Another school year. Another school theme: “ dig deep. cultivate community.” It’s pretty easy to read the words and then skip right to the next thing that vies for our attention. But moving on too quickly could leave some richness undiscovered. A good theme, after all, will anchor us to a good story. A good theme will orient our eyes, ears, hearts and hands towards that story. A good theme will invite us into the story and will nurture within us a desire to be active in that story.
Five thoughts I’ve had (so far) about dig deep. cultivate community:
- God’s story is a story of deep love and mysterious, unlimited grace. As God’s people coming together in a school community, we need to burrow into that love and grace. We need to go deep!
- Digging deep is something that requires work. It is easy for a landscaper to scrape off a bit of topsoil. But if trees are to be planted, take root and bear fruit, some sweat and muscle will need to go into digging deep. We cannot shy away from the challenging work that is required of a Christ-following school.
- Going deep needs to guide our academic pursuits. At Edmonton Christian Schools, we dream of our students going well beyond the facts and content that are contained in the curriculum of their grade. We strive to be a school that goes deeper by inviting and empowering the students to live what we call biblical through lines.* Going deep means we and our students can practice being Justice-Seekers, Earth-Keepers, God-Worshippers, Beauty-Creators, Idolatry Discerners, Servant-Workers, Image-Reflecters, Community-Builders, Creation-Enjoyers and Order-Discovers.
- Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” We want Edmonton Christian School to be a place where going deep leads to wonder. A place where we can marvel at the complexity, intricacy and sheer beauty of the created universe and be in awe of the Creator.
- Devotions at the beginning of the day, monthly chapels or a few “God words” thrown into an assignment will never be enough. Gardeners don’t just throw seeds onto the ground and expect a bountiful harvest. They till the soil, water the plants and pull weeds. They cultivate. Every day, in every activity and subject area, we will need to faithfully cultivate community that is rooted in God’s love for us and that is faithful to God’s call to love our neighbours, both here and around the world. And, when we fail, we will dig deep to do the challenging work of forgiveness and restoration.
One last thing. You might have wondered why the theme often appears in lower case letters. I have too. Perhaps it is a reminder that these words aren’t platitudes, entitlements or mere bulletin board material; they are our daily vocation, our calling. At times this vocation will be joyful and at other times it will be a grind, but it will always be worthwhile.
What are your thoughts on this year’s theme? (feel free to leave a comment!)