On Monday, March 7, students and educators from St. John-Emmanuel, St. Peter-Immanuel, Wyneken Memorial, Bethlehem (Ossian), and Zion (Decatur) Lutheran schools gathered at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Soest) to kick off National Lutheran Schools Week. As part of the celebration, the nearly 500 students gathered were greeted by Mark Muehl, director of the Lutheran Schools Partnership, and Decatur Police Chief Ken Ketzler. Chief Ketzler read a proclamation by Decatur Mayor John Schulz stating that the week of March 6-12 would be a time to celebrate Lutheran schools. Adding to the festivities, students were treated to learning more about Camp Lutherhaven in Albion. The five schools have celebrated the beginning of Lutheran Schools Week together annually by joining for various activities. Throughout the week, the schools also have their own celebrations, during which students participate in a variety of activities that include roller skating, bowling, and dressing in various clothing styles. National Lutheran Schools Week is held during the first full week of March. Locally, St. John-Emmanuel is part of the national church body of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which includes almost 2,500 early-childhood centers, elementary schools, and high schools. There are more than 255,000 students enrolled in Lutheran schools at these levels.