come together

. . . the one who prophesies, speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.                          (1 Corinthians 14:3)

So often, the singular “hero” is used.  As I spend time at Journey Academy, I am realizing the need to be fluent in “heroes.”  Heroes are essential for encouraging, strengthening and providing comfort as we follow our journeys, individually and together.    

When I sat down to watch the heroes come together at the end of the day on Thursday afternoon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was thinking that I would simply observe a closing discussion.  But what I got was so much more.  

The Elementary Studio had joined the Early Learning Studio for a Socratic discussion.  The older heroes were going to facilitate the conversation. It began with Emmry, a veteran at Journey, reviewing the rules of engagement for their student led conversation.

  • Sit quietly when you get to the launchpad
  • Always stay off the pad
  • Leave the lanterns alone
  • Remind other heroes of the rules
  • Leave the black chairs alone
  • Be quiet when others are talking
  • Keep your hands to yourself
  • Sit on your bottom.  

Emmry posed the Socratic question to start.  “If you could only save a dog or a cat from a burning building, which one would you save?”

After she took an initial show of hands, she opened the floor for response.  Multiple heroes weighed in with a sophistication that I didn’t expect. Elias stepped in with a connection. “I would choose dogs because dogs are active and I am pretty active.  Cats aren’t active.”  

Later, Ellery responded with a demonstration of active listening as well as the skill of refutation. “I know some people say cats are lazy but I want to say that’s a good thing. I would want a pet that can relax with me and spend time . . .”

The heroes continued with a level of sophistication that seemed utterly natural as they took a position, used examples and listened to other points of view.  Maddie shared her points from the discussion with her mom. Using her knowledge of intellectual skills valued in a variety of settings, Christi (who works with a wide variety of schools) was able to identify valuable capacities including:  focus, use of evidence, acknowledgement of the validity in other viewpoints as well as refutation of these viewpoints.   

It was in coming together that they found opportunities to demonstrate and to draw out each other’s learning. We come together for reasons.  John Tyson, pastor of Church of the City in New York recently claimed one of our most powerful spiritual locations is our dinner table, where we come together to break bread. I experienced this at our team meeting when Cheryl baked me an apple pie and we practiced table fellowship as a frame for our meeting.

Heroes coming together make the journey possible.  I want to invite you all to join us at the table and make our shared journey possible on March 24.  Details are below in this letter from the Community and Fundraising Committee. 


Journey Academy Families, Staff & Extended Family & Friends,

Each of us is on a hero’s journey.  At Journey Academy, we believe a connected community is essential for encouraging, strengthening and supporting heroes; and the dinner table is great for this type of connection.  

We want to make you aware of a great opportunity to connect and to support our school as we look to strengthen and grow on our shared journey. Zeytin Restaurant in downtown Ada will be hosting a Give-Back Fundraiser for Journey Academy!  Here’s how it works.

Join us for dinner at Zeytin on Tuesday, March 24 between 5 & 8pm.  Zeytin has agreed to give us some space and donate a percentage of dinner purchases back to Journey Academy.   What a deal!

Please let the JA Fundraising & Community Committee know how many people in your party will be attending dinner so we can let Zeytin know how many of us to expect. You can do this by responding to this email or by commenting on this letter in the Journey Academy Parents Group.  Also share this email with family and friends to invite them on the journey with us. Let the hostess know that you’re with Journey Academy upon arrival.

Looking forward to a meal together and the continuing journey.


Journey Academy Fundraising & Community Committee

Doc, Matt Roefer, Becky VandenBroek & Kara Beveridge


Thankful to be on the journey with you.

::Dr. T::

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