Secondary Service Opportunities

Secondary Service Opportunities

Thursday, 7 September 2017  | Karissa - Assistant Principal - Secondary
Cross Cave
What service opportunities and activities are there in the Secondary School?
Throughout their learning journey students of MECS are presented with opportunities to serve; their God, their school, their community, their peers and strangers. Whilst these opportunities in and of themselves may not be seen as ‘Mountaintop Experiences’ from an outsider’s perspective, each activity or opportunity consistently sows seeds and waters the hearts and lives of each of our students.

Whilst currently at MECS we do not have an overseas mission experience/trip, we are purposeful in providing opportunities for all students to experience what it means to look after the needs of someone else, to stretch themselves outside their comfort zone, to show God’s ‘agape’ love; even when this doesn’t include the reward of a plane trip to a foreign land.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that there is not a time or place for the ‘Missions Trip’ experience. But I am also aware of the complexities that such experiences bring, including both the positive and negative impacts on the people whom are being served, especially when the ‘support’ received is not sustainable. This reminds me of the Chinese proverb;
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

As a school we wish to be planting seeds that are long lasting. Developing strong roots that can withstand the test of time. We want to instil values in the lives of our students that will sustain them to be able to ‘teach a man how to fish’.

I am a strong believer that redemption of God’s world will come through the brotherly love shown to our neighbours; as Paul writes to the Galatians: 13“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Gal 5:13-14). We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet in the here and now. All of our students’can/will be servants, not all will be missionaries.

So what types of activities/opportunities are created for our students to experience this? Whilst I am sure that I will miss some, it is worth making an effort to mention just some of the ways that service opportunities are achieved in the Secondary School. Year 7 Community Service Representative (Each student takes 1-2 turns throughout the year to support the Administration Staff in a range of tasks).
  1. Classroom cleaning and management (All Secondary students are responsible for the regular cleaning and care of their classrooms).
  2. Various Learning Projects targeted towards meeting the needs of others.
  3. Middle School Special Weeks – that target a specific need within the school community – e.g. building a shelter/chookpen, assisting with maintenance, learning about organisations/charities etc.
  4. Dedicated ‘Service Elective’ that focuses on Community Service and Fundraising to support established charities.
  5. Student involvement in our Community Cook Off days.
  6. Year 9+ students serving the staff/community by making coffee and learning to be a barista. 
  7. Student Leadership – which focuses on creating events and activities in support of the students and the MECS community.
  8. Sports/Tribe Leadership
  9. Students volunteering; Open Day, Mount Evelyn Street Party, Community Relations events, sports days, coaching sports teams.
  10. Student Worship Band
  11. Year 10 Personal Immersion Experience Project – which focuses on students reaching out to serve another individual in some way.
  12. Year 10 Life Skills students using their skills to serve the community.
  13. Year 11 Café – Business Management Students serve their peers every recess and lunch throughout the year.
  14. Ongoing (a number of years) financial support from the Senior School Students for Cortine, a student from Jinja Christian School in Uganda.
  15. Blood Donation – there has been a long history of encouraging this initiative with our 16+ students. (Recently restricted due to new guidelines to 18+ only.)
  16. Year 12/Foundation Buddies – a long history of our Year 12s making a meaningful connection with a Foundation student throughout their last/first year of school.
Our greatest desire as a school is that, through these opportunities, students will grow in their understanding of God’s love. As they take on the tasks of serving others, just as Christ did, they begin to understand the character of God. Students (and us included) who manage to break out of the selfish mindset and focus on caring for the needs of others will discover a sense of fulfilment and purpose far exceeding any worldly gratification. Life’s meaning is not found in getting more, but in giving more. 

Each one of our students has something to give. With the gifts and talents that God has given each of them, with empathy, compassion, wisdom and the fruit of the spirit, they can bring joy to those around them. And when they use their gifts and share them generously, they fulfil God’s purposes and find true meaning and satisfaction in their own lives.

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.” - St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

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