Christmas Celebration Journal: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In a way similar to the journals I created for my students to use during Advent, I’ll be creating and posting Christmas Celebration Journals for my students to use in class during the remaining days of the Christmas season.

After our class opening prayer, I dim the lights, put on quiet music and walk my students through a brief, prayerful, centering activity. I continue to play the music and invite them to reflect on these journal pages (what they write is for them only) and/or to gaze at the art in prayerful contemplation.

I’ll offer the journals here in two forms – a PDF to “download and go” and as a Google Slides (in case you want to modify it)

And I’ll try to use both traditional and contemporary art:

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Advent Journey Journal: Third Tuesday of Advent

Please download and share this journal page which I’m inviting my Sophomores to use during our Advent prayer time. Rather than write, they may also ponder and gaze at the relevant art on the slides.

PDF

Google Slides

And, as this is my last Advent Journal before we have our midterms and Christmas Break, enjoy this extra art:

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May you and yours have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas!

Advent Journey Journal: First Friday of Advent

Please download and share this journal page which I’m inviting my Sophomores to use during our Advent prayer time. Rather than write, they may also ponder and gaze at the relevant art on the slides.

PDF

Google Slides

New (Church) Year’s Eve, New Blog Directions & Adventures with Moana

I’m enjoying a quiet Thanksgiving weekend and it seems like a good time to pause and write. In many ways, it’s the calm before the storm – midterms begin for us on 14 December and there are too few school days and too much content for me to teach between now and then. And we get an unexpected day off as our football team is playing (for the second year in a row) for the Ohio state title next Friday. Awesome (yet one less teaching day.)

Have you noticed a somewhat different direction for this blog? Yes, the mission and the writers have shifted. The original purpose (see the “About” for details) was to share ideas and insights about technology – especially as it can be used to support the work educators do in their classrooms. This focus, over time, expanded to include internet resources which could make us smile, think, and pray.

After taking a hiatus from writing here over the summer and enjoying time reading many novels and other books, I returned in the fall with a new focus. Every school day since mid-August, I’ve created and posted a presentation about the Saint O’the Day. This is a labor of love as I’ve grown in devotion to the saints and I desire to share what I’m learning about “our extended family in Heaven” with my students and others.

The writers of this blog have shifted too. Initially it was a trio of us creating this site. But time commitments and interests change. Tera, my Religion colleague, is now our Campus Ministry Director and our excellent retreat program (plus the day to day of teaching) takes much of her focus. And Rachel, my colleague who teaches Spanish, has become the publisher of our weekly faculty/staff newsletter (and is doing a great job with it).

So, that leaves me (Rick) – freshman and sophomore Religion teacher, husband of a fellow Religion teacher and school colleague, dad of a teen and near-teen, aficionado of technology, music, wine, walking, and life in general!

And Happy New (Church) Year’s Eve. On this very last day of CY2016, the lectionary reading has Christ assuring St. John and us: “‘Behold, I am coming soon.’ Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.” Furthermore, we pray in the Responsorial Psalm: “Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Yes, 2017 begins for us tomorrow with the changing of the colors and the lighting of the advent wreath. As I wonder about what adventures this coming church year will hold, I’m listening to the main song from the wonderful new film (which I saw on Thanksgiving): Moana. It’s all about hearing one’s calling and discovering strength to courageously pursue it.

I’ll be back to share more during Advent. Until then, may you hear the voice of God, see the light of Christ, and be drawn this church year towards the horizon “where the water meets the sky.”

Sun(Fun)day Night – U.S. Presidential Candidates as Shakespeare Characters

Happy May! I hope that it has been a fun day for you on this Sunday.

Just a quick post tonight as I still have much to do before bedtime.

With the recent celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death  , I thought it would be fun to share this clever article observing a connection between each of the U.S. presidential candidates (current and withdrawn) and familiar characters from Shakespeare’s great works.

I won’t spoil the fun for you by listing any of the connections here. I will say that discovering which character Donald Trump connects to is well worth the read!

Have a great week!