Friday, 14 January 2011

Education Sunday 2011

Education Sunday is on 20 February 2011 and Churches Together In England has prepared resources for it.  Here are extracts from the resources:

Education Sunday is a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone involved in the world of education. For more than 100 years there has been an annual recognition of Education Sunday in England and Wales (traditionally on the ninth Sunday before Easter).

The resources are designed to help you prepare for your own celebration on or around Education Sunday, or on any other day throughout the year, such as at the start or end of the academic year. You can use these resources in your church, in local schools, colleges and universities and in other places of learning.

The theme for this year is as follows:

Firm Foundations

‘It’s only bricks and mortar’. Well, that’s one way to describe a building – but there is so much more! An architect designed it, a builder dug the foundations, a surveyor oversaw it, an electrician wired it, a roofer made it water-tight, a glazier added windows. And then a business is started, a shop begins to trade, a family move in – and the building comes to life. The structure is decorated, reshaped, fashioned to suit its occupants’ needs – all building on the work started by the construction team.

One understanding of education is laying the foundations needed for life. The readings for Education Sunday 2011 offer a chance to muse further on this. Jesus Christ is the foundation (I Corinthians 3) and whether we are educators at school, church or home we need to build with regard to our faith.

So what ‘materials’ might we use? Matthew 5 suggests values that run counter to cultural norms, which offer children and young people a perspective on life that encompasses compassion, forgiveness and generosity. Psalm 119 shows the pathway of God’s law – signposting obedience with understanding.

But education – in whatever context – also needs to build children’s spiritual lives as well as their intellect and moral capacity. Space for God to break through – and space for children and young people to glimpse the Divine - needs to have its place in the building blueprint, to give them a chance to glimpse holiness (Leviticus 19). Awe, wonder and curiosity contribute to a child’s spiritual growth and flourishing. We omit them at our peril.

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