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SUMMER 2020
Leading students to reverence truth, desire goodness, and rejoice in beauty.
Fireflies, by Elizabeth, Grade 2
From the Director's Desk

Dear parents and friends of St. Timothy's,

Thank you so much for your support over the last year, and what a one it has been. Who would have ever imagined as we set foot into the school in September, that we would have to shut our doors in March and finish the school year from home?
 
This season has brought many challenges, struggles, and the pain of not being able to see each other face to face, to journey through this together in the way we do with so many trials.

Despite this, we have made a point of beginning our school days at home with daily chapel, to join our students and families in worship, albeit virtually. This has definitely been my favourite part of each day; to see the students, get a sense of us joining together, and directing our hearts to worship our faithful heavenly Father, who is constant in this season of change.

We have also had the reward of seeing our students continue to learn the rich curriculum we teach. Many parents have commented on how much they have appreciated the ongoing lessons and assignments that our staff have continued to provide. 

We have decisions to make for the coming year, and of course many unknowns; however, as we move forward we are grateful that God goes before us, and will guide us in the right paths.


In Christ,
Dr. Jenny Small


Scripture Memory Work
 

Psalm 100:1-5
A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

 



Virtue of the Month

Justice
A quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and to all what belongs to them.

Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Psalm 85:10

Learn to do good; 
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor; 
Defend the fatherless, 
Plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

Curriculum News
Our teachers and students quickly switched to online learning in March. Although there was strong encouragement to continue with personal reading, reading out loud with parents, at-home art projects, and physical activities, there were also weekly assignments, video lessons, and classes taught through Zoom.
A grades 5/6 science experiment testing blood types
A grade 7 Latin video lesson
Our youngest French students continued on with their studies via video lessons as well!
Backyard Birds, Robert Bateman, 1944 (age 14)
Under My Roof
by Rachel Bloomquist
Grade 1 teacher and senior lower grades teacher
 
What’s been happening under your roof? Have you been experimenting with sourdough or rediscovering puzzles and board games? After school closed abruptly mid-March the students of St. Timothy’s Classical Academy have been studying from home. Although none of us dreamed in September that we would be running a Christian, classical school from home, teachers and students have been thrust into learning how to use technology to teach and to learn.

Despite its clear limitations, some of us with a healthy suspicion of too much media have been pleasantly surprised by the rich cultural offerings of art gallery tours, concerts, theatre, and opera streaming to us in our living rooms to supplement our curriculum. Some students have been drawn into science experiments on weather, or the world of castles and knights. When students are not doing math, parsing French and Latin verbs, lost in Mordor or exploring Narnia, artists have been busy at their craft. One student wrote with delight that she has had more time to do things such as baking banana bread, reading Anne of Green Gables, playing, “and annoying her brothers.“
 
Our grade 3 and 4 students were assigned a challenging little essay on the causes, events, and consequences of the American Revolution. Here is an amusing update from one parent, on things that have recently caught the interest of his son, Japheth, who is in Grade 3.
 
“Japheth was very interested in the American Revolution and seems to really understand the event. He even set up the Battle of Bunker Hill with 150 toy soldiers and explained the battle to me many times - Washington was the General. He also read an 'I Survived' book about the Revolution. I must admit I felt like I was helping him write a first year University paper in 16 sentences. We had a family talent show via Zoom the other day with my wife's family - for his talent he read the report to all his American relatives."
 
From the windows of our homes, chattering squirrels and families of foxes beckon the children outside. Perhaps they will discover there the first wooly caterpillars inching along at their feet or new species of birds to add to their lists. There are delightful reports of noisy merlins nesting in trees close to home, or pairs of Canada Geese showing off their new offspring. Young gardeners are learning how to plan vegetable patches, to plant the beds, and all about the ongoing care for new life, as they water and tend to new shoots. 
 
