One of the focus areas for the College in 2017 has been “Be strong and courageous.”
We have learnt that it’s not about getting physically stronger – it’s about character strength and leaning into Jesus who can help us be strong and give us courage to make good choices and the right decisions.
Mark 15:15 states
“Wanting to satisfy the crown, Pilate released Barabbas to them.
He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
Pontius Pilate was a procurator of Judea and he had a dilemma. He knew Jesus was innocent, yet he also feared the mob. After trying to shift the responsibility of making a decision about Jesus’ sentence he compromised what he knew was true about Jesus’ innocence and made a decision to have Jesus crucified. Pilate was weak, a moral coward.
Although a leader, he wasn’t strong or courageous. It was more important to him to be popular than declare the right decision.
A personal relationship with Jesus helps us to be strong and courageous, because it’s His strength we rely on – not ours. His values – not the changing values in society.
We are trying to build our students in Christ and in His Word; to be people of integrity, people who influence others rather than just succumbing to popular opinion.
The world is changing; society is changing; laws are changing and education is changing.
To cope with all these changes that are happening in our world our children will need to be critical thinkers who are flexible, adaptable, culturally aware and resilient.
We want to grow students with 21st century capabilities so they can flourish in the ever changing world.
Educationalists declare that our students need more than high results, and a high IQ to be successful.
In conflict, in change, in seeking new ideas and solutions it is those with high EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and CQ (Cultural Intelligence) not IQ who will succeed.
The future will be shaped by those who are strong and courageous, but also by those who seek to understand situations and other people and not pass judgement with just their own opinion.
For us at St Andrews we go even deeper in our growing, learning, thinking and understanding and it is our SQ that underpins everything – SQ is defined as Spiritual Intelligence. This is not just in our mind, but actually the connection to our heart which results in an outpouring into our lives in how we live. When we are in a personal relationship with Jesus and as we engage with God in our life that is when our potential is unlocked. That type of education is not only revolutionary, it is transformational.
We need to stay connected to Jesus and put him first, not just to survive but to live life to the full.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Jesus is the dimension we lean into and He is where all good, excellence and growth comes from.
Last night at Presentation Night, we celebrated some of the ‘excellence’ during the past year. If we were to mention every great accomplishment/prize/award that students achieved this year we would have been there all night.
But, excellence is not just the great results and the extraordinary. It’s the ordinary happenings of everyday, in a community where Christ is No. 1.
It’s the smile on student’s faces, the care given by staff to students, the grace shown by people, the encouraging conversations of parents given to staff, the excitement of suddenly understanding a concept in class, it’s the stories of those (whether students/staff/families) who share their lives in the beautiful Shalom community we have at St Andrews Christian College.
Thanksgivings abound for 2017
I thank God for the Opening of the Senior School; the 2.1 million dollar grant we just received from the State Government to commence building Middle School classrooms and Science rooms next year; the wonderful NAPLAN results which displayed significant gain and improvement with ACARA recognising St Andrews as a high gain school; the growth of our Sport, Art, Music and Drama Departments; continued growth in our Learning and Teaching programs; numerical growth in student numbers (this was the first year of 2 classes in Year 12) and continued growth and improvements in Junior, Middle and Senior School. We also passed with flying colours the School Registration Process with VRQA (The Victorian Registration Qualifications Authority) which occurs every 5 years.
But more than those achievements, I thank God for the Shalom community at St Andrews who have worked so hard to achieve those things. It’s ‘people’ that make the difference. God doesn’t need us –but He does work through us for others and for the benefit of His Kingdom.
I am thankful to the Board, the PFA and all the committees who work so hard and faithfully behind the scenes to keep St Andrews going and thriving. I am continually thankful for our talented and committed Executive Team. They are an extraordinary group who lead the College with excellence.
I’m thankful for all our staff who daily serve our College community above and beyond their job descriptions. I’m thankful for our beautiful families and students – who all have the opportunity each day to come to a Christian School that wants to give honour and glory to God in everything we do.
We are blessed!
We have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to.
Although times will get tough, we have a tougher God who will guide us and lead us through the valleys onto the mountain tops.
We just need to work together, stand firm in Christ and be strong and courageous.
Thanks again everyone for a wonderful year!
Many blessings to you all and your families for Christmas.
Your servant in Christ,