Dear Berean Community,
Last spring, an older woman walked into the front office and asked to speak with me. I welcomed her in, and she proceeded to tell me she was a neighbor of the school and was preparing to sell her home, which backed up to the Berean property. As it turned out, she was in the process of having a shared fence repaired, and she wanted to make sure it was okay to do so during school hours. She told me she had owned the property for more than forty years and that she always delighted to hear the sound of young people moving between classes and knowing they were learning about God. She was also happy to know that the Berean students were physically present during the pandemic and could come to school to see their teachers and friends. I was thankful for her perspective and encouragement and knowing the school had been a blessing to her for decades. As I walked her to the door, she said, “Oh, one more thing… that choir of yours is fantastic! Because you have them singing outside, it’s the first time in 40 years that I’ve been able to hear them! Keep that going!”
We have “kept that going” as all of our choir and band classes have moved outside for the benefit of rehearsing and performing without having to wear masks. It has not been an ideal move, particularly for the set-up of the piano and sound equipment. But the unintended benefit of moving students outside has seen a consistent stream of positive compliments from our neighbors. Morning walkers and joggers who come past the school usually slow down, and some even stop, on a daily basis, to hear our kids. Sometimes they clap! Last week, one woman called the school office to tell us that she makes a point of opening up her windows every morning to “listen to the kids sing.” Additionally, last week, during a meeting with the Rancho San Miguel Homeowners Association, I asked if hearing the choir and band throughout the day was bothering anyone. The President of the Association responded, “Are you kidding me? We love that noise! Keep it going!”
In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus uses the metaphors of “salt and light” to tell his people how they should positively influence the world for good. But Jesus doesn’t use the future tense to tell his people they need to work to become salt and light. “No,” he says, “you are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.” (13-16). The people of God are salt and light right now, and our faithful presence in the world points to the one who made us that way. I like to think our students’ public singing, i.e., their worship of God outside the classroom, is a taste of salt and a ray of light in the neighborhood. Maybe that’s why so many of our neighbors have told us to “keep it going!”
In the September issue of the Berean Bulletin, you’ll read a few more stories about the “faithful presence” of the people God has called to be the “salt and light of the world.” May they bless you as much as they’ve blessed those they’ve influenced.
God Bless You,