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.

7 December 2017

Learning about the Stolen Generations



A new Stolen Generations interactive website has been launched. It provides resources to help people learn about the story of the Stolen Generations. It includes interactive maps and the testimonies of witnesses. 

Of particular interest to religious educators is the section with teaching resources linked to the National Curriculum. There is also a large list of additional resources worth exploring in this section.

16 November 2017

What did the nativity smell like?

One way of helping students to engage with the text of the Bible is to get them use their imagination and senses.

A simple Y Chart can be helpful for this.




Provide students with a copy of the infancy narrative from Luke 2.1-21. As they read it have them fill out a y chart. The headings: feels like, sounds like, looks like, might be used to help students explore the mood and details of the events expressed in the text. Alternatively looks like, smells like, sounds like could also be used. Encourage students to use their imagination and to think about the sights, sounds and smell they would experience if they were there.


An alternate way of exploring the infancy narratives would be to bring some things into the classroom to touch and smell such as hay and lambs wool. 

2 November 2017

A Very Angry Christmas Quiz Part 2



As a follow up to "A Very Angry Christmas Quiz" checkout this video "Retooning the Nativity" which highlights the differences between the traditional popular nativity scene and what we find in scripture. I always make sure I say to children that it doesn't matter if there were three wise men or more. It doesn't matter that we flesh out the story a bit in our imagination. The important thing is to go to the heart of  what it is about: Emmanuel - God with us.

26 October 2017

A very angry Christmas quiz


It is that time of year when I begin to post Christmas resources. This is one of my favourites.

This quiz has circulated around the internet for a long time. I have used it with a variety of age groups. I have often found that students get a bit angry and incredulous when the answers are revealed. They find it outrageous that the 'facts' they know about the Christmas story don't really appear in the Bible but are the result of tradition. In fact while many of the things we have added in tradition may be reasonable assumptions this quiz is a good reminder to us all at Christmas to go back to the source of the nativity stories. Children can find this quiz confronting and I have even had students say to me: Do you even read the Bible?!?!

This is a great opportunity to get students interested in reading the nativity narratives and looking at the closely. Have fun and be prepared for the wrath of your students.

The Questions

1. How many wise men were there?
a. 3
b. 4
c. The Bible does not say.

2. Did Joseph meet the wise men?
a. Yes
b. No
c. The Bible does not say.

3. What animal did Mary ride to Bethlehem?
a. Donkey
b. Small horse
c. Llama
d. The Bible does not say
.
4. The Holy Family named the child "Jesus" because:
a. An Angel told Mary to use the name.
b. An Angel told Joseph to use the name.
c. All of the above.
d. None of the above.

5. What type of building was Jesus born in?
a. Stable
b. Cave
c. Inn
d. The Bible does not say.

6. What animals were present at the Nativity?
a. Cattle
b. Sheep
c. Doves
d. All of the above
e. The Bible does not say.

7. Who besides the wise men saw the star?
a. The shepherds
b. King Herod's astrologers
c. The Bible does not say.

8. How did the star compare in brightness with the other stars?
a. Brighter
b. Equivalent
c. A faint glow over the horizon.
d. The Bible does not say.

9. How soon after Joseph and Mary reached Bethlehem was Jesus born?
a. Within minutes.
b. That night
c. The Bible does not say.

The Answers

1. How many wise men were there?
c. The Bible does not say.

Although tradition suggests there were three wisemen, as in the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are," the Bible actually does not give the number of Magi. Go to Biblical account of the Magi in Matthew).

2. Did Joseph meet the wise men?
c. The Bible does not say.

Matthew writes that the magi found the Child with Mary, but makes no mention of Joseph. Matthew 2:9-11. Of course, as a good parent, we would probably expect Joseph to have been there.'

