Lutheran Schools Week - Serve Together

Serve Together – Miss Clevenger

Why do we serve together? Why take precious time away from academics to work on service projects?

I am reminded of Saint Paul’s warning to the Corinthians. Don’t gloss over the text; it’s worth reading:

“If I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

In other words, we fail as a classical school if the only outcome we achieve is a well-trained mind. If our students graduate as intellectually robust defenders of truth yet lacking love and vision to use their gifts in service to neighbors, then our work has been in vain.

At Immanuel, we aim to educate the whole child: mind, soul, heart, body, emotions, and will. Academically, we emphasize subject mastery and love of learning. Most importantly, we also teach students to what end these goals are directed. The very purpose of academic growth and nourishment is to cultivate gifts for the service of mankind.

Weaving service projects into the life of the school provides a tangible reminder to students that the very purpose of their life is to give of themselves for God’s glory and other’s benefit. Practically, students also learn through service to work well with one another and to appreciate the varied strengths and gifts within our community.

What does student service look like at Immanuel? Upper School students have eagerly served our neighborhood for the last three years by baking and delivering cookies. Students have also translated a story into Latin to read to Lower School students, written gratitude cards for teachers and staff, and independently planned and executed a history lesson for a Lower School class. The habit of service is certainly taking root in many Upper School students as on a daily basis, students frequently jump at the opportunity to run an errand for a teacher or help out in other ways.

These are always the beautiful, softening, grace-filled moments in the midst of hectic days.