2024-2025 School Supply Lists

The 2024-2025 Supply List is now ready for students for this coming school year!

2024-2025 Supply List Link

Have a great summer!

June 2024 - Update from Mr. Good

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears


Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof beautifully capture the bittersweet passage of time. This week at EMS, we bid farewell to the class of 2024. Graduation night on May 21 will be especially memorable as it marks the first class to graduate from our new school building.


Reflecting on this year, we are grateful for God’s unwavering faithfulness. Life often feels like a fleeting dream, and it’s only in looking back that we recognize God’s guiding hand. This year’s journey at 635 Stevens Rd has been a testament to His direction, from moving into our new space to completing our comprehensive self-evaluation for accreditation.


God’s provision has been evident once again as He brought us the dedicated teachers and aides needed for the 2024-25 school year. In a challenging job market, it’s inspiring to see Christians committed to the sacred work of teaching and discipling in our school. (Please continue to pray for the bus drivers we need to transport our students safely.)


As we close this chapter, we embrace the time for endings. Farewell, 2023-24 school year. This summer, cherish time with your family. Go fishing, fire up the grill, play softball, enjoy water sports, read a few good books, and limit screen time. Above all, be grateful. God is good. His mercy endures forever, His love is unfailing, and His Kingdom knows no end. See you next year!


We hope to see you at our Summer Family Auction on June 14 and 15.


Stay connected and have a wonderful summer!


Mr. Joshua Good


May 2024 Update from Mr. Good

Excellence In All Things

Our core value for this year has been Academic Excellence, a principle we've discussed extensively with both students and staff. We've examined its manifestations in highly effective teaching and well-developed student work products. However, in our exploration, we've also recognized a broader idealization of excellence in all endeavors. How can we cultivate a culture that highlights the “Ephrata Mennonite School way” as a path to excellence? We embrace the notion that anything worth doing is worth doing well.


Recently, the benefits of such a culture became evident in a tangible manner to our community. A man with a background in building design, impressed by the exceptional design and construction of our new school, decided to honor Christian education and the work at Ephrata Mennonite School with a generous gift of $50,000. This act of generosity was inspired by the pursuit of excellence. Praise the Lord.


In the academic realm, our secondary students recently participated in the PSAT/SAT assessments. Our 7th to 9th graders took the PSAT 8/9, 10th graders the PSAT, and 11th graders the SAT. The SAT remains a benchmark for excellence in education nationwide, and we are proud to be one of the few schools where all students are expected to participate. Additionally, our seniors have been presenting their rigorous Senior Capstone projects, focusing on research and theses around current societal issues and the Anabaptist Christian response. After completing a research paper, students present their findings to peers, pastors, parents, and other interested parties. We video all capstone presentations and add them to our academic catalog online. These examples, among others, will be fundamental to our ongoing reaccreditation self-evaluation efforts and the reaccreditation visit next year.


This year, we have also pursued excellence in music, athletics, and Bible quizzing. Our Ministry Arts team, which includes singing and instrument playing, delivered numerous local programs (and a tour) that were well received. We continued to advance excellence in our athletics program, aiming to provide healthy physical exercise and competitive activities that honor God by celebrating teamwork and the vitality of youth. Our Legends performed admirably, embodying Christian character regardless of the outcome. And our Bible quizzers, who dedicate themselves to memorizing hundreds of Bible verses and practicing throughout the year, brought home trophies that honor their hard work.


Finally, and most importantly, this year we have sought excellence in our followership of Jesus. Our secondary students have invested in personal devotions each day at EMS, engaging in structured Bible reading, journaling, and prayer. We have devoted countless hours to studying God’s word, being discipled, and discipling others as we strive to become more like Christ. Undoubtedly, this journey is challenging, with its share of ups and downs, but God remains faithful, drawing us closer to Himself and guiding us on the path of righteousness. Please pray for us as we conclude the year, that we may remain committed to excellence in all things for the cause of Christ. May His name be lifted up and may His Kingdom come on earth as also in heaven.