One of the other beautiful and unexpected things during this unusual time has been the opportunity to worship God in our homes with our school and our church communities and to be drawn from there into the wider world. In both, we enter the profound mystery that Jesus, the divine Word, makes his home with us.  “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.” Our Father, we pray that all our awakening curiosities and passions will be channeled into your good purposes for our students and the community of St. Timothy’s and for the healing of our world.
Please consider helping us out with a donation
 
St. Timothy‘s Classical Academy is a not-for-profit independent school. We rely on donations every year and this year is no exception. Our teachers have gone above and beyond to provide continuity of learning with excellence and families have responded in kind. Your donations are critical now more than ever as we look ahead to the uncertainty of another year with unknowns around the circumstances at hand. We are grateful for your continuing investment in our school and thank you for the blessing of being a part of our community.
 
(All donations are tax-deductible and can be made through The Christian School Foundation)
 
DONATE NOW!
The Virtue of Courage
Monthly virtue talk given to the St. Timothy's students on April 29, 2020, during daily (Zoom) chapel,
by Rev. Luke Thompson
Spartan Army at War, by Andrea Mazzocchetti

The Courage of the Spartans 

Do you know why you’re learning Latin, and if you keep up a good classical education, you’ll learn Greek? Why not Mandarin Chinese or Arabic, or the language of other great ancient empires, like Persian? The reason you’re going to learn Latin and Greek and not another language is because of courage: the courage of one of the world’s greatest warriors, and his 300 fellow soldiers. Let me tell you how the courage of a few has shaped all of history, including you.

The Greek historian, Herodotus, tells of how King Xerxes of the Persians brought his huge army over to invade Greece. And his army was massive, ten times larger than the armies of the small Greek city-states. And on top of this, Greece was not prepared and ready to fight. But if a small force could delay the Persians, the Greeks would have time to get prepared. And so King Leonidas of the Greek city, Sparta, with only 300 of his Spartan soldiers, plus a few thousand other Greeks, volunteered.

For Xerxes to get into Greece, his army would have to go through a very narrow pass through mountains and sea-side cliffs. And so in one of these passes, which at parts was only wide enough for a few soldiers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans took a stand against tens of thousands of Xerxes’ soldiers.
 
Xerxes sent out scouts to observe his enemy, and the scouts reported that the Spartans weren’t getting ready for a fight, but were doing exercises and combing their hair. Herodotus tells us Xerxes believed that the Spartans were reckless, thinking they could take on such large forces. And so Xerxes thought defeating them would be easy. Finally Xerxes sent his men to attack, and they found the Spartans unbelievably skilled and brave. Xerxes’ army was easily defeated with huge losses of life.

Herodotus writes, “In this way it became clear to all, and especially to the king [Xerxes], that though he had plenty of combatants, he had but very few warriors.” Xerxes then sent his greatest soldiers against the Spartans, called “the immortals,” but they were utterly defeated. Wave after wave, for three days, Xerxes’ huge army could not overcome this small Greek force led by Leonidas and his brave 300.

Eventually, a Greek shepherd named Ephialtes showed the Persians a secret path around the Spartans. When Leonidas heard of the treachery and that they would soon be surrounded, he sent home all the soldiers except for his remaining 300 Spartans plus some brave Thespians. And even with so few left, surrounded, weapons and shields broken, the bravery of the Spartans and Thespians was so fierce the Persians had to use whips to drive their own soldiers into battle. All Spartans and Thespians perished, including Brave King Leonidas.


In Between Cowardice and Recklessness

What about the Stand of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae makes it such a powerful example of bravery for people all over the world and throughout all of human history? Well, bravery means not being afraid, right? Not being a coward. So Leonidas was brave in that he was willing to lead his soldiers against an army much larger than his own. So, on the one hand, being courageous means not being afraid.

