to them as the Spirit works through us.

Curriculum News
Our Grade 1 students enjoyed listening to and acting out various roles from Aesop's Fable The Hare and the Tortoise, as well as reciting together the moral of the story: "Slow but steady wins the race."

A shared love of literature has become a characteristic feature of our Grade 2 classroom, be it delight in discovering whimsical nursery rhymes together, to their latest passion for Greek mythology.

Our Grades 3 & 4 students have been taking turns as "history teacher for the day" as they walk through medieval history. Their study of this period was reinforced both by an interesting art project on medieval castles as well as learning about the Italian mathematician, Fibonacci, who uncovered number sequencing and patterns that can be found all over the natural world. 
Our Grades 5-6 class have been learning to slow down and take great care in their work. This is one of the virtues that learning Latin teaches them. This was built on in art, as they learned about the painstaking process of creating illuminated manuscripts and went on to produce their own. This attention to detail can be seen in their writing pieces as well.
Our Grade 7 students have been reading and translating an abridged version of Les Trois Mousquétaires by Alexandre Dumas. They soon found themselves caught up in this historical romance and swashbuckling epic of chivalry and bravado, following the daring D’Artagnan in his pursuit of glory, the evil and beguiling Milady, the powerful and devious Cardinal Richelieu, the weak King Louis XIII and his unhappy queen and, of course, the three musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, whose well known motto “all for one, one for all” has come to epitomize loyalty and devoted friendship. 

Studying the Post-Impressionism unit in art, our Grades 7 & 8 students had an opportunity to examine the paintings of Georges Seurat and his pointillist method of painting. The students were tasked with selecting a subject with which to practice the pointillist method. They tackled this assignment with great enthusiasm and created some very fine pieces of art.

Support St. Timothy's

Thanks to donations from our community these past months, we've been able to purchase much needed supplies, and cover unanticipated costs related to keeping the school safe and open. Please consider a tax-deductible gift in support of St. Timothy's.

(All donations are made through The Christian School Foundation)
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8
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