A note from Mr Bray - 24 November 2017
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5: 7 (NIV)
Thank you to Mr McLennan and Mrs Meek for writing the NCS Bytes articles during the past two weeks. I am amazed at how much has happened at our school during this period. Our Years 9 and 10 students have successfully completed their work experience week. Junior Primary students have been undertaking their Swim Scheme program where they have the opportunity to further develop their swimming skills. The Foundation Studies program began for our Senior students (Years 11 and 12) and there was also an Information Night for parents of these students. And these are just a few of the many activities that took place during this time.
I am writing this article on the Wednesday evening and, as I look at my diary, I realise that at this exact time in a fortnight we will be coming together as the NCS community to celebrate the 2017 year as we attend the Thanksgiving Evening Service. (And, coming up at an even quicker pace, will be our special Worrigee Community Christmas Carols event to be held on the NCS grounds on Saturday, 2 December). Yes, you may well ask, ‘Where has the 2017 year gone?’ I am asking this same question as I look back over my first year at NCS and the first year that my wife Sharon and I have been residents of New South Wales. I am very much looking forward to joining with you at our Thanksgiving Evening as I know that we have so much to thank God for in relation to his provision for our school throughout this year.
This week I have also been reminded that the 2018 school year is just around the corner because we have run two important orientation day events. The first occurred on Thursday when we were delighted to welcome 27 new students who will be joining our Primary school in Years 1 – 6 next year. We were also pleased to meet with many mums and dads from these new families and Mr McLennan, Head of Primary, was able to provide them with helpful information as we joined together in the church hall. Thursday was another important event which saw all of our current Year 6 students being involved in a Year 7 Orientation Day program designed to provide them with a ‘taste’ of what Year 7 will be like. We were also very pleased to welcome 13 students from other schools who will be commencing their NCS journey in Year 7 next year. On the Thursday evening we also held a Year 7 (2018) Information Evening designed to provide parents with helpful advice about the Year 7 program for next year.
As you would be aware, we are delighted that our NCS community includes many Defence families and we continue to be very thankful for the wonderful job that Mrs Adrienne Varga does as our Defence Force Mentor (DTM). During this week, Mrs Varga organised a very special treat for all of our Years 3 & 4 students. On Tuesday, they participated in a Navy Drills program. This was run by Leading Seaman Jan Gilmour, who is a Navy PTI (Physical Training Instructor) from HMAS Albatross. As part of this novel program, students learnt how to salute, march and carry out a number of drills, including a fire fighting drill. As the culmination of their training, students (or should I say ‘sailors’?), were inspected by ‘Captain Salty’ who was dressed in a Captain’s uniform, including the hat. I was delighted to accept an offer to become ‘Captain Salty’ for one of these three classes and I was most impressed with the well-trained ‘sailors’ that I met.
I am taking the opportunity to update this article on Friday afternoon as I wish to share how
delighted I was to be a member of the audience that gathered in the MPC building this morning. We were there specifically to listen to a significant number of our current Year 5 students as each publicly presented a prepared speech as to why they desired to serve as a Primary Prefect next year. I was amazed at the confident manner in which these aspiring candidates addressed the audience of Primary students and staff as well as many parents and family members who were in attendance. They spoke with maturity and clarity and it was heartening to note the emphasis that they placed on being authentic Christian leaders. I would also wish to commend all students in the audience who listened respectfully to each speech.
Many other important activities have been occurring during these past few weeks. These have included the conducting of interviews for new staff to join our team next year. All teaching staff have also been exceptionally busy, finalising testing programs and preparing informative reports that will provide helpful information for students and parents.
The focus verse for this week comes from 1 Peter 5: 7. Once again, this was a verse that was provided by an NCS staff member at our morning devotions as we have been continuing our series on the sharing of personal testimonies that bear witness to the faithfulness of the God whom we serve. This verse states ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ There are, no doubt, times in all of our lives when the pace of everyday events seems to speed up and the items on our ‘To Do’ list grow at an alarming rate! We may well feel our heart rate increasing as we frantically try to accomplish the many tasks included on our lists! Sometimes the end of a year can feel this way, as we try to finalise programs and prepare for Christmas and the holiday period. What a wonderful relief it is to know that we have a God who understands our anxieties and recognises our frailties. This is the God who is only one prayer away. I would encourage all of us to take the time in our busy lives to slow down and to speak with him and to give him the thanks for offering to carry our loads for us.