Lest We Forget

Written by: Mr Royce Mahoney - Director of Teaching and Learning

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

- John 15:13

 Anzac Day is one of the most significant days in Australia. All around the country it is commemorated by the government, the military, the media, schools – and interestingly the Church. One might think that the Church would abhor violence in all its forms, especially the needless sacrifice of human life. To consider the mythology of ANZAC, however, is to move beyond war or the simple waste of life. It is crucial to understand that the romanticisation of war is certainly not the intention of any war memorial or service. ANZAC day symbolises the maturing of a country, the birth of an identity and the reinforcement of values that celebrate life. ANZAC mythology is about the sacrifice of ‘mates’ for a cause in which they believed. It is about love, loyalty, honour, integrity and the value of life. No ANZAC or Australian who has been touched by war would ever seek to glorify violence.

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 We are asked to take pause and think about the sacrifice that each and every member of the defence forces has made in order to protect our sovereignty and peace. The way we usually remember is by taking some time out; whether it is a minute in silence, or an hour or two watching the ANZAC Day march, or some time in prayer. We remember those who have fallen or given what is known as the ultimate sacrifice. As Christians, it is appropriate to think about the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ given by our Lord and saviour. To live a Christian life involves reflecting on the price Jesus paid, but it to goes beyond this simple act. Remembering Jesus means a continuous, conscious orientation of our life. In other words, we are not just to remember Jesus once in a while, but to keep Jesus within our thoughts and hearts. He should always be at the forefront of our minds. Our lives should reflect our remembering as we strive to live out lives in the image of Jesus. Remembering Jesus also implies living the way Jesus taught us to live.

 This is relevant to ANZAC Day in more ways than just a simple acknowledgment of sacrifice. We are also thinking about the values taught by Jesus. All nations want peace and this is only attainable through embracing the values espoused by Jesus such as love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion. In our remembrance of the fallen are we also thinking about our saviour? Do we remember him every now and then, without Him impacting our life? Or do we strive to remember Jesus often, with the desire to love Him, imitate Him, serve Him and embrace His values? This is a major challenge, but in remembering the sacrifice of servicemen and women, and being challenged by what they have given, we must also be challenged by living up to Jesus’ standards.

The Recessional used in ANZAC Services is an ode written by the English poet Rudyard Kipling in 1897. It became famous as the source of the often quoted words “Lest we forget” in ANZAC Day ceremonies. Many graves throughout the world remember the sacrifice of over 102,000 Australian military personnel who died with the symbol of the cross. We remember their willingness to risk their life in order to defend something that they believe to be true – peace and freedom. However, we must also remember that in order for us to truly have peace we must find peace not only in this world, which may be very fleeting, but beyond and into the eternal. It is fitting that we commemorate the fallen, it is right to acknowledge their sacrifice, we should hold ceremonies to honour those who defend freedom and peace, love and compassion. However, on this special day that speaks of the ‘birth of our nation’ we must also remember Jesus, for it is through Him that we will truly find peace.

Lest We Forget.

Balancing Work and Rest

Author: Mr Tyson Kenny - Deputy Principal

This week’s bible passage is an important reminder for us all, and perhaps particularly timely for students currently in the throes of completing end of term assessment.

My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.

Job 29:19

Earlier this term I reflected upon and shared the importance of students working hard to ‘get the little things right’.  My focus was largely directed at students developing certain study habits and ensuring they complete school work not only in class, but most importantly, between classes through effective homework and study practices. This week’s bible verse also reminds us that between lessons, and perhaps towards the end of a busy term, students who have worked hard need to ensure they are also well rested.  I realise this is easier said than done, especially in the busyness of the assessment period many students are currently facing.   

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If you are currently a student working hard to achieve your best in your assessments, I remind you to plan for sufficient rest during this time.  Yes, I’m sure there may be a late night or two, studying hard to ensure that you are well prepared to complete an exam the next day; however, it’s important that the mind is also well rested, perhaps with a good night’s sleep and through healthy eating and hydration.

Just like an athlete preparing for a race or an upcoming competition, the most successful athletes, and I believe students, realise how important it is to get the balance right between working hard and rest.  Obviously, too much of one can throw this balance out of whack – with too much rest not sufficiently equipping the athlete or student to achieve their best, and too much training or study without enough rest causing one to under perform.  God encourages all of us to seek and enjoy rest.  Those that also find rest in Him are particularly blessed to experience His love, both in times of stress (i.e. late night’s studying hard) and in rest.

For families currently trying to support their student with achieving this balance, I encourage you to engage your student through regular conversation.  If they are struggling to achieve a sufficient study load outside of school, try and support them with developing certain routines that allow them enough time and opportunity to complete this work.  I know many parents engage with the Study Skills Handbook website, which the College subscribes to and communicates logon details through the Enews regularly.  Many parents/carers have commented how useful this website has been for supporting their student with developing important study habits at home.

