Over the last few years, our staff, leadership and Board have been involved in many conversations around the way we welcome and include all our students, particularly those that might be marginalised because of their sexual identity or gender orientation. As we finalise, and begin to share our ‘Inclusion Policy’ with our students, staff and community, we thought it might be good to share with you some of the guiding principles that have been central to our thinking here at MECS. These core principles (and others), underpin all that we do as we seek to be faithful to the gospel and the call to be a loving and grace-filled school community. As you read through these principles, we hope that you will agree that this is a good place to start as we dialogue with one another.
We believe that all humans bear the sacred image of God, therefore we engage all people with dignity, respect, and honour. Our image-bearing is the root of our common humanity, endowing each individual with inherent dignity, value, and significance. Humanity’s reflection of God’s image is fractured by the fall and renewed in Christ, who forms the core of our identity. All humanity (indeed all creation) waits for complete renewal to come.
We affirm love as the prime directive of scripture. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus identifies love of God and neighbour as yourself as the most important command and the primary mandate for our life and action, as well as the crux for understanding the rest of the law and prophets. We commit to this love command as the ultimate standard for our behaviour and the source on which our guidelines and policy are based.
Unity not Uniformity
We resist the threat that contentious topics will divide our community. We commit to respectful dialogue, striving always for unity as Jesus prayed in John 17 – that we may be one, even as God is one, so that the world may believe and know that they are loved by Jesus. Notwithstanding our common unity of purpose, we recognise that diversity exists in our community and resist the need for uniformity; respectfully honouring that diversity within the context of our foundational documents.
Beyond just care, we foster a culture of belonging for all in our community. We desire to be a community of belonging, demonstrating the radical and expansive love of God to all, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised. Jesus affirmed this in his profound interactions with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), the adulterous woman in the temple (John 8), and the tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19). We commit to living and sharing the deep truth of God’s love to all, and for all.