MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Happy Birthday to our Church!
Did you know that the feast of Pentecost is often referred to as the birthday of the Church? It is called that because Pentecost is when the apostles went out among the people and began spreading Jesus’ message, thus establishing the beginning of the Church.
Pentecost (Greek for “50th day”) is celebrated by Christians 50 days after Easter, and marks the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles while they were cowering and hiding behind locked doors following Jesus’ resurrection. After receiving the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, the apostles immediately went out and preached Jesus’ message to everyone—even those who spoke other languages. Actually, Pentecost was originally a Jewish feast that concluded the 50 days of Passover and celebrated the end of the barley harvest, plus the beginning of the wheat harvest. The Jewish people at Pentecost also celebrate the gift of the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai.
The symbols of Pentecost are wind, fire and a dove.
The first symbol—wind—is taken from the noise the apostles heard as the Spirit descended upon them (Acts 2:2).
After the wind, flames appeared and rested upon the heads of each of the apostles (Acts 2:3).
A dove serves as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of a dove in Acts, but we associate a dove with the Holy Spirit because of the story about Jesus’ baptism: “After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him” (Matthew 3:16).
How can Pentecost be relevant to our teenage girls? Before the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles on Pentecost, they were afraid to go out and preach Jesus’ message. Sometimes you too may feel insecure about talking with people you don’t know or have much in common with.
After receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the apostles found themselves able to converse with everyone despite their different languages. Now, you may not literally speak a different language than someone, but you may still discover that there is a world of difference between the two of you, such as interests, social groups, religions, ages, etc.
Make an effort to try to overcome those differences. Try to converse with people you have previously avoided or not understood.
For instance, if you are into sports, take some time to understand or get to know someone involved in the music or art department. Or take the time to ask someone you know of a different faith to explain his or her beliefs to you. Just remember to be respectful of your differences, and celebrate the things you have in common.
Let us pray
that the Holy Spirit
may bring peace and unity to all mankind
Almighty and ever-living God,
you fulfilled the Easter promise
by sending us your Holy Spirit.
May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth
to proclaim your glory.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
As we move into Term 2, there are a few staff changes that have occurred at Bethany.
- Brad Gillieatt, our English Coordinator, has resigned from the staff of the College. We are sorry to see him go as he has made a positive impact on our learning culture in such a short time. We wish him all the very best for the future. I thank Con Raptis, a senior member of our English Faculty, for agreeing to take up the Coordinator’s position once again, until the end of 2016.
- We have engaged the services of a wonderful English teacher, Ms Jordan Bolton, who is currently teaching English at Sylvania HS. She has had extensive experience in teaching all year groups, including Year 11 and 12 English (Standard) and has a passion for teaching the gifted student in English. There will be a minor re-shuffle in classes to ensure the most experience staff are taking on classes they have taught before. I thank the students in anticipation of their transition to the new arrangements.
- Brenda Zeitoun our ICT Network Manager has also resigned from her position at the College after fourteen years of loyal service to our staff and students. We wish her well as she moves into a new phase of her life on the South Coast of NSW.
- We welcome Kahlie Taouk to the teaching faculty who is replacing Mrs Fleming whilst she is on Long Service Leave.
Upgrade to Facilities
- We are delighted to finally have the Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA) over the Penola Court. This affords our students sun protection, shelter from the rain, and all-day use of the court for PDHPE classes. We would like to thank our Parents and Friends (P&F) for the contribution of the P&F Levy funds that went towards this very expensive capital expenditure. You can be sure that when you pay this item on your fees, it is going towards providing the best learning environment for our girls.
- The new Multi-Media laboratory, complete with 3D printer, is also up and running and used by TAS and Visual Arts students across the school.
- The iMac machines used for Music curriculum have been replacing giving these students the very best of facilities to record music.
- The P&F, at the last meeting, ratified the transfer of $15 000 raised in fund-raising efforts, to go towards the air-conditioning of the Sophia Building. I am proud that the SRC made their concerns known to me and I thank the parents for assisting us with this. Overall, the cost of this exercise is in the order of $40 000 so the $15 000 contribution from our parent body has been invaluable. All monies raised in the next fund-raising campaign will go towards air-conditioning our Penola Building.
“Safe Schools Program” Information Night for Parents and Community
- St Michael’s Hurstville, Thursday 26 May, 7.30pm in the Old Church meeting room.
Baby-sitting will be provided.
- The Australian Family Association Hurstville branch will be holding a presentation with Q&A on the “Safe Schools program”, already rolled out in 134 schools across NSW including many in the local area. This is an opportunity to hear about why many parents and community groups are concerned and what you should know about the program, including parents with kids at Catholic schools.
- Guest presenter is an ex-teacher from a Safe School who now works full-time to spread the message of why it is poses serious risks to our children and their future.
Attendance and Punctuality
Thank you to the many parents who call us each day to let us know that their daughter will be absent. We are changing our processes a little. From now on, even if you call the school, you will still get an SMS message that we would like you to respond to.
We have decided to do that after a few cases of students getting someone to call them in sick and the person purporting to be a parent is not the parent at all! Student Services Officers find it really difficult to judge the age and identity over the phone, especially with poor mobile lines.
The response to the SMS is a guarantee for us that a registered parent or carer knows exactly where the student is and is the same person who made the absentee call.
We apologise in advance for the inconvenience however, we take our Duty of Care towards the girls very seriously and need to respond to current issues and trends within a handful of our student population.
Our mantra:“Girls can do anything. Bethany girls can do everything!* (*except divide by zero)” Vicki Lavorato Principal