Bulletin - 20-11-23
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2: 6-7)
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Life is really busy isn’t it? Do you often find that your ‘to do’ list is often longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning? Of course, there will be unexpected events that happen that have to jump to the top of the list but there will be other things that I think we need to really think about whether it is important to you, your family and your school community.
I know how hard it is to say ‘no’ however politely we try to say it. We like to please everyone. However, life is just too busy to say ‘yes’ to every meeting and every request. If we did this, we could find ourselves spinning the plates that do not really matter and burning ourselves out.
We need to remember what is important in life. What is our vision? What are our priorities? What are our values? What are our key drivers? To help us navigate our busy lives, we need to stay rooted to the vision we have agreed with our communities. If there are things on your ‘to do’ list which will not help you realise your vision, then ask yourself if you can remove that from your list.
In this weekly bulletin, I would like us to think about the concept of being ‘rooted’. You will know that this is one of our key drivers in our new Diocesan vision for education -
I think the idea of being ‘rooted’ gives us strength to live our lives so that we may flourish.
In the Bible story that underpins our diocesan vision, we know that the burning bush which Moses noticed was rooted in holy ground. Although under immense heat and pressure, it was anchored to the ground. The roots were keeping the bush in place and it didn’t fall over. The roots allowed the nutrients from the holy ground to feed the bush so it could survive the heat. We know the bush did not burn up in the story. It had the voice, image and love of God within it.
Just as the burning bush was rooted in holy ground, our schools are rooted with a Christian foundation, through Christian hope and the love of God.
We may find strength by the roots we have in our community and the partnerships we have with one another. We may thrive if we share a vision for our community which we can root in Christian hope and in the love of God.
In the Bible passage above, the apostle Paul gives three practical ways describing how Christians may root their lives in the love of God.
First, he says Christians are to be rooted and built up in Christ.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3).
In this, Christians believe their root system is built on the Lord Jesus and that this is the foundation for growth in life.
Second, Paul says that people are strengthened by the faith they are taught. In a journey of faith, Christians live their lives by “becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:7b AMP). Faith is like the trunk of the tree that grow tall and strong over the years. It is the part of the tree that is exposed to the elements so it needs to be strong and able to withstand outside forces. It is also the part of the tree that never stops growing which means the trunk is the visible results of the depth of the root system; the more rooted the larger the tree.
Thirdly, there is overflowing with thankfulness. To continue with the analogy of the tree, the thankfulness and gratitude is the plume – the visible part of the tree showing the health of the entire thing. Without leaves, trees look bare and dead; however even dead branches when trimmed give life to the whole. In the same way, the Christian life without thanksgiving and gratitude severely damages the health of the believer. A life that overflows with gratitude shows maturity.
Being rooted in Christian hope therefore gives us strength. It enables us to embrace the opportunities and overcome the challenges. Being firmly rooted in partnerships with each other helps us to realise our vision and enable all to flourish.
Questions for you to reflect upon.
What are you rooted in?
What or who keeps you from falling over?
What or who feeds you?
What or who supports you?
How does our school keep us anchored?
How does our school help me stand tall and not fall over?
What ‘nutrients’ does our school give us so we can survive?
How does our school give everyone support?
How does our school help us grow?
Please remember the DBE root structure for you is strong. When the winds get strong and the storm is approaching, please don’t hesitate to seek strength from the DBE team. We will provide you with the nutrients so that your trunk is strong and your flume may blossom.
Thank you for all that you do.
from Paul Thompson, Diocesan Director of Education