Chaplain's Corner – Middle School

May the following poem titled Keeping Christmas by Henry Van Dyke encourage us to think about ways we can care for others this Christmas season.

Are you willing ...
to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you?
To ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world?
To own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life?
To close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness?
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing ...
to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children?
To remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old?
To stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough?
To trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you?
Are you willing to do those things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing ...
to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem two thousand years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you keep Christmas.
And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?

Hopefully events this year have encouraged us all to look at new ways to care for others. This has been the focus of this year’s Middle School Christmas service. The video of the service can be found in Students Canvas House Spirituality folder or you can watch it here.

I would like to thank the following readers and performers for their contribution to the Christmas service: the 2020 Middle School Captains, Greta and Spencer; Jada Taylor; Martin Arnold; Emma O’Neill; Charlie Doggett; Lucy Ingles and Giorgia Smith for their rendition of ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’; Rose Johnston and Matteo Annetta for their Christmas drama performance; Nick Mulder and Daniel Neil for organising the Brass Quintet’s performance of ‘O come all ye faithful’;  Silvio Stefan conducting the Vivaldi Strings; and Rhianna Taylor, Joshua Drake, Emma O’Neill and Santiago Merchant for their rendition of ‘Silent Night’.

Thank you to all the families who have donated gifts to the Baptcare Christmas appeal. For those still interested in supporting this initiative here are some guidelines to help with donations:

0-2: Child-safe soft toys, brightly coloured rattles, toy mobiles.
3-5: Blocks, cars, dolls, thick crayons/chalk, age-safe toys, books, art/craft materials, jigsaw puzzles, dress-ups.
6-9: Lego, stationery, backpacks, sport items, books, musical items, dolls.
10-13: Board games, costume jewellery, board games, books, pens, diaries/journals, vouchers.
14-18: Books, bath/body fragrances, creams, board games, vouchers.

Also any donations of textbooks for the Les Twentyman Foundation can also be left outside my office. 

Finally, may the following prayer help guide our decision making in the coming days as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on the claim that God sent Jesus to be with us so that in time we can be with God.

Let us pray. Loving God, help us to leave our own comfort zones to find truth. Help us to find you in our daily lives. Help us to give gifts that remind others that they are valued. Amen.

Scott Bramley
Middle School Chaplain

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