Chaplain’s Corner – Middle School

It seems like only yesterday that my daughter Charlotte joined me in our ever reliable Nissan Pulsar for the trips to the ELC Bay Room way back in 2008. Now I am being driven to school in a Nissan Dualis by a learner driver in her last Term as a Year 12 student at Carey. We have had a great couple of weeks talking as we drive about some aspect of her school journey, remembering so many wonderful people and experiences that through God’s good care being at Carey has provided us all with. As a family we plan to celebrate Charlotte’s last day by doing what we have done for many years, going to the big slide in Victoria Park in Adeney Avenue this Friday afternoon and doing what we have always done at the end of any school term, weather permitting: taking turns sliding down the big slide. To quote my daughter, ‘thank you everyone, it’s hard to believe 14 years have gone by, I really have had a great time.’

Charlotte has been very fortunate to be part of a cohort of students who have tried during the challenges in recent times to live out the Carey Positive Learner Attributes and treated others in ways Jesus suggests make for a better world. One of the great privileges as a school chaplain to the middle year levels is to see how students in their final years develop their various God-given skills and abilities. Looking to the future, our community is in safe hands as they continue to take on more leadership responsibilities in our world. Informal conversations with several Year 12s over the last fortnight helped shape this week’s Middle School chapel reflection about hope, based on Joseph Mohr’s poem ‘Silent Night’, which inspired the 1914 Christmas Day truce, a review of the 1995 movie Smoke and the observations of French philosopher Simone Weil on the life of Jesus.

May the following reflection that is based in part on the observations of a lecturer at Xavier University, Aarti Jaisinghani, help shape your decision making in the coming days.

2020 and 2021 taught us to minimise. To improvise. To compromise. We monitored, not the stock market. But rather open time slots and infection rates. We slowed down. We paused. We realized what we could do without. Our celebrations. Were muted. Understated. But no less joyous. We cried. We mourned. For the unnecessary deaths. For job losses. For social justice.

2020 and 2021 taught us some injustices were even more pronounced. Economic disparity. Social disparity. Racial disparity. Age disparity. Immune system disparity. We worried about the aged. Alone and isolated. We worried about the young. Could their young minds handle all that was being thrown at them? Then we collected ourselves. We adjusted. We empathized. We sympathized.

We stepped up and stepped in where needed. We reached out.

2020 is behind us. And as we step through what remains of 2021 and begin to prepare to walk into 2022 we walk with hopes and some trepidation.

As we transition through this time we pray:

Loving God in the same way Jesus gave hope to people living in challenging times may you help us today, may your only son show us the way, one day at a time. Amen.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those preparing for their VCE and IB exams in the coming days as those who are working so hard to prepare for a return to school across all campuses in the coming weeks.

Scott Bramley
Middle School Chaplain