Our final week of the year has been one of celebration for all. The sound of rhythmic drumming could be heard across the river as the Year 6 students presented their final performance for DRUMBEAT. The outdoor amphitheatre was an ideal setting for the performance.
The focus midweek was ensuring our Year 6 class was farewelled appropriately. A heart-warming Valedictory Service followed by a delicious dinner with family was well received. Sincere thanks to the Year 5 parents who worked as a team, led by Sally Mitchell, to create the ambience of celebration; it was much appreciated.
I am pleased to announce that Mrs Lucy Leeming will be teaching Year 5 on Wednesdays next year. Lucy has a strength and interest in both Drama and English, has taught in England and is excited to be joining our School community. We have also finalised arrangements with Sharen Cameron in regards to implementing Coding and Programming skills across the school. We welcome both Lucy and Sharen to our staff.
Feeling festive, the entire campus travelled to St. Johns church to celebrate the end of the year and the coming Christmas season. A Christmas lunch prepared by Tony Avron-Cotton allowed us to complete our year in true Gippsland Grammar spirit: coming together to celebrate the year that has been.
With mixed emotions, we farewelled Ms Alison Fraser, Mr. Robert Loft, Ashleigh Robertson and Lisa Hudson. While we will miss their presence and talents, we wish them all much success as they move forward to new beginnings.
So as I write my final newsletter for 2017, I thank you for a terrific year, for welcoming me as you did, for supporting me in my first year and for being the wonderful community that you are. For those families leaving us, thank you for your contributions to our campus. Please know you are always welcome.
Wishing you all a safe and Happy Christmas.
A Christmas Message from Rev'd Rich ...
Sociologists suggest that—even though we are more ‘connected’ by social media and other forms of technology than at any other time in history—we feel more disconnected from others than ever before. We have a huge ‘Friends’ list, but few people we really trust or share with. We have worries about finances, safety, employment and relationships, but there isn’t always someone to share these concerns with.
We all have battles, challenges and mountains to climb; we all need to know where we will get the wisdom or strength to deal with these realities. Imagine what life would be like if we truly believed that we had to do all of this on our own; that we could only depend on the strength we could muster inside ourselves. It would be a lonely and draining reality, yet we are in danger of it becoming the norm.
The bible regularly uses the word ‘slave’. The two leading dictionary definitions of slave are:
1. Someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay.
2. A person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something.
One bible verse in the book of Romans tells us that we do not need to be slaves to fear. In the book of Galatians, chapter 4, verse 4, Paul says,”But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
A quote I recently saw had the words “David didn’t need to know Goliaths strength, because he already knew God’s”.
Christmas is a time for us to remember, or know for the first time, that we are God’s loved children. Jesus comes to us as a baby who needs the love and care of his parents to survive. God gives us a model of both vulnerability and strength in the birth of Jesus. The vulnerability of a dependant newborn and the strength that comes from the love and care he receives from others. So let’s ask ourselves if we are ‘slaves’ to anything or subject to any thinking or behaviours that are detrimental to ourselves or others. Let’s look into our hearts and see if we feel free to be ourselves - because Jesus came to set us free from the things that destroy our hearts and souls.
Here is the light and hope: we are made to know God, we are made to love and be loved, and we are made to be there for others and to allow others to meet our needs as well. We are designed to thrive, not simply by our own strength, but by the strength, we receive from sharing our lives and our journeys with others. To know that we are not alone. To know that we are loved and valued. To know that the creator of the Universe calls us their ‘children’ and ‘dearly beloved’.
Christmas is the time to know that God loves us; not to live in fear but to know that whatever comes our way, God is with us, Gods Spirit is in us and Jesus has shown us how to live.
I pray you encounter Jesus’ love this Christmas.
God bless you and keep you.
Rev’d Rich Lanham