Leaping Out in Faith

Principals Pen Thursday, 03 Dec 2020

At the start of the year when we announced that 2020 was the year to leap out in faith, we never could’ve anticipated what would lie ahead.

Our first communication to parents about a new strain of coronavirus was on 28 January but, at this time, the threat seemed somewhat irrelevant to our community, given the virus was identified abroad. As the weeks unfolded, COVID-19 made its way to Queensland. Government authorities revealed the tremendously contagious nature of the virus, and the death sentence it posed for vulnerable groups. Coronavirus, we learned, doesn’t discriminate.

Our world changed. Suddenly the average citizen knew the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic. Hand washing took on a whole new meaning. As did deep cleaning. We adopted globally-shared language with terms such as social distancing, contact tracing, flatten the curve, self-isolation, self-quarantine, unprecedented times and uncharted territory. The words cancellation and postponed became part of our daily media diet. Toilet paper, hand sanitiser, rice and pasta disappeared from supermarket shelves.

The pace of change for the education community was hard to keep up with. The goalposts shifted every hour or so, or so it seemed. Remote learning inconvenienced and unsettled families around the nation. And, even when children returned to onsite learning, parents were not permitted beyond the school car park.

Now … where was I? Leaping out in the faith. In January we spoke about commencing 2020 with a spirit of courage, adventure and joy, knowing God goes before us and with us. We acknowledged Brené Brown’s words about having the courage to show up when we can’t control the outcome. We recognised that those who have achieved the greatest feats have stepped out of their comfort zones and into the unknown. They have owned the ‘fighter within’ and have taken significant risks and made substantial sacrifices for the sake of a passion or cause. Great reward is rarely attained without great risk.

The challenge for our students, families and staff has been significant this year, but the rewards have been equally remarkable. Students have grown in confidence, independence and resilience as they’ve navigated school life autonomously. Student camaraderie has thrived under these conditions. Parents reported that, amid the anxiety and stress of shutdown and isolation, the reprieve gained from a slower pace of life assisted wellbeing and benefited family connections. Staff looked down the barrel of the impossible, yet God equipped them with the time, resources, emotional intelligence and brilliance to navigate the uncertainty and rise with a remote learning and pastoral care model that rivalled anything COVID-19 could throw at them.

The Living Faith community is strong and courageous. We are not afraid or dismayed for the Lord God is with us. We can do all things through Christ, with our spirit of power and love.

In 2020 we engaged the words of Steven Furtick: ‘Quit telling God how big your mountain is and start telling your mountain how big your God is.’ This year the Living Faith community leapt forward in faith and not only lived life long, but lived it wide. I could not be prouder.

- Jane Mueller, Principal