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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

 

Senior School Student Portraits

I am aware that many of you have wondered about your son/daughters school portrait for 2021. In line with updates to operational guidelines for schools, we are so pleased to be able to announce that the 2021 Senior School Individual Portraits will take place next Tuesday 2nd November.

Portraits will be scheduled throughout the morning and students are permitted to wear full and correct summer uniform on this occasion.

Specific arrangements have been made for all students and this will be shared with them directly via their House Mentor and class teachers on the day. In addition, this extra information has been communicated via email to senior school students and parents.

If your child is unable to attend on the day, or they are a Year 12 student wanting a portrait in their school uniform, you are welcome to make an appointment for them at the AR Studios at a mutually convenient time. Please contact AR Photography on (03) 5243 4390 to make a booking.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 5241 1577.

Important Dates for Senior School

Tuesday 2 November – Year 10 and 11 Portrait Photos to be taken at Senior School

Wednesday 17 November – Final day of Year 11 classes

Thursday 18 to Tuesday 23 November – Year 11 Examination period

Friday 19 November – 2021 Christian College Art Festival online

Sunday 21 November – Year 12 Graduation Service

Tuesday 23 November – Senior School Presentation Afternoon

Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 November – Student-free days

Monday 29 November to Friday 3 December – Senior School Transition Week

The Student Becomes the Teacher……

Term 4 has been action packed at the Villa Paloma. From sending off the Year 12 Art Tech & Design students, to preparing for the digital Art Show and welcoming back ex-Christian College student, Alice Stewart in her role of Pre-Service Teacher.

Alice Stewart graduated from CCG in 2016. She is now completing her Masters of Teaching at Deakin University. Part of her journey is completing a placement, teaching Media and Humanities. Currently Alice is on her first placement, teaching the Unit 2, Year 11 students Media & Change. The students are working on Social Media Campaigns for Change. Alice has built and designed the unit and actioned her area of studies by supporting Ms Knite in preparation for 2022.

Alice will be with CCG for five weeks and be able to use her skills building pedagogy and transition units of work for the 2022, Year 12 Media students.

Alice has been a wonderful addition to the Art Tech & Design team and the students have enjoyed seeing an ex-student return to the school in a teaching and learning capacity.

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:

Careers Spot

Career Newsletters

You will find attached the weekly Career Newsletter. We hope you will enjoy reading this important document. Don’t forget to look in the parent portal in SEQTA Engage for our CAREERS section. There is a lot of important information sitting there for students and parents.

Topics this week include:

  • Australian Defence Force Academy
  • Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program
  • VCE Summer School
  • La Trobe University Pathway Program
  • Employment resources
  • Pathways to university
  • $20 meal voucher (Year 12)
  • Dates for your diary
Careers Weekly Newsletter:
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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 👍😊