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