But do you remember what Xerxes called the Spartans? Reckless: someone who is reckless fears nothing, and so they do really stupid things. If you’re reckless, you run into the street without looking. If you’re reckless, you go where your parents tell you is too dangerous. Doing those kinds of things aren’t brave, but the opposite: reckless. Aristotle calls a reckless person crazy. And the Spartans seemed kind of crazy. Right before one of the attacks, a Greek was telling a Spartan that there were so many Persian archers that when they all fired their arrows together, the arrows would be so thick in the sky, it would completely cover the sun. And do you know what the Spartan said back? “This Greek brings good news! We will get to fight in the shade!” That seems like a crazy response. Were the Spartans reckless? After all, they got themselves killed!

Do you remember why Leonidas went to fight the armies of Xerxes with so few soldiers? They were trying to delay Xerxes long enough for the rest of the Greeks to get ready. And so the goal was not to defeat Xerxes, but for 300 soldiers to stop an army a hundred times greater for just a few days. And somehow the 300 Spartans did what no one else could have. It was self-sacrifice that mattered. And because of the delay, Greece did have time to prepare, and they did stop the Persians. And that is why you are learning Latin and someday Greek and not Persian. And only the Spartans with their training could do it. In between cowardice and recklessness is true courage, where you know yourself, what you are capable of, what needs to be done, and you do not shrink, but you act.

And this in-between-extremes courage is found not only on the battlefield. We can find it even in the midst of a rampant disease. Some two thousand years after Leonidas’s courageous death, in the 1300s, a deadly plague wiped out half the European population. Around 200 years later, in 1527, another plague re-emerged in the midst of the Protestant Reformation. And the reformer Martin Luther was asked: Is it okay to run away and flee the plague? And Luther responded in a very interesting way. He said the correct path is a middle way between two extremes. He said to imagine you’re walking on a road, with a ditch on both sides. If you run from the plague, and you do not stay to help your neighbours get through the plague, he writes, “we would fall off ‘the narrow way’ on the left side.”

But he went on and said, “There are other sins we can fall into on the right side. These would be acting much too rashly and recklessly, tempting God and disregarding everything which might prevent death and the plague. This would mean not using medicines; not avoiding places and persons infected by the disease; joking about it and wishing to show that one is not afraid of it. This is not trusting God but tempting him. God has created medicines and provided us with intelligence to guard and take good care of our bodies so that we can live in good health. Use medicine,… keep away from persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence or has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help.”

So do you see the two extremes when it comes to living in the midst of a plague or pandemic? One extreme is to be a coward that runs away and has no desire to help anyone. The other extreme is, in Luther’s words, acting rashly and recklessly: not using the brain God has given you, disregarding medicine, and aiding the spread of the disease in your recklessness.


Being a Child of God

So, courage is in the middle of being a coward and being a reckless idiot. It’s knowing the situation and who you are in the situation. So, here’s the question: do you know the situation and who you are in the situation? This process of knowing who you are begins first with knowing who God is and who you are to God. Because there are certain truths about God which you can draw on for courage in any situation. Do you know the promises God has given you to draw your valour and bravery from? He calls you to be smart, to recognize danger and treat it as danger. Because Jesus promises life will be dangerous: Jesus promises there will painful times and hard times. But God also says, he will never leave you or forsake you and he is working all things out for your good. He promises that no one can snatch you out of your Good Shepherd’s hand. So no matter who you face, no matter how great the danger, the God of the universe in control of all things is with you.

But why would God never leave or forsake you? Why would God work all things out for the good of you? After all there’s plenty of times you’ve been a coward or you’ve been reckless. Why should God still stick by your side?

Because you are his child.  You are a precious child of God, bought by the blood of Christ. That also means that when you’ve been a coward, or have been too reckless, you’re still a child of God, because all those sins have been forgiven through Jesus, and through faith, you know it. That’s really knowing who you are, and that frees us to be braver than a Spartan facing innumerable odds, braver than a Leonidas. It frees us to be brave and calm in the middle of a pandemic. So go ahead and be courageous. Be smart, but not a coward. Be bold, but not reckless. Be who you are in God’s eyes. Be courageous.

