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From the Dean of Christian Culture

What is it all about?

Recent events have no doubt caused all of us to stop and think. I know this is the case for me. And I would suggest that our thinking has not only focused on the global pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions and vaccinations, but also on many other difficult situations of which we are aware. Both in this nation and across the world we sadly see story after story of greed, abuse, violence, division and hatred.

But I for one refuse to give up. I refuse to become negative in the midst of these seemingly overwhelming difficulties, and although I realise that every generation and every era and every culture has experienced these same frustrations throughout history, I would still like to see a situation where today we choose to keep trying to make a positive contribution and bring about a different environment for now and for the future. I sincerely hope that we all decide to focus on helping this world, and the people in it, to be much better than what we are currently experiencing.

What is it going to take to make it much better? Change.

That sounds altogether too simplistic; offering a one-word solution to a complex and challenging global situation, but it just might be the start we need. I am sure many of us have heard the old saying – “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!” – so perhaps it really is time to try something different. To change.

But what exactly needs to change? We do. You and Me.

There is a wonderful Scripture in Romans 12:2 which simply says this;

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The patterns of this world are not taking us anywhere productive in a hurry. The suggestion being offered in this Scripture is that we consider stepping away from the behaviours of the world and instead line up with God’s thinking. Maybe, just maybe, this transformation could help.

What potentially could we change?

What might be some of the things which would be positively altered if we decided to live according to God’s patterns and not our own?

  1. Life could be much better if our focus was US not

God’s plan is definitely for a we-culture not a me-culture. Everything in Scripture relates back to connection and relationship and family and team and group and community.

Unfortunately, our default position is so often a selfish one – What do I want? What is in it for me?

I noticed this really rise to the surface when a particular banking institution released a series of television advertisements about fifteen years ago full of wonderfully tear-jerking and motivational images of good-looking families achieving their dreams, and each individual advertisement carried the same voiceover tag line at their conclusion; “For the most important person in the world. You.”

The opposite pattern of thinking is illustrated in this story from The Bible;

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And He told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”                                                                                                 Luke 12:13-21                   

Reading this Scripture reminded me of a story I heard a few years ago about two brothers who owned a farm together and had worked side-by-side all their lives. One day they bumped into a rock buried in a paddock which they unearthed and discovered to be a precious gemstone. They fought and argued and could not agree who would keep it, and so decided to cut it in half. When the gemstone was valued on their behalf they were thrilled to discover that each of the two halves were worth $60,000 but devasted to hear that had they left it untouched and in one piece it would have been worth almost $2 million!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all think more about us than me? Imagine if you will a time and place in the future where we have eliminated selfishness and created a new focus on selflessness. Beautiful.

  1. Life could be much better if our focus was on our RESPONSIBILITIES not only our RIGHTS.

This is related to the first point, but takes our thinking to the next step. As well as living selflessly with a focus on we not me, how about we also consider living generously; with an emphasis on giving not getting. How can I help? What can I contribute?

I recall, quite a few years ago, hearing the case of an individual who spilled coffee on themselves and then sued the café where the coffee was purchased, because the coffee was hot! Not to mention the story of the driver of the Winnebago who sued Winnebago because he crashed, after putting the vehicle on cruise control and heading into the back for a sleep!

Accepting our responsibilities alongside our rights is not always easy, but the patterns of life will flow much more smoothly if we work together as opposed to working against one other.

If we could all accept the challenge and begin to renew our thinking and transform our minds to be re-set to focus on even just those two small things to begin with, I suspect that would be a wonderful success.

  • A selfless we-attitude, not a selfish me-attitude; and
  • A generous ability to focus on my responsibilities not only my rights

Of course, the world has a different view of what constitutes success, so we may need to slightly adjust our perspective of success in this process as well.

Ask yourself today, “What is success?”

Here is a little thought to get you started.

 

“To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist & Poet.

Bless you all.

Rev. Tim Edwards

Dean of Christian Culture

 

School Photographs

With a change to the School Operation Guidelines as of Monday 1st November, we are very excited that School Photographs are permitted, providing the opportunity to ‘capture’ the 2021 school year.

Bellarine Campus class and individual student portraits will be taken by Arthur Reed Photos on Monday 8th November.

All students, Year Prep to Year 9, will be required to be in full summer uniform. For Junior School students, this will include their College Jumper, and for Middle School students, the outer garment will be their College blazer. We ask that students are wearing College uniform socks and that shoes are clean for the occasion.

Further communication regarding arrangements for photographs for our Year 9 girls before their scheduled return to the Back Creek Farm on Monday 8th November will be communicated shortly by Mr Andrew Platt.

Integrated Studies in the Prep Classroom

In Integrated Studies this term, the Preps have been learning all about plants. This week the focus was on how each part of the plant plays a role in helping it to survive. The students participated in a celery experiment where coloured food dye was added to three beakers, with one stalk of celery in each. The children closely inspected the celery and found that there were tiny holes in the bottom of the celery stalk. There were rich discussions about what the purpose of these holes are and they predicted what they thought might happen to the celery if it was left overnight. There were many interesting predictions, the most popular being that the holes would carry the water up to the top of the celery and make it change colour. While we were waiting to see what would happen, the Preps wrote a recount about this class experiment. To their delight the next morning they found that their predictions were correct! The celery had changed colour!

  • Year 7 Healthy Breakfast Design Brief

    The Year 7 chefs this week produced their very own healthy breakfast. Aside from the dish requiring  to be healthy and nutritious the students had to also work within other constraints throughout the design process such as portion sizing each ingredient, identifying  consumer nutritional needs and ensuring the presentation of the breakfast was appealing all while considering sustainability.

    Year 7 Biologists

    This term our Year 7 students have been studying a Biology unit about ‘Classification’. They have been developing their understanding of the classification systems which scientists have constructed over time, which enable the accurate labelling of the billions of living things which inhabit our beautiful Earth. At this stage, students have been focusing on the Animal Kingdom and the groupings within it.

     

     

    Year 9 Celebration Lunch

    It has been with great excitement and energy that we have been able to welcome our Year 9 students back on site on various days over the last few weeks.

    Our Year 9s are also extremely excited to be commencing their Term 4 Transformation and Back Creek Rural programs which we know will be both exciting and well earned.

    As a way to acknowledge our time together as a united Bellarine Yr 9 community, yet also look forward to our separate journeys on these programs, we were able to enjoy a celebration lunch. The Year 9s were able to share performances from their Physical Education dance unit, hear messages from their campus leaders and enjoy a delicious COVID responsible lunch, supported by our great friends at Drysdale Village Pizza.

    I know that the Year 9 students and College staff really enjoyed being able to enjoy this time of fellowship together, and we wish the students luck in their fantastic Term 4 Transformation programs ahead of them.

  • Year 9 Transformation Program – Parkour

    The Transformation students visited the Geelong Waterfront to focus on the theme of Transformation and learnt about the beautiful restoration of Eastern Beach.

    The students had the amazing opportunity to participate in a Parkour session run by professionals that links in with the learning of the Transformation Program. Parkour encourages self-improvement on all levels, revealing one’s physical and mental limits while simultaneously offering ways to overcome them. The sport aims to build confidence, determination, self-discipline and self-reliance, and responsibility for one’s actions. It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery and safety at all times.

    It was a brilliant afternoon filled with sunshine, ‘catching up with our mates’ and challenging ourselves personally and physically.

    Here is what some students had to say:

    “I was very surprised with what I could accomplish with the encouragement of the instructors” – Hayden Waters

    “I surprised myself on how much I could do and had a lot of fun” – Jesse Collins

    “I really pushed myself physically and had a lot of fun” – Austin Schmidtke

  • Christian College Geelong – Cross Campus Musical Production 2022

    Shrek the Musical

    Everyone knows Shrek- the story of the ogre who just wants to be left alone but finds himself the saviour of all fairy tale creatures, on a quest to rescue an imprisoned princess accompanied by a very very talkative donkey. We are very excited to announce that ‘Shrek the Musical’ will be our cross-campus production for 2022.

    Students from Years 7 – 11 (2021) from Highton and Bellarine Middle Schools, and the Senior Campus are invited to audition. We are seeking a cast of 50-60 students to play the colourful list of characters; including principal and support cast such as Shrek, Fiona and Donkey, as well as ensemble fairy tale and Duloc townsfolk.

    Auditions will commence in early November; separate auditions will be held for those wishing to audition for a principal or supporting role and those wanting to be in the ensemble only. We hope to have casting completed in time for a read through of the script in the first week of December. Rehearsals will be held at the Senior Campus on Tuesday afternoons from 4.45-6.45 and Thursdays 4-6pm. Students must also be available for list of rehearsal dates on certain Sundays and student free days.

    Please consider all details in the attached document before registering to audition. Students may register to audition via the online survey provided here up until Monday, November 1st.

    Link to audition registration here

    Fiona Gardner – Co- Producer Shrek the Musical 2022 on behalf of Mandy Calderwood and the Production team

    Shrek Information Letter:

    Order Your East Timor Calendar Now!

    The 2022 East Timor calendar is due to arrive soon! Proceeds from sales will enable funding for 16 University scholarships. Each year Christian College sponsors four new university scholarships, and we are excited this year that these students will come from our very own Uma Maun Alin volunteers.

    You can pre-order and pay for your calendar now by calling any one of our campuses and paying over the phone via EFTPOS. They will be available for collection in the next two to three weeks.

     

    A MYTERN Message for This Week

    Today, as well as being aware of what road you are on, also try to focus on what road others may be on.

    Acknowledging what road they are on can influence how you respond to them.

    And that’s a positive for everyone 👍😊