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New Year…New Opportunities

The new year and the new semester bring new beginnings and opportunities for each of us and for our school. Reflecting on that reality, I am drawn to the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14:

“… but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Much can be gleaned and applied from these verses. I appreciate both Paul’s example and exhortation to us.

What was the ONE thing that Paul did and and instructs us to do?

Paul says he FORGETS what lies behind. I believe Paul had in view both his past failures and his past successes. He had an abundance of both (see Philippians 3:4-7)

We also have experienced both successes and failures even in this past year. We would do well at the outset of this new year to pause, reflect and confess any outstanding areas of failure and sins in our lives, asking God’s forgiveness and thus experiencing the joy of sins forgiven. Likewise, we need to thank God for his mercy and grace to us in our successes, but also look forward and move ahead.

Dwelling on either past failures or past successes will cause us to miss a multitude of opportunities now, and in this new year. Paul exhorts us to forget and move on. In fact he says: “…… forgetting what lies behind, I STRAIN forward to what lies ahead.”

CHA realized some remarkable successes last year. However, it would be a mistake to gloat or languish when there are a multitude of opportunities (and not a few challenges) before us this year.

Some of the opportunities include:

  • Maximizing Illinois tax credit opportunity for our families – both as givers and potential recipients
  • Reviewing and potentially revising our school calendar, course schedule, dress code, homework policy, winterim, enrollment policy, and safety procedures
  • Expanding extracurricular opportunities with the addition of such things as intramural sports for our younger students, choir for 2nd – 4th grades, debate/speech for middle and upper school students, hosting more athletic teams/events on our campus, providing more service opportunities for students and staff, adding corporate prayer opportunities including Days of Prayer
  • Planning for our first ever CHA Homecoming, September 28 – 29, 2018. Mark your calendars now!
  • Launching a bi-monthly parent enrichment series to provide helpful resources and information to our parents and families. First event: Thursday, February 15 – the movie: Screenagers with panel discussion.

Additionally, conversations are taking place with some potential partner institutions allowing for some very exciting additional curricular and co-curricular options for our students and families. Stay tuned!

As we enter this new year semester, we greatly covet your daily prayers that our Lord will pour out his grace and mercy upon CHA. In that regard you will be encouraged to know our faculty and administration gather every morning at 7:30 AM, reading God’s Word and praying for the various needs of our CHA community and families. Joining together in prayer will make the difference if we are going to realize all that God has for our school.

One specific item for your prayers: 30 of our upper school students with five faculty will be serving in the Dominican Republic leaving Saturday, January 13, returning Saturday, January 20. Please pray that God will do a mighty reviving work in the lives of these students and in our school upon their return.