Ash Wednesday and Lent
This week marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. We began with celebrating Shrove Tuesday, selling out of pancakes in the Middle and Senior Years before the end of morning tea and the fun of Pancake Races in the Junior Years. Traditionally, pancakes were a good way to use up fats and sugar before people would fast during Lent, living more simply and going without luxuries.
We gathered as a whole school community to celebrate Ash Wednesday, reflecting on the things we are sorry for, asking God’s forgiveness and making promises to do our best to make the changes needed to improve ourselves and the lives of others. One practice in Lent is to give something up or take on something new. Girls were encouraged to think about what luxury items they might go without for the next 6 weeks and to put aside the money they would spend on those things. The examples shared by our Yr 12 Chapel Committee were to give up chocolate, 2-minute noodles and junk food. We will be holding a Coin Challenge in Week 2 of Term 2 to see which classes or tutor groups have raised the most money (can make the longest coin train) during Lent. As Easter is at the end of the school holidays, the girls have been challenged to continue their Lenten ‘fast’ through the holidays until Easter Day. Girls may also ask to do extra jobs around the house so that they can earn more money to donate. They can then bring their coins into their class or tutor teacher in Week 1 next term. All money raised goes to the Bush Ministry Fund to support churches and communities in remote areas of Queensland. Our churches are places of refuge and care for all people (not just church people), and they are currently doing much needed work with families who are affected by the drought. Your support for this cause is greatly appreciated. We look forward to hearing from Bishop Cameron soon about the programs our donations support.
Be of Service @ Glennie
This week I also launched our new Service Learning Framework initiative. Service Learning is the reciprocal relationship between the giving of time and energy to improve a situation and the learning that is captured by that experience. It provides an opportunity to think critically and creatively as students work with each other and community partners.
Our strategic plan states that Glennie graduates should be capable and confident young women of strength and integrity – optimistic, self-aware and adaptable, with a strong sense of compassion and social justice.
Our goal is to encourage a culture of service and social justice as students participate in local and global projects and experiences.
It is anticipated that all students of The Glennie School will participate in this Service Learning Program in some way. Participation is not to be tokenistic, rather should aim to effect lasting change in the lives of those we serve. Reflection activities will help to measure students’ understanding, allowing them a chance to share their feelings, grow spiritually, internalise new concepts and evaluate the impact of the activities.
Many girls are already involved in service activities within the school and in the community. This program gives the girls an opportunity to share what they are doing and to encourage others to be involved.
In the Junior Years, activities will be class-based, focussing more on learning about service and then actively serving in the older age groups.
In Middle and Senior Years, girls are asked to take the initiative to find opportunities to be of service to others. We have some activities that will be advertised in daily notices that students may be interested in. Currently, we are asking for volunteers for the Smith Family Student 2 Student Reading program and the Darling Heights Primary School Homework Club. As more opportunities arise we will promote these. It takes time to build relationships with organisations in our community where girls can be of service. We would be very appreciative to hear from parents of any opportunities you know of where our girls could serve - either as an ongoing regular activity or a one-off event. Please email me with any ideas or connections you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue with our calendar of fundraising activities within the school, supporting various charitable organisations, but these will take on additional learning opportunities for our students. It is important that the girls know the details about the charities we support, how our donations are used and the outcomes provided for those in need.
Baptism, Admission to Communion and Confirmation.
Each year we offer the opportunity for girls to be welcomed into the life of the Anglican Church. Baptism is available to all at any time and can be arranged with Rev’d Sharon.
Admission to Communion is usually offered for girls in Year 5 or 6. This service will be in Term 3 with a period of preparation beforehand. Older girls are also able to be admitted to communion if they wish.
Confirmation is usually for girls who are 15 years old or older. This year our service will be on Wednesday 19th June in the School Chapel. Adults are also welcome to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Church on this occasion.
I will be speaking to the girls in Chapel services about these opportunities to further develop their faith journeys. More information will be available shortly, or please email me if you are interested.
The Rev’d Sharon Mitchell