Welcome to the coloured glass classroom! We hope to provide you with lots of creative ideas and resource links to help you engage the young people in your religious and Christian education classes. This blog is sponsored by the Anglican Schools Commission of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland.

19 October 2017

Religious Short Film Prize

Applications are now open for the Religious Short Film Prize run by the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. The prize is $5000.

This is a great opportunity for Christian schools to encourage their media students to show case their skills and at the same time explore religion and spirituality.

See last years winning entry below

12 October 2017

Diaries of Reflection

Diaries of reflection are a regular opportunity for students to acquire and practise the skill of quiet reflection with others and focus on some of the deeper spiritual and moral aspects of human life.

In an established atmosphere of disciplined quietness, the students are presented with four unfinished sentences.  By reflecting on them and completing them, it is hoped that they will become more alert and aware of their own insights, values and beliefs.

Stilling is an art and a skill that requires practise. 
As an art, it can be an experience of worship.  It is worship through:
  • shared silence
  • an orderly approach to a focussed and shared activity
  • reflection on some of the things which are of the greatest worth in our experience of what it means to be human.

This non-threatening approach to worship has deliberate connections to Christian worship that may not at the first instant be obvious. 
They include:
  • Thankfulness for the blessings of life (praise)                 
  • sorrow and regret for the way we often mess it up( penitence)
  • Concern for those in need (intercession)                                 
  • Commitment of self and the community to uphold good values (dedication)                                                                                                    

Diaries of Reflection must be used only when they are taken seriously, and the following points are followed faithfully.

Diaries of reflection seem to be most effective when:
  • Writing the diaries is a regular, disciplined exercise.
  • The statements or on the board before the students enter the room . . . or
  • The statements are dictated, reflected upon and written in silence.
  • From time to time, teachers feel free to substitute their own topical or other ideas for reflection, responding the moment or context for that day.Confidentiality is respected, and no pupil’s reflections are read beyond themselves, UNLESS permission is given.
  • Students cover their diaries attractively with their own choice of cover.
  • The diaries are known to be valued and stored securely by the teacher and no unauthorised access is possible.
Here are some examples of starter sentences:
  • If I was to thank any one today it would be . . . for his/her . . .
  • I think people say “I don’t care” because
  • The biggest differences between someone in their 80’s and me is . . .
  • Some of the people who are most different to me are . . .
  • I think that the worst kind of evil is . . .
  • One charity I would always like to support is . . . because . . .
  • I think every one should be more responsible about . . .
  • The best thing I have given away was . . .
  • The best gift I have ever received was

Originally Contributed by Richard Browning

5 October 2017

What is the Bible anyway?

The Bible Project is an amazing Youtube channel with short videos exploring the books of the Bible including their structure and  literary themes. The grand narrative of the Bible is also explored along with thematic elements. This one below is called: What is the Bible?

14 September 2017

Articles on Religion and Politics in Australia

The Conversation is a good source of  articles discussing the place of religion in Australian society. While you may not agree with all of them they are provocative and worth reading if just to get a sense of how people think about some of the issues.

These might be useful for exploring religion in Australia with older students or could be a source of insight and inspiration for the RE teacher.

12 September 2017

Religious Education and the Environment

Looking for some creative resources connecting environmental care and concern with religious education. Have a look at the resources created by Angligreen.

They include material on the following themes:

Creation – Wonderful!
  • Experiencing nature
  • Indigenous stories of creation
  • Scripture through ecological eyes
  • Nature in Church tradition

Sustainability – Grateful
  • Ecology - The Earth is our home
  • A changing environment and climate
  • The gift of science
  • Cosmology – Our place in the universe story

Renewal – Prayerful
  • Our school environment
  • Local community projects
  • What is happening around the world
  • Self-renewal and care

Hope – A positive future!
  • Images of a positive future
  • The Gospel for our time
  • Good news stories
  • Liturgy and worship

6 September 2017

Don't talk about religion!

The 2017 Lamb ad is out and as usual it is brilliant (see below). Whether you like it or not it has drawn a lot of attention. There are certainly those that think it is ignorant and offensive.

The ad plays off the idea that in Australia one shouldn't talk about religion (sex or politics) at a dinner party lest one offend. The great irony is that the ad makers broke this rule and did offend.

What do you think about this ad? What about the students in your RE class? Can they see why some people might find it offensive?

This kind of material is priceless for the RE classroom and provides an opportunity to explore the role of religion in Australian society, perceptions of religions and many other ideas.

4 September 2017

A to Z of Religion and Beliefs

The BBC have produced "an animated A to Z guide for pupils aged 11-14 that explores and introduces a variety of religious topics. Alongside each film, there is more information about the content and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom."

Topics covered include: Atheism, forgiveness, kosher, prophets and Zoroastrianism.

Here is the Jesus animation: