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.

22 February 2018

Are your lessons missing the Mark?

Religious Education is a great way to explore the Big Questions in life. It can be the perfect place to discuss global issues such as the plight of refugees, terrorism or concerns about the environment and sustainability. However, sometimes the ‘religious’ part of the lesson gets lost or forgotten.

If you are struggling to link your lessons to Religion and the Anglican ethos, try reviewing the Marks of Mission. They can become a great point of reference or a framework to support lessons about current issues.

The Five Marks of Mission are:
  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

A Unit based on the Marks of Mission could work well in a concept based inquiry curriculum.
*       Try to engage your students by perhaps reflecting on their opinions of the Five Marks.
*       Perhaps they could debate the value or relevance of each of the Marks of Mission.
*       Do the students agree with any of the Five Marks of Mission?
*       Is there a Bible verse or story that teaches each of the Marks of Mission?
*       Are there any ideas with which they agree or disagree? Why or why not?
*       Is Mission relevant today?
*       If you are a believer, is it hard to ‘Proclaim the Good News’?
*       How can we show loving service to someone we don’t love?
*       How is society unjust? What makes you angry about society?
*       How can students or young people actually make a difference or facilitate change?
*       Encourage your students to write their own Five Marks of Mission. Maybe the class could reach a consensus and develop a Class Mission Statement? Maybe each student might develop a personal Mission Statement?

A great resource, called “Hitting the Mark” has been developed by the Anglican Church of Bermuda.
“Hitting the Mark is the Lent Bible study resource on the marks of mission

produced by the Bishop of Bermuda and the Evangelism and Education Committee of
the Diocese of Bermuda.  It comes in five sessions with an introduction all of which can be downloaded here.”

Hitting the Mark


You can also find the links on this page along with other resources.

Encourage your students to reflect on action that they can take in response to their inquiry.

 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. 
Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10



“Sympathy is no substitute for action.” 
 David Livingstone (missionary to Africa)

May your students feel challenged to make a difference and to make their own mark!


8 February 2018

Science, Faith and Apologetics Conference



Australia’s first “Science, Faith and Apologetics” Conference will see 40 national and international presenters grappling with difficult questions Christians face. The public event in Brisbane from March 23 to 25 will strengthen Christians’ faith and help them engage in conversation with skeptics.

Speakers include astrophysicist Jennifer Wiseman, cosmologist Ken Freeman, and staff of Ravi Zacharias Ministries and the Centre for Public Christianity. Topics include: ‘If God is good, why are bad things happening to me?'; ‘Is the universe fine tuned for life?’; 'How to respond to Australia's assisted dying debate'; ‘Can I believe in miracles and science?’; ‘Teaching science and faith to primary students’; ‘Economics in the service of God’; and many more.


Scholarships/bursaries available – childcare onsite – earlybird pricing ends Feb. 14th.

The conference is for any Christian who wants to think hard about the way Christian faith relates to the culture and issues of our day.

Full details from ISCAST (Christians in Science): Iscastcosac.org

1 February 2018

Time for Learning the A B C of Religion.




Many years ago, while teaching at an Anglican School in Canberra, I was introduced to Ryan’s Thinker's Keys by an amazing teacher.  ‘Thinker's Keys’ is a programme all about teaching students to think effectively.

http://www.tonyryan.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/Thinkers_Keys_Version1.pdf

One of my favourite ‘Keys’ is called The Alphabet.

It is simple, fun, engaging and develops knowledge and understanding.
Choose a topic – perhaps Christianity or Buddhism – or indeed whatever you are studying. The students are then to compile a list of words from A to Z which have some relevance to the topic. Let the students be as creative as they wish. This fosters creative thinking and serves to clarify thinking for many. Groups work well and make sure you have time for sharing. Big sheets of paper and lots of coloured pens will help! Make a game of it. Set a timer. Award points. Students love a competition. 
This is also a fabulous activity for reinforcing and developing religious or emotional literacy.
With the youngest students, have a look at Ministry-to-Children Bible Alphabet Colouring Pages.

 https://ministry-to-children.com/a-is-for-almighty-coloring-page/


Younger students will require a little more scaffolding and the resources available on Ministry-to-Children are fabulous and fun.

With older students, this can be a great way to introduce some big questions.  Older students often want to start with A is for Atheism. Don’t worry about this! Grab such a great teachable moment and have a look at the documentary, The Trouble with Atheism. You might choose a snippet from this to use as a provocation or to encourage debate and discussion.





The BBC has a brilliant resource called the A to Z of Religion and Beliefs. However, it can’t be viewed here in Australia. So why not get your class to make their own video clips. Look at the website for some ideas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3lKZp31jBVJ2v3C2h1V03kz/a-to-z-of-religion-and-beliefs

Be creative in the way you use The Alphabet Key and it can be a powerful tool. This type of sorting and clarifying activity can be useful to assess prior knowledge, but is also a great way to enhance summative assessment.

Set your class a task and watch the thinking and questioning begin!