Is it that time already? Surely it can’t be! Indeed it is, friends, and here we are almost two weeks into the school year.
How was your Christmas? Your family events? The trips? How did you keep the kids busy? Perhaps the parents in our community felt that the holiday break dragged on and on, but for the staff of our school we have all felt the break has passed quickly.
Our new Prep students have finished their first week of school, while the office has been inundated with applications for our 2017 Prep class already.
New shoes, new shirts, new books, new pencils, new teachers! We are continually reminded of newness this week and this isn’t a bad thing.
As I walked into Ms Clarke’s room on Thursday I saw our grade 2 students at thebeautiful moment of starting a creative piece of painting on a blank sheet. So many colours to choose from! So many shapes to pick! So many creative possibilities.
Lamentations 3:22 reminds us that, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies … are new every morning”. What a lovely thought for us to hold on to as the children in our community embark on a new year of learning.
The gift of God is the gift of a blank canvas through the work of Christ; the good news is his encouragement to paint beautiful works on it throughout our lives.
In the year ahead we will all experience both ups and downs, but let us not forget the steady and constant hand of God in our lives. Though we may wander or be distracted from him by the events unfolding around us or the choices we make, God’s gaze does not wander from us. His steadfast love is constant, and his mercy limitless.
May we strive each day to teach our children through example to be mindful of
God’s love, mercy and grace.
@ Basilica of the Annunciation
Photo: T Brennen
As I set up for assembly this morning with the school leaders I was struck by a wonderful display of Christian Studies artwork created in the Christian Studies class. As I looked closer I saw a myriad of drawings of the face of Jesus completed by students. It was fascinating.
One of the teachers remarked that you could tell which child drew the picture simply by looking at how they represented the face of Christ. What an interesting observation.
When I need a break from the administrative tasks of being a principal, I visit classrooms and observe the wonderful learning taking place. This morning I saw Mrs Francis sharing a beautiful story with her 1/2 class about the love of a parent for their children. I entered the 5/6 classroom to discover a buzz of activity as the students were using pastels to create representations of the beauty of God’s flowers. Right now I see students smiling and laughing as they play on the playground. These too are representations of the face of Jesus.
The reading we have been focussing on at school this week is “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). It is the face of Jesus that offers a radical forgiveness to us all. It is a face that we too should wear often.
May the face of Christ bring us comfort, hope and joy as we walk through our lives.
We are off and running on another school year. Teachers are teaching, school support staff are supporting and students are studying!
What a blessing a new year brings. When I spoke to students at our first worship service on Monday morning I talked about the gift of blank pages.
When I was a young man in primary school I used to hate blank pages. Blank pages were something the teachers forced me to fill with endless words, sums and what not. As I was a very serious young student I often found myself staring at blank pages for some time as I often struggled to get started on my work. “If I am going to write something it must be perfect” I would say to myself.
It was a patient teacher indeed who taught me that a blank page was not a punishment or a problem – it is an opportunity to create something new, wonderful, beautiful, challenging or interesting. A blank page does not know what was written on other blank pages. It has no expectations of perfection. It provides a fresh start.
During the Christmas season we celebrated the birth of a man who would provide humanity with a fresh start and new opportunities. We rejoice in Christ’s gift of a blank page to us all.
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/amypalko/
On the Friday just passed our Year 5/6 class were trained as Peacemakers – people who have mediation skills to restore relationships. The entire staff at SCS have enjoyed seeing these senior students take on this role with great responsibility and devotion. There is something very beautiful about students being able to resolve differences maturely and without adult input.
The reading set down for the weekend included Jesus teaching his disciples to pray – a key part of which was Jesus teaching us all to seek forgiveness from God when we are not peacemakers ourselves. In Luke 11:10, Jesus tells us ‘For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened’.
Jesus offers us all reconciliation with God through his loving sacrifice – a sacrifice that restored a broken relationship between humanity and the Father. So let us all follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Year 5/6 Peacemakers, and seek to restore the broken relationships around us.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;”
– Lamentations 3:22-23
One of the many beautiful things about God is that his grace is abounding. Through Christ’s sacrifice we begin each day with a fresh start ready to serve Him and our neighbours with our past mistakes forgotten in God’s eyes. This is a wonderful blessing.
It is a worthwhile concept for us to reflect on as we begin a new term. New habits can be formed, new skills acquired and new experience gained. Each day is a new opportunity for exceeding our past.
I am blessed to be among the community here at SCS in the role of Interim Principal and would like to thank the staff, students and community for their warm welcome. If you see me in the school yard please come up and introduce yourself. I always enjoy meeting the parents and carers of the students I work with.
May God bless us all this term.