“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
Ready or not, Christmas is almost upon us. ‘Tis the season for joy and goodwill for most people of the world, but especially for those of us who are believers in Christ. It is up to Christians to remember and promote the real “reason for the season”: the birth of our Savior, and the peace which knowing Him brings. Christmas should be a time of peace for the believer; however, we often fall prey to the worldly view of Christmas — all about giving and receiving — which competes with and pushes us away from the peace which we so desperately need, and which only He can provide.
Hillcrest is working to keep the proper focus on Christmas by sponsoring two giving projects — one among Lower School students, and another in the Upper School — for children who may not otherwise have any gifts to open on Christmas morning.
The Lower School has already fulfilled the needs for their Giving Tree — wow! However, we still need Upper School students to bring a bag of candy and 5 one-dollar toys in order to fill stockings for approximately 80 needy children (between the ages of 3 and 10) who live in the metro area. The deadline for these items is Thursday by 8:30 AM. Parents, please encourage your children to get involved and to make a difference in some child’s life. It truly is better to give than to receive!
Last Friday, Hillcrest’s Lower School hosted a special program to honor Veterans of our nation’s armed services. As part of the festivities, some of the classes sang to these special men and women: the 1st grade sang “March of the Wee Americans,” the 5th grade sang “All American Me and You” and played a few American standards on the tone chimes, and then the 6th grade sang “This Flag We Fly,” featuring the following student voices: Avery Mitchell, Ally Noone, Lily Thompson, Lona Coleman, Macy McWilliams, Sadie Peoples, and Tiffany Price.
Another feature of this celebration of our veterans was a writing contest. Livi Wright in 6th grade took the prize for poetry and recited her winning poem as part of Friday’s program; Darren Dale, a 4th grader, won the essay portion of the writing contest and read his work in the program as well.
According to Mrs. Laureen McDonald, Lower-School music teacher, more veterans came to take part in the program than in any other past year. The highlight of this celebration came as the program ended, with the veterans lining up, and elementary students and teachers proceeding down the line to shake hands with each brave man and woman as the children left the gym to return to class.
” Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
Hillcrest Christian School is committed to being Christ-centered, rooted in unchanging Biblical truths, and to leading students to view life from a Christian perspective. Because of this, one of the goals of our school is to give our time and efforts to help those who may not have as many blessings as the majority of us do. Therefore, one of the requirements for receiving a diploma from HCS is for each student to complete at least 10 community service hours for each year of grades 9 through 12.
Many of our students have trouble knowing where to look for opportunities to serve others. Often, they are not aware that any service they do for which they do not receive compensation and which is not done for family or close friends counts as community service. Numerous opportunities may be found on the Hillcrest campus. For example, teachers usually welcome help with filing papers, moving heavy objects, and so much more. Furthermore, students who serve at their churches have already accumulated community service hours; activities such as Vacation Bible School and welcoming guests at a reception desk definitely count, and students need only to fill out the Service Verification Form and get the required signature, then turn that form in to the school counselor (or to Mrs. Massey if they are Honor Society members).
However, for those who still need help finding places and times to serve, a bulletin board has been set up in the main hall of the Upper School administration building where students may see how they might help others. If they fail to find an option there, they may also search on the Volunteer Mississippi website.
Hillcrest family, we also need your help! If you know of any organizations or activities which would benefit from our students’ efforts, please contact the school, and we will add them to the bulletin board and to our daily announcements.
On Thursday, September 15, the Cougar Varsity Football team served at the Mississippi Food Network in Jackson and helped pack boxes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The goal of this program is to improve the health of low-income elderly persons by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods recommended by the USDA.
Last Wednesday in Upper School Chapel, Coach Estabrook shared a message of encouragement from Psalm 33:1 – 3, which states, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him…. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” He reminded us that joy is a choice; no matter how we feel at any given time, the people of God can, and should, choose to be joyful. He further pointed out that the command to “play skillfully” reminds us to give God our very best in everything we undertake. Then, Coach Estabrook read Psalm 34:3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together,” which shows the need for corporate praise and points out that when Christians work together, we are more powerful than we know.
This message served (and serves) as an encouraging reminder that in everything that we — the administration, faculty, staff, students, and family — at Hillcrest do, if we choose joy, make every effort our best, and work together, we will easily accomplish our school’s mission statement:
Hillcrest Christian School is dedicated to reaching students for Christ, emphasizing academic excellence, and incorporating Christ-like values in all extracurricular activities. We endeavor to operate Hillcrest Christian School on the following Biblical principles found in Colossians 1:9-12:
Operate in a manner worthy of the Lord (v. 10)
Seek to please the Lord in every aspect of the school (v. 10)
Expect growth in character and knowledge (v.10)
Rely upon the Lord (v. 11)
Cultivate an atmosphere of joyful thanksgiving (v. 12)