For families of students who are currently struggling to achieve sufficient rest, make sure you speak with them about this.  In these discussions, try and determine what are the things that are stopping them from properly resting, and if it’s to do with a particular subject that’s proving challenging, encourage them to contact their teacher for support, rather than stressing at home and becoming too worked up about it.  I realise that there can be many other reasons students can struggle to achieve sufficient rest, such as having too many technology distractions, but I believe the key to finding the best balance for each student concerning their work habits and achieving sufficient rest, starts with dialogue between parents/carers and their student.

I wish every student success during this assessment period.  I also pray that you each experience much rest over the upcoming holidays, which allows you to be renewed and re-energised for the new school term and the many important learning opportunities it will bring.

Education, the best defense against online exposure

Auther: Miss Nicole Sacre - Year 10 Coordinator

It’s time we talked. Sex Ed through Pornography

Never before in human history have we had the kind of material that is available nor the volume. Overwhelming statistics show that students are learning about sex through pornography and not from the adults in their lives. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg (School TV) highlights that parents feel ill equipped to have conversations around pornography with their kids and states that what kids are seeing distorts their idea of sexuality and intimacy.

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In this digital age, online pornography is almost impossible to avoid.  A 2006 study showed that more than 90% of boys and 60% of girls have viewed pornography online (Fleming, Greentree, Cocotti-Muller, Elias & Morrison, 2006) and this was before the prevalence of smart phones and tablets. The world’s biggest pornography site has 92 million visitors each day and one particular site was the 23rd most popular website in the world (ahead of Netflix and Ebay).

Young people and their views on pornography are highly gendered.  Young men are more likely to view pornography in a positive manner, whereas women are more likely to describe pornography as unwelcome, distasteful and degrading.  Many young women report that they feel uncomfortable when viewing it and express concern that it creates demands and often feel pressured to perform what young men expect.

There have been documented links between the aggression and degradation in pornography to violence against women with a 2010 study showing that 95% of aggression was met with a neutral or positive response (Bridges et al, 2010). Overwhelmingly, the message that young people are getting is that:

·         These experiences will be unpleasant for your partner but that is to be expected and is acceptable

·         Consent can be negotiated

 A genuine concern is that the voice of pornography is educating our young people about sex and this drowns out the more reasonable voices in their lives.  Just as we can acquire a taste for a particular food or drink, repeated exposure has shown that it is possible to develop sexual tastes and preferences from the material viewed.

Teenagers response to their sexual education is that it is too little, too late and too biological.  So, what can we do about pornography?

1.       Limit young people’s exposure and access to pornography.  Whilst this is incredibly difficult, it is about managing technology, through supervised access, time restrictions and through the use of filters

2.       Equip and encourage young people to critique what they see. The ability to read imagery and develop critical media literacy is key

3.       Help young people develop skills required to resist pornography’s influence. How to our kids respond to peer pressure or the pressure they receive from their partner to replicate what is being viewed.

4.       Finding creative and compelling ways to explore the issues and have the conversations as a society.

 A recommendation from the Children’s Commissioner for England’s Report (2013), states that the curriculum content should cover ‘access and exposure to pornography, and sexual practices that are relevant to young people’s lives and experiences, as a means of building young people’s resilience.

Through Year Level sessions students will be able to explore the issues surrounding pornography through age appropriate activities.  However, you at home are able to have the conversation surrounding pornography and can learn more information by viewing “Online Pornography” on School TV by visiting https://faithlc.qld.schooltv.me/newsletter/pornography or by reading the information and tips provided on http://www.itstimewetalked.com.au/parents/.

 

References

 Bridges, A, Wosnitzer, R, Scharrer, E, Sun, C & Liberman, R 2010, ‘Aggression and Sexual Behaviour in Best-Selling Pornography Videos: A constent Analysis Update’, Violence against women, 16(10), pp. 1065-1085.

 MJ Fleming, S Greentree, D Cocotti-Muller, K A Elias & S Morrison, ‘Safety in cyberspace: Adolescents’ safety and exposure online’, Youth and Society, vol. 38, no. 2, 2006, pp. 135–54.

 

 

Sustenance to Thrive

AUTHOR: Mrs Janelle Anderson - Principal

This week we reflect of the Bible verse from Ezekial 31:7,

It was strong and beautiful, with wide-spreading branches, for its roots went deep into abundant water.

