Friday, 31 July 2015

Prayer Spaces in Schools

This little video is an interview with Susan Crothers-Robertson about her experience of Prayer Spaces in Schools.You can read more about it here and here.

You can also check out the official Prayer Spaces in Schools Website.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

What is the impact of schools with a Christian ethos?

This review of the current research evidence on the impact of schools with a Christian ethos published by Theos is well worth a read. There are lots of interesting insights, but in summary they conclude that the existing research doesn't give a clear answer about impact, in part because of the variety of approaches taken. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

How do Australian kids feel about refugees?

This is a fantastic site with Australian children answering questions about refugees. Australian refugee children also share their responses. There are about nine short videos. Check them out at:

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sometimes quiet is violent

Recently my teenage daughter introduced me to the music of Twenty One Pilots. This included attending a concert (I felt old...but it was 'all age' so there were other old feeling people there too). I confess to now liking their music. I think my daughter is ambivalent about this development. To cut a long story short the music of Twenty One Pilots may be suitable for chapel or other spaces where you want to get students thinking.

Their music will not be to everyone's taste, but then who's is these days. Both the guys are Christian but their music doesn't fall into the genre of Christian music...whatever that is exactly. They say they write music to make people think and their lyrics are certainly thought provoking.

HeavyDirtySoul is one of my favourites...the line 'Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit' is a sermon in itself. The chorus is: Can you save my HeavyDirtySoul?

Here are two songs that fascinate me and could be useful.

The first is called Car Radio. The song is about how the radio has been stolen out of the singers car and now he has to deal with the silence and noise of his mind. This is where the line 'sometimes quiet is violent' comes from.

The second song is Stressed Out and is about life pressure and desire to be a child again.. Lead singer Tyler has an alter ego called Blurry Face. This is the overly self conscious part of him which causes him to feel choked, hence the black paint on the hands and neck.

Friday, 10 July 2015

ABM 2015 School's Project: Gender Equality and Empowerment

ABM have released the 2015 School’s Project as a real-world example highlighting the importance of Gender Equality in a Zambian context.

I echo the words of Greg Henderson one of ABM's education missioners:

"I commend this project to you and encourage you to engage your students in thinking deeper about what Sustainable Development looks like in Zambia, especially for women in terms of education, gender equality and employment."

The video below tells the story of what ABM’s Partner, the Anglican Church in Zambia, is doing to empower women in Zambia and the transformation that happens when Projects like this are supported.


Monday, 6 July 2015

Environmental Liturgy

As a follow up to Schools Tree Day and the idea of having an environmental focus for chapel, have a look at the resources available on the Anglican Diocese of Perth website. These might provide some useful inspiration.

I particularly like this prayer:

Creator God,
you formed us from the dust of the earth,
and reveal your fingerprints in all flesh.
Teach us your deep wisdom
in the order and beauty of all that you have made.
When our care for your creation is found wanting,
reprove and reform us,
so that our footprints may be more gentle on the earth,
tending and keeping it as your own handiwork,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

© Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation. Used by permission This text may be reproduced for use in worship in the Anglican Church of Australia

Friday, 3 July 2015

Thank God for the gift of trees: Schools Tree Day

"Each year, around 3,000 preschools, kindies, primary and high schools across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. Students nation-wide have learnt how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow. Schools Tree Day 2015 will be on Friday July 24th, although events can be held at any time during the year."

"Schools Tree Day can mark the beginning of a long-term environmental program, engaging your students in a fun, hands on activity that can reinforce their environmental, maths, science and creative arts learning or simply contribute to creating beautiful school grounds."

There are lots of resources of the Planet Ark website for schools to use on this day.

It would be wonderful to have a chapel focussing on the environment on Schools Tree Day or special prayers during pastoral care time. Here is a prayer you could use or adapt.

Creator God,
Out of chaos you brought order.
Out of nothingness you brought life.
In the middle of all life stands the tree.

Trees provide the air that nurtures all your creation.
Birds make them their homes.
Cats climb them for protection.
Trees recycle life that has come before.

Bless the trees of this word, loving God.
Remind us to serve as their caregivers and protectors.
Give them long limbs and long life.
The gift of their breath is as special to us as the breath of the Holy Spirit.