In Chapel this term, both in the Senior School and the Prep School we have covered quite a range of ‘special days’ and topics. These have included Chapel based around International Womens’ Day, the Christian Season of Lent, and this week, Harmony Day celebrating Australia’s cultural diversity. We prepare soon for Holy Week and the meanings of the story of Jesus’ last week at the heart of our tradition. Chapel services involve reflection on these events and occasions, often prepared by students themselves, with wonderful music and relevant prayers.
The great theologian Karl Barth once said that the modern person of faith should read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Whilst newspapers aren’t a major source of keeping up to date for many these days, Barth was suggesting that faith ought to relate to what is happening in the world for us and around us. That remains our challenge in leading Chapel with students today; to engage with life and its issues from the specific stand-point of faith. How do I think, behave and react with the hope and peace of trust in God informing me? Where, and how, do I live out goodness and grace?
For me as Chaplain, Chapel is not a matter of imparting dry dogma, but of engagement with our life and times. I hope it is faith in action, lived day-by-day.
Rev Phil Hoffmann