Educating for Faithful Presence

ArushaTimes News

At the beginning of our weekly admin team meetings, we have been taking time to reflect on what defines us. What defines us as a school: in our offices, in our classrooms, during social events, service events and times of prayer? In other words, what does, “Educating for What Matters,” look like at John Knox Christian School?

Educational theorists Hetzel and Stranske refer to the work of James Davison Hunter, to define the purpose of a Christian education as, “Educating for Faithful Presence.”
“Faithful presence is about:
1) God being faithfully present to us,
2) us being faithfully present to God, and
3) us being faithfully present to each other, to our tasks, and to our spheres of influence.”
Educating for a faithful presence, in the manner described above, is a JKCS goal and we are working together to understand, explore and cultivate these priorities. In the school’s context, a faithful presence is related to an “educational holism and to matters of the heart, the mind and the hands.” A faithful presence requires “a humble spirit, deep thinking and opportunities for service” that enable us to be a blessing in the contexts within which we find ourselves, while at the same time maintaining our distinctiveness as a community.

Something beautiful about this articulation of “Faithful presence” is its suitability in diverse contexts. Imagine the fruit of a “Faithful presence” in your home, your place of work, your church, your family and your neighbourhood.
Recently, we’ve been blessed by meaningful opportunities to be faithfully present to each other, not over Zoom, but in person. Restoring the gift of celebrating what we appreciate about one another, as represented in the photo below, is something both our students and our staff are savouring.

We hope that you too, in your family units and related communities are beginning to more frequently enjoy and celebrate the company of others.
May God bless you richly as together we live into being faithfully present to God and to one another.
Wendy Perttula
Director of Curriculum and Learning