Spiritual Life at RLSChristian Community
OUR FIRST SCHOOL VALUE: BEING CHRIST-CENTERED
Christ is at the center of everything we do — from academics to athletics to small group worship to our friendships. It’s not that our school is perfect — no school can claim that. But we do know we have God’s perfect forgiveness and that makes growing up and getting through the difficult years of changes in our youths’ lives much easier. We are a distinctively Christian school that intentionally grounds itself in the rich Lutheran education tradition.
HOWEVER, you do not have to be Lutheran to be a Crusader. We open our doors to students from any faith background and even those that have not had a solid church home.
At Rockford Lutheran School, your child can find many ways to grow in your faith and share your faith with others. As a community we celebrate when a student comes to faith and chooses to be baptised in chapel with us. The faculty and staff are here for the students. If a student has a problem, they’ll not only talk with you — they’ll pray with you.
OUR RICH PAN-LUTHERAN TRADITIONS
At Rockford Lutheran School, we strive to work within the beliefs of our partner church bodies, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), focusing on sharing the common ground between them and keeping the gospel of Jesus Christ central in everything, while respecting the diversity within the Lutheran tradition.
Together, the LCMS & ELCA affirm Christ as the living Word of God, and the Holy Scriptures as the rule and norm of faith and practice. The common ground shared by our partner church bodies includes: the centrality of the cross as a revelation of God’s presence and mercy in the world; dependence upon God’s grace, in Christ, for salvation; Word and Sacrament as means of grace; the nature of God’s Word as both law and gospel. Through the waters of baptism and the presence of the Holy Spirit, the common ground between the LCMS & ELCA is sufficient to sustain a relationship that is identified as Pan-Lutheran.
Within the Lutheran tradition, there is diversity in the interpretation of scripture and confessions that lead to theological differences over matters such as: creation, abortion, ordination of women, human sexuality. The common ground shared is foundational to the ability to recognize and respect the diversity between the LCMS and ELCA. The administration and educators are therefore called to emphasize the common ground, be familiar with the diversity that exists, and respect that diversity accordingly. All partners in the Lutheran School Association are committed to attending matters of diversity in on-going dialogue for the sake of the gospel, partnership in the Rockford Lutheran School association, and our mutual understanding.
ROLE OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION
Religious instruction is an integral component of the educational process at Lutheran High School/ Luther Academy. For students that have active relationships with communities of faith, the school provides this component as a supplement to their faith formation. Primary responsibility for this process rests in the home and the congregation. For students who have no active participation in a community of faith, the school’s role is to be primary witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Pan-Lutheran witness provided in both instances must be guided by the reality of the common ground and diversity that exists between the LCMS/ELCA and is in keeping with the principles and strategies of this document.
CHAPEL WORSHIP TIME
Chapel is an important part of Rockford Lutheran’s culture. Once a week, we gather together to worship God in each school division from the 3-year olds up to the high schoolers. In these times we join in fellowship as a Christian community, supporting and praying for each other and for God’s action in the world. And, we hear his Word and learn about His plan of salvation for all who believe. We delve into the Biblical truths and present them to the student body through worship, skits, scripture, dramatic readings, and a message, usually given by a faculty member. But, Chapels are organized and led by a student team and a student praise team, who bring our music each week in the Jr High and High School.
OUR COMMITMENT TO SERVICE AS A CORE SCHOOL VALUE
We do not require a specific amount of service hours to graduate from Rockford Lutheran; rather, we focus on inspiring our students to regularly serve in our school and community, translating into lifelong serving leaders who will continue to add value to our world. Students work together on various service projects from the Kindergarten on up. Many of these are student selected and, as appropriate, student led. In the high school the freshmen and sophomores are taught the meaning and values of Christian service and are required to participate in service projects while reflecting on their experiences and learnings about their neighbors, whom they are called to serve. The Juniors and Seniors learn to identify needs and craft meaningful ways to meet those needs through Christian Service Projects, which they lead and recruit other students to join in on. We celebrate that, on average, our students graduate with more than 80 hours of service by the time they graduate.
2023-2024 SCHOOL THEME
Our school-wide theme scripture passage for the 2023-2024 school year will be 1 John 3:1-2a :
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God.
We are Children of God, loved and saved by Jesus. That is who we are. That is then whose we are.