We often hear people refer to their community – sometimes they are referring to a close-knit group they belong to, but they are often referring to a very broad and loosely defined group such as the town they live in.
The dictionary defines community as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. Likewise, when we look closely at ‘community’ through a biblical lens, we find people who are deeply connected – people bound together by their shared relationship with God and who go so far as ‘having all things in common’. In Acts, the people who were the first to form ‘church’ supported the weak and distressed and encouraged the fainthearted. They looked after the widow, the fatherless and the unemployed in their community. They resolved conflict and established a way of living that was just – at least they tried to. Community as demonstrated in the New Testament, was still messy. Real community is never straight forward, clean-cut and orderly because community is made up of real people. And as we know, real people have insecurities, fears, problems, different opinions, different personalities and different things that bring them joy, all of which makes being together messy.
At Red Rock, we often refer to ourselves as a community – and rightly so. We’ve been brought together by a common goal and shared values. The board and staff are connected by our unswerving conviction of God’s love and His desire for our children to flourish – to live life abundantly. And as parents, you have joined this community because you want your child to be known, grow, be happy, and succeed. You want your child to flourish, and you recognise those values are in this community.
The truth is we can’t truly flourish in isolation – we flourish when we are in a positive, healthy (albeit messy) community with others. For the community to succeed, we need to be prepared to dedicate ourselves to the outworking of our values, to spend time together, to be honest, to say sorry, to forgive, to honour others, to work through conflict, hurt feelings and the mess that comes with being together. If we don’t dedicate ourselves to making a community, we will never be in community.
Being in community is not all about the hard stuff – there is always more good than negative. I’ve often said there are so many precious moments each day that I wish I could bottle and send home to you. I can’t tell you the number of kind words, acts of compassion, genuine smiles, affirming comments, and gestures that honour others that occur every single day we are together at school.
The continued involvement of so many parents in service oriented events such as working bees is evidence of the strong dedication of our parents to the community of Red Rock. Your willingness to generously contribute to the success of the college and creating a place for all our students to flourish is highly valued.