My family and I spent the weekend in the peaceful seaside town of Cowes on Phillip Island. We loved being able to go for a swim, putting on the sunscreen and enjoy fish and chips in Rhyll. It was great to see all the new Christmas decorations in some of the towns we passed through, and I was reminded of what a great message the Christmas story is for all of us as we come out of the restrictions and into our summer holidays. Hopefully in the coming days with the change to routines, each of us will get the chance to do things differently and reflect on who and what gives us a sense of hope.
On behalf of Baptcare and the Camberwell Salvation Army, thank you to all those who have donated toys and food to help others this Christmas. Over the last few weeks, a daily highlight has been the donated items left anonymously outside my office door. What you have given has been shared with those Victorians who have struggled at times during lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions.
Looking back over the year, some of my highlights have included working with Jo Horsley on our annual Anzac Day tribute, this year dedicated to Squadron Leader George Taylor. All the very best Jo in your retirement and it has been a privilege to learn more about the history of members of the Carey community from you. Thank you also to Georgie Jones for all your kind and supportive gestures during your time as Deputy Head of Middle School. Caulfield Wheelers Hill Campus is very fortunate to have you supporting their community in 2022 and beyond.
A note of thanks to those members of the Carey community who have shared their observations on my live and pre-recorded Chapel and Assembly reflections. Your unprompted spoken and/or written words were much appreciated and very encouraging. Thank you to Martin Arnold for your creative input and sourcing of exceptional musical talent for all the Pastoral Services and Assemblies in Middle School this year.
Finally, one of the great privileges of being the Middle School Chaplain is working with members of the Middle School Student Representative Council and to observe their willingness to make this world a better place. A stand-out moment for me in 2021 was sitting in with students working through various case studies that were discussed at the annual Ethics Olympiad competition. Their insights on and observations of complex ethical issues was very informative.
To draw my reflection of the year to a close I would like to draw in part on the thoughts of St Thomas Aquinas who encouraged people to observe the world around them to gain a deeper sense of God’s involvement in our world and our own daily lives.
Let us pray. Loving creator of all things, true source of understanding and wisdom, graciously let a ray of your brilliance penetrate into the darkness of our ignorance. May our time at Carey give us a deeper understanding of our world, enable us to develop a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant to each of us the talent of being exact in our explanations, and the ability to express ourselves with thoroughness, grace and kindness. Be with those leaving the Carey community, especially Janine De Paiva, and help us all to find opportunities to rest, reflect and celebrate all that we experienced in 2021 as we look to all the opportunities next year will bring. May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us during this Christmas season and for ever more. Amen.
If I can be of any assistance over the holiday break, please just email me.
Take care and God bless.
Middle School Chaplain