Servanthood - A Core KCS Value
A Reflective Blog
By: Darren Lewis - Lead Principal
"And then I heard the voice of the Master: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I spoke up, “I’ll go. Send me!”
This past Sunday at my church one of the congregants shared a passage that God was laying on his heart - Isaiah 6, the call narrative of the prophet. Now, I've always loved this passage. In fact when I was VP of our Middle School I spent a number of hours hand painting it on one of our middle school classrooms. The timing of his sharing (placed as it is within our overall strategic review of our Mission and Vision) got me thinking.
Students come to our Middle School from our Elementary Campus - where the theme "Me Third" is a great reminder to put the concerns of God and others before our own. It has real resonance with children and it's not unusual to hear students clamor "that's not very Me Third'" when another class member behaves in a seemingly selfish behaviour. I've always thought it would be great if we could frame that in a bit more challenging manner for our older students.
So as I was listening in Church, some rather obvious pieces came together for me. Earlier in the year I had asked staff members to recommend passages for the great hall at the Benvoulin Campus. Several were suggested but we ended up using a familiar passage from Micah (which now has a place of honour at the top of our staircase).
"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
It seemed like an obvious fit. Through his encounter with the Lord, Isaiah is transformed. He goes from cowering "Woe is me! I am ruined!" to "Here I am! Send me!". I believe that KCS is called to be part of a similar transformative process in our students' lives - to become a place where we purposively create moments and conditions where students can have transformative encounters with God - to have their own 'Isaiah moments'.
This thought though begs a question. If we seek to transform students to accomplish God's purposes, what are those purposes? Clearly that's both a complex and simple question. One element of it though is to actively seek to change the things in our society and culture that are out-of-sync with God's purposes.
This past week I had the pleasure of meeting with several of the staff from Hands in Service. Hands in Service declares itself to be "a non-profit organization that restores dignity to those who feel abandoned through tangible acts of love". Clearly an act of Christian love firmly rooted in the principles of justice and mercy found in Micah. Since January we have been sending out rotating groups of Grade 11 and 12 students four times a week to help in simple tasks designed to restore dignity.
Pat, Executive Director of Hands in Service, noted that due to our efforts it was likely that they would be able to triple the amount of help they provide to people during the coming year. Wow! Hands in Service staff were literally at the point of tears as they described the difference our students were making in people's lives. They shared that they had been praying for years for a school to come alongside of them in partnership.
And Hands in Service isn't the only place KCS students are making a difference. From the Elementary school's long term commitment to the Canada Shoe Bank, to our involvement with the Kelowna and West Kelowna Food Banks - KCS students are making a difference.
Finally, an interesting thing has been happening along the road to acting justly and loving mercy. Students are having life changing moments. They are seeing that the God who loves others and calls us to help - is the same God who loves them.
KCS students serving in our community.