Mr. Joshua Good


April 2024 Update from Mr. Good

Quarter Four

-Thanks to all those who came out for PTF this week. It is a testament to our community regarding the high level of commitment our parents have to Christian education. It also effectively demonstrates the community’s commitment to their students and teachers. It is an honor to work and serve at Ephrata Mennonite School. Below is a summary of the information we covered.


On the school leadership side we are actively working to finish the fourth  quarter well and the flurry of activity that it brings (Senior Trip, MAT Tour, Spring Program, Graduation, etc) while also planning hard for  the new year. We have had a strong enrollment season again and we are blessed to be able to enroll full classes of students in grades K-12. We are expecting about 385 students next year. Across the country right now, there remains a strong need for Christian education as EMS (and other Christian schools) are often unable to enroll all those who are interested. It is exciting to see the wide support for Christian education building across the nation.


We are happy that many of our core teaching staff are returning for another year, including the entire leadership team. We had a few staff members get married and a few others being blessed with births and/or pregnancies. Currently we are anticipating a need for an elementary homeroom teacher, an art teacher, as well as some teacher aide positions. God has always been faithful in providing us with high quality professional teaching staff and we know that He will supply our needs again. Please refer any possible leads to me. 


Now is the time, if you are in need, to apply for the EITC scholarships. We would like to have those applications completed in a timely fashion so the finance committee can process the awards in May. Last year we awarded $375K in scholarships, this year $629K, and next year we anticipate awarding over $700K. Our community wouldn’t exist in the same way if it weren’t for the many people who support EMS through the EITC program. Most of the growth in the last years are due to regular people being involved through the Special Purpose Entity (SPE) programs. If you are not yet participating and would like information on how to turn your state tax dollars into Christian school scholarships, please contact Mrs. Tonya Good.


Roadside Cleanup is off to a good start with a little over $22K raised at the first checkpoint this past week. Let’s support our students in learning to serve as we make this a successful event. This year we will have several teams cleaning up trash in Lancaster City. The officials there expressed gratitude for the service we will be performing. The fundraising goal is $150K with a reach  goal of $180K. This year, the first one in a while, we are not connecting this fundraiser to a “new school expansion.” 

Lastly, don’t forget to put the EMS annual auction, happening June 14th and 15th, on your calendar. After a year off because of our move, we are eagerly looking forward to our summer event. Besides the auction and the great food, we will have Ryan and Friends, children’s activities, and much more. 


Have a Great Easter vacation remembering the death of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, and celebrating His resurrection and victory over sin and death!

Mr. Joshua Good


March 2024 Update from Mr. Good

He Is Risen

In the words of the Apostle Paul, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain… If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). Paul underscores the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to our faith. Without it, our religion would be in vain. However, the good news is that Jesus did conquer sin, death, and the grave. He offered Himself as a ransom for our sins and triumphantly rose to new life, bestowing upon us the hope of resurrection and immortality. As we emulate His sacrificial life and embrace our crosses, we anticipate sharing in His glorious resurrection as joint heirs.


At EMS, our recent chapels have contemplated the sacrifice of Jesus. We've sought God's humbling grace, entering a spirit of penitence as we reflect on the events of Good Friday. Gratitude fills our hearts as we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior, the One who redeems the world from sin. And like Paul, we eagerly anticipate celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ later this month. Our songs and prayers blend mourning for Jesus' sacrificial death with exultation in His victorious resurrection over sin.


If there's one overarching purpose for

 EMS, it is to advance the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, empowered by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To this end, we earnestly seek your prayers. Please pray for unity among parents and staff as we engage in the sacred task of discipling our children together. Don't forget to mark your calendars for Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) on March 18, 2024. Pray also for our collective identity to be firmly rooted in Jesus Christ and His crucifixion, boasting solely in Him. As we near the conclusion of the 2024 school year, pray for the seamless coordination of major events such as Grandparents Day, Ministry Arts Team Tour, Roadside Clean-up, Senior Trip, Spring Program, Track and Field, Graduation and others. Additionally, lift up prayers for the Long-term Planning Committee as they diligently work on the re-accreditation effort, completing the self-assessment study efficiently and effectively. Finally, pray for God's guidance in bringing new patrons and staff who align with our vision and mission into our community.


