Richard Rohr once wrote, “We don’t think our way into new ways of living, but instead, we live our way into new ways of thinking.”
At Edmonton Christian, we might challenge Rohr just a bit on this one. We are, after all, a school. We invite and challenge our students and staff to be thinkers, to discern, to grow in wisdom. It’s a necessary part of finding their role in God’s story.
But we also know that Rohr is right. We need to consistently give our students opportunities to live God’s story. Opportunities for them to act their way into new thinking. That is why, at Edmonton Christian Schools we aim to teach the Alberta curriculum by having students experience life as a Christ-follower. Examples? When students are honing their writing skills, they might write letters that voice a concern for the voiceless; when they are studying water resources they might gather data on a Riverwatch trip or raise money for a third world well; when thinking about the power of community, they might mentor a younger student in the school . . . (more examples are in the stories on this blog). In short, Edmonton Christian Schools is going to continue to teach students to be thinkers, knowing that the best way to do that is to engage them in lived experiences of the curricular content. When we do our task well, our students will will be both thinkers and doers in God’s story!
But prescribed curriculum aside, sometimes there is value in deliberately “living our way into new ways of thinking.” Each year, ECHS students set aside their studies for two days of service to various organizations and camps. Pictured here are just a few of the groups of Grade 10s and 11s working in various locations. (Thanks to the staff members who shared these shots).
These days of getting dirt under fingernails, sweating, laughing, devoting, complaining, rejoicing and experiencing community confirm that we agree with Rohr–we believe that through God’s grace we can live our way into being more Christ-like, into living lives of selfless service, into loving God and neighbour. As we do, it changes our thinking and we grow in gratitude!