It is one thing to have staff sharing at chapel; it is another to have students talking to each other.
The past two weeks I have shared on very heavy topics. So I felt a ‘check-in’ was needed. This was confirmed when two students at separate times came to ask if we could have an open mic at chapel.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love sharing at chapel. I love having our HCS Chaplain, Josiah Bitgood, share at chapel. I love having our teachers share at chapel. But, there’s something inside me that happens when students share at chapel…I just love this even more. When students get up in front of their peers sharing at chapel it is a moment where I can see discipleship in action, where I can see spiritual impact among our students, where I can see evidence of God’s work in the lives of our kids. These are powerful times.
This week I did not use audio to record what was shared. But, I did take point-form notes. I would like to offer them here as evidence that things said the past two weeks at chapel had hit home, and that there is true space needed for students to talk to students.
- Our lead Science teacher and Christian Studies 12 teacher, Mr. Patrick Hayden, was the first on the mic to say that just as he takes a physical shower each morning to feel clean, he pumps the Christian music in his classroom each morning as a spiritual shower. It’s a clean start to the day. He reminded students that his classroom door is always open for students wanting to spend time listening to music in the mornings before school.
The rest of these are from students:
- Gr 11: Girls, respect yourself – if you don’t, how will other people respect you? Make positive choices. Guys, respect the ladies! Give respect to earn respect.
- Gr 12: In the morning…stop and pray – thank God for everything you can think of. Two weapons we have: word of God & prayer.
- Gr 12: [Spent time explaining the spiritual difference between] Authority Vs. Power.
- Gr 10: Think before you speak – words are really hurtful.
- Gr 11: Amanda Todd is a reminder of what I went through…even at a Christian school. Just because this is a Christian school doesn’t mean that people aren’t hurting.
- Gr 11: It really hurts to be bullied, not being respected. No one deserve that. Wow – people here at this school actually care for me, smile at me, include me. I know God loves me here.
- Gr 11: I recently hurt someone…twice. I’m funny, but my words made someone frown. I’m sorry _(student name)_. [Hug] I forgive you. I should have said something that blessed someone else, that made them think about God. Words are so meaningful.
- Gr 9: Public apology to another Gr 9 student. Don’t be mean to people.
- Gr 9: Getting hurt – you can choose to hold on to it…or you can choose to let it go. Don’t even worry about it.
- Gr 11: Words – they are for encouragement, too!
- Gr 7: I’ve been bullied.
- Gr 10: I’ve been a jerk. Like Band of Brothers and comrades, we must stand together.
- Gr 12: With respect to the Amanda Todd situation, I picture a big house, during an earthquake, shaking. Then I picture, like a cartoon, the house falling down but the door remaining upright. So, you can either walk in the door and pretend nothing has happened. Or, you could yell and scream, “It’s going down, we’re all going down with the ship!” Or, you can rebuild it…learning about the situation – continually learning from past events. KEY: We must actively remember these things…or we will forget…out of sight, out of mind.
Thank you, students, for your thoughts and vulnerability as you shared. I pray we all have the grace to listen.