Helena Lambert and I have just spent three days working with our regional and national counterparts. It was an important opportunity to share practice, design courses and look ahead as we continue to seek to support schools with nurturing a Christian culture and a Lutheran identity. This language of Christian culture & Lutheran identity might be familiar to you, but I was struck when Gary Jewson, Spiritual Leader in LEVNT and former principal of Geelong Lutheran College used these words to talk about the kinds of places we are seeking to nurture. I encourage you to consider the following, as you finalise plans for formational learning in 2023:
- Connect is now going into its third year of existence! This is really hard to believe – and not to state the obvious – but Covid has made keeping up with this challenging for some of our schools. Our reflection based on what we see as we work with staff is that a plan which enables staff to complete all of Connect in one year is preferable for continuity and depth of learning. Clearly setting up the portfolio at the beginning of the course is also important – please yell if you would like someone from the Identity & Formation team to zoom in, meet your crew and offer support at the beginning of the journey.
- Whilst both Connect & Equip have a six month window for handing in portfolios, encouraging staff to complete it more quickly than this will serve them well.
- Ongoing accreditation: please remember that formation & accreditation are an ongoing part of ‘how we do things around here’. This is a critical part of nurturing ourselves and our staff so that we can work together to offer our young people the kind of authentic, holistic education which recognizes them as fully human – body, mind, emotions and spirit, (in the language of Steve Biddulph,) made for love, and by God’s love. All the opportunities for learning offered by the LEQ Identity & Formation team in the spaces of Christian Studies, Service-Learning, Pastoral & Restorative Practices and Chaplaincy are designed to be spiritually nurturing as well as building professional capacity. All staff need to engage in spiritual and theological nurture every year. You can find more information about this here on the LEA website.
I want to acknowledge staff across our schools who are the critical actors in their communities in this space of Christian culture and Lutheran Identity. We are deeply blessed to be called to serve one another together as we seek to offer an education for vocation.
I also want to acknowledge the rich wisdom and humble disposition that Gary Jewson has brought to the space of Identity & Formation at the regional/national level. His kindness, gentle insightful honesty, and deep love for people and education has inspired, challenged and nurtured us.
Over the Christmas period I pray that as we prioritise our vocations as family member, friend and neighbour, our hearts will overflow with the ‘never ending, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love of God’. Jesus Storybook Bible.
Director – Identity & Formation