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?
- 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.
- 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
Operation Christmas Child
At Christian College Junior School, we have decided to support the wonderful efforts of Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child. Many people in our community have been great supporters of this charity and outreach program by blessing thousands of children around the world with a shoe box packed with love.
Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on way for us to bless children in need across the world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and fun gifts. Samaritan’s Purse collects the shoeboxes and distributes them in the name of Jesus to children living in vulnerable situations around the world.
Information will be shared with the students throughout the coming week in their homerooms. However, we encourage you to watch the linked video that allows you to see first-hand the impact the gift of a shoe box can have on an individual.
How you can help: We are inviting our Junior School families to join us to fill boxes to help us share the joy of Christmas with those children who may otherwise receive nothing. We are encouraging all students to participate by providing at least one of the items on the list for either a boy or girl. Please do not wrap these items. We are asking that students bring these items to school and place them in the baskets in their homerooms. Alternatively, you may like to provide a monetary contribution that will be used for postage of the shoeboxes (each box costs $10 to ship).
Please send donations by the end of Week 6, Friday 12th November.
These children that we are blessing with a shoebox will not only receive a gift, but will also have the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus, possibly for the first time.
The video link is here
See more information at the Operation Christmas Child website
Please see attached document for the items to include.
Upcoming Calendar Events
Week 5 – Monday November 1st
Monday November 1st – Emergency and Lockdown Drills
Friday November 5th – Assembly, 3R Class Item
Week 6 – Monday November 8th
Wednesday November 10th – Beach Prep, Prep B,G & R
Friday November 12th – Rainbow Walk-a-thon
Week 7 – Monday November 15th
Friday November 19th – Prep Day Camp
Book Parade Joy
On Tuesday, we celebrated a belated Book Week with our annual dress-up day at Junior School. The sun was shining, and Mr Smith kept the good vibes flowing with wonderful music, as each class paraded around the basketball court to thunderous cheers and applause! It was a joyful celebration of books and all they can bring to our life.
The effort put into the costumes this year was phenomenal and I would like to thank the parents for their ongoing support of this event. The teachers looked sensational as always and enjoyed their own parade for the students this year!
Prep Hope Leaves
As humans we have a real need to feel connected. This has been something that has been challenged over the past couple of years.
In Prep R we have been talking about our journey from Kindergarten to School and what helped us to feel connected to Christian College. The children said that they enjoyed being able to come and see the classroom before they started, and for those who were at Williams House, having Library lessons and regular visits to the school grounds was also beneficial.
We have also been reflecting on what we hope the new children feel when they start in Prep next year. The idea of hopes, dreams, prayers and wishes was discussed and it was decided that we would write down our hopes for the Kindergarten children who will soon start their journey to Junior School. We created leaf shapes where we wrote the hopes.
Some of their hopes are:
- I hope you love school
- I want you to be like us
- I hope you are happy
- I hope the kinder loves the school
- I hope you like the playground
- I hope you love the school as much as I do
- I hope you like learning
- I hope you make new friends
- I can’t wait for you to come
- School is the best
We plan to attach the leaves we have created to sticks which we will decorate and then place them in a vase that the children will deliver to Williams House.
This idea of sharing our hopes for the next children to come into Junior School helps build connections. It shows the Prep children they are capable of passing on a message to those that will also follow in their footsteps, and it welcomes the Kindergarten children into our space ready for their next journey.
We are very much looking forward to sharing these hopes at Williams House in the coming weeks.
Water, Water Everywhere
Year 2 students have been learning all about WATER over the last few weeks!
Did you know?
- About 70% of Earth’s surface is covered in water.
- Only 3% of that is freshwater
- Much of that water is inaccessible as it is locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers, stored in the atmosphere or soil, highly polluted or too far underneath the earth’s surface to be extracted.
- That leaves LESS than 1% of the water on earth that is drinkable for humans.
These and many other facts have been shared and discussed throughout our unit on water. We began by looking at the water cycle and where water comes from – the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Students made creative models of the water cycle which can be seen on display in the windows of our classrooms and in the stairwell.
We’re also discussing the ideas of natural resources and the effects that humans have on them. It’s been a terrific unit with many in-depth discussions. Students have shown great interest and empathy as we explore the incredible blessing that we have, here in Geelong, of fresh accessible water.
Water will continue to be our focus in Integrated Studies as we move into exploring the ways we can be water wise at school and at home.
Welcome Back to our Year 3 and 4 Students!
The Year 3 and 4 students are so excited to be back at school full time. We have been enjoying reconnecting with our teachers and peers, exploring new topics together and continuing on our learning journey.
It has been wonderful to see students enjoying teaching and exploring together, focusing on their learning and social skills, and sharing new experiences. In 4G we have been exploring learning from one another and group work skills. We have been learning from each other in Mathematics, focusing on fractions and collaborating together to compare, order and convert improper fractions. In Literacy we have been reading each other our review texts, discussing various books, movies, events, and games that we think other students might enjoy. Through our inquiry unit ‘ Friend or Foe’ we have collaborated to develop and create discussion about symbiosis and relationships between living things. When discussing our gifts that God has blessed us with, we have been stirred by ‘having a servant heart’ and showing kindness and love to others around us and in our community with these gifts.
This is just a small snapshot at the amazing collaborative learning that is happening in and around our campus, with so many smiles and ‘ah-ha’ moments to be seen! We are very much looking forward to what this term will bring, as the Year 4 students draw nearer to the end of their Junior School journey.
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 👍😊