From Rod Yager, Association Secretary

Pennant Hills & Cherrybrook Christian Education Association Inc.

Spring_newsletter 2012

Back in March, I attended an event held at Parliament House to celebrate  Special Religious Education. 300 people gathered from across the state to  recognise the contribution  Special Religious Education makes to our  community.

The event provided an opportunity to acknowledge the  contributions of a range of SRE teachers: the most remarkable, to my mind,  being that of Maureen Power, a spritely woman in her 90’s who has been  teaching SRE continuously for over 75 years. We were also able to hear a  couple of recent SRE students speak about the impact SRE classes have had  on their lives. One of these was Tom Yanko, who attended Cherrybrook  Technology High School, and it was moving to hear him talk with passion  and enthusiasm about the things he had learned and the example he had  been shown by Peter Murphy and others during his High School years.

It was also heartening to hear from the politicians who spoke. The  education minister, Mr Piccoli, spoke of the importance of ensuring quality  time for SRE classes, and described himself as an active advocate for SRE  in public schools, with an intention to support and strengthen SRE. The  opposition shadow minister, Carmel Tebbutt, whose 11year-old child  attends SRE classes,  echoed this support, assuring us that Labor’s strong  support of ethics classes in no way diminished our support of SRE in public  schools, noting that many parents will not choose public schools unless they  can get the religious instruction of their choice.

Senior officials from the  Education department also spoke, emphasising the important role SRE  plays in schools, as it contributes to the moral and cultural development of  students, fosters a sense of belonging, builds relationships with the  community  and allows schools to better cater for the rich diversity of their  students.

But, as much as we delight in being able to serve our community in this  way, this is not why we teach Christian Studies in our local high schools. Our motivation comes from the fact that we know that “faith comes from  hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”  (Romans 10:17). We know, from our own experience, the transforming  power of the Gospel, and this compels us to make the most of the  opportunity we have been provided to share the message of salvation  through Jesus Christ with the more than 3,000 students who attend  Christian Studies classes at Pennant Hills High School and Cherrybrook  Technology High School each fortnight. 

The continuation of this work is only possible through the continuing  support of those who understand its importance. Please continue to pray  daily for our teachers, Peter and Graham, for the students in their classes  and for the many members of the wider school community who are  impacted by the witness of the Christian Studies program. Please also pray  for the provision of the financial resources needed for this life changing  ministry, and prayerfully consider how you might be able to contribute,  either through regular monthly giving or through a one-off contribution to  our annual appeal. Your partnership with us in this work is greatly  appreciated.