The cast for A Midsummer Night’s Dream was announced last Friday! The list is as follows: Theseus-Andrew Sandell, Puck-Jacob Hopkins, Philostate-Adam Strickler, Egeus-Cole Chandler, Oberon-Bennett Looper, Lysander-Phillip Myers, Demetrius-Edwin Weihenmayer, Peter Quince/Prolouge-Clayton Myers, Bottom/Pyramus-Parker Gilley, Flute/Thisby-Evan Hennessey, Snout/Wall-Jimmy Hunter, Snug/Lion-Clark Dunham. Robin Starveling/Moonshine-Nathan Peterson, Attendant/Understudy-Mitchel Peterson, Peaseblossom-Faith Heifner, Cobweb-Erica Radcliffe, Moth-Emily Hadding, Mustardseed-Laura Looper, Titania-Leah Strickler, Helena-Sarah Fletcher, Hermia-Alex Johnson, Hippolyta-Reagan Chandler, Faerie 1-Hannah McNeill, Faerie 2-Mekenzie Petersen, Faerie 3-Grace McNeill, Faerie 4-Jessica Croley, Faerie 5-Tess Dickinson. Congratulations to all!
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As students prepare for the Grand Hall Winter Ball on February 4th, they are enjoying weekly dance lessons. Fred Astaire Dance Studio has come in each Tuesday and Thursday this month to teach our 9 th through 12th graders several traditional dances. Rhetoric parents, please join us for this grand affair and for dancing lessons Tuesday evenings at the Fred Astaire Studios!
Plans are under way for the 2017 Trinitas Classic Golf Tournament. It will take place on March 3rd and 4th. This year’s format is new and different with 2 opportunities to play in separate tournaments at the beautiful Stonebrook Golf Course. This is NOT a 2-day golf tournament, but a Pro-Am on Friday followed by a scramble format on Saturday. Please take a moment to register your team at trinitaschristian.org/school-life/golf-tournament/. Early registration for Saturday’s scramble ends February 17th. Come play with a pro, eat delicious food, and enjoy our new location.
When you come to Trinitas, what jumps right out at you is the fact that it is a different sort of school than your common public or private school, and even different from most private Christian schools you will have been acquainted with in your life. That isn’t to say that there aren’t other schools like Trinitas in the world, and it isn’t even to say that Trinitas is the best school that you will ever have been acquainted with. It is different, and that should be obvious. One of the main catalysts for that difference is the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty in our school life, not only in the classroom, but also in the hallways, at the lockers, on the ball field, and in short, everywhere the school has any presence as an institution.
The founding philosophy for our pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty is the exhortation in Philippians 4:8: “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.” This Scriptural exhortation is a well-suited template for classical Christian education. If we meditate on and even pursue things that are true, good, and beautiful, we will be orienting our hearts, our loves toward these things and away from the opposite of truth, goodness, and beauty. We will be cultivating virtue in our students and teachers.
So how does that make Trinitas different? Does it mean we only read stories about sweet little Christian boys and girls whose hair is parted on the right and whose faces and hands are always clean and who never tell lies? Well, that isn’t a bad place to start with toddlers, but any eight-year-old can tell you the world doesn’t work that way. Adam and Eve messed that picture up and none of us has done any better since. So instead we teach and train (and learn alongside) our students to discover what is true, good, and beautiful in the rubble of this fallen world. When we find it, we hold it up in a redeeming sort of way and point others toward it; we meditate on it apart from the rubble we rescued it from, allowing it, more than the rubble, to inform who we are.
The rubble we search through is the whole world and all its works. God created the world and everything in it, “even the wicked for the day of doom” (Prov. 16:4). With that in mind, it seems that at least a shred of truth, goodness, and/or beauty ought to be lurking everywhere. Certainly there is some rubble too ragged for our students to dig through at this stage of their lives, so we won’t dig in those places. Still, we want to dig through enough rubble during their career at Trinitas to give them the tools they need, and the practice with those tools, so that they can continue to sift through the rubble for themselves for the rest of their lives, always searching for the true, the good, and the beautiful.
All of this gets us back to how that pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty makes Trinitas different. The world has decided that truth, goodness, and beauty are relative. At Trinitas we maintain that there is a standard for truth, goodness, and beauty, and that it can be found in the Logos—in the Word and in the Word made Flesh, Jesus Christ. This is our compass when we go digging in the rubble; this is our magnifying glass, our lie detector, our model for beauty. It is as much our guide when we read Nietzsche and Rousseau as it is when we read the Hobbit. It is what makes our Aesthetics trip a serious educational exercise instead of a class party. It is the line we correct to in the classroom when we drift to one side or the other. It is the thing we most want our students to know and love, to live their lives by, and to measure everything by as they leave Trinitas and continue the lifelong pursuit of things true, good, and beautiful. No matter what education may look like elsewhere, this is what it should look like at Trinitas. No matter what the template for education is at other schools you may be acquainted with, the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty is the template at Trinitas—and that is why everything we do should look very different from other schools you may be acquainted with.
Congratulations to our Cross Country team on their performance at the 2016 Pensacola Airport Run. Held on December 3rd, Tucker Gregg placed first in the boys division. Evan Hennessey was close behind in second place with younger brother Issac bringing home the bronze in third. Great job boys! The girls also had excellent times with McKinley Traylor placing second and Emily Hadding finishing fourth for the girls. Well done team and keep up the good work! With Coach AJ Traylor at the helm and the countless miles run each week, the Trinitas Cross Country team is looking strong!
When teachers and administrators from other schools visit Trinitas, one of the things they love is that all of our students sing. Music is not an elective at Trinitas; singing is not optional. We sing to start the day, we sing in music class, we sing in other classes, we sing in choir, and we sing to end the day. It is not a spontaneous thing—though song does occasionally erupt unannounced—it is intentional. We work at it. Even those of us who do not naturally sing well work at it (even harder in fact).
Why all this hard work at something that is uncomfortable for lots of people? Because with few exceptions God has given us all the gift of voice, and what better way to use the gift than to praise Him with it! The Bible is chock-full of examples of God’s people creating and then beautifully singing songs to God. It is also full of exhortations for us to do the same.
A main focus of our music program at Trinitas is for every student to graduate with the ability to read music well enough to sing a song he or she is unfamiliar with—in parts. We spend lots of time in our music classes learning to sight read and sing. In choir we put that into practice in a big way, always working toward performing a piece or a few pieces. If you’ve seen one of our concerts, you’ve seen the fruit of this work. We may not be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but we are working hard, having fun, and sounding pretty good. We are learning to sing beautifully and hope that it pleases God to hear us. You can hear every student in the 4th through 12th grade performing the “Hallelujah Chorus” on our Facebook page.
Another place we work hard learning to sing is in Morning Meeting. Our Morning Meeting is a time of confessing our faith together, hearing God’s word, and devoting our day to Him, but it is also a time of singing praises together. Perhaps you have been to Morning Meeting at Trinitas and have seen Mr. Varela teaching the whole school to sing a song in parts. If praises are worth singing, they’re worth singing beautifully. That’s why Mr. Varela may spend several days teaching parts of a song to the whole school before we ever actually put it all together and sing the song in its entirety.
With few exceptions, we all have a voice, and our voices can be employed in no higher calling than beautifully singing songs to God. And where else are students learning to do that? Reading music and singing is an art that seems to be losing its importance among the masses in exchange for the acquisition of more practical, utilitarian skills. Not at Trinitas! We learn lots of practical skills, certainly, but we also aim to graduate students who live beautiful, Gospel-centered lives, students who are able to do a great variety of things beautifully—not the least important of which is singing. We can hardly hope for anything better than that our students would bless their families, their churches, and their Heavenly Father with beautiful singing.
Congratulations to the new 2016-2017 National Honor Society inductees! On December 2, 2016, Cole Chandler, Adam Strickler, Abby Tenniswood, Faith Heifner, Alex Johnson, and Caleb Price were selected to join this prestigious group. We celebrate with them on this outstanding accomplishment and congratulate them on a job well done.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Thousands of people—no, millions of people—woke up on New Year’s Day and resolved either to stop a bad habit or to start a good one. Some probably resolved to do both. According to various sources on the ever accurate and reliable internet, some of the most common resolutions Americans make on any given New Year’s Day are to lose weight, get fit, quit smoking, get organized, spend more time with family, get out of debt, or learn something new.
Those resolutions all sound admirable enough. The very fact that New Year’s resolutions are a tradition in our culture seems to be a sign that we recognize faults in ourselves and want to correct them. Who would argue against self improvement? Unfortunately, though, most New Year’s resolutions are broken within a few weeks. According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton and published on the website Statistics Brain, only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving what they have resolved to achieve.
Why are we so irresolute in our resolutions? I’m sure there can scarcely be an end to the reasons we fail at keeping our resolutions, but I suggest one important reason we don’t keep them is that our resolutions often have the wrong foundation. Our resolutions have us as their sole foundation and, unfortunately, as their sole source of accountability. That’s right, we resolve within ourselves to do something, and then we promise to hold ourselves accountable to do it. The outcome is too predictable.
On the other hand, what if our one resolution was to grow in our walk with God through the study of His word and the application of it in our lives? That is a resolution that would lead to our sanctification. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:3, our sanctification is the will of God; therefore, if we resolve to do that which leads to our sanctification, we will have the help of God to accomplish that resolution. There is a big difference between resolving within one’s self to do a thing in one’s own power and promising to do a thing in accordance with God’s will—the former isolates one on an island while the latter puts him in the company and care of the strongest ally.
And then there is the accountability factor. God has given Christians to each other to hold each other accountable to keep His law, to love His commandments, and to walk in His ways. Accountability is one of the functions of community, and there is no greater community on earth than God’s Church. In Proverbs 27:17 we are told that we are meant to sharpen one another just as “iron sharpens iron.” While none of us is perfect or in a position to condemn a brother or sister, we are meant to hold one another accountable to walk the Christian walk—to apply God’s word to our lives every day. So, if that is our resolution—to grow in our walk with God through the study of His word and the application of it in our lives—we should be able to depend upon our Christian brothers and sisters to hold us accountable to that resolution. It is their duty to do so, which means we are no longer responsible for providing our own accountability to keep our New Year’s resolution.
This year, make a resolution you can keep. Commit to grow in your walk with God through the study of His word and the application of it in your life. He will help you achieve your resolution, and your Christian brothers and sisters will help you keep it. On your own, you have about an 8% chance of getting flatter abs or an organized closet, but if you pursue the will of God for your life—which is your sanctification—you cannot fail.
Come one, come all, to the Trinitas Evening of Theater, Song and Recitation. This special evening is open to the community and a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season. Our students have been working hard to prepare a memorable presentation of a “Classical Christmas” and we hope you will plan join us at East Brent Baptist Church at 6 PM December 15th. From the Grinch to Christmas hymns of old, the night is sure to be a blessing to all. Merry Christmas!
On Friday, November 18th, our Lost Arts Club gathered after school in the kitchen to whip up some fall treats. They decided to test three different pumpkin pie recipes: one with only store-bought ingredients (frozen crust and canned pumpkin), one completely home-made (fresh crust and pumpkin), and a caramel pumpkin pie just for fun. To top it off, they also learned how to make home-made whipped cream. The next Monday, they met at lunch to test their baking creations. The results were: compared to the all home-made pumpkin pie, the “store-bought” pie had a superior consistency and flavor; the caramel pie was also good, but could even be improved by adding caramel on the top of the pie in addition to the filling itself.
Fun was had by all the members, and they look forward to decorating the school Christmas tree this coming month.