Principal 3/6/22: Reconciliation and a Thankful Heart

School Events in Full Swing

Its been another busy fortnight during which we have enjoyed a steady increase in regular school activity. Some drier (and much cooler) weather has enabled more of the grounds to be accessible to students. This has been a slow return, but patience following such heavy and persistent rainfall will pay off in long term quality of grassed playing surfaces.  Last week families who attended the Digihelp parent seminar benefited from guidance concerning good digital citizenship on social media, while this week we celebrated our school’s mothers and grandmothers with a luncheon. This is always a very popular event and I would like to thank the staff and students who worked so hard to make this a positive time for those who attended.

Students have participated in a range of onsite events and excursions while competing to a high standard in cross country, soccer and netball gala days. High school hosted Year 7 2023 students for their first ‘taste of High School’ event which was really positively received with both existing and incoming students eager for their next taster day later in the year. Tomorrow will be our Creative and Performing Arts ‘K-12 Little Night Music’. Every year we are treated to musical performances from both developing and highly accomplished student musicians. This is a great family favourite.

Building Fund

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind families that the School’s Building Fund drive is underway. Funds raised this year will be going to the construction of a shade shelter at the bus bay and a Primary play area.  Please seriously consider donating to our Building Fund either personally, or from your business. Donations are tax deductable and can be made by clicking the button below or via the methods outlined in the letter previously emailed to families.

Sydney Prayer Breakfast

This week I had the privilege to attend the Sydney Prayer Breakfast along with another 1,700 Christians from education, business, government, non-profit organisations and churches of many denominations. We gathered to pray for our nation, our leaders, our First Nations people, those suffering through hardship in our communities and also for the Ukraine. Not only was this time of focused prayer a great encouragement, but we also heard from Peter Gibbs, a Gamillaroi man from the community of Weilmoringle in far west NSW. He spoke passionately of his own experience of the death of his sister in police custody and how God used this to lead him on a journey towards faith and the establishment of the iPROWD Program, a training model that prepares indigenous people for a potential career in the NSW Police Force. You can learn more about Peter and his work in far west communities by following this link to an article and podcast.

Listening to Peter was a humbling and moving experience, to hear from someone whose experiences could have resulted in the cultivation of anger and a drive for retaliation. Instead, he responded with a deep desire, passion and work to bring about restoration between indigenous communities and the police. Peter’s work is that of reconciliation. It is worth noting that this is also National Reconciliation Week. Reconciliation Week focusses on taking positive steps to remove the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous communities and help build ‘right relationships’. This more detailed article on a biblical perspective on reconciliation and restitution provides a thought provoking approach.

Reconciliation is at the centre of the Bible. Colossians 1:19-20 says that God reconciles all things to himself through Jesus. By restoring our right relationship to God, Jesus also opened the door for us to live in right relationships with each other, creation, and ourselves. God sent Jesus as a solution to the world’s problems. He came to restore peace by reconciling all of creation to God. This is a wonderful reconciliation that is available to each one of us.

Memorial Service

Today is a significant and sorrowful day for our school. Members of school staff gathered with friends and family for Emily So’s memorial service. Emily passed away last week because of a brain tumour. Emily joined the school as a student in the Prep School and started Kindergarten this year. She loved coming to class, learning with her friends and teachers. Emily’s two older sisters attend our school in Primary and the family have close connections across the school. I would like to thank the school community for their prayerful and practical support for the family through this time. Your generosity has spoken so loudly of our positive school community.

The death of someone is confronting and makes real the brokenness of our world. However, the brokenness of the world is not greater than the care of God. God knows and understands the suffering we experience the loss of a loved one, and the psalms remind us of his compassion for those who grieve, providing his love, care and protection.

The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

My flesh and my heart may fail,  but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

In God’s Grace,

Mr Keith McMullen