3. What animal did Mary ride to Bethlehem?
d. The Bible does not say.

Although it would be a long walk for a pregnant woman from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the Bible does not mention what animal, if any, Mary rode. Luke 2:4-6

4. The Holy Family named the child "Jesus" because:
c. All of the above.

In Luke, the Angel Gabriel tells Mary to use the name "Jesus." Luke 1:30-31 . In Matthew, an angel tells Joseph to use the name. Matthew 1:20-21

5. What type of building was Jesus born in?
d. The Bible does not say.

Although Luke tells us that the baby was placed in a manger, there is no mention of where the manger was located. Luke 2:6-8

6. What animals were present at the Nativity?
e. The Bible does not say.

Despite the line in Away in a Manger that "the cattle were lowing, the poor baby wakes," there is no mention of which animals were present at the Nativity. Luke 2:6-8

7. Who besides the wise men saw the star?
c. The Bible does not say.

Check Matthew's account.

8. How did the star compare in brightness with the other stars?
d. The Bible does not say.

Check Matthew's account.

9. How soon after Joseph and Mary reached Bethlehem was Jesus born?

c. The Bible does not say.

Although every Sunday school Christmas pageant has Mary deliver a baby moments after Mary and Joseph are turned away from the inn, the Bible does not specify a time period. Check Luke's account.

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:


19 July 2017

Selling Religion


In recent years different religious groups in Australia has sought to change the public's perception of them through the use of television commercials. One of these campaigns put out by the Mormon's (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) attempted, somewhat successfully, in projecting the image that they were just ordinary people (although in many cases exceptional, charismatic and talented).



The Church of Scientology also used an ad in Melbourne for the launch of a new centre. This ad had previously been used for the Super-bowl. Once again it seeks to project a particular image of Scientologists as being independent, free thinking seekers (the ad is a bit like an Apple ad).


I wonder what your students might come up with if they were asked to create an ad for Christian's in Australia? How do they think Christian's are currently perceived? What image might they think is helpful for the world to see? What images or ideas might they use?

13 July 2017

Multiple Intelligence and the Bible



Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences are a useful tool for engaging students in the many different ways they learn and experience the world. When used creatively they can also open up experiences that transform the learner. Below are some basic ideas for using Multiple Intelligences when engaging with Biblical narratives. With all of these activities appropriate passages of scripture need to be chosen.

Music Rhythmic (Music Smart)
After reading a chosen passage of scripture invite students to listen to some brief excerpts of different types of music. Try to find music with different moods. Ask students to choose which piece of music they think goes best with the reading. The passage can then be read with that piece of music playing quietly underneath.

Naturalistic (Nature Smart)
The sounds, textures and smells of a Bible story may help many students to engage with it in a memorable way. Nature sound tracks can be used for some passages that take place at the beach or in the desert. The smells and textures of the story can be brought into the classroom such as the smell of cooking fish or the touch of sand. Jesus often told stories using real objects that can be put in students hands to see, touch and smell. Ideally some stories might be told outside looking at the things Jesus spoke about.

Bodily Kinaesthetic (Movement Smart)
Building and making can be an important tool for unlocking kinaesthetic children’s learning. Lego or other building and play materials might be used to help recreate a story that students have just heard told. Photos of the construction at different points of the story could be taken, so students can create a sequential picture book.

Intrapersonal  (Self Smart)
Many Biblical narratives can be rewritten in a way that invites students to go on a journey of the imagination. This can begin by asking them to imagine that they are in the story watching what is going on. Encourage them to picture everything in the story including the sights, sounds and smells. Ask them to imagine how they feel or what they think when different events occur.

Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart)

There are many excellent Bible’s on CD or MP3 available these days. The best include high quality sound effects and musical scores in the background. Using one of these can provide an alternate way for students to hear the story being explored.

6 July 2017

All religions aren't the same...but...



I get twitchy when I hear students say "all religions are the same". In essence they are trying to say that at the heart of it all religions are on about the same stuff. Even superficially this statement is clearly not true. The closer you look the more obvious it becomes that different religious groups hold different beliefs, are motivated by different things and act in different ways. However, this is not to say that there aren't  things that we have in common. 

While my hope is that students might see clearly the differences between world religions I would also like them to see the good things held in common. One of these things is the idea of the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like them to treat you. This concept spans many religions and philosophies and hopefully reminds us that we need to be compassionate, generous and kind to those around us not matter who they are or what they believe. 

St Columbans Mission Society sell a poster with the Golden Rule as found in thirteen different religions. This can be a great reminder in our multicultural multifaith schools that although we may have many different beliefs, it is likely that our own faith tradition encourages us to treat one another in positive and life giving ways. It is something we can share together as we strive to love one other.

