We began our recent CS Leaders & Friends Day with a reflection space led by Kathy Matuschka, Assistant Director Ministry & Mission. The focus for the time was on the notion of liminal spaces, these periods of time where some things have come to an end, and we are waiting for what is next. Holy Saturday is one such time where we encounter the realities of death and we wonder when and if the resurrection will happen. I for one am deeply thankful that we serve a God of resurrection, a God who is always taking the times and spaces of death and decay, and working to bring love to life in every facet of our hearts and lives.
I wonder if Christian Studies is a space where we can see challenge, and lack, and maybe sometimes even death. Certainly, the changes we have witnessed over the last ten years in terms of the religious makeup of our communities present us with a context we cannot ignore.
Over the last month since our CS Leaders & Friends Day, Helena & I have been invited to work with several of our schools who have found themselves in a liminal space with Christian Studies, looking forward to where new life might be springing up.
We have been focusing our conversation on what we know works for our young people in the contemporary learning space and what is relevant for the teaching of Christian Studies. Of particular interest to teachers is the concept-based approach to thinking, planning and teaching Christian Studies. Such concept-based thinking can be a powerful vehicle to enable teachers to see where Christian Studies might fit with PBL, Service Learning and other experiential pedagogies. A great deal of discussion has also focused on how concept-based teaching and learning can enable teachers to be highly responsive to the young people in each and every classroom across the diversity of our schools.
One curriculum leader asked me yesterday, what and how can I continue to grow teachers in the space of Christian Studies? It is exciting to see energy around engaging with the challenges of teaching CS in 2021!
Director – Identity & Formation