Filled with living hope in Christ,
Confessing, Praising, and
Advancing His Kingdom.

School Newsletter: March 9, 2023

Photo courtesy of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod/Erik M. Lunsford

Jesus Remains Constant

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”    

Thessalonians 5:11

On March 12, 2023, we will deal once again with the time change. You know the saying, “spring forward.” For many people, this is a difficult thing to think about. “Lose an hour of sleep,” you say? Congregations remind the worshippers to make sure they don’t get to church an hour late. The following Monday, teachers remind students that they need to keep their heads off their desks. After all, it’s only one lost hour of sleep. People handle the time change differently from grumpiness to just plain angry, not always much joy. If that’s the case, remember the Bible verse at the start of this devotion. Encourage one another. As any other day, continue to build one another up and be filled with joy. Encourage is to give courage.

Although the time may change, Jesus remains constant and unchanging. We can always count on His love, encouragement, and guidance through our days. We sin and fall short, yet His love is always there. As forgiven sinners, we are pulled ever closer to Him. Therefore, we follow His example and build one another up as brothers and sisters, redeemed, restored, forgiven. Jesus empowers people.

Receive encouragement as a gift! Give encouragement as a gift, too.

As we place our faith and trust in God, we can all be thankful that God holds us in the palm of His hand and gives us what He knows is best for us. So, as we walk through changes in our lives, step back and know God’s plan is perfect. Stay in the Word. Take care of yourself to be Well. Use your words and life as a Witness

Serving the Master Teacher,

Lois Stewart

We Give Thanks for Future Church Workers

It was a joy to have Deaconess Kristin Wassilak and her Deaconess students visit the NID Office for a time of conversation and sharing. These ladies are preparing for full-time church work and were interested in learning how the District Office works and the support they give the workers. We pray God’s blessings as these students continue their studies.

Elementary and High School Administrators

On Monday, February 27, 2023 we gathered for the Winter Administrator Conference at CUC. Each participant received a copy of the book titled “Reclaiming the Joy in Ministry” by Darrell Zimmerman. 

Details for the May 1, 2023 Spring Administrator Conference will be shared soon.

In the meantime, Elementary and High School Administrators should be gathering in their regions for updates and conversation. It is a blessing to gather for sharing and fellowship.

Early Childhood Events

On Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., many early childhood educators gathered at St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton for a very applicable topic of discussion. The presentation on mandated reporter and other law topics were discussed.

Saturday, March 18, 2023 will be our next Zoom from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The theme will be “Getting Students Outdoors.” Our very own Leann DeWitt (Trinity, Burr Ridge) and Cindy Sperry (Trinity, Clinton, Iowa) will partner to share some really great ideas. Plan to join us.

Save the Date

Early Childhood Directors and lead teachers, please put Saturday, May 13, 2023 on your calendar. We have been blessed to hold a conference in collaboration with Lutheran Education Association on Spiritual Nurture in the Early Childhood Classroom. More details will be shared in the March 23, 2023 School Newsletter.

School Support

It is a blessing to support and work with the schools and other ministries of the NID. God has called us into service together as we share Jesus with others. One way that schools are able to help the extra services continue is to support (through contributions) the School Support Fund of the NID. This fund allows us to do the “extras” that help keep schools strong. Please see the attached request form. We ask that schools prayerfully consider donating $1.00 per student in their schools to assist us in serving. 

School Support Fund Form

Worker Retirement

Although it seems early to think about this, I request that school administrators inform me if there are any staff members indicating that they will be retiring at the close of the 2022-2023 school year. School Administrators, please also let me know if you are retiring at the end of the year. Send me a quick email to or call me at the NID office (708-223-3110). Many thanks for thinking ahead.

SHINE! in the NID

Join fellow LCMS Northern Illinois District members and let your light SHINE! through works of community service!

Pick a day between April 14-23, 2023 and perform a service project of your choosing with a group of two or more people. Please see the video invitation below. Registration and more details can be found here.

Hearts for Jesus

The “Hearts for Jesus” focus this school year will be the Mercy House that has been dedicated in Belize. The children will have a new space for eating their lunch when at school, dental and doctor offices, and more. Please prayerfully consider what your part will be in blessing this work in Belize and see many photos below of the ministry being done in Belize. Your contribution to “Hearts for Jesus” may be submitted by check payable to the Northern Illinois District (memo to “Hearts for Jesus”). Mail the check to:

Northern Illinois District – LCMS

1107 Monroe Ave.

River Forest, IL 60305

Attention: Lois Stewart


Photos courtesy of Belize Mission Society and Missionary Johanna Hiedorn


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic causing so many things to shut down, a great opportunity was being offered to upper grade students in our NID schools. We are excited that “Caesura” is returning. Professor Andy Pederson (Concordia University Chicago) shares the attached informational letter for school administrators and teachers to consider. This is a wonderful opportunity for students.

Informational Letter

Save the Date for Back-to-School Worship - August 9, 2023

Plan ahead for the 2023-2024 school year. All administrators are highly encouraged to put this date (August 9, 2023) on their 2023-2024 calendars so members of your faculty and staff have it. What a fantastic way to start the school year (worship, fellowship, and a lot of energy) together with fellow workers in the NID. We are excited to share that the host congregation will be St. Peter, Arlington Heights. We will be uplifted and energized by our keynote speaker Mychal Thom, the Chief Diversity Officer from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. Watch for details in the future.

Educator Conference - October 6, 2023

Save the date of Friday, October 6, 2023 for the next NID Educator Conference. We are really looking forward to bringing educators together for a day of worship, learning, and fellowship. It has been a long time since we have gathered in conference. All NID teachers, administrators, and Parish Professionals will receive registration information in the future. We would also love to have pastors join us for the day. We are thankful to St. Peter Lutheran Church and School in Arlington Heights for welcoming the NID onto their campus for the day.

Illinois State Administrator Conference

We are very excited to announce that the Illinois LCMS State Administrator’s Conference is being revived! Administrators from the three Districts will join together for a conference from July 17-18, 2023. It will be hosted here in the NID, and we are looking forward to welcoming fellow principals to this event. Please keep this in prayer as the planning continues.

Sunday School Network Zoom

The Sunday School Network Group will Zoom on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. We will continue our discussion on Vacation Bible School and also celebration events. If you are interested in joining this group, please email me at for the link. We would love to have you join us. 


Pictured above are TEC21 Facilitators Luke Finchum, Shanna Opfer,

and Corey Nelson. Iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)  

Planning is underway for new TEC21 cohorts. Don’t miss out! See why!

Greetings, friends in Christ!

A recent email from a new principal reminded me that it is important to occasionally introduce or re-introduce TEC21 to Lutheran schools that have not participated or recently participated in our Workshop Program. In that spirit, I want to answer here a few of the questions we are regularly asked.

First though, please take a moment to register here if you haven’t already for Season 15 of the Workshop Program. If you know you will send a teacher(s) it would be enormously helpful to the planning we are doing now to receive your registrations. As always, if you don’t yet know which teachers you will send, please register with your (principal) name to hold your spots. Thank you, in advance, for your attention and help!

Principals who are unfamiliar with TEC21 ask, how is TEC21 differentiated from other professional development opportunities?

The TEC21 Workshop Program is trusted by hundreds of Lutheran schools across the U.S. and globally. Our approach to teacher education is firmly rooted in discipleship and principles of adult learning. 

What are the tenets of the TEC21 professional development opportunity?

Evidence-based research* shows our Workshop Program meets all the benchmarks of effective teacher professional development:

  • Content focused: From Early Childhood through grade 12, our cohorts focus on the Lutheran school teacher and the specific subjects they teach and how to integrate technology to enrich the student experience ... piquing their curiosity … helping them gain new and better understanding of concepts in the world around them. The next six tenets happen because of this!
  • Incorporates active learning
  • Supports collaboration
  • Uses models of effective practice
  • Provides coaching and expert support
  • Offers feedback and reflection
  • Is of sustained duration

*From a 2017 research study on effective teacher professional development by the Learning Policy Institute.

In a season when Lutheran school teachers are once again very busy with everything from science fairs to extracurricular events, wouldn’t it be easier to carve out time for a webinar versus a year-long Workshop Program?

Easier perhaps but missing the blessing! From resources to technologies to teaching methodologies that are tried and true to brand new, the TEC21 Workshop Program gives Lutheran school teachers the gift of time to examine, question, evaluate, and understand technology and develop practical applications for their classrooms. Workshop participants tell us every year they are refreshed and energized … spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually.


Why do schools keep returning every year to TEC21, sending new teachers through?

#1: The very real fear of technological obsolescence. Technology changes and advances every hour. Just consider the artificial intelligence industry that has educators all over the globe on their toes!

#2: TEC21 delivers a very high return on investment, and that’s before you consider that every teacher coming through the Workshop Program becomes a peer influencer in their schools and a careerlong participant of the TEC21 learning community.

#3: There is absolutely no replacement for the peer-to-peer practical application time in the workshop setting. Bringing Lutheran school teachers together around content and a curriculum on technology is vital, increasingly. We know time in TEC21 learning cohorts fuels the teaching fire that burns in all of us.

The 2023/2024 season—Season 15—begins September 2023. There are limited seats in each cohort, so sign up here for one of our virtual cohorts, a CUNE face-to-face faculty cohort, or one of 30 traditional, face-to-face, multiple grade-level cohorts impacting EC-12. 

Link to Workshop Program information for our traditional and virtual cohorts

Link to STEM Workshop Program information

JoyFully HIS,


Brent Dieckhoff

TEC21 Founder & Executive Director

Filled with living hope in Christ,

Confessing, Praising,

and Advancing His Kingdom

Church Worker Updates
Visit our website
Get all the news
School Resources
Devotions and Prayers
For Information on LCEF contact Joe Willmann at 219-669-9683


Wish to stop receiving the School Newsletter? WAIT! Don't unsubscribe below!

from your preferences but still remain on other NID lists.
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  Instagram  Youtube