Year 10 Religion
Year 10 Religion class H have been very active in using their gifts in Christian service this term. Not only were they instrumental in assisting in collecting donations for hygiene packs that were sent to our Indigenous sisters in remote WA, they have also been active in visiting the residents of Bupa nursing home. During the weekly visits, the students chatted, sang, made bracelets with the female residents and most importantly listened. They listened to stories of the past, of memories from childhood and school days, memories of parents long passed and the sad stories of having no family to visit them in the nursing home. The visit was beneficial to both the girls and the residents and they are to be congratulated on their willingness to connect with others.
The students were also fortunate enough to have a visit from former Bethany staff member, Elizabeth Lee. Elizabeth left the College in 2010 and entered prison chaplaincy and later chaplaincy at the Matthew Talbot Hostel for the homeless. During the talk, we heard about Elizabeth’s experiences and were drawn into her personal accounts of working with people in prison. Her work involved being a listening presence, providing welfare when needed and spiritual accompaniment. The backstories of the people she worked with were confronting and we realised how these issues are not ever black and white. For example, did you know that 95% of women in prison have experienced major trauma or abuse in their lives prior to entering prison? We also learnt that poor literacy levels are common in prisoners and many have long suffered mental health issues. Through all these experiences, the girls have been challenged to think about our connections as humans, how every individual is a human made in the image of God, how relationships are key to happiness and how all humans crave connection with others. I hope the experiences will stay with the girls so that as they move through life they may think of these experiences and see that everyone they encounter is worthy of respect and dignity.