Reflecting on this academic year, we're grateful for God's abundant goodness. It's been a joy to inhabit the new school facility and witness our student body's eagerness for growth academically, spiritually, and socially. While challenges have arisen along the way, they've provided fertile ground for growth, prompting us to embrace gratitude. May God's presence be felt in your family as you contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus and rejoice in his resurrection in the upcoming weeks.

Mr. Joshua Good


February 2024 Update from Mr. Good

Black Mennonite History Month

When I was the Principal of a primarily black school in NYC, February was a special time for us—a moment to celebrate black American stories that were often overlooked. Individuals like Vivian Thomas, a self-taught medical surgery expert, were our focus during this period. Despite facing discrimination that prevented him from attending medical school, Vivian, a lab technician, pioneered modern cardiac surgery. He invented a specific heart surgery procedure that has saved countless "blue baby" lives and trained renowned surgeons at Johns Hopkins.  In the spirit of Black History, perhaps we could review our own Black Mennonite History—a narrative filled with both highs and lows.


On a positive note, James and Rowena Lark emerged as the first prominent black leaders in the Mennonite church. Drawn by the Mennonites' practical approach to Christianity, the Larks, after embracing Anabaptism in the late 1930s, engaged in missions around the DC area with the Virginia Mennonite Conference. Unfortunately, a low point occurred in the early 1940s when the Virginia Mennonites voted to segregate their churches by color. In response, James and Rowena left for mission work in Chicago, where James made history by becoming the first black minister and bishop in the Mennonite world. Subsequently, the Larks served as Mennonite missionaries in Fresno, CA.

Another noteworthy black Mennonite minister and wife team in the '50s and '60s was Vincent and Rosemary Freeney Harding. Initially a Seventh Day Adventist, Vincent, after studying Anabaptist history at the University of Chicago, sought out a local Mennonite church. Inspired by the integration in Bishop Lark's congregation in Chicago and the Mennonite peace witness in WWII, Vincent joined the Mennonites and was ordained. Despite his gifted leadership and teaching, challenges arose when Vincent began advocating for the Mennonite Church to address racism and segregation, just like they had petitioned the government for conscientious objector status in WWII. He also pushed for the official Mennonite acceptance of interracial marriage. Unfortunately, these prophetic messages faced opposition, with conservative bishops in the Lancaster Conference, Virginia Conference, and Canadian circles opposing interracial marriage on grounds that it “wasn’t natural.” Perhaps predictably, Vincent grew weary of Mennonite resistance to full integration and he left the Mennonite church in the late 1960s. 


One of Ephrata Mennonite’s core values is Kingdom Citizenship. This value reflects the aspiration that there is one global kingdom of God to which all followers of Jesus belong. This kingdom knows neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, or male and female - neither black nor white. Questions for reflection for us as a Mennonite community are, how can we best work together to bring all God’s people together? How can we best avoid the dangers of ethnocentrism - that is, the elevation of our culture over others? How can we best honor and affirm other cultures and create the Kingdom of God on earth as also in heaven? May the day come when Sunday morning is no longer the most segregated time in God’s Kingdom...and instead, every tribe, nation, and tongue will praise our King together.


Mr. Joshua Good


January 2024 Update from Mr. Good

My Redeemer Is Faithful & True


"My Redeemer is faithful and true

Everything He has said, He will do

Every morning His mercies are new

My Redeemer is faithful and true"


In the late 1980s, Steven Curtis Chapman wrote and released the song "My Redeemer is Faithful and True." Drawing inspiration directly from Jeremiah’s writings in the book of Lamentations, the song has been a source of inspiration and encouragement for a generation of Christians. As we stand on the edge of a new year, this theme is not only encouraging to me but, I trust, to all of us. Despite our uncertainties about the future year, or even the day ahead, we find solace in the comfort of knowing that our Redeemer is faithful and true, and His mercies are new every morning.