There are also some helpful resources that could be used in the classroom.

28 June 2017

Cracking Open the Concept of Work


Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction (Anne Frank)

A few weeks ago I posted about what the Christian faith might have to say about work.
This week something a little more practical. Here is a basic idea for cracking open the concept of work.

Exploring Quotes

Interesting and challenging quotes could be a great place to start exploring the concept of work. Use a large range of quotes. Print them, cut them out and spread them around the classroom. Ask students to pick one that speaks to them or challenges them or that they disagree with. Have them write a paragraph on the truth the quote is trying to teach.

Here are some quotes to start with but there are plenty more online at places such as:


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
Robert Frost

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Vince Lombardi

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.
Mark Twain

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt

I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave.
Joseph Campbell

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
Henry David Thoreau

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.
Anne Frank

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
Albert Camus

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.
Booker T. Washington

We work to become, not to acquire.
Elbert Hubbard

There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
Henry Ford

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'
Don Marquis

If you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work.
Ogden Nash

I can't imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it.
Edgar Winter

Work is not man's punishment. It is his reward and his strength and his pleasure.
George Sand

Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date.
Ann Richards

Work is much more fun than fun.
Noel Coward

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.
Margaret Fuller

22 June 2017

The Bible: If it is not in the hand, it is not in the head

Years ago in a discussion about the Montessori approach to education someone told me that the philosophy could be summed up in the idea that: If it is not in the hand, it is not in the head.

This quote, which I thought came from Maria Montessori but which I cannot find the source for, stuck in my head. And it made sense to me. What it meant to me was that unless children play with something, manipulate it with their hands then they are not really learning about it. This is a reductionist view of Montessori but it is reflective of their constructivist view. People need to explore and engage with the world in order to learn. In other words learning is hands on and exploratory.

Reflecting on this idea makes me think about how we approach the Bible with children and young people.

Do we approach it like an Rubik's Cube or a Swarovski Crystal ornament?

On the one hand the Rubik's Cube is played with, twisted, explored, thought about. The better you get the more sides of it you solve. Most people are happy to play with it without ever solving the whole thing but they learn as they go. With some help and understanding they may learn the tricks or approaches to solving larger sections. (I also realise lots of Rubik's Cubes end up in the bottom of the cupboard and this is the point where the analogy breaks down)

On the other hand the Swarovki Crystal is something that sits on the shelf. It is precious and beautiful to look at but it is not something that is touched, played with, manipulated. It might be looked at from time to time but essentially it is forgotten.

 If it is not in the hand, it is not in the head

I think there is a tendency in religious education, especially in primary levels, to present the Bible to children as something of an ornament. We can look at the stories, hear them, but we don't play with them. And by play I mean the freedom to really pull it apart. This is not how we teach children to treat other texts. We encourage them to pull them apart, think about them, reflect on how they make them feel. Have a look at the English section of the Australian Curriculum for example, even in the Foundation Year.

We need to allow children and young people to engage with the Biblical text in a way that gives them permission to explore it, touch it, experience it and play with it. There are all sorts of ways this can happen, again the Australian Curriculum provides some pointers for age appropriate engagement with texts. Practitioners need to find methods that make students want to explore the text with curiosity. Mind you memorising scripture may also be necessary as well.

Some people may feel anxious about this approach. They may fear that it will undermine the message the Bible is trying to communicate. Surely it shouldn't be treated like other books. We may fear this approach might mean young people will not reverence the Bible. The greater risk we run is that young people will not even look at the Bible because like the Crystal they know they are not allowed to touch. As it is we have a great deal of preconceptions to deal with.

If we want the Bible to get into the heads of young people, to be thought about and reflected on, we need to put it firmly into their hands with the freedom to play. In doing this it may not only be in their heads but also in their hearts.

