(click for high-resolution photo)
As a Christian school community, we have been talking about the 2016 election and its outcome. The conversations that have been happening on a national level are also happening within our school walls. As students and teachers discuss important and sensitive issues, we remember the beliefs that we share as a school community. Our core values state that, in pursuing the character of Christ, we will:
- Seek Truth,
- Serve Others,
- Embrace Community,
- Exhibit Compassion,
- Develop Responsibility,
- Strive for Excellence.
We have a school community that is diverse in many ways–economically, politically and racially. While we may not agree with each other all the time, we are committed to loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. The core value of Embracing Community means that:
- We believe that all people are created in the Image of God.
- We attempt to see things from a variety of perspectives.
- We engage in respectful conversation around differences in viewpoint.
- We show empathy for others who have had different experiences than we have.
But we are all citizens of an earthly nation–whether it is America, Korea, China, Kenya, India, Nigeria or the Netherlands. Our responsibility as Christians is clear. Romans 13:1 tells us, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
We are also citizens of an eternal kingdom–the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is made up of people of many nations and languages, and it extends far beyond the borders of any single country. In that Kingdom, we are confident that God is King, no matter what happens in an American election.
As students and teachers discussed this together in morning devotions last week, classes took time to pray for our school, our leaders, our countries, and our world. Students who were interested in discussing the election or other concerns were invited to join Mr. Beverly for conversation during lunch. Mr. Dykhouse spent an afternoon with the entire freshmen class, teaching a lesson on leadership, with a particular emphasis on our core values.
As students responded, Mrs. van’t Slot’s Chemistry class stepped up to lead. They wanted to create a symbol of our unity and our diversity as Citizens of the Kingdom. Everyone was invited to trace their hands and to fill in their ethnic background on one handprint and the words “diverse yet unified” on the other. The tracings came together to create a beautiful reminder of our true Citizenship. We want to have a school community in which all students, created In His Image, are safe, valued and loved.
During the days to come as the new administration transitions into office, there will doubtless be continuing conversations about policy issues and political appointments. But as a Christian school community composed of people made in the image of God, we are confident that these conversations will be carried out between brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow-citizens of the eternal Kingdom, with sensitivity, compassion, patience, grace and prayer.
Anyone wishing to inquire about Eastern Christian School’s response to recent events is invited to contact the Principal of their child’s campus or our Head of School.
- Mrs. Sandy Bottge, Elementary School Principal (here)
- Mr. Daniel Lazor, Middle School Principal (here)
- Mrs. Ruth Kuder, High School Principal (here)
- Head of School, Tom Dykhouse (here)
[Additional Resource: Relational Wisdom 360’s Politics as Ministry]