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Thought For The Week - 13-11-23

 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

If you have had any conversations with the education team over the last few years you have probably heard us talk about the ‘Church School Family’. It is something I feel we talk about a lot and hopefully you feel we try to embody as we go about our work.  The Diocese is geographically large; for many schools, it may sometimes feel that you far from anyone else.  However, I hope as we try to live out what it means to be a church school family, these feelings are few and far between. As a team we are constantly talking about how we can bring people together so we can support one another, spur one another on and be that family.  Covid changed many of our working practices and Zoom has become the norm. In a Diocese this size, it is extremely helpful in allowing us to ‘meet up’ and feel part of a wider network.  However, it is also very powerful to come together in person, to chat over a cup of tea, to visibly see a school or to have incidental conversations as you pass one another in a corridor. It’s important that we continue to meet together in real life!

The verse in Hebrews that links to one of our vision drivers, Aspirational, is a call to be empowered by God and do life together. This is a vision of doing life together as a family does: in the good times and the not so good times, when life is messy and when life feels wonderful.  Whatever life feels like, it is about encouraging one another at all times, offering help and support so that you can move forward in all that you are doing in your schools. We want to spur you on towards love and good deeds, to be aspirational for yourselves, your staff and the children and young people in your schools. However, I think it’s important to note that this is not a one-way street. When we meet with you, we are encouraged to move forward, to be aspirational in all we do and, as part of our church school family, to celebrate with you and stand with you in the difficult times.

This verse and many others in the Bible talk of the fact that we are not meant to do life alone, that we are relational beings. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Jesus himself while on earth did not do life alone, he gathered disciples to walk the journey with him. So, an important question to consider is who spurs you on. Is it your family, or perhaps your chosen family? Is it your colleagues and your friends? We hope as an education team that we can play a small part in spurring you on in your role.

Last week many of us did meet together in person at our Living up to Your Foundation SIAMS conference. We had a great time with our keynote speakers and workshops, and the feedback we had shows that there was lots to take away. The conversations we had throughout the day and the comments we received at the end of the conference indicated that there was a lot of spurring each other on in this education journey.  I have picked some of the key comments our from our evaluation forms which shows what sort of a day it was.

from Lynsey Norris, Assistant Diocesan Director of Education


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