Reflecting on 2023, we can clearly see the work of the Master’s hand. We've successfully completed a 10-year-long new school project and a one-year-long campus-wide 'move' initiative. Moreover, we have, mostly smoothly, though with a learning curve at times, established new routines and rituals that come with a brand-new space.

As we approach the planning for School Year (SY) 2024-25, the Finance Committee and EMS Board are actively working on budgetary models, tuition rates, compensation plans, etc., for the new year. They strive to strike a balance between keeping school as affordable as possible while prioritizing fair compensation for our staff. I am consistently grateful to be part of a community-run school where patron committees and boards tackle these weighty questions.


We are also commencing the enrollment process for the next year. The first step is to solidify re-enrollment. We ask all families planning to send their children to EMS for SY2024-25 to re-enroll in January. While there won’t be a re-enrollment fee, we are asking for a good faith commitment on your part. New family enrollments will begin in February, with the EMS board holding final responsibility for all EMS enrollments, guided by this document.


Anticipating some open seats in 9th grade for new students and some seats in the Kindergarten classes, we encourage all interested families to apply. Sometimes, during re-enrollment, seats in additional grades may also become available. In January, we start scheduling meetings/tours with new prospective patrons. In February, we will enroll those new families who are a good fit for remaining seats.


Simultaneously, we are initiating teacher contract and hiring conversations for the next year. Please join us in prayer that God would bring to EMS families and teachers who are a good fit for our community and mission. As we fervently pray for the New Year, let us also find calm assurance in the sovereignty of God, for He is indeed faithful and true.

Mr. Joshua Good


December 2023 Update from Mr. Good

Seeking Jesus!

The joy of celebrating the birth of King Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has always been a cherished tradition for me within the Christian school community. Reflecting on my time as a student in a small Christian school, the warmth and cheer brought about by the decorations, the commencement of Christmas program practices, and the anticipation of time with family and friends are etched in my memories. At EMS, I am particularly grateful for the privilege of working in a Christian school context where teaching about King Jesus is not just a part but the central focus of our mission. This year is no exception; the greenery is up, program practices are underway, and we eagerly await the celebration of the Messiah's arrival.


Our Christmas program this year revolves around the theme of recognizing our need for a Savior and the inspiration to earnestly seek Him. Like the wise men of old, we aspire to possess the wisdom to continually pursue and seek out Jesus as His followers. The songs we are preparing aim to inspire you to come and witness Jesus, behold His glory, worship the Son of Man, and be transformed into His image. It's exciting to note that this year, we have ample space for everyone in our large gym! Please keep us in your prayers as we adapt to using a new multipurpose space.


Beyond the joy of receiving, I take joy in our community's emphasis on giving. Acknowledging that we have received abundantly in the past year, our community's heartbeat is to "pay it forward." This year, our annual school giving project focuses on providing a home for a family in Jamaica through Jamaican Relief Ministries. The identified family urgently needs a house to stay together as parents and children. Without our assistance, having a home would be impossible for them. Although we use the term "house," the reality is that many of us have sheds or outbuildings more substantial than what we are providing. The cost for a house is $8500. We will collect the funds after Thanksgiving and provide ongoing updates on the amount raised. In April, the Senior Class will travel to Jamaica to construct the house and present the keys to the family. Thank you in advance for your life-changing gift.


Amidst the holiday season, our commitment to learning and continuous improvement persists. In November, the Long Range Planning (LRP) committee, comprising students, parents, board members, and pastoral advisers, reconvened to initiate the re-accreditation process and self-evaluation. Watch out for a survey, a mandatory part of re-accreditation, which will be sent to you. Kindly complete it soon after receiving it; high participation rates contribute to strong school communities. Students and staff will also participate in surveys as part of this process. The data collected will inform the LRP committee's reports, help formulate a plan for continuous improvement, and contribute to our accreditation next year.


