Spirituality at Matthew Flinders Anglican College is like a golden thread running through all aspects of our life together and apart, it is seen and unseen, and taps into all aspects of the person - body, mind and spirit. The tenets from which we define spiritual life at Flinders and the wider concept of spirituality are referred to in the name and motto; Faith, Skill and Endeavour. These three words summarize the school’s commitment to appreciating a relational community at work while valuing and celebrating the efforts and attainments of the individual. These three words almost parallel that passage speaking of Christian virtues from 1 Corinthians 13: 13: “And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” As with the school logo it is hard to have one without the other.
To walk in faith is to see a way to trustingly journey into the unknown reality of life with God and alive to hope. On such a journey skills develop that will lead to the fruits of Endeavour for the enrichment of the wider community. This wider community is seen when viewed as a community of faith whose mission owes allegiance to the Anglican Church in Australia. Spirituality is not easily defined or confined but here it is soundly grounded in the belief of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Christian principles, scripture, tradition, experience and reason.
The Theologian Writer and Social Activist, Charles Ringma says: “Spirituality embraces all aspects of life. From this perspective all of life’s experiences become the testing ground for linking faith and practice. Therefore in being, living doing, praying, serving, risking, loving, participating, we are weaving a pattern of understanding our spirituality.”
Our community is wide in its expression of spirituality and this is catered for in a variety of ways that assist the development of the whole person. Our school upholds values that support the relational development of the whole person. These virtues include: honesty, service to others, truthfulness, self discipline, kindness, peacefulness, mercy, orderliness, thoughtfulness, humility, patience, self discipline, inclusion, loyalty, courage, enthusiasm and reliability. Programmes such as Dimensions of Learning and Conscious Discipline all encourage the above qualities to develop through sound relationships. It has been said that students here feel nurtured, valued and appreciated. The type of environment that does that is both spiritual and practical and cannot be separated.
The Ethos Statement for Anglican Schools reads:
- Anglican Schools are firstly Christian Schools
- Anglican Schools should be characterized by tolerance and respect for difference
- Anglican Schools should be characterized by a high respect for intellectual endeavor
- Anglican Schools celebrate the contribution of the mother church to the wider political, social, economic, and artistic life of our culture
- Anglican Schools should be characterized by a commitment to tradition and dignity within school worship
- Anglican Schools should be characterized by a sense of social responsibility.
A long held desire from the community was to have a chapel built to provide the school community with a sacred space to pray in, hold weekly worship services and assemblies for all year levels. At the end of 2007 the Chapel was consecrated by Archbishop Phillip Aspinal and named ‘Flinders Chapel Dedicated to St Nicholas’. It is well used and special classes are held in it for Baptismal and Confirmation candidates. Outside of weekdays Baptisms are offered and the annual Carol Service is held there and other occasional services.
St. Nicholas, the universally loved saint, was both spiritual and practical in his ethics and commitment to education, and also compassionate in his response to the social needs of the time. His practical assistance to the poor, sea-faring sailors, children and families is legendary. In short, he demonstrated an awareness of all aspects of life and sought to use his God-given gifts to best effect. His compassionate Christ-like responses seemed to show to the world a faith that was larger than his own. His vision and love were personal and universal, practical and spiritual. The type of spirituality at Matthew Flinders Anglican College attempts to reflect this also. Anglican Schools, in general, attempt to demonstrate this pervasive sense of faith in all aspects of school life.
Seeking Spirit - Light as a Feather
Tips for a better life (pdf)
Baptism Form (pfd)
Confirmation Form (pdf)
The Man with his Donkey
Outside the National War Memorial (www.nationalwarmemorial.govt.nz/), the man and his donkey commemorates John Simpson Fitzpatrick who had the task of stretcher bearer at Gallipolli. By using a donkey he was able to rescue many more injured personnel. Further information www.medals.nzdf.mil.nz/category/f/f4.html