A note from Mr Bray - 13 March, 2020
Focus verse: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.’ Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV)
This fortnight brings us to the conclusion of Week 7 of this term. Many significant events have occurred during these past 14 days but, without doubt, one of the absolute highlights has been our Secondary School production of ‘Oklahoma!’. I trust that you were able to join with us as members of the audience for one of our four performances (three evenings and one afternoon matinee). If this was not the case, you have, unfortunately, missed out on a very special theatrical event.
On behalf of the entire Nowra Christian School community, I would wish to heartily congratulate everyone involved in this production. Whether you were a member of the cast or orchestra, worked as part of the back stage crew, assisted with lighting or sound, helped to design costumes or sets and props, or were involved as make-up artists, whatever role you may have had, your faithful input has been greatly appreciated! The undoubted success of ‘Oklahoma!’ has come about as the result of a huge team effort that has taken place over many months.
The staging of such a production represents a major commitment on the part of so many but the long journey from initial casting all the way through to the final production evening has contained a rich array of valuable learning opportunities. It has seen our actors growing in confidence, our orchestra members further developing their musical skills and our technical crew members continually fine-tuning their important roles.
My wife, Sharon, and I had the opportunity of attending the final Saturday evening performance of ‘Oklahoma!’. We were also accompanied by our special guests, Mrs Fiona Phillips, federal member for Gilmore and Mr Gareth Ward, state member for Kiama. I am delighted to report that they were both very complimentary in terms of their assessment of this production. They were amazed by the high standard of this performance and were most impressed by the way in which such a large cast and crew worked together as a team to produce a polished final product.
I particularly enjoy being an audience member on the final performance night because this is when the cast have the opportunity to sincerely thank key people who have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the final production. A number of people were publicly recognised and were presented with appropriate gifts. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention two key people who have worked tirelessly throughout the entire process. I am, of course, referring to Mrs Rosie Ellery (Director) and Mrs Susan Edwards (Producer). I trust that they will now be able to find some times for rest and recreation and that they will also have the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves with the members of their respective families after spending so many hours and days working on this production!
There was another very unexpected, but delightful, event that occurred on this final evening of the production. Of course, I am referring to the fact that Joel Clifton, one of our Year 12 school captains, was able to be with us after suffering serious burns in a recent accident. Joel had been discharged from hospital in Sydney just the day before. Not only was Joel able to be with us, but he was also dressed in his costume and joined our cast members for many scenes during the production. This was a fitting outcome for Joel who had been cast as one of two students playing the significant role of Will Parker. We were able to acknowledge Joel’s courageous efforts at the conclusion of the evening and the enthusiastic reception from our audience was most heart-warming!
Whilst ‘Oklahoma!’ was a huge event during this past fortnight, it was not the only activity that our students were involved in. We have seen two major assemblies; one for all Secondary students and another for Primary students that was organised by our Stage 2 classes. On Monday, 9 March we had a team of students participating in the Primary CSSA (Christian Schools Sporting Association) Swimming Carnival and in the evening we held our Year 7, 2021 Parent/Carer Information Session. I also had the privilege of accompanying our Stages 5 and 6 Drama and History students to the Lyric Theatre in Sydney on Wednesday, 11 March where we viewed a performance of ‘War Horse’. These are just some of the many events that have been a part of the educational program for our students during these two weeks. One month ago, I provided a Stage 1 TAS/Visual Arts Centre building update. At this time the concrete slabs and foundations were being poured as a continual stream of trucks lined up to deliver their loads. I can now report that a great deal of further progress has been made as the erection of the steel framework is now well advanced and we can begin to see this wonderful new building beginning to take shape. (Just in case you have not personally caught a recent glimpse of our building site, I have included a number of photographs for your perusal.)
My focus verses for this week come from Proverbs 3: 5-6 and they state, ‘Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’ This verse was part of a devotion that was recently presented by a member of our staff team on the important topic of ‘trust’. We live in a complex world and, sadly, we can place our trust in people or things, only to find out that they let us down or lack substance and credibility. During this devotion we were challenged to consider the question, ‘Can I trust God?’ Of course, the answer is ‘Yes’ but, as human beings, do our actions indicate that we fully trust Him? We were given a series of further questions that helped to identify where these areas of trust might lie. We were asked ‘Do we trust God with our children and grandchildren? Do we trust Him with our futures and with our finances?’ Ultimately our God is faithful and He always keeps His promises. We were presented with a number of other Bible verses relating directly to this topic of trusting God. I found these verses to be particularly uplifting and I have listed them below for your further reference. I would encourage you to read them and to share them with other members of your family as I am confident that they will bring great comfort and reassurance.