to the Anglican Schools Office
The Anglican Schools Office exists to support, resource, provide training opportunities and build fellowship between the Chaplains and Religious Education teachers working in its associated schools in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and encourage interaction between the schools and the church.
Chaplaincy, sowing seeds of Love
(a note from Joy Hamilton-Jones who will be leaving Woodford at the end of this term.)
Chaplains sow seeds of God’s love and I know this make a real difference in the lives of so many of our young students.
Chaplains have a privileged ministry in reaching/nurturing/connecting the hearts and minds of their students, staff and parents.
A New Year is always a time full of hope and promise. It is a time I believe where Chaplains begin once again to tell the great Christian story. It is a time to share the wonderful biblical connections and ground it in the everyday lives of all their beautiful students and staff in their care.
It is a precious time where Chaplains can gather and nurture their students and staff. It is a time to walk intentionally alongside others with Joy and share ‘Gods love and reassurance that each member in the school community is loved and cared for. A time to intentionally share with their flock that they are valued, unique and loved.
Quote from a colleague: “It is more important than ever that we continue to provide an academically rigorous education, rooted in the Gospel, and rich in the cherished traditions of our Founding schools practices.
In doing so, we ensure that students will have the foundation to live a moral and upright life to face the challenges brought on by cultural and moral changes in the world today”.
We are blessed that our unique Special character church schools set us apart from the ordinary state schools. We have a privileged opportunity and responsibility to enlighten young students in heart, mind and spirit. Our identity as church schools, established by our Founders, shapes the tradition and culture of our schools.
The teaching of Religious Education enables us to educate the “whole person” in spirit, mind, and body—allowing our young people to play an essential role in the future life of our Church, our country and our world.
If students understand their neighbour’s religion and explore ways in which they think and practise their religion then, I am more than ever sure we will have given them a good grounding for the future.
Joy Cowley is an amazing writer and poet. I wish to finish with a poem that I think epitomises a great deal of school chaplaincy
“There are times in life
when we are called to be bridges,
not a great monument spanning a distance
and carrying loads of heavy traffic
but a simple bridge
to help one person from here to there
over some difficulty
such as pain, fear, grief, loneliness,
a bridge which opens the way
for ongoing journey.
When I become a bridge for another,
I bring upon myself a blessing, for I escape
from the small prison of self
and exist for a wider world,
breaking out to be a larger being
who can enter another’s pain
and rejoice in another’s triumph.
I know of only one greater blessing
in this life, and that is
to allow someone else
to be a bridge for me.”
May God bless you all in your Chaplaincy.
Ka aru matou i a te Karaiti We run after Christ,
Tui, tui, tui tuia To weave, weave and weave us together.
Tuia ki te mamae We pass and receive the thread in our sufferings.
Tuia ki te tumanako We pass and receive the thread in our hopes.
Tui, tui, tuia ki te ora We pass and receive the thread to life.
With love and blessings,