From the Principal
Last week our dance students performed to a capacity audience at the Ipswich Civic Centre at our annual Live to Dance concert. It was another fabulous display of creativity by our students and staff. In my last From the Principal, I spoke of creativity and its importance in driving innovation, problem-solving, leadership and teamwork. The annual Maha Sinnathamby Ideas and Imagination Award is now open for entries. This award provides an authentic learning opportunity for students in both Primary and Secondary categories to be innovative, imaginative and creative with ideas that may very well influence the development of Springfield as a city. I encourage our students to get involved in this award and to submit their ideas. Further information can be found here.
Next week, our students on the Secondary Campus will celebrate the wonderful cultural diversity we enjoy at TSAC. Our students have organised a series of activities throughout next week involving art, dance, food, dress and language from the many cultures represented within our College community. Our students will learn about different cultures from each other. It will be a week-long celebration and I applaud our students on this initiative.
Book Week is always loads of fun and a fabulous way to celebrate reading and writing. The highlight for many is the character parade and it was a delight to see so many students participating in our Book Week celebrations.
Finally, I’d like to remind parents that if your child is not returning to The Springfield Anglican College next year (2023), it is vital that you give the College a full term’s notice to avoid incurring fees, in line with the College Enrolment Agreement. If your child is not returning, please contact the Enrolment Officer by phone or email: email@example.com
My best wishes
One of my favourite sayings is, “There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into two types, and those who don’t.” It’s kind of clever because it’s obviously making fun of the idea that as humans we tend to resort to binary thinking, dividing everything into two opposing categories. One of the great advantages of learning to apply critical thinking to texts and situations – a strategy which is routinely taught at TSAC – is that we can move beyond binary thinking and explore a much wider range of possible explanations and solutions to problems. In a world as complex and fast-moving as ours, we really need to move beyond binary thinking, if we can.
This becomes a problem within Christian belief because there are clearly many times in Scripture when Jesus and others appear to apply a binary framework in their thinking. We saw one example in Secondary Assembly this week when we read Luke 13:22-30, which includes the idea that some people will be ultimately saved into the Kingdom of God and others will be thrown out. Much like the famous idea that no one can be ‘half-pregnant’, so it is probably fair to say no one can be ‘half-saved’. But who will be in and who will be out? This is where things get interesting because Jesus says at the end of this passage: ‘Some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.’ It sounds like there will be some surprises on Judgement Day, to say the least.
In my experience, those who prefer to think in binary terms very often suffer from the hubris of automatically assuming they are part of the ‘in crowd’ and that others who are not like them must be part of the condemned ‘out’ group. Instead, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that redemption is always possible. Forgiveness is available to all who seek it until the very last possible moment. It is the proud and the haughty who assume they are right and everyone else is wrong who should be spending their time examining their consciences about how they treat ‘the least of these’ – the poor, the homeless, and the less fortunate. In the same way, whenever we find ourselves falling into binary thinking, as the following well-known prayer leads us to do, ideally it would then also lead us into questions about who is on the ‘wrong’ side of the ledger, and what we can do about it. Or as a friend of mine puts it, ‘Who has to suffer, in order for me to feel good about myself?’
Where there is hatred, may I bring love.
Where there is pain, may I bring healing.
Where there is darkness, may I bring light.
Where there is despair, may I bring hope.
Where there is discord, may I bring harmony.
Where there is strife, may I bring peace.
Make this a better world. And begin with me. Amen.
(Inspired by St Francis of Assisi – and adapted by Wayne Dosick.)
Peace in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan Kemp