Grants Pass Students 'SERVE'

January 26, 2015 | Jennifer Burkes

SERVE (Students Engaged in Reaching out and Evangelism) has been the theme of this year at the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School. Also, the idea that “Every Child Deserves to Know Christ” has prevailed. Emphasis has been on bringing Christ more into the classroom, more than ever before. 

New part-time kindergarten/first-grade teacher Karie MacPhee, for example, sees spiritual lessons in every subject. She loves the “here I am” attitude her students have towards Christ. Second- through fourth-grade teacher Sheryl Shewmake transformed her classroom into an “airport” (ShareAir), where memory verses were learned and recorded in a “passport.” She loves those “lightbulb” moments with her students and loves watching her students grow and remain close to Christ. 

Amy Whitchurch, the new fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, leads song and Bible lessons each and every day. Her students have honest discussions about character. Phil Ermshar, principal and seventh- and eighth-grade teacher, has “Testimony Time” most Friday mornings and leads his students in an “empathy circle” during which they focus on treating one another more as Christ would treat each person.

The school year has been packed with activity, inside the school and out. All school families were invited to camp at Harris Beach in Brookings, Ore. Games, food, fellowship, song and worship were all part of this weekend. The sixth- and seventh-graders had the opportunity to go on a backpacking trip, and the sixth-graders will have Outdoor School in February. The schoolwide Jog-a-Thon more than raised enough funds for a new track at the school.  

The fall week of prayer led more than a dozen students to heed the call for baptism. Many new Bible studies are taking place with pastors Christian Martin and Tony Rodriguez. So far this year, Alex Wiggers, Sebastian Swanson, Madison Dietrich and Isaiah Velasco have answered the call to be baptized.

The Fall Festival/Adventist Book Sale in November 2014 was well-attended by students and their families. Eighth-graders sold veggie burgers to raise funds for their class trip in the spring. Students held a Veteran’s Day program and invited community veterans to attend and be honored. Students also enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with special invited guests.

During December, children visited nearby nursing homes and sang for residents. Students participated in the Grants Pass Christmas Parade, singing while riding atop a decorated semitruck. They also traveled to the Rogue Valley Mall and presented a short concert for shoppers. Their annual Christmas program at the Grants Pass Church was held Dec. 18, 2014. Students were treated to a breakfast the next morning, which the home and school team has done every year right before Christmas break.

The second half of the year promises to be equally busy for the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School. God has great and wonderful plans for these students, families and staff.