- Principal's Message
- Student Awards
- World's Greatest Shave - she did it!
- Early payment discount - ending 31st March 2022
- Catholic Primary Schools Music Program 2022 - Closing soon!
- TreadLightly school recycling drive
- St Patrick's College Year 7 2023 Enrolments now open
- Notification of road works
- Parish Bulletin
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Moses at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-15)
A reflection on the First Reading from the 3rd Sunday of Lent (Year C)
Written by Mr Casimir Douglas
“I will be with you.” - Exodus 3:12
There is no question that 2022, with its prevailing health conditions, social climate and global events, has been a time of worry, anxiety, uncertainty and fear for many. Similarly, the world that Moses inhabited in Ancient Egypt where his people, the Hebrew people, were subject to the ills of slavery and malfeasance, was a time of worry, anxiety, uncertainity, and worse. For the Hebrew people, the scope of their human experience had been reduced to suffering, sorrow and pain. So if there is any voice qualified to speak on how we must respond and live under these circumstances, it is Moses.
As Moses leads his people in their escape from the lands, slavery and tyranny of Egpyt, he had one consistent message for the Hebrew people: “Do not be afraid” (Exodus 14:13, Exodus 20:20, among others). In the midst of their experience of subjugation, with the task ahead of overthrowing the all powerful Egyptian Empire to secure their freedom, Moses’ call of reassurance and resolve to his people is… do not be afraid? It seems audacious. How could Moses be so certain, so sure, so faithful in his assessment of the predicament of the nation of Israel? How could he be so convinced that a tribe of slaves will overthrow the world’s most powerful and enduring empire?
Long before being the leader of his people, in Chapter 3 of the Book of Exodus, Moses, having already fled from Egypt, started a new life as a shepherd and experienced a divine encounter with a burning bush. A bush that was filled with flames and not consumed, unperishable. The voice of God speaks to Moses from the bush and fills him with that same unperishable fire, the fire of purpose, the fire of mission, the fire of service, the fire of leadership. But even in that moment, Moses expresses his doubts to God, bemoaning the sheer size of the task ahead, his own flaws, his own unworthiness: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Then God speaks the words that fill Moses with the unperishable fire of certainty, surety, and faithfulness: “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12).
Why is Moses so certain, so sure and so faithful that the Hebrew people need not be afraid? Because God is with them. Not just in the victory, the triumph and the joy, but also in the suffering, in the sorrow and in the pain. God is with them. It is often shared in speculative discourse and on social media feeds that the phrase do not be afraid is recorded precisely 365 times in the Bible. Whilst I haven’t personally counted the number of references myself, and I am not fluent enough in the diverse range of ancient languages in which the Bible was written to confirm this analysis, 365 reminders to not be afraid, and that God is with us, enough for each day of the year, has a certain coherence and resonance. However, the most significant source of coherence and resonance in Moses’ encounter with the Burning Bush is that God calls him by name: “Moses, Moses!” (Exodus 3:4). This phenomenon of being summoned by name through the divine voice is repeated and patterned throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, as an almost ubiquitous occurrence in the human experience of being called by God. The writers of the Bible, across space, time and language, remind us that this is a God who calls us and invites us into an intimate, loving, and familiar relationship.
The story of Moses and this divine event at Mt Horeb is a reminder that in times of worry, anxiety, uncertainty and fear, that we should not be afraid, that God is with us, and that we are invited into an intimate, loving and familiar relationship with God. But even more importantly, this is far from an ancient story of long-forgotten and hidden wisdom made irrelevant by virtue of its antiquity. No. The story of Moses and this divine event at Mt Horeb is an urgent, present, and active reminder to us, right here, right now, that in this time of worry, anxiety, uncertainty and fear that we must deny our instinctual and evolutionary response to fear, which is to turn inward and focus on our own safety. Instead, we must turn outward and bring all those we know and love into the safety of communion and community. I pray that in this global climate of fear that we may find the courage, certainty, surety, and faithfulness to look each other in the eye with genuine reassurance and resolve and say: “do not be afraid, because I am with you, my friend.”
Friday 18th March, 2022
‘God Speaks to Moses’
Prince of Egypt, DreamWorks, 1998
Dear Parents and Carers,
Grace to you and peace.
GOSPEL VALUE AWARDS: JUSTICE
At our Prayer Assemblies to welcome students to the school week over the past fortnight, I have spoken to the students about our Gospel value of JUSTICE. I challenged our students to 'be helpful, be fair, and be caring'. To live and love in a way that is 'just'. That we show justice through our actions. That justice can be created with our own two hands. I decided to teach the students a song that has motivated and moved me for many years, With My Own Two Hands by Ben Harper. The song repeats what we as empowered and powerful individuals can do with our own two hands to change the world and make it a better place. Below is some footage we captured of our students singing along to the song, and even more importantly, learning that they can make a difference in the world.
The following students received a Gospel Value Award during the School Assembly (held via Zoom) on Friday 18th March for an act of justice captured by their teacher this week:
|Hugh Anderson||Prep More|
|Scout Lunson||Prep Thomas|
|Emily Van Helvoirt||Grade 1/2 More|
|Chaz Swain||Grade 1/2 Saint|
|William Finlay||Grade 1/2 More|
|Chace Bryan||Grade 1/2 Thomas|
|Freya McArthur||Grade 3/4 More|
|Halle Turner||Grade 3/4 More|
|Neve Gear||Grade 3/4 Saint|
|Zoe Porte||Grade 5/6 More|
|Jaden Yu||Grade 5/6 Saint|
|Taj Lewis||Grade 5/6 Thomas|
These students will also attend the Principal’s Morning Tea this coming Tuesday (22nd March) morning during first break at 10:50am with Mr Douglas and Fr Chathura Silva.
