Faith, Family, and Friends

Sarah Jannings

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LAKE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC- LMC Elementary, Middle, and High School students have been getting to know each other throughout all different grade levels through an idea called “Faith Families,” started by previous LMC Middle/High School Principal, Mr. Heath.  This school year, the new LMC Middle/High School Principal, Mr. Schmidt, has decided to continue this idea with the help of the LMC Elementary, Middle, and High School staff and administration, along with the students themselves.

“People need to understand we tried it last year and it had mixed results.  I don’t expect everyone to be best friends. However, this is meant to be more student-run than teacher-run.  As we get more comfortable with it, we will continue to see how the upperclassmen will put their own “stamp” on their faith family,” said Mr. Schmidt.

During the month of October, the Middle and High School students were divided into different faith families, each including their own staff advisor to mentor the students, and two or more high school upperclassmen, either from the senior, junior, or sophomore classes.  At the middle school and high school, each faith family consists of students from all grades, sixth through twelfth.

Middle School Theology Teacher, Mrs. Koch, has high hopes for faith families and definitely enjoying her time with her former and current students.

“I love being an adviser to a Faith Family and meeting each month.  Anytime I can meet and work with my former students is special time for me. I enjoy watching the High School students taking the lead in the Faith Family and working with the younger students.”

The idea behind faith families is to create a sense of connectivity between students of all levels within all grades.  Each faith family meets once a month on an assigned day to usually talk about the importance of faith and friendship.

Freshman Chloe Mills, enjoys the faith families because she gets to know the students from the other grades above, and below her better.

“Some positive things about faith families is that most of the groups have only one or two in the same grade and it will help those get along with people from the other grades.  I think they are successful because we get to know each other better and we get to share other ideas with each other and hopefully make other friends.”

During the first meeting in October, the students got to know each other by watching a video about the importance of connecting your friends with your spiritual life and playing a “ice-breaker” type game that was planned by each faith families’ group leaders.  During the second meeting in November, the students talked about how they each define the word “friend” and the importance of having one.

The second meeting was also the time that the door decorating competition was introduced to all the faith families.  This competition will take place during the December meeting, in which all the faith families will be decorating their advisors’ doors.

Junior Ben Johnston, is one of group leaders of his faith families and enjoys just having a good time with the underclassmen.  Being able to use his leadership skills to help bring together the fellow students is something Ben happily enjoys doing.

“I definitely enjoy the banter our group produces the most, we have some quality shenanigans. I hope we do really well with the door decoration, as I stressed that there are epic stakes for this competition. Since we have the art teacher, I think my family is really excited to see how we do.”

The only requirements for the doors is that they relate to the overall theme of Advent and friendship.  The doors will be judged and the winning faith family will receive a free jean day and pizza.

Mrs. Koch says that her faith family is really looking to forward to winning the competition.  

“My group is crazy excited about the door decorating, both the Middle School and High School students. I am gathering and collecting the things they are bringing in.  Just wait, we will have an awesome door!!!”
Even though Mrs. Koch’s group is really excited about the door decorating, other faith families aren’t as excited about the door decorating, or even the faith families in general.  Some students believe it to be a waste of time and even consider it a childish activity.

However, here at LMC, all Mr. Schmidt asks of the students is to be willing to give the faith families a try.

“It’s just like everything else because if you go into it with a open mind and a willingness to try, whether or not you like the activity, it’s not like its a bad thing to get the school together as a community.  I’m open to ideas, but some of them may just not be possible If you just sit there and call something stupid then you’re not open to giving it a try and have an open-mind. I want people to get something out of it.”

This is just the beginning of the continuation of the faith families and now all we can do is see how they turn out.  Nothing can be great without the cooperation and effort of everyone involved.

The LMC staff and students will all have to work together in order to make the faith families productive and most importantly, a family with true faith in each other.  Good luck to all the faith families decorating their own advisors doors and may the best group win!

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Faith, Family, and Friends