As you celebrate Christmas, enjoy time with family, and perhaps travel, I encourage you to continue your search for Jesus. The scriptures promise that if we seek Him with all our hearts, we will surely find Him. Please keep us in your prayers as well. For though we see through a glass darkly, may we see Jesus, our Lord and Savior, in a real and fresh way this Christmas.

Mr. Joshua Good


November 2023 Update from Mr. Good

Gratitude - 

It's with a heart full of gratitude that I reflect on where we were five years ago this November. Back then, on October 25th, 2018, the EMS School Board signed a contract to purchase 28 acres of land from First United Methodist Church, I began our newsletter with a passage from Ephesians 3, where the Apostle Paul offered the prayer of thankful praise, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Today, we echo that prayer and celebrate.


The blessings we've received in our new building have exceeded our expectations. Having secondary chapel three times a week in a dedicated space for singing and inspirational speaking has enriched us immeasurably. The shared meals in our cafeteria have proven to be a highlight that many students have spoken about. And beyond that, we're grateful for ample restrooms, well-lit classrooms with abundant natural light, spacious common areas, a gymnasium that accommodates everyone, and an abundant supply of fresh water.


With the new school building project complete, I find myself enjoying more time in the classroom with our students. Teaching Advanced Arithmetic to our secondary students, directing the Middle School Choir, and leading the EMS Worship Team class have reinvigorated me, reminding me of what I like most about working in schools. Attending our extracurricular events, Bible Quizzing scrimmages, and athletic contests in our new space has strengthened our sense of community.


As we step into the holiday season, let us take the time to offer thanks to God as families for the abundant gifts bestowed upon us. Research shows that counting our blessings improves our outlook, enhances our well-being, and brings us closer to the joy and happiness God intended for us. While there is a place for silence, lamenting, and mourning, there is also a place for celebration, joy, and merriment. And for many, the upcoming holidays provide that moment.


In November, we seek your prayers on our behalf. We've had a promising start to the year, and we yearn for God's continued presence in our work of discipling and teaching our students in the way of Jesus Christ. Please pray that we embody the core value of the year, Academic Excellence, as we do all things for the glory of God. Lift up the Long Range Planning Committee as they navigate the re-accreditation process in preparation for our formal visit next year. And pray for the EMS Board as they provide leadership and vision for our community in the exciting phase that lies ahead after the completion of the new school building. In all of this, give thanks. I’ll leave you with the words of the song, Gratitude, by Brandon Lake:

So I throw up my hands

And praise You again and again

'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah


And I know it's not much

But I've nothing else fit for a King

Except for a heart singing hallelujah



Mr. Joshua Good


October 2023 Update from Mr. Good - Fall Festivities

One of the beautiful aspects of Lancaster County is the changing of seasons. While I have always loved summer, there is something special about the briskness in the air when fall arrives. Packing up the window AC units and donning fall apparel begins to turn our hearts toward colorful autumn leaves, corn mazes, barn parties, deer hunting, football, and Thanksgiving! And even as winter looms in the background, it does not yet dispel the festivity of fall from our souls. God is good! He is a God of harvest seasons.


In the upcoming month, we are looking forward to the end of the first quarter. Take some time to check in with your children in the coming weeks to see how they are progressing academically. Discuss with them what “academic excellence” (core value of the year) looks like for them, considering their individual gifts. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff to collaborate on how to best support and nurture your child. We firmly believe that through effective partnership, we can both reach and teach every child. We aspire to be a school that challenges students to stretch themselves to their limits, yet provides the support they need to succeed.


