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A note from Mr Bray - 28 February, 2020

Focus verse: ‘I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ (Psalm 139:14 NIV)

I am writing this article on Thursday evening and feeling somewhat amazed that we are nearly at the conclusion of the fifth week of this term. This past week has been a very important one at our school because it is Open Week (from Tuesday through to Friday). This is the time when we advertise to our wider community that our school is ‘open’ each day between 10.00am and 2.00pm for any families who would like to have a guided tour of Nowra Christian School. These tours are usually conducted by either our Year 6 or Senior School student leaders and we have been greatly encouraged by the many positive comments that our visitors have made about the excellent way in which our student leaders have both welcomed and informed them.

A successful Open Week! We have had numerous families visiting us throughout this week and, once again, I would wish to sincerely thank many of our current school parents and carers for your warm recommendation of our school. In conversations with our visiting families, I have often discovered that this has been the stated reason why our guests have chosen to visit NCS. Two major components of Open Week have been our Kindergarten Open Morning, held last Wednesday, and our Year 7 2021 ‘Taste ‘N’ See’ Day which will be held on the final day of this week. Both of these programs, as the names suggest, are designed to provide prospective students and their parents and carers with just a small ‘taste’ of what it is like to be a student at our school. Many families have made bookings to attend on these two occasions.

Swimming carnivals

As you would be aware, the weather patterns of late have been rather unpredictable. It has certainly provided us with some challenges in relation to the scheduling of important school events! After making the decision to postpone our initial date for the Years 3-6 Swimming Carnival due to adverse weather, we were again required to modify our arrangements at the last minute when this event was re-scheduled to be held on Monday, 17 February. It was our original intention to take all of our Years 3-12 students, both competitors and spectators, to the pool to enjoy this exciting school activity. However, the decision was made for the attendance of competitors only when drizzly weather threatened. We are pleased to say that we were able to complete all of the events. On behalf of all staff, I would wish to sincerely thank all of our parents and carers for your understanding and support as these changes occurred. We also successfully participated in both the Primary and Secondary Zone Swimming Carnivals which were held on Monday and Tuesday of this past week.

Year 7 Big Day Out Another very significant event was held for the first time last Monday. This activity has been designed specifically for all of our Year 7 students and it has been aptly called the ‘Big Day Out’. On this occasion, we were greeted by glorious weather conditions that were just perfect for outdoor activities! This day provided a wonderful opportunity for all of our Year 7 students and many of their teachers to spend a day enjoying a range of stimulating outdoor adventure activities that frequently involved teamwork and problem-solving skills. This event was held at Youthworks Shoalhaven Conference Centre and we are especially grateful for the expertise of Youthworks staff who took a significant leadership role. Mrs Meek, Head of Secondary, and I had the opportunity to visit for some of the program and we were greatly encouraged by the excellent manner in which our students were working together to solve the challenges that were being presented to them. All agreed that it had been a day well spent as friendships were deepened and skills further developed.

Primary assembly and Kindergarten visit the Principal's office

I began writing this article on Thursday evening but I have taken this opportunity, as Friday comes to a conclusion, to add a few sentences about two special events that occurred today. The first was the Primary Assembly that was run by the Infants Department. As always, this drew a large crowd of parents, carers and other family members. Swimming ribbons were presented as well as merit certificates to many deserving recipients. We viewed a video of the ‘awesome' activities that our Infants children have been involved in this term and Nick H, one of our Senior School prefects, did a wonderful job of presenting a stimulating devotion that related to our theme of ‘Shine and Show Jesus’. The second special event occurred when I received two separate visits from each of our Kindergarten classes – the Kangaroos and the Possums. It was a delight to spend some time with them, answering their questions and learning more about how well they have settled into life at NCS.

Don't miss your chance to see Oklahoma! I have mentioned just some of the many events that have occurred throughout this past fortnight but would like to conclude by reminding all of our school families that next week is another very special one on the NCS calendar. This is because our Senior School musical production of ‘Oklahoma!’ will be performed on four occasions (one matinee and three evening performances). These past two weeks have been particularly busy ones as all members of the cast, crew and orchestra have been involved in major rehearsals. I trust that you have purchased your tickets as this is simply an event not to be missed. Please click on this LINK for tickets. My wife Sharon, and I are both looking forward with great anticipation to being audience members as we have the opportunity to be entertained by our amazingly talented students.

A reminder of God's presence, power and guidance I often mention what a blessing it is to be a member of a Christian School community. One of these particular ‘blessings’ is the opportunity to attend morning staff devotions. I am regularly both challenged and refreshed in my faith as various staff members share what God has been teaching them about how He wants us to live. Recently, one of these devotional sessions focused on the importance of prayer and reminded us that God’s presence, power and guidance ‘encircle’ us when we regularly come to him in prayer. We were taken to Psalm 139 and I would encourage you to read all of this psalm when you have the opportunity as it will provide you with great encouragement. It is from this psalm that I have chosen this week’s focus verse. Psalm 139:14 states ‘I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ We are indeed ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ when we come to understand that we have been created in God’s image and that He has lovingly crafted each one of us. We are not an accident but have been shaped in accordance with God’s deliberate plan and design. What is more, our God has also created an amazingly beautiful natural world that He has given to us to tend and nurture. No wonder that we would want to come before Him in prayer to thank Him for His many blessings!

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