Our program at Beacon Christian School is woven together by ten threads called Throughlines. Throughlines are qualities that we desire our students to develop as God is revealed to them "in all things." They answer the question, "How now shall I live?
Each month, we will be highlighting one of these throughlines in our chapels and in our classrooms.
Tomorrow, at 8:45 AM, we will introduce our first throughline - Community Building during our Wednesday morning chapel. Parents are always welcome to attend.
What follows is a brief description of what we mean by "Community Building" that has been adopted by our staff and school. It was originally written by the Prairie Centre for Christian Education based in Alberta. I will be including future throughline descriptions each month in this space.
Community – Building
Definition: Students will be active pursuers and builders of communal shalom. Our classrooms will be communities of grace where students will walk and work together in a spirit of shalom.
Description:In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it's common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. -- Robert Alan (American artist, writer and social activist)
Our students can be active pursuers and builders of community in their classrooms, their neighbourhoods and in the global village. In fact, they need to be. Community is how God made us, since doing life without other people is not an option. Shalom (from Hebrew) – is more than just ‘not fighting’. The word we most often use instead of shalom is peace, but that does not quite describe the whole concept—it is more like fullness or completeness – how God intended things to be. One of clearest and most well-known Biblical metaphors compares Christian community to a body which is made up of many parts. We need all the parts to work together in order to experience health and wholeness.
We all know that maintaining a healthy body is not something that just happens by itself. Attention must be paid to what we put into our body, how active we are and how we manage stress. Students need to learn and experience that community does not just happen either. We need to pursue shalom. We can’t just wait for community and peace to come to us – we must go out and make it happen. We need to build shalom– to be active and eager examples of peaceful/shalom-filled communities.
I Cor. 12:12 “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body and one Spirit . . . .” John 17: 22-23 Jesus’ prayer for believers: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Other Passages to Ponder: Psalm 133:1; Ecclesiastics 4:10; Philippians 2:1-11; I Peter 4:10-11