LUCY MELLOR (GRADE 3/4 THOMAS)
This Friday (18th March), Grade 4 student, Lucy Mellor, shaved her head for charity! Lucy has joined an elite task force of national head shaving heroes through World's Greatest Shave on a mission for a future free of blood cancer. Every single day, over 50 Australian families will receive a devestating blood cancer diagnosis. The money and awareness that Lucy has raised will provide these families with the special care and support they need. It will also help brilliant research scientists continue their search for better ways to diagnose and treat blood cancer more effectively, and ultimately find a cure. Lucy conducted the shave at school in the Kitchen Garden Area, and her teachers, her peers and her family are all incredibly proud of her brave commitment to support those in need. Now that is living the school values of justice and empathy! And as you can see in the image below, Lucy was a champion and smiled her way through the whole experience, and her peers embraced and supported her, and celebrated her selfless act.
NEW SCHOOL SIGNAGE
This Friday (18th March), there was range of new signage installed throughout the school grounds. This included an updating of key directional signage, the labelling of key areas, increased presence of our Positive Behaviour Support expectations and associated visual cues, the display of our Mission Statement and Vision Statement in Josephite Hall, and of course, a new sign showing the way to Mr Rik's Shed! I wish to thank the local creative design company, Flying Colours, for the their partnership with the school, not only in the design and installation of these signs, but also for their ongoing work with the school in shaping our school branding and digital presence. I have included some images of the new signage throughout the remainder of the Newsletter.
DR GERARD GASKIN VISIT
The Executive Director of Catholic Education Tasmania, Dr Gerard Gaskin, visited our school on Thursday 17th March. Dr Gaskin and I discussed the school's 2022 Annual Priorities; the charisms of St Thomas More, St Mary MacKillop and St Joseph; the resilience of our school community in managing and living with the COVID-19 virus, and the goals for the growth of Catholic education in our region. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Dr Gaskin for his time, effort, energy, openness and availability.
Now that we have moved into the season of Autumn and the year is progressing quickly (and growing progressively colder), we are rapidly approaching the celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday 8th May. Normally, the annual celebration of our Mother's Day breakfast is scheduled in proximity to this date. For this event, we invite a significant female in the life of your child to join with us at school to share in food and conversation. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the gift of the loving and nurturing female presence in their lives. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the constantly shifting landscape of health in our community, we are not able to fully confirm arrangements for this event. Please keep an eye on future newsletters for confirmation of the details.
SCHOOL OVAL OPENING
The school oval was subject to significant overhaul during the summer school holidays to address and improve its drainage. Our students have been very patiently waiting for the school oval to be reopened throughout the long process of resurfacing, reseeding, germination and growth. They have, quite literally, watched the grass grow. And their patience has very nearly paid off! We are hopeful that the oval will be open for access for students by the start of Week 9 (or maybe even sooner!). I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the stewardship of Mr Rik Bryan, and the work of the team from The Pump Shed, the irrigation solution specialists who have managed this project.
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
"Today I shaved my head for the World's Greatest Shave to raise money for blood cancer. I have raised $1,270 so far. Thank you for the people that donated to me to help find a cure for cancer and help them whenever they need it, and a big thank you to Amanda for my new haircut!" From Lucy Mellor
The Early Payment Discount for school fees paid in full is closing soon.
Accounts paid in full by the 31st March attract a 5% discount on Fees and Levies (excluding Capital Levy). If you intend to take up this option, please ensure you do so before 31st March, 2022.
The Catholic Primary Schools Music Program is getting ready to start for 2022, and enrolments and re-enrolments are closing soon!
Students in Gr3-6 interested in learning an instrument had the opportunity to meet the music tutors and hear some instruments recently, which garnered much enthusiasm!
Details on the program can be found using the link below, including lots of demonstrations and information about how to enrol in the program. Enquiries can be directed to email@example.com
Do you have old sports and lifestyle footwear you no longer need, like thongs, soccer shoes or trainers? Good news! Our school is taking part in the TreadLightly School Recycling Drive between 21-27th March!! TreadLightly takes unwanted sports and active lifestyle shoes and gives them new life as retail, gym and playground flooring.
Simply collect as many shoes as possible between 21–27 March to help keep shoes out of landfill and win prizes for your school. Don't forget to check the list of shoes they can - and can't - recycle below!
The Department of State Growth has advised they will be replacing Electronic School Speed Signs near St Thomas More's from the week commencing 15th March 2022.
Works will be conducted between 7:00am and 5:00pm from Monday to Friday, however will pause during peak drop off and pickup times. There may be some temporary traffic changes during this period of works, including lane closures and reduced speed limits. Please keep to speed limits and follow the directions of traffic controllers and signs.
Enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and more informaion can be found at transport.tas.gov.au
Into Minds Therapy and Intervention services
"Into Minds will be beginning to offer group therapy and literacy intervention programs in Term 2, 2022. This service will occur in addition to our assessment service.