School chaplains Sarah King, of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, and Rev Kim Duxfield, of Nga Tawa Diocesan School for Girls’ presented a summary of the work of diocesan schools to blend faith with education.
Sarah suggested that there was a misconception that diocesan schools offer only token Anglicanism, however she was quick to refute this, demonstrating ways in which her students are taught the five Anglican marks of mission:
- To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To transform unjust structures of society,
- And to safeguard creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Both Sarah and Kim spoke of the importance of service in their students’ education. Samuel Marsden students recently returned from their annual service trip to Samoa, and Sarah commented that “our girls are transformed by their trip to Samoa – these are the girls who will go on to be change-makers in their community.”
Kim shared of her experience of discipling her students. After one discussion, a student had a desire to learn more, so she checked out a Bible from the school library and continued to read. She told Kim that reading the Bible suddenly made sense. Kim’s weekly discipleship groups are just part of Nga Tawa’s commitment to nurturing faith. The school has its own baptism and confirmation services, it has collected items for two refugee households as part of the diocesan efforts to support former refugees, and the Student Council has formed a relationship with the nearest Women’s Refuge in order to assist with fundraising. They are now developing relationship with their local tāngata whenua, to learn the stories of the Rangitikei. Kim even shared of one student who stood up in maths class and led her classmates in prayer for their upcoming test!
The connection to other diocesan events is growing as well. Kim said that this year, her school doubled the number of students who attended Easter Camp, and many are attending The Games as well.
Kim and Sarah shared many photos, available here: