Just words on paper—Wisdom. Compassion. Courage. We say them often at The Bear Creek School, but this week those words became even more real to me. While sitting on the couch, catching up on the day's COVID-19 news, the caseload increase in New York City flashed on the screen, and my wife Paige and I remembered. We remembered a Bear Creek alumna who graduated from Bear Creek to become a doctor and is currently working in NYC. We couldn’t remember exactly where, so we texted her mom, Linda, and in reply received a picture of Beth Graham Patterson ’09 in full personal protective equipment (PPE); she is currently serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic response in an emergency room in the Bronx.
No, these are not only flat words on flat paper. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are biblical virtues, and when they take root in our heads, they shape our hearts and move our hands. For those familiar with C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, you may remember the character Screwtape advising his apprentice devil, Wormwood, on how to drive his patient away from God:
This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy's [God] motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.
Dr. Patterson is demonstrating courage in real time at the testing point, as are all of our alumni and community members serving on the front lines of this pandemic as health professionals, scientists, child care providers, delivery workers, or first responders. And we are all similarly called to exhibit biblical wisdom by doing the same, wherever and whenever we have been placed by a sovereign Lord. That might mean providing for a home-bound neighbor or relative, helping children with homework, supporting a friend struggling with the loss of community, modifying lessons for remote learning, giving blood, or serving in a hospital ER. May Christ give us the courage to do so.
It has been almost a month since we last saw each other, and I miss all of you. I particularly miss Wednesday mornings and seeing you at the front door of the Main building. The Lord has been gracious, but it will be a fine day when we get to be together again.
Thank you, again, for the steadfast commitment of teachers, students, staff, and parents to continue providing a high-quality remote Christian liberal arts education. It has taken much effort to launch, and I am grateful for the many hands who have helped make it possible.
Bear Creek Responds
We realize that in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some of our families may also be experiencing fiscal challenges as well. As such, we are responding to those challenges with some financial accommodations, modifications, and additional funding. It is our hope that these steps will allow anyone who may be temporarily experiencing financial hardship to remain part of The Bear Creek School community.
Thank you for re-enrolling and allowing us to partner with you again in helping your student become the individual God intends. Now more than ever, the mission, graduates, and community of The Bear Creek School are needed in Redmond and in our world. We understand some families may be directly or indirectly financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We also view our relationship as a long-term partnership and have been exploring ways to relieve financial pressure for those significantly impacted. As such, Bear Creek is responding to that need with the following accommodations:
- The 100% tuition liability date will be moved from June 1 to August 1 for all families.
- Ten-month payment plans may be extended from 10 months to 12 months. (Please email email@example.com to make arrangements.)
- The Board of Trustees and Finance Committee are exploring other options going forward.
You can help your fellow Bear Creek families in need as well by participating in our 2020 online auction to be held April 14 – 17. This year’s auction proceeds will be directed to establishing the Bear Creek Responds Grant Fund. All Come Together auction proceeds will go towards creating the Bear Creek Responds Grant Fund to help offset unanticipated immediate tuition needs and help ensure that families who are experiencing significant adverse economic impacts can remain part of our school community.
In addition to our parent community, we will invite alumni, parents of alumni, and grandparents to participate in the auction this year. We encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to register as well. Look for more details in an email later this week.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
You may have also noticed this week is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Many of you have reached out to share your appreciation with words and videos of encouragement. On behalf of the entire Bear Creek team, “Thank you!” Your encouragement is most appreciated, and you still have time to participate if you haven’t already.
Also, don’t forget this Friday is Grizzly Spirit Day! Show us your Grizzly spirit by posting a photo of your family decked out in Grizzly gear on social media or Vidigami; let’s make this a fun community event!
Finally, as we begin to look ahead to Holy Week and Easter, may we continue to reflect on the goodness of Christ and of being together as His people:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Grace and peace,
President and Headmaster
- Remote HM
- Remote Learning