Our extracurricular activities are also in full swing, and we are thrilled to see excellence emanating from them. Our Bible Quizzing teams recently competed, and they performed admirably in a scrimmage match against two homeschool squads. Our girls' volleyball teams, at the time of this writing, remain undefeated. Likewise, our boys' soccer team has been playing exceptionally well against some of the top soccer teams in our league. As a school leader, one of my greatest joys is witnessing our students and community engage in interscholastic competition. In October, we have numerous events scheduled. Please consult the calendar and come out to support our quizzers and athletes. I also want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the parent volunteers who make these extracurricular programs possible. You know who you are, and we couldn’t do it without you.


Plan to join us on Saturday for the EMS Fall Festival. There will be delicious food for everyone, a cornhole tournament, and a variety of children’s activities. This event is being hosted by the auction and banquet committees and promises to be a delightful occasion for building community and fellowship.


This year, let us join in prayer that God would bring forth His harvest a hundredfold at EMS! Pray that the reading of God’s word, the teaching of His precepts, and the singing of His songs would not return void or fall on hardened hearts. Instead, may the seeds grow and flourish. May we, in new and profound ways, be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. May we have the ears to hear His still, small voice and be granted a generous measure of wisdom to love and disciple well. May His Kingdom come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Mr. Joshua Good


September 2023 Update from Mr. Good

A New School & A New School Year

We are thrilled to be starting school in our new building! After all the meticulous planning and preparation, the opening days went exceptionally smoothly. We warmly welcomed an impressive total of 387 students on the very first day of school. During our opening assembly, we joyfully sang "God is a Good God, Oh yes He is." Our hearts were challenged by the wisdom of Ephesians 4, which challenged us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling and the blessings we have received. The atmosphere was filled with laughter as Ryan and Friends shared an entertaining story of David and Goliath, sprinkled with plenty of humorous jokes. Coming together on this inaugural day of the new school year and in our new building was an incredible feeling.


Over the past week, dedicated work has continued in the gymnasium. The bleachers have been assembled, and the curtains have been installed. We are excited that the court markings and EMS logo are scheduled to be painted during the week of September 5. Anticipation is building as we eagerly look forward to our first "home game," where our Lady Legends will have the honor of christening the gym on September 11th. We extend a warm invitation to you to join us, support our student athletes, enjoy delightful ice cream, and experience the roominess of our new bleachers.


This academic year, our central focus is on our core value, Academic Excellence. Our entire staff is deeply engaged in exploring ways to effectively cultivate an environment of academic excellence at EMS. We're pondering over questions such as: What does academic excellence look like across different grades, from first grade to twelfth?  Acknowledging that each student is unique, we are committed to drawing out their individual strengths and fostering an environment that aligns with their God-given abilities. How can we instill a mindset of excellence in our students? As staff members, how can we embody excellence, understanding that actions often speak louder than words? This exploration is especially meaningful, as it marks the first time we've chosen Academic Excellence as our core value for the year. 


The upcoming accreditation process is on the horizon, with our official visit slated for next year. Consequently, this year demands a significant amount of preparation for accreditation. While our school leadership will shoulder a substantial portion of the responsibilities, we'll also rely on your assistance to complete a few surveys within our school community. These surveys are pivotal in shaping our next seven-year plan for continuous improvement. They also provide you with a platform to voice your opinions on various matters. We kindly ask for your prayers as we undertake this crucial work. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering, and accreditation serves as a means for us to uphold the highest standards for the benefit of our students, patrons, and staff.


Additionally, we are pleased to announce that our secondary school Bible reading and devotional schedule will continue this year. We invite you to join us in praying that God's Word would deeply touch the hearts of our students as they engage in daily reflection and meditation. May God also bless our staff with an ever-deepening love for our students, recognizing in them the divine image they bear. We firmly believe that greater things are yet to be done at Ephrata Mennonite School. Your support and prayers play an integral role in this journey. May this year be marked by God's wisdom and blessings, and may our surrounding community recognize us as Christians by our love for one another, as we diligently live out our mission of learning to serve.


Mr. Joshua Good