For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being
By Mr. Matt Pannkuk-Chaplain, Bible Teacher
The fourth Wednesday of every September is See You At The Pole, a nationwide prayer time for students. What a glorious time to be in prayer, united to our brothers and sisters at public schools, universities, sister Christian schools, and elsewhere.
The 7th and 8th grade led the chapel from beginning to end, saying prayers they had written for our school, our community, and our country, and also sharing Bible verses explaining adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
We were led in song by the official debut of our 2018-2019 Chapel Band. Mr. Wildermuth had them well prepared as the whole school song praises to our God and King.
As a special treat, a military helicopter flew directly overhead as one of the 8th graders was saying a prayer of thanksgiving for our nation!
Many first responders in our community came for chapel. We had a police car, ambulance, and fire truck all parked out front!
God has blessed Twin Oaks tremendously, and it was humbling and moving to enjoy the freedom we have to pray to him publicly as a school.
To witness a worshipful, God-honoring moment during this morning’s SYATP, go to the Twin Oaks Facebook page, HERE.
Questions to ask your students:
May the joy of the LORD be our strength.
Over the past few years Sarah Renken felt the Lord nudging her to pursue a different path, a feeling she fought until it could no longer be ignored — as the more she resisted the more intense the feeling became.
Due to a profound peace with her career choice, Renken resolved that God’s desire was not for her to change careers, but rather to change employers. “I finally listened to the Lord’s calling and began seeking different opportunities,” said Renken. “I had checked the TOCS website periodically over the past five years, but never saw an opening that I considered pursuing.”
To her surprise, Sarah ran across a couple of opportunities this summer and immediately reached out to the interim Co-Head of School Mrs. Sherry Blough to discuss her options.
“Over the following two weeks everything fell right into place,” recalled Renken. “I was blown away by the new Head of School Dave Schall and the other teachers in the building. I knew that Twin Oaks Christian School was exactly where I am supposed to be.”
Sarah noted that what has impressed her the most about TOCS is the staff, particularly in how open everyone is to sharing ideas, practices and sharing life stories with each other.
As the TOCS preschool teacher, Sarah said she has two goals: 1) to love each child as her own and 2) to help create a desire to learn and explore. “At the end of the school year I want my students to know that I loved on them all I could,” she added.
When asked about her favorite part of the school day, Renken said, “This sounds silly, but probably lunch time! In preschool we all each lunch together in the classroom. It’s the only time of day where they aren’t asked to perform. We sit together, share stories, giggle and enjoy our meals. I love seeing their social interactions blossom during this time.”
Renken comes to Twin Oaks Christian School from the Rockwood School District, where she served as a kindergarten teacher for five years. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Missouri State University. Upon graduation, she extended her certification to include birth through Grade 6.
She and her husband, Todd, met in college and married shortly after graduation. They recently celebrated their 7-year wedding anniversary. Todd has a bachelors in Religious Studies and a masters in Theological Studies and currently works at Missouri Valley Glass as a project manager.
Todd and Sarah have two sons, James (3), who attends preschool at TOCS in Mrs. Conley’s class, and Andrew, who was born this past March. The Renken family also has a sassy little cat named Mishka.
Sarah is a member of Genesis Church in Eureka, Mo. In her free time, she enjoys working out, going on long walks, reading and spending time with her girlfriends. If she could vacation anywhere in the world, Sarah said, it would be Greece or anywhere without cell service.
By Dr. Dave Schall, TOCS Head of School
Follow Dr. Schall on Twitter at @SchallDave
The discussion of maintaining the proper work/life balance has been going on for several years and is one with a variety of perspectives. I believe one perspective actually contains Biblical principles. Ecclesiastes 7:18 says: “It is better to grasp one and not let go of the other. A man who fears God avoids all extremes.”
This idea of balance stands out so much to me in this verse. As I began moving toward school leadership several years ago, one of the questions I asked myself then is, “Can someone be a high level leader, and still live a balanced life?” For those who aren’t in a leadership role, per se, a related question to ask is “Can someone, who has a hard, demanding job (this especially includes stay-at-home moms), still live a balanced life?” In order to be “balanced” we must first consider the five aspects of health and wellness: