ALL ABOARD! New York or Bust!

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 

There are many benefits to becoming an eighth grader at St. Matthew Lutheran School! By eighth grade, you are finally entrusted to light the candles during Chapel or run the sound equipment. By eighth grade you can finally reach to the back of the top shelf of your locker and locate all of your misplaced items! Eighth graders always get free physical workout opportunities as they are often asked to set up and tear down the gym or help unload delivery trucks. Eighth graders also learn how to play ping-pong during homeroom time and dissect frogs in science classes. In addition, when you are an eighth grader, the younger grades perceive you as extremely wise, incredibly funny, and highly entertaining! However, one of the most treasured memories for each eighth grader is the annual “Class Trip”, and this year’s promises to be amazing as we are headed to New York City June 5 through 7!

This will definitely be a “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” type of adventure as 49 students, parents, and chaperones will fly into Newark airport, ride a chartered bus to our hotel, sail the Staten Island Ferry into Manhattan, and ride the subway throughout the city. However, when you are the one planning the trip, there is great responsibility getting all of the transportation pieces correct, but the most challenging component for me is conquering the New York City subway system! And when there are 28 different numbered trains going to 472 different stations, it is critical that you get it right!

Totally depending on the wisdom and expertise of my fellow lead chaperones, we spent last Friday night strategizing our plan for which train we will take from which station and to which destination!

After completing this task, it occurred to me how ironic is the correlation between ensuring that we place these eighth graders on the right train in NYC and their conclusion at St. Matthew!

Just as we studied the apps and maps to learn the subway system, our students have extensively read God’s Word and are well versed for the direction that He would want them to go.

Just as we have numerous options for various routes, after graduation, our students will also have many times when they will need to make independent decisions regarding the direction of their lives.

Just as there may be times when we will face a delayed train, our students will find that God also orchestrates detours in life that lead to unexpected opportunities and/or blessings.

Just as there may be a time that we may mistakenly get on the wrong train, sadly, like all of us, there will be times when our students will make poor decisions and get on the wrong train, but will learn that grace and forgiveness are the necessary tools to get back on the right track.

And, just as Manhattan is our temporary destination, our prayer for all of our graduates is to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Jesus, knowing that Heaven is the ultimate destination.

In this world, it is concerning that many paths and directions are available to our children. However, as parents, one of our top priorities is to guide our children spiritually so that they are equipped to make good decisions that will enable them to board the right trains that will lead them closer to the Lord and all that He has planned for them.

As the train for the 2022/2023 school year is getting close to leaving the station next Friday, we want to thank you for your unending support and partnership as we strive for each student to grow closer to and more like Jesus!

In His Love,

Mrs. Palka

Ready To Learn More?