You, Your Child, and God's Word = The Perfect Hat Trick!

"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole heart as working for the Lord and not for men."  Colossians 3:23

Many young boys have dreams of playing for their hometown team in the National Hockey League.  Well, for David Booth, grandson of one of our St. Matthew congregational members, Mr. John Booth, after a journey of hard work, perseverance, and waiting, the Lord blessed this dream and made it a reality this year!
Growing up, David attended Peace Shelby Twp. Lutheran School from Kindergarten through Grade 8 and started playing hockey at a young age.  After four successful seasons at Michigan State, the Lord continued to open numerous doors for David in the NHL and Russia Hockey League. Yet in one interview, David confessed that ever since he was able to lace up his skates, his dream was to play for the Detroit Red Wings.

St. Matthew Turkey Trot: Help Others Step Closer to Jesus!

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you've done unto Me!" Matthew 25:40

"Mrs. Palka... Look at my new shoes!"

This is a very popular request among my younger students...  especially when their new shoes have popular cartoon characters on them, or are bedazzled in rhinestones, or the ultimate show stopper... light up with each step!

As a mom, I have also witnessed my own children express great excitement about new shoes.  Convinced that his new shoes had the ability to make him run faster and jump higher, one of my boys even slept with his new shoes during his first night of ownership.

Sadly, there are many children in our world who have not experienced the joy of owning a new pair of shoes. Soles4Souls is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about putting shoes on impoverished children's feet, allowing them to be safe from contracting diseases, while also permitting them to attend school.

Are Your Feet On Fire for the Turkey Trot?

November 17th - Turkey Trot 2017
Help Others Step Closer to Jesus
My dad was the youngest of nine children.  After hearing stories of his childhood antics, I am sure his behavior helped my grandparents come to the conclusion that nine was enough and "Billy" was meant to be the grand finale! Often, he would entertain my sisters and me with stories about his childhood.  However, of all of his stories that used to shock and/or amuse us, his story about his new shoes was always the one that we would often beg to
"Tell us again!"

Help Others Step Closer to Jesus

St. Matthew Lutheran School
7th Annual Turkey Trot
November 17, 2017

Early in my ministry, I was standing in the hallway greeting students good morning when I received a response that shook me to my core... "Mrs. Palka, I'm not supposed to tell you, but we had to sleep in our car last night, and I was so scared."

An immediate investigation revealed the embarrassment of an eviction due to a series of unfortunate financial circumstances. Instantly, I watched the body of Christ work together to help this family get back into a suitable living environment and ensure that basic needs were met.  Scripture states in Matthew 25:40, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do onto Me" and it was so exciting watching congregational members be the hands and feet of Jesus in action during this situation.  Sometimes, God uses us to help those in other states or countries, and sometimes, those He presents us with opportunities to help people in our  very own community.

The Blessings of Parent/Teacher Conferences

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11
One of the most fascinating aspects regarding working with children is watching God grow and cultivate their individual gifts, talents, and personality traits throughout their lives.  Often, teachers will notice certain qualities and wonder how God is going to develop and use that characteristic in the future.  For example, we've watched students fascinated with science and space grow up, attend MIT, and work for NASA.  We've watched children who were fabulous at fixing broken items around the school grow up, and become engineers or accomplished mechanics.  We've had students, who were wonderful tutors, attend the Concordia colleges and now are high school math teachers.  We've had kids that were fascinated with dissection become surgeons, while one student who was famous for doodling is now employed as an animator for Sony and Play Station.

"Give Me Your Eyes": Grades 6 - 8 Spend a Day Loading Train Cars With Items for Those in Need

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto Me."  Matthew 25:40

Recipe for a Matthew 25:40 Day:

  • Mix together 68 passionate St. Matthew sixth, seventh, and eighth graders
  • Blend in 20 extremely helpful St. Matthew parents and teachers
  • Fold in approximately 35 compassionate Lutheran high school volunteers
  • Knead together with a generous scoop of Jesus' love
  • Add 4 semi trailers and 5 trucks filled with food, handmade quilts, clothing, school kits, toiletries, and other basic necessities
  • Place all items into 5 train boxcars
  • Simmer in the beautiful sunshine at the Detroit ConRail train yard
  • Bake for 2.5 hours or until done
  • Enjoy the taste of being the hands and feet of Jesus and the joy that comes from helping those in need!

Yesterday, our sixth through eighth grade had the awesome opportunity to...

Lutherfest 500 Is Almost Here!

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto Me!" Matthew 25:40

You've heard of the Indy 500, and the Daytona 500, but are you ready for Lutherfest 500??
This Friday, St. Matthew Lutheran School will wave the checkered flags for the start of Lutherfest 500, a special anniversary celebration commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  In 1517, Martin Luther led the Reformation in Germany.  The Reformation was based on the Biblical truths of Jesus and the gift of forgiveness that comes freely through grace by faith in Him.

Emergency Procedures A Follow-Up Reflection To Last Friday's Events

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Once, I was walking behind a group of Kindergarteners as they were passing by one of the fire alarms located in the 200 wing when I overheard one little boy say to another, "No one is allowed to pull that handle!" Immediately, the other little boy quickly rebutted, "No one except Mrs. Palka!" As I heard this, I just smiled hearing this was one of my claims to fame as the principal.  However, the truth of the matter is that every time that we rehearse this drill throughout the seven annually scheduled practice sessions, pulling the alarm is actually one of my jobs!
So imagine my shock a few years ago when I was in a meeting with another staff member inside my office and the fire alarm went off!

Ladies and Gentlemen... Start Your Engines and Get Ready as St. Matthew Lutheran School Prepares for Lutherfest 500 on October 13!

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift. Ephesians 2:8

Twenty-four years ago, the St. Matthew Lutheran School staff of 1993 were collaboratively working on a school family fellowship event when the first "Progressive Dinner" concept evolved. It was during this brain-storming session that the design of each classroom making a portion of a meal and parents purchasing tickets to "progress from room to room" to sample the meal was conceived.  As the part-time 6 - 8 Language Arts teacher at that time, my assignment was to work in the kitchen with a few 8th grade moms to make spaghetti for approximately 75 people, and it was a wonderful night!

What's Your Legacy?

"Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith."   Hebrews 13:7

If you were asked to name your earliest childhood friend, how far back could you stroll down memory lane?  Was this friend someone in your neighborhood?  Maybe someone you met at school? Perhaps you played together on a sports team?
My daughter is very blessed that her favorite St. Matthew Preschool 3 buddy back in 1999 still remains one of her closest and best friends, even eighteen years later! Despite the fact that Jen was always the tallest girl in the class and Kristine was always the shortest, their personalities, sense of humor, and convictions have always been extremely compatible and complementary of one another.  
After all these years of spending so much time together, both girls have also come to know each other's extended families quite well, but the one extended family member that Kristine always adored and admired was Jen's grandpa.


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