15 June 2017

Zombies and Theology


The Emmanuel Centre for the Study of Science, Religion and Society at the University of Queensland is worth checking out if you teach religious education in Brisbane or beyond. They run regular seminars on all kinds of topics and issues. Like this one:

Zombies and Theology

a seminar with Dr Matthew Tan on Tuesday 27 June, 12 noon to 1.50pm

In this presentation, Dr Tan will interface postmodern pop culture and its technological context with Christian theology. Dr Tan will explore the fascination with the undead, in particular the fascination with zombies, in contemporary culture. The argument put forward is that the zombie is not just another addition to the monster genre. Instead, the zombie is a theologically-inflected embodiment of both the desires and apprehensions of postmodern culture that is, without realising it, striving towards an immanent, technologically enhanced form of immortality by manufacturing a heaven without God.

Interested? Find out more here.

5 June 2017

My Wonderful Opus



I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave. - Joseph Campbell

Most schools run programs to help students think about what they might do when they leave school. This is a good thing but I wonder what values and ideas are behind these programs. To be honest I know very little about them. The question I want to ask is: What should Christian schools be teaching students about work? (and here I am talking about what I call "Mission schools", Christian schools where the majority of students are not Christians).

What might Christianity say about work?

Before I go any further though, the big question is: What do you mean by work?

And here's the thing. We shouldn't be talking about 9-5 drudgery, or employment, or getting a job.

We should be exploring something more life affirming. So lets not talk about work but opus.

This term opus is kind of artistic. It usually refers to the creation of works of art on a large scale. I think this is closer to the Christian idea of work than anything else. In Genesis man is placed in the garden to work. He is in God's great creation, God's wonderful artwork to be a participant in shaping it. It is only post fall that work becomes backbreaking drudgery.

In Religious Education our exploration of work should try to crack open the idea that our true work (or opus) isn't necessarily what we do 9-5 but what we do to participate constructively in God's creation. It is using our gifts and talents to make something wonderful with our life. Not selfishly, but selflessly. As an act of service. A wonderful and enjoyable and satisfying act of service. This may not happen 9-5 but there is more to our life than just this.

Can everyone do this? Create a great opus? Yes. It isn't about fame or money or power or any of the other things that we often use to judge life success. It is about contribution, use of gifts, and purpose and meaning in life.It may not be easy but it is wonderful.

So here are two videos that open up the idea that we have a set amount of time to use. How are we going to spend it?  In self torture or on creating a wonderful opus. (I will post something more practical on work and vocation in the RE classroom next week. This week lets just dream of  working joyfully  in God's great garden.

Jelly Bean Time:




How would you really enjoy spending your life?: 

25 May 2017

Free Bible Images


Free Bible Images is a useful sight if you are looking for picture resources to use while teaching about the Bible. The images are sorted by Book and story or passage. Not all the pictures are great but there is a good chance you will find something useful.

18 May 2017

A treasure trove of RE resources


Brisbane Catholic Education has produced a plethora of high quality resources and information for their RE teachers. You can see it all here.

If you are still reading this and not exploring the site let me point you to a particularly valuable section: Worlds of the Text. This section provides background  information on all of the Biblical texts BCE use and it is sorted by year level.

Learning Bytes is another great resource that provides a starting place for developing units of work.

Are you still here? Go to BCE's Resource Link.

11 May 2017

Meeting the kinder version of yourself


Do you remember those BUPA ads from a few years ago that had the tag line: What would you do if you met a healthier version of yourself (see vid below). I always thought these ads were clever for the thought experiment that they invited us to participate in. How might the decisions we make now and the habits we engage in every day lead us to a particular version of our self?

Recently on the internet I saw this: ”Somebody once told me the definition of hell: On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.

I think this is also an interesting thought experiment. It made me think about what version of myself  would make me disappointed in the person I had become. Would it be someone who was more moral than me, more successful, kinder? Maybe. But I wonder what other compromises this version of myself might have made?

Would it be hell if I met an incredibly moral version of myself but they were homeless. Or what if I met a super successful mega wealthy version of myself but they were morally repugnant.

I think this idea of meeting future versions of yourself might be a useful thought experiment for the RE classroom. It could really get students thinking about the type of person they want to become and the choices they might make in order to become this person. They could also think about the things that might cause them to make compromises.

I wouldn't spend too much time dwelling on the idea that we might be disappointed by the person we might become. It would be worth reflecting on how we might make peace with our past as we go through life and come to a point of accepting who we are.

