Student-led Chapel about the Parable of the Lost Sheep by Jennifer Macleod

Chapel

Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more ... Hebrews 10:25

This year, I am reminded again of the value of community – of how good it is to meet together, to encourage one another, to join in a shared purpose, to look to something beyond ourselves. If anything, community is even more important in our present circumstances. Some of our usual ways of gathering and connecting are limited; more people are facing challenges, some in ways that are obvious, some less so. We need to be creative and deliberate in finding ways to build relationships and contribute to the lives of others.

Chapel was able to go ahead ‘as usual’ for the first half of the year. We had our Commencement Service in a packed-to-the-rafters Knox Church, where we commissioned our 2021 Prefects. Weekly Chapel Services then turned to the season of Lent, with a focus on the opposition that Jesus faced as he offered grace, healing, forgiveness, truth and challenge to those around him. Our Prefects participated in an Easter drama that portrayed the story of the resurrection and reminded us that God’s light does indeed overcome the darkness.

Term 2 is always busy, with an ANZAC service, Pentecost, the 40 Hour Famine and Revolution Tour, not to mention the Columba Day celebrations. Columba College is named after Saint Columba, an Irish nobleman and monk from the sixth century. Early on in his life he made a significant mistake, which he eventually admitted to. He devoted the second half of his life to peace, which earned him the symbol of the dove, the symbol on our school crest. At school we were able to celebrate Saint Columba Day with cake as, thankfully, we were still at Level 1. We then joined the 10am congregation of First Church on the Sunday.

With the move to Level 2 in Term 3, Chapel shifted to a video format. It is a great blessing to have the technology to be able to do this, although I far prefer to talk to people rather than a camera. A shortened Junior Spring Service was filmed with the help of a number of Prefects and senior students. The message considered the parallel between compost and the biblical theme of redemption; God is able to bring good, even out of the rotten bits in life. I would like to thank all of the Prefects who contributed to the Chapel videos in Terms 3 and 4. It can be a strange thing to see yourself on video in front of your peers.

In addition to their creative and engaging contributions to the video Chapels, Penelope Hare and Georgia Wong, our Chapel Prefects, organised three fabulous student-led Chapels this year. The first was a dramatic retelling of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. The second portrayed a mid-winter Christmas story. The third was a video rendition of Jonah and the Whale, which was performed by Georgia and directed by Penelope. Penelope and Georgia have served commendably as Chapel Prefects and their organisation, clear communication, creativity and initiative have been much appreciated.

It was wonderful to hold an in-person service for our School Leavers, albeit in a modified format. Only staff and senior school students were able to attend, and the service was live-streamed to parents and whānau. During the service, we considered the choices we have about who we become and what it might mean to be ‘born for such a time as this’.

In the absence of our usual Carol Service, we will finish the year with an in-school Chapel for both Junior and Middle School students. Accompanied by a Nativity dress-up day, this will focus on the story of Christmas.