Message on the Observance of Christmas

Over the past couple of weeks, our nation has been remembering the life of President George H. W. Bush.  President Bush’s December 1989 “Message on the Observance of Christmas” is reprinted below.  His thoughts are certainly relevant to 2018, just as they were in 1989.

During the beautiful and holy season of Christmas, our hearts are filled with the same wonder, gratitude, and joy that led the psalmist of old to ask, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” At Christmas, we, too, rejoice in the mystery of God’s love for us—love revealed through the gift of Christ’s birth.

Born into a family of a young carpenter and his wife, in a stable shared by beasts of the field, our Savior came to live among ordinary men. Yet, in time, the miraculous nature of this simple event became clear. Christ’s birth changed the course of history, bringing the light of hope to a world dwelling in the darkness of sin and death.

Today, nearly 2,000 years later, the shining promise of that first Christmas continues to give our lives a sense of peace and purpose. Our words and deeds, when guided by the example of Christ’s life, can help others share in the joy of man’s Redemption. During Christmas, we may symbolize this spirit of giving through the exchange of presents, but it is daily acts of goodness and generosity—performed time and time again throughout the year—that hold the true meaning of this holy season. Every kind and selfless deed we perform for others can rekindle in our hearts and in our communities the light of that first Christmas.

As we gather with family and friends this season, let us recall what our Savior’s life means to the world. Let us also rededicate ourselves to sharing the love that gives greater meaning and joy to Christmas and to every moment of life.

Merry Christmas, and God bless you.

George Bush

Christmas Break – LCA Closed

LCA will be closed from Monday, December 24, through Friday, January 4, for Christmas Break.  This break is longer than some of our local public school districts, and our office will also be closed during this time.  Classes will resume on a regular schedule on Monday, January 7.

We appreciate the support of our families in scheduling trips over the regular vacation times so that their children do not miss classes.  Being sure your child is in class every day is a great way to support academic success!

Elementary Christmas Program

Next Tuesday, December 18, our first through sixth grade students will present their annual Christmas program, A Churchmouse Christmas.  These students have been working on learning their songs and lines for about two months now and are eager to present this to our school parents and friends.

Students should arrive at 6:30, and the program will begin promptly at 7:00.  During the program, several of Mrs. Annie Kupeyan’s piano students will be presenting Christmas carols and our secondary ensemble will also have two Christmas numbers.

We appreciate the hard work of Mrs. Parker, Miss Enman, and the rest of our staff in helping prepare for a special evening focused on the true message of Christmas!

Senior Spotlight – James Earnest

Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have nine graduating seniors during the 2018 – 2019 school year.  Several members of the Class of 2019 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all become good friends during their time here.  We will be highlighting one of the seniors each month in an article published in our Knightline newsletter.  We continue this week with senior James Earnest.

James Earnest has attended LCA since K4 class with Mrs. Urban, way back in 2004.  James and his classmate Jessie Chen have the longest tenure of any current LCA student.

James was born in 2001, eight years after his parents married.  His older brother Jace, who graduated from LCA in 2014, lives in Clifton Park and works at Global Foundries.  James’s older sister Jasmine, a member of LCA’s Class of 2016, is continuing her studies at SUNY Albany and working as a clerk at an area law firm.

James’s mother grew up in Queens after moving to this country from India.  She valued the freedom and educational opportunities offered in the States and was able to graduate high school early and go on to SUNY Albany at that time.  Since graduation, she has worked in the banking industry, rising to a Vice President at Key Bank.

James’s father moved a lot as a child, but claims Brooklyn as home.  His family had come to America from Pakistan to get a better life.  James’s father is described as a “Jack of All Trades,” having worked in a variety of fields and even having owned his own commercial cleaning business.  He now works for Culligan’s in Troy.

James’s parents met through family connections in Queens.  They had a true “love at first sight” relationship, and had their first child just a year after they married.

James has enjoyed a special friendship with his classmate Mikael Flory, remembering him as someone who “has been there for me a lot.”  Mikael has helped James make the right decisions and helped him see what he calls “a different version of life.”  James also appreciates that Mikael sees “some peace in the world.”

James will also always remember Mrs. O’Rourke who taught at LCA for many years before moving to the Midwest a couple of years ago.  James will never forget that “Mrs. O” was known for being available, “Anytime I had a problem, I would talk to her, and she would help me with any problem I had.  She taught me how to study.”

James also remembers former classmate Stavros, who was “a big part of my life and brought happiness and made me laugh.”  James remembers Stavros as “that person who knew what I was thinking.”

James has fond memories of a few other teachers at LCA.  He says that Mr. Fry taught him a different way of learning.  After all, James admitted, “I learn in weird ways!”  He appreciates Mr. Fry’s different view of the world and will remember his history class, even saying that he wants Mr. Fry to teach at his college with his enthusiastic and funny expressions.  Mr. Fry also taught right from wrong—the right God wants from us.

James will never forget Mrs. Kettlewood and her ministry at LCA.  “Mrs. Kettlewood has been there since Day One.  She led me to do the right thing and helped me learn to control my temper,” James remembers.  Mrs. Kettlewood has had an important part of getting James through some of the tough days of high school.

Mrs. Hogan, an educator from the North Colonie School District, has also played a big part in James’s life.  James recalls, “Mrs. Hogan taught me how to study—for real study!”  She guided James in writing his first solo report and has always brought joy and happiness to James during their time together.  James said, “I always look forward to seeing her.  I always want to learn what she is teaching me.”

James also enjoys telling what he remembers as the funniest story from his time at LCA, back in junior high.  He was coming back to Mrs. O’Rourke’s history class after a visit to the restroom.  As he returned to his seat, his cousin and classmate Samuel said from the seat behind him, “James, fly!”  Of course, James jumps up and waves his hands at his wrists like he is attempting to lift off the ground.  Samuel responded, “No, your zipper!”  The class became very quiet until someone said, “James, are you stupid?!” when the whole class erupted in laughter.  For what felt like half an hour the class was laughing so hard they were in tears.  James remembers that they did not get to their lesson that day.  The next time you see James, just say, “James, fly!” to him and see what happens!

James attends Clifton Park Community Church with his family.  James accepted Christ as his personal Savior at Grace Bible Church under the ministry of his Sunday school teacher Mr. Pelcher.  (James also remembers that Mr. Pelcher was a “really awesome” teacher who always brought food to class!)  James was baptized by Pastor Beckwith at Grace Bible.  His favorite verse from the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:11 – “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

James plans to work as a model while he attends SUNY Albany, his mother’s alma mater.  James plans to major in exercise science and put to work his skills and interest in science, especially biology, as he follows God’s leading in his life.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 18 – 7:00 PM – Elem/HS Christmas Program

Dec. 20 – Senior Lunch – Chicken Strips

Dec. 21 – 9:30 AM – All-School Christmas Chapel

Dec. 24-Jan. 4 – NO SCHOOL – Christmas Break

Jan. 9 – Progress Reports Issued (Grades 1-12)

Jan. 10 – Senior Lunch – Macaroni and Cheese