January 4, 2018
Follow God’s GPS
Imagine. . . fleeing from a dangerous land where you had been a slave, then you became stranded in a desert with little food, scared and being threatened with unknown dangers lying ahead. This is the scenario God’s people faced after fleeing the Egyptians and embarking on their journey with God in the desert. What did God do? He had them build a portable Tabernacle to connect with His people as He guided them towards the Promised Land. Then He placed a cloud over it which would move to the next safe place God had in mind for their journey. . . imagine.

Would you like to have daily direction from God on your journey? Wouldn’t a sign saying "go this way, it’s safe" be a comforting thought! If only God would give each of us a spiritual Global Positioning System (GPS) to help us along the way!

While you may not see a cloud by day or fire at night, God HAS given you a GPS to guide you on your spiritual journey. It was by faith that the Israelites followed God on their journey through the unknown. Faith was planted at your Baptism. Through His Word and the Sacraments, God reassures you that He is with you for the unknown struggles and trials along your journey. No matter the threats or unknown future, God will guide you until that day you reach the Promised Land.


God’s peace,
Mike

Discussion Questions:
  1. How would “God’s cloud” over the Tabernacle bring comfort to the Israelites?
  2. Reflect/share a time that God’s Word brought you comfort or direction in your life?
  3. Who is wandering in the desert right now and is NOT seeking God’s guidance? How might you share a word of hope with them?

For use in staff meetings, print devotion and discussion questions.
Here are the latest opportunities to strengthen
your faith and connect with the community.
CONFERENCES - MEETINGS - EVENTS
Early Childhood Meetings Focus on Mental and Emotional Health
The January Early Childhood meetings will focus on Mental and Emotional Health.
To learn more about which regional meeting may best work for you, review the details of dates and locations. Or go to the NID Early Childhood network blog at preschooldirectors.blogspot.com.
Lutheran School Administrators Conference
Why should I leave my lovely office and cozy classroom in March?
If you need reasons that your board will accept, see the ever-expanding Why Should I Attend page for the Lutheran School Administrators Conference.

The Lutheran School Administrators Conference offers 22 sectionals that cover useful topics for early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school administrators. See for yourself. The LSAC is March 11–13, 2018 in Orlando. For complete information, visit intre.org.
National Lutheran Schools Week Tools
January 21-27, 2018, celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week with 2,029 Lutheran Schools nationwide by giving thanks!
Give thanks for the opportunity to provide excellent academic preparation and share Jesus’ love with children and families. National Lutheran Schools Week is wonderful opportunity to proclaim these great blessings!

Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. CST, Nationally recognized teacher, author, speaker, dramatist and musician, Dr. Jeffery Burkart (Concordia, St. Paul, MN) will lead a national sing along of the National Lutheran Schools Week song that he authored. Check out all the NLSW 2018 at lcms.org/lutheranschoolsweek resources.
2017-18 NLSA Powerful Practice Webinars
All live National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) Powerful Practice webinars are held at 4 p.m. CST and are later archived on the LCMS School Ministry YouTube page for on-demand viewing.
Additionally, previous NLSA webinars are available as a resource and are made available through the same School Ministry YouTube page at www.luthed.org.

Looking ahead: February 27, 2018, Gifted, Talented and Enrichment Program, Concordia Lutheran School, San Antonio, Texas.
RESOURCES
Scholarship Granting Organization Donor Tool Kit
Numerous documents were sent last week to provide support for schools on the Empower Illinois SGO for the State Tax credit program. For the latest updates, visit our webpage nidlcms.org/state-tax-credit-program.

For current information, check the Empower Illinois website at empowerillinois.org for up to date information. School resources are available at empowerillinois.org/schools/school-resources.

If you are NOT interested in being listed with the NID LCMS schools who might receive funding through the Empower Illinois Scholarship Granting Organization, please email us to let us know.

You must register your school online through google documents to be eligible. Please list NID LCMS schools as your network affiliation.
Tax Credit Increase for Tuition
Illinois recently raised the credit parents can deduct for paying tuition to private school from $500 to $750. It might be helpful to provide the tax form for them in your next few newsletters. Print form
IWAS Deadline EXTENDED and other ISBE Updates
Print the email with the latest from Gary Green, ISBE Non Public School contact person.
Church and School Safety Resources
Check out these resources recently recommended by Pastor Geaschel from Trinity Lutheran Church, Burr Ridge. Go to www.alicetraining.com
School Support Fund Invoice
Please consider contributing at least $1 per student for the NID School Support fund. This helps offset the many services which cost the district but are provided free or greatly reduced to schools. Print invoice if needed for accounting purposes.
CHURCH WORKER UPDATES
Welcome Lois to NID Office
Lois Stewart has accepted the Call to serve the NID in various school administrative tasks such as: CMIF management, curriculum training and services, arranging teacher and administrator conferences, working with the SGO and more. The School Services Coordinator position merges the former Administrative Assistant duties and Curriculum Coordinator.

Please join me in welcoming Lois by emailing a greeting to her at lois.stewart@nidlcms.org or 708-223-3112.
Thank you, Judy and Tricia
We thank Judy Wolf and Tricia Walton for their faithful years of service as they move on to serve in other capacities. If you would like to send a card of appreciation to either Judy or Tricia please send them in c/o the District Office at 2301 S. Wolf Road, Hillside, IL 60162
Inform Lois of Staff Changes
Please copy Lois.Stewart@nidlcms.org on any correspondence for recent changes in staffing. This includes vacancies and Calls received, accepted and declined. We do not always know or hear of these without your quick email. Thank you.

Have You Installed Any New Teachers Lately?
If this school year brought you any Called teachers who were newly installed to your school, please contact Lois to make sure all of the proper paperwork has been completed.
FROM THE DISTRICT OFFICE 
NID Ministry Vacancies
Did you know? LCMS vacancies reported to the NID office are posted on our website at nidlcms.org/vacancies. Those seeking to post a vacancy should contact Lois. As always, please contact Lois when your vacancy has been filled. Thank you.
Prayer Guide: January - March 2018

Church Workers:
Update Your Contact Information Online . All rostered and non-rostered church workers are asked to please update their NID contact information when there is a change of email, address, phone, etc., or if new in the district.

PARTNERS IN MINISTRY
Lutheran Church Extension Fund
For Information on LCEF contact Vanda Toner at 708-223-3117 or Vanda.Toner@lcef.org. Facebook.com/lcef.nid
LCMS Northern Illinois District
2301 S. Wolf Road, Hillside, IL 60162
Phone 888-708-LCMS
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