It is no secret that I have been moonlighting as a tutor for a Classical Conversations community. Last year I had 9 8th grade-aged students. During this last month, I have also been involved in speaking at the St. Louis area Parent Practicums. These are free events for parents who are interested in home schooling their children in a classical method that integrates the Christian faith throughout. Each community gets together for a day during the week and discusses the things that they are learning throughout the week at home.
I have many motives for getting involved with this group. My daughter, who has been involved in Classical Conversations for a number of years, beginning with the education of my granddaughter Johnna, is now charged with hiring the tutors for communities in the St. Louis area. Last year, one of her communities needed a tutor for Challenge B (roughly 8th grade), and I said yes.
This September marks my 25th anniversary in church work with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. I started my ministry in a K-8 Lutheran day school in Denver as a teacher 25 years ago, and I have really missed teaching kids since then. So to get a chance to help these kids in CC was a joy. But more than that, CC has such a strong program of faith integration. One of my frustrations as a teacher (and new believer) was that the school was primarily a modern educational institution with a religion class added. There was little faith integration then throughout the subjects that the kids were being taught. CC helps the families learn how to center all the education in the home around God. The motto of Classical Conversations is “To Know God and to Make Him Known.” The integration of Christian faith through the classical disciplines helps the students truly know God, and by the time they leave the home school for college, they truly know how to make God known! Having an opportunity to help train these young evangelists has been a wonderful extension of my ministry, and I have been able to add a little Jewish flavor to their educations as they get involved in our Passover Seders, Chanukkah parties and other opportunities, in addition to the weekly gatherings where so many good questions get discussed.
Our ministry is hosting Vocatio tonight. Vocatio is, according to Concordia Seminary’s website, “a fun opportunity for high school students entering grades nine through 12 to participate in Bible study, worship, and discussion about vocation.” As these young people explore God’s calling in their lives, tonight they will enjoy a Hebrew Vespers service, a good meal, and prayerfully find a heart for God’s first children. It is much the same in one night, that I get a whole year to do with Classical Conversations. Please pray for all these young people, as we need so many more missionaries who can make God known!