After we finally received some rain we are very clear about what the benefits are to life giving waters. We have lost some long standing vegetation as the rain did not quite come soon enough for them. As a school we aim to always be able to supply enough sustenance for everyone to thrive. We have been analysing the sorts of strengths people had and have still to keep this community standing strong and reaching out with life giving actions and support both within and beyond our community.  In our student analysis for their challenge this week where everyone was to choose an image that depicted their personal strengths I am delighted that the image here from our bible verse is of a beautiful tree without stretched limbs (arms).

This school image for our Fruits of Faith and our 2019 Foundations image also depicts the tree. However, the 2019 theme is not one tree in isolation, but many. God represented as the central strong tree to guide us and each of the others represents us as followers and leaders in our own right. Being fed by the living waters. Our roots reaching far into the ground (our community) to gain every possibility of sustenance.

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I have a true affinity to the tree as it also represents our family name. The Anderson crest is a tree with the words- Stand Sure embedded. You can see in the images a standard crest with the Anderson tartan in the background being from the Scottish heritage on my Husband’s side. But the other image is that of the stain glass window over our own front door in our family home. As we know the best way to stand firm is to have a large base of support and in the case of trees that is a quality root system. So it does take work to be a person prepared to keep a firm foundation. Seeking what is right, surrounding yourself with people who care and are respectful. Showing love and compassion and not wavering under the pressures to make right versus not so right decisions morally and ethically. We are blessed to be reminded as a family every day that we can stand sure knowing God will be our guide and that he has a plan for each of us and as long as we are open to his living waters we can be sure to face the challenges and keep our base sure, steady and firm.

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Our bible verse this week is written about the Assyrian empire. The "great power" of Assyria is likened in this parable to a noble cedar planted in (or transferred to) the garden of Eden, raising its head high above all the other trees in that "garden of God;" its eminence and its beauty being largely due to the fact that it was so well watered at its roots, that "the waters nourished him, the deep made him to grow”.

The cedar, the source of strength and beauty. This great cedar was what it was because "it’s root were by great [many] waters." It was always nourished from below. It drew its strength from its roots, and its roots found their resources in the abundant streams that never failed to water and to refresh them. Strength and beauty grow out of character, moral and spiritual, as the leaves and the branches and the stem grow out of the roots of the tree. And character must be fed by the living streams of truth that flow in the garden of God. We must, if we want to be the symmetrical and fruit-bearing tree we should aspire to become, take care that mind and heart are well nourished by all the truth we can gather from God.

Being people of character takes effort and resilience. Just like in the current drought the plants need to continually seek out any opportunity for the waters to give them life, we must look every day to show we can be sustained through the word of God and our actions reaching in to the community in ways that adds life and does not detract from that. Being people with positive and caring ways allows us to receive the same in return. May the mighty cedar tree of Assyria be a lived out example here at Faith through our actions, community spirit and appreciation that every member needs us to share the living waters through our encouragement, support and love. I ask that we each strive these next weeks to show our own strengths and be a blessing to others so they too feel precious in this place here at Faith and beyond.

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Elements taken from: https://biblehub.com/sermons/ezekiel/31-7.htm

Year 9 Rite Journey Calling and Departure Ceremony

Authors: Mrs Carri Campbell and Mr Paul Krause - Year 9 Coordinators

Mr Dobson starts proceedings at Wivenhoe Dam

Mr Dobson starts proceedings at Wivenhoe Dam

What a wonderful afternoon and evening we had on Thursday the 14th of March, 2019. One hundred and forty-six young eager faces shared an enjoyable afternoon tea together and energetic conversation with their Rite Journey teachers and each other in preparation for heading out to Wivenhoe Dam. We were a touch worried about the possibility of it ‘raining on our parade’ so to speak, as our three buses drove out to the Dam, but as we neared our destination, the skies cleared as the storm parted around us. Excited students rushed to the Ceremony site where Mr Krause, Mr Dobson and Mrs Campbell provided them with many notable words of wisdom to embark on the commencement of their journey as young adults.

Students then participated in the calling ceremony where they showed gratitude for their childhood and were called on their journey to adulthood. They took part in the ritual of leaving childish behaviours behind with their Rite Journey teacher by writing them onto a piece of paper and dissolving them in flame. Then, it was back on the bus to meet their families back at the College to share in dinner together.

The final stage of the evening - the Departure - involved students and parents/carers engaging in a letter exchange which allowed students to express their gratitude to their parents/carers for all of the amazing things they have done for them over the years and the parents/carers to share some funny, significant and often emotional memories of their journey so far. The opportunity also encouraged students to look forward to their adulthood and depart from immature childish behaviours and grow.

It was a really wonderful afternoon and evening and a lovely beginning to the Rite Journey this year.

Click here for photos of the Rite Journey Calling and Departure ceremony.