the Sword and Shield

GCA Crusader News • Friday, November 20, 2020

Obligatory Message About Gratitude

My tendency is to see the glass half empty. I don't just get upset that I only have half of what I should. I actively try to figure out who gave me a glass that is twice as large as I could reasonably fill. I look for the source of the problem so I know exactly why we are in such a dire situation. I tend to fixate on past mistakes.

I used to tell people "I'm not a pessimist, I'm just a realist." I realize that is a very pessimistic way of viewing reality.

Knowing this about me, you may wonder why I'm the one writing a Thanksgiving greeting in this newsletter. Well, it's something I've been working on. A few years ago a friend gave me a copy of The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon. While I'm unsure if he just thought it was a good book that he wanted to share or if he recognized that I needed some specific encouragement in this area, I know that I have seen a remarkable difference in my outlook since attempting to be intentionally grateful each day.

While I know that everyone is different, I want to briefly share a few things I do to push back the negative thoughts and help me to focus on my blessings each day:

  • I don't check my email until I'm showered and dressed. Why would I want to start the day with requests to fix problems?
  • While getting ready in the morning, I think through things for which I'm grateful. No problem-solving in the shower, just gratitude. No planning difficult conversations while I'm shaving, just thanksgiving. No worry while I'm putting on my socks, just praising God.
  • While I'm walking to work I list things in my mind that others have done recently to make my life better. I try to make plans to let them know.

None of that changes my natural instinct to look for the ugly, bad, and disappointing, but it helps to start me out on the right path each day--looking for God's goodness and the blessings that others bring into my life.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for the days off and time we get to spend with family.

S. Jeff Postlewaite

Head of School
Big picture

If you're wondering why we have Christmas decorations on our campus before Thanksgiving, it's because Gateway Church is a regional collection site for Operation Christmas Child. Collections will continue through Monday. Over the past week, we have collected thousands of shoeboxes filled with toys, personal items, and Christmas joy that will be distributed to children around the world who might not have any other opportunity to receive gifts. Several of our school classes are packing shoeboxes to donate as well. If you would like to help, here's a few ways you can get involved:


Because of some changing situations over the past week, I wanted to clarify a few things regarding GCA's mitigation policies and plans for the future by publicly answering several questions that have been asked this week:

Q. How does the Governor's new mask mandate from last Friday affect GCA?

A. GCA is now asking students 5 and up to wear masks in public indoor spaces. Previously our guidelines only requested this above 2nd grade.

Q. Does the new limit of 25 persons for social gatherings affect GCA?

A. Schools are not considered social gatherings and are allowed to operate according to the Phase 3 mitigation policies that we have submitted to the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Council for Private Education.

Q. Do the new regulations affect GCA athletics?

A. Yes. We are limiting spectators for all indoor and outdoor athletic events to 25. Thank you for observing these restrictions at our final soccer game this past Tuesday. We will keep you informed regarding basketball season guidelines.

Q. What would cause you to stop in-person school at GCA?

A. GCA will stop in-person schooling if directed to by the Governor's office or the Virginia Beach Department of Health. We will remain open if possible.

Q. What about other events like Christmas programs?

A. Our students are currently learning music and other aspects of Christmas programs. We will continue to monitor the situation and plan to present these programs in a way that is safe and convenient for you. Be on the lookout for this information in the coming weeks.

Other Upcoming Events

Christmas Details Coming Soon

We will be getting some information to you soon about several events related to Christmas:

  • Middle School and High School Christmas Concerts
  • 4rd-5th grade Christmas Program