A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Chaplain - Edition 8 - 2022

The spirit of the Westminster community shines in its generosity.

The Westminster response to appeals for quality used clothing, stationery and toiletries towards “Uniting Church Packing Days” for development projects in Indigenous communities in the top end has been overwhelming! Literally so. We had twenty packing cartons lining the wall of the Chapel foyer and it wasn’t enough. Items built up alongside the opposite wall!

I thank each family that brought along bags and boxes of sorted clothes, shoes, books and linen. It reminded me of the wine-making imagery of the Bible in Luke’s Gospel: (Jesus said) ‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’

Our participation in this activity establishes a relationship: an unseen one that exists between Westminster families as the givers and members of communities receiving the donations. As the arriving cartons are opened, in the heat and dust of the tropics, I imagine that people there cannot help but reflect, even momentarily, on where these gifts have come from and the people who have given them.

Which got me thinking about that relationship at this end: the Westminster side. Why do families make the effort to contribute? What are the benefits of our giving?

I can think of three different answers, which I offer to you as those who joined this act of goodness.

First, we give because we can. It is a recognition of our privilege to have spare household items to donate.

Second, in doing so many have modelled good learning practices for our children. “Packing Days” offered an opportunity for us to teach them about our lives in relation to the lives of others.

And third, Westminster families’ actions in this make for a better world. In perhaps a small way, but a step, an improvement, a mindfulness. As is attributed to Gandhi, “Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it”.

Rev Phil Hoffmann