Why We Serve:
John Knox Christian School offers opportunities to engage our students in charity, outreach, and missions projects that serve the needy in our community, and beyond, to fulfill our vision of preparing students for a life of transformation and service through excellent Christ-centred education.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:36-40
It is our Biblical calling to share, serve, and be involved in missions and outreach ministries. Following Christ and serving as His hands and feet is an integral part of our walk with Him and foundational to our expression of faith. Thus, it is important to begin young and interweave service and missions into our growing years and school experiences, especially giving opportunity to put into practise what we have been learning in our Christian curriculum.
John Knox Christian School’s Missions and Outreach Program aims to teach Biblically, form conscience, build community, and develop our students as ignitors and leaders in the light and truth of the Gospel of Jesus. In order to nurture love for others, empathy, compassion, generosity and be understanding world transformers, JKCS provides dynamic opportunities, through a structured format, that encourages our students to actively participate in a wide variety of community service projects.
Serving is also a way for our students to be proactive at this time, to take the focus off themselves and care for others who are even more greatly affected by COVID-19. Serving, giving, and showing compassion are important measures in which to cultivate better connections in our community, and to help take the edge of a pandemic.
In the future, we hope to involve all our students in a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service each year.
How We Currently Serve:
Grade 7’s Creation Care
• Picking up litter on school grounds and in the neighbourhood
• Gardening on school grounds
• Green Wall on the Learning Common’s Cage where we’re harvesting O2 and herbs for the Foods Lab
Grade 8’s Cards of Courage
• Making 2D artful cards to send to our front line workers, neighbours, businesses, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. in the New Westminster community 4 times per year (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Year End)
• Establishing a pen pal ministry with students from Vancouver Downtown Eastside
Grade 9’s Creature Care
• Securing food donations for pets
• Making toys for cats and dogs
• Supplying to the NW Animal Shelter and St. Barnabas Anglican Church in New Westminster four times a year (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Year End)
Grade 10’s Soup Sacs
• Those taking Foods class make soups each month and freeze them into Ziploc bags.
• Soup Sacs are delivered to the Journey Home Houses in New Westminster or neighbouring Food Banks
• Exploring ways to work with students in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside via video that may include:
o pen pals
o make video greetings to send to one another
o create video story time
o act out a contextualized Bible story
o do a photography contest together
o share jokes via video
o teach each other magic tricks
Grade 11’s The Orphan Aid Thrift Store
• Students go weekly to the store to help with organizing, cleaning, stocking, pricing, steaming and a host of other small business skills
• The Orphan Aid Thrift Store’s revenue is used entirely to support children with HIV in Africa
• Will work together on how to engage with those in Africa
Grade 11’s Cross Cultural Outreach Team
• Will stay locally and will serve in the Lower Mainland, Lord willing.
Grade 12’s The Harvest Community Church Food Bank
• Students sort and bag groceries, and/or clean and organize the Food Service areas
• Will be preparing the Christmas meal for 150 people in December 2020
• Will work towards also participating in Friday evening Fun times (currently we may begin preparing arts and crafts for Friday use)
All School’s Fitness Challenge Fundraiser
• Partnering with Ride for Refuge and Journey Home to raise funds for refugee families
• Students are doing a Fitness Challenge between grades to see who will raise the most funds and are the fittest and most creative in making a 60-second video
Peer Tutoring – Senior student volunteers helping students in our school community to boost their English, math and science learning.
How We Reflect:
Students are asked to be responsible for keeping record of their volunteer hours. We also encourage our students to pray for those they serve and pray for themselves, that God will do a mighty work in both arenas. Furthermore, students are required to reflect upon their hours of service and consider what they have learned about themselves and the ministry they have volunteered at by writing a reflection essay as part of their service endeavour.
We also encourage our students to consider how they can take the service they have been doing and make it extraordinary. Since they are already on the ground passionately serving, what slightly more could they initiate to move from being ordinary to extra-ordinary to extraordinary with consideration given to ideas on how to make Christ better known and how to build His kingdom.
Missions and Community Outreach Coordinator