fabric of mecs

Seeing Christ in the Fabric of MECS

My Christian Education adventure, started at Devonport Christian School in Tasmania, where as a young 20 year old, I began teaching a combined class of Prep, Year One and Year Two children in the first year of the schools operation. It was exciting to be a ‘pioneer’ in the starting of a new Christian school that wanted to bring glory to God in all things. In fact, the school motto was “Jesus is Lord of All” and once the school moved to a new site, they were able to name their street “JILOA”. I’ll leave it to you to work out the acronym! 

Having had this grounding in my teaching career, it was a natural step for me to head to Mountain District Christian School where I found a community that thought deeply about Christian Education and as a staff had big discussions and openly wrestled with what it actually meant, to teach Christianly. It was at that time, that I was introduced to some great thinkers in Christian Education, including John Van Dyk, Harro Van Brummelen and our own, home-grown Stuart Fowler and Doug Blomberg (Doug was a staff member of MECS at that time and Stuart was a personal friend and mentor to many of our staff at the time). 

One of the quotes and concepts that resonated with me in those ‘younger days’ was one that Stuart would mention quite a lot. He would suggest to us young teachers, that within a school, Christ should be “found, in the fabric of schooling itself”. What he meant was that we should be able to experience Christ in the everyday ordinariness of school life. Through our teaching, interaction with others, serving, community engagement, policies, governance… the list goes on! 

On Tuesday evening, our whole staff gathered together for a meeting, where we took the time to discuss where we see Christ, in the ‘fabric of MECS’. I was so encouraged by our staff responses which included the following;

Within relationships and how we deal with the diversity of people in the school 

Our approach to restorative discipline with students

How we attempt to celebrate each child and see them through the eyes of Jesus

We tell the children that they are precious because God loves them 

The seeds we are sowing into the students that we don’t necessarily see at the time 

The deep hopes that staff have for their students

The way we support families holistically, the community freezer etc 

Being new, I have also noted some beautiful expressions of Christ in the fabric of MECS, through the vibe at the community BBQ last week, through the willingness of staff to go the extra mile when we had no power, through the contemplation of the right words to capture a policy or procedure, through the hard work of many parents at the Working Bee. This school exists to ultimately glorify God in the ordinariness of everyday. I’m so glad to be a part of the fabric of this school and I can’t wait to see what God has in store! 

Michelle Demspey: MECS Principal

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