Celebrating our Teachers
 

Rachel Bloomquist, Grade 1 Teacher

15 Years

Rachel is our longest-serving teacher. She has taught different combinations and permutations of the grades 1-4 classes. She has done more work than anyone to assemble and fine-tune our enriching, classical curriculum. Rachel teaches her students to make connections, be proud of each foundational milestone in math and reading and writing that is reached, and take delight in the simple joy of learning. Most importantly she has been a constant model of patience, generosity, and kindness to her charges and our students have been able to learn and grow in their faith. We are so blessed to have her in our community and we hope she is with us for many years to come!
Alan Gilman, Bible Teacher (grades 5-8)
5 Years

Alan Gilman helped St. Timothy's usher in a custom-made Bible program when he began teaching at the school five years ago. This is a four-year program wherein students gain a working knowledge of biblical timeline and narrative, do an in-depth study of various passages, and discover the relevancy of biblical teaching to all of life. Alan has allowed this program to come to life as he engages with the students and impresses upon them the beauty and truth of the Word of God. We are grateful to him for taking this on and blessing our community. He has also served as the very entertaining MC for our Starry Night Gala dinners!
Serving the Community
Our students in grades 3-7 have been visiting the clients of Carefor (a community support organization) this year. They have spent time with the elderly, playing games and chatting. We wanted to keep these special relationships going during the quarantine, and our students were asked to write letters. Here is a response from one of the Carefor staff:

"One of our clients, Ed, read his letter aloud to some of the staff during the weekly tele-conference meeting that he is part of... he read it through twice, described the picture of the plane that was on the back and wrote a letter back to the student. He said the student asked him questions and he couldn't leave them unanswered. It hasn't just made his day but his weeks. He returns to that letter and reads it, it is such a special thing to know that someone cares about you with only a small connection such as the brief visit to the day program." 

Our students look forward to returning in person when it is safe!
Recent Events (before CoVid...)
Our students enjoyed a very full winter at school, including a basketball tournament, weekly skating at a local rink (when the weather allowed!), a family Ceili dance with live music, and a field trip to the Museum of History. Pictured above, winning the Engineering challenge sponsored by the National Research Council; some characters from the Princess Bride in our annual Mid-Winter Festival; and a curling workshop in the school gym.
Virtual Artfest 2020
Our third Annual Artfest was forced online this year, yet it did not prevent our community from celebrating our students' fine achievements this year in visual art, choral music, and drama.
Van Gogh's Sunflowers, SK; The Princess and the Pea, Grades 1/2
Geodes, Grades 3/4; Greek Columns, Grades 5/6
Homer-inspired watercolour Sailboats; Still Life Fruit, Grades 7/8
The Grades 7/8 class performs Shakespeare's Julius Caesar over Zoom!
Graduation Address
Excerpt from the address given on June 19 to our grade 8 students,
by Alan Gilman, Bible Teacher
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
 
The things of this world are temporary. They are by nature uncertain, unreliable. COVID-19 didn’t change anything. It only exposed the truth about the nature of our broken world. The postponements and cancellations have caused us a lot of grief, but at the same time, they have provided us with a much-needed reality check. What have we set our hearts upon? We were made for greater things than the unreliable, uncertain temporary trinkets the world offers. 

St. Timothy’s is a school that has sought to teach you the things that truly last, that really matter, that you can count on. No matter what happens, God’s goodness, God’s truth, and God’s beauty can always be found within His creation. Even with graduation gatherings and other ceremonies - whether we meet in a building or have to find other ways to connect with one another - we know the God of Abraham is way bigger than our routines and our expectations. Looking to Him, focusing on what He says is important: loving Him and loving one another, learning to tell the difference between what is good and what is bad, what is true and what is false…that there really is goodness, truth, and beauty in the world He made, will keep us from setting our hearts on what’s uncertain in life and enable us instead to build our lives on what God is building, an everlasting city where no one will experience disappointment ever again.

To our graduates: may God bless you as you start the next chapter of your lives. You may not know where you are going or what’s going to happen, but you can trust the One who does!
"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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