Of course all of this can be connected with scripture in creative ways. Themes might include repentance, redemption, forgiveness, new life. The story of the rich young man could be used here. What if he met the version of himself who followed Jesus and didn't walk away.


27 April 2017

Prayer Spaces in Schools Australian Tour


If you haven't heard of Prayer Spaces in Schools, now is the time to find out! One great place to start is the Prayer Spaces in School website or you could check out the video in the bottom of this post. The most important thing to know is that Phil Togwell from Prayer Spaces in Schools (UK) is coming to Australia in August. Find out more about the tour here.




Brisbane - Wed 9th August - St John's Anglican College

Canberra - Mon 14th August - Radford College

Sydney - Tuesday 15th August - Ravenswood School for Girls

Adelaide - 
Thursday 17th August - St Peter's College

Melbourne - Friday 18th August - Caulfield Grammar School

(Cost $80 - includes morning tea and lunch)

REGISTER

If you want to find out how amazing Prayer Spaces are and learn how you might use them in your school come and join in. The tour is being organised by the Anglican Schools Commission in Southern Queensland but all are welcome.



20 April 2017

Mission Australia Youth Mental Health Report


Mission Australia has just released its Five Year Youth Mental Health Report. Some of the figures are really quite concerning. According to the report just under 1 in 4 people aged 15-19 met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness (PSMI). For females the number is 29% and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people the number is over 31%.

"Those with a PSMI have been consistently more likely to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about a range of issues, particularly: coping with stress, school or study problems and depression."

Could Religious Education have a role in addressing some of these issues?

13 April 2017

RE 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 April 2017

Art and RE


Art can be a great entry point for students to explore faith and to reflect deeply on their own thoughts. This web page provides 12 beautiful pieces of art and their meaning but there are heaps of resources online about religious art. It would not be difficult to build an entire unit around religious art. Some time ago I created a unit around Tim Marlow's documenatry Easter in Art. See below.

30 March 2017

Textile Waste: It's a thing


I have to confess I knew nothing about the issue of textile waste until two weeks ago. How did I miss this? Did you know:
  • 6000kg of clothing and textiles going to landfill every 10 minutes in Australia.
  • The global average consumption has doubled in the past two decades from 7kg per person up to 13kg – while the Australia average is twice that at 27kg per person.
  • 80 billion new garments are produced globally every year and fashion is the second-most polluting industry after oil.
In this year in which we have been challenged to "safeguard the integrity of the environment" this is an issue worth looking into. Textbeat.com has more information about how you might address this issue in your own life but there is lots of information online.

23 March 2017

Christian Contemplation Curriculum


The Christian Contemplation Curriculum is a joint project of the New Zealand Presbyterian and Anglican Schools’ Offices. It is a brilliant resource for all religious educators.

Their web-site  www.ccc.net.nz includes:
  • An overview of the history contemplative practices across Christian traditions.
  • A theology underlying contemplative practice.
  • Examples of current Christian contemplative practice in schools and ways of building these practices into the daily rhythms of the classroom and/or school.
  • Resources for a thematic approach across educational levels.
  • Topic themed units
  • Chapel resources

14 March 2017

One World Wontok


ABM's One World Wontok Conference in on again this year in six different cities around Australia. This is a brilliant event for students that has the following goals:
  • Increasing understanding of the lives of people who live in poverty
  • Increasing understanding of sustainable development
  • Growing awareness of global inter-connectedness
  • Equipping student leaders to become peer educators
  • Providing opportunity for inter-school relationships

"The annual One World WonTok Conference engages secondary students in interactive learning activities to raise awareness about the complexities of global poverty. We are excited to announce that Roxanne Roberts from Anglicare Papua New Guinea will be the Guest Speaker in 2017! Roxanne has led HIV intervention programs targeting vulnerable and marginalised population groups (particularly teens) throughout PNG and currently oversees all of Anglicare PNG's HIV programs."
 "As well as engaging with Roxanne and her story, the 2017 conference will delve deeper into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and raise questions about what these goals mean for us living  here in Australia. The goals are a universal guide for nations as they develop economic, social and environmental policies and overseas aid programs designed to end poverty."

Check out all the details here.