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Headmaster Philbrick Delivers '5 Min Dessert Challenge' at Alumni Day Agape Lunch

Welcome Alumni, and thank you all for coming to this special day! Each one of us has been affected, changed; has grown because of JRHS. Today it is good to come together to fellowship; to celebrate; to reflect. We come together in unity – and there is strength when the body of Christ comes together. And today part of our celebration includes Alumni – please stand and be recognized.


I was never a great student of math, although much of it fascinates me. So, consider this. If a student were to do all his math homework at JRHS, that can probably be done in somewhere around 3-4 hours per week. So that’s about 150 hours per year. Now, add in the class time, which I calculate to be about another 150 hours, give or take of course. Add in some test crunching, help sessions, late nights, skype help, etc., and we can reasonably add 25 more hours. So this is a wonderful 325 hours of math per year! Wow think of that! If one were to do that for four years…. = 1300 hours of math work in a JR career. Great Scott think of the learning; indeed mind blowing! Remember that there are 168 hours in a week, right, so, how cool is this next factoid: Put continuous = 7.7 straight weeks of math - Nothing but math!



Today we all have one thing in common – we believe in the mission of JRHS. I want to suggest it is the core mission of JRHS that binds us together:


Jesse Remington High School is a Christian Community of Students and Faculty, pursuing Wisdom, Knowledge and understanding, and is committed to raising this generation of youth to be effective leaders for Jesus Christ.


This mission is really all about SENDING OUT. As Jesus trained and sent out, so too does JRHS TRAIN, EMPOWER, RAISE UP and SEND OUT. Let us praise the Lord for this process! Today, our alumni in the room are those we have sent out. Now they are the ones touching their part of the world for Christ and his Kingdom work. We are sending forth from this little Candia NH, this Center of the Universe, a task force of Kingdom Advancers who are:

  • Christian Community

  • Excellence

  • Leadership

I love word, and we are going to learn some words today. Etymology is the study of word origins and how they have evolved This is a Game of Scrabble, of sorts; you will note there is an envelope of blue playing cards on the table that you will need to play along.


Our First word today is Child/Children. This is from the Latin – Infans, or ‘from oneself’. If we go over to King Solomon, we get an image of children being both a blessing, and an advanced weapon, the arrow of Psalm 127. Next, let’s go to 18th Century Germany to a form we all may be more familiar with, “Kinder”, German for Child. Professor Frobel then added “Karten”, and together, we get Kinder-Garten: a place of intentional growth and development for children. Here in America, Elizabeth Peabody opened up the first Kindergarten in Boston. On your table, you will find a playing card, “Children”; please find it.


Our next word is Student, rather fitting, this being a school and all. This is a relatively new word, from the 15th century French – one who studies. If we back it up to the Greek, we have “Scholastes” – which is “one who lives at ease” (as in free from hard or manual labor). We can also think of Plato’s Academy –that “place of dialogue” in the 4th century BC. In the Latin, we have a verb, “studere – “the painstaking application” – ah yes, the role of the student. Then forth to Old English and we have “Schol” or Schola – a place of intermission from work, for pursuits of leisure, or things of the mind”. On your table, you have a playing card called “JRHS Student”; please find it.


Our next word is Alumna, or Alumnus, or Alumni, again so fitting this Alumni Day at this place of learning. From the Latin, we have “Alere” which is defined as ‘to nourish”. The Alumnus is one who attended the Academy, and now looks back to their place of learning as the “Alma Mater”, which is from the Latin, the “Loving Mother”. Now, the Alumnus looks back fondly upon the nurturing and training of the place of learning. On your table, you have a card for the Alumni.


Now that we have defined our youth, our next words are Parent, and Grandparent. We have a Latin verb, Parire – which is “to bring forth”. The Bible is full of descriptions and images of the Parent as the primary caretaker and provider and trainer of the Child. Proverbs 1-3 can be our go to for that. We see that God is entrusting his Children to us parents, partnering with the School, all part of His Church - what a great system! On your table, you have a card for the Parents or Grandparents.


Next let us consider our Teachers or Faculty or Professors. From the Latin verb, to profess – one who declares publicly. Or, “Pro-fater”, which would be the word “before”, then add in “confess”. Meaning, the professor is confident in his profession before or in front of his students. In the Greek, it is “deikunai”, which is to show. We all know the teacher is responsible to deliver the “curriculum”, which is right from the Latin, sill used today: the course of a two wheeled cart in a chariot race, now to be taken as the course of the student cart, through the Academy. On your table, you should have a card for the Teachers; please note it.


Maybe you are here today as a Guest, so now we have a word for you, in fact one that hasn’t changed much in over 500 years. From the Old English, we have “Guest – a newcomer or visitor.” Then from the Old French, we find “Patron – one who protects, or advances the cause of”. On your table today you should have a card for the Guests

So now we are going to have a little fun. Each card has a point value on the back; your task as a table is to decide who is a JRHS Student, who is a Parent, a Guest, an Alumni, and a Teacher. Add up your points and be ready to share your number!




All Right, now the Last word - The JRHS verse is Rom 8:37 – “we are More than Conquerors through Christ!” If you do a little Greek derivation of this phrase we have some discoveries and opportunities. The Greek word is “Hypernikomen”, which we have translated into the English as “more than a conqueror”. Look at the three distinct parts:

  1. Hyper

  2. Niko or Nike

  3. Omen

Let’s start with the middle part: Niko, in Greek, translates “to overcome”. And as we all know from Frosh Humanities, Nike was the goddess of victory.Hyper remains in our language today, and means basically the same – “over and above”. Omen, we may also remember from Frosh Humanities, for example when we read Oedipus Rex or Julius Caesar –something happening today that speaks of tomorrow.


So, if we put the three concepts together – we are ordained to overcome over and above the rest of our generation. Wow, now that is the best word to define the JRHS Alumni - Hypernikomen!



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