“Jesus told us to love one another as he loves us. As Christians we know our life together

is strengthened when our behaviour is consistent with our faith. However, our experience

of being together can be difficult, particularly when there are differences. So it is

important to be clear about how we will behave towards each other.”

This quote is from the Anglican Church Southern Queensland Policy Document, Being Together, that arose from the General Synod a few years ago. It deals with the expectations of behaviour in our church community. As it is the basis of the Archbishop’s Theme for 2020, it may be helpful to revisit the document and look at this document in the context of Anglican Schools.

Look at the ways of Being Together listed below and then ask your students to link these to the Habits of Heart which are Personal, Communal and Relational. Maybe start with Habit #12 which is Build Community. “Be part of a group that makes a difference in one another’s lives! Contribute to that community by doing things that build the group up and help it achieve its goals.”

Being a community:
We will value the wellbeing of others.
We will encourage each other to participate in the life of the church.
We will consider the impact of our behaviour on others.

Relating to each other:
We will treat each other with respect and dignity, irrespective of ability,
gender, sexuality, race, age or contribution to the church.
We will act with integrity and honesty in our interactions with each other.

Communicating with each other:
We will communicate respectfully with others, and not in a way that threatens, belittles or humiliates.
We will speak with integrity and honesty, and refrain from speculation and gossip.

Acknowledging difference:
We will respect those who are different from us and not isolate or ridicule them.
We will listen to and seek to understand the beliefs, opinions and practices of
others, even when we do not share their views.

Responding to conflict:
We will accept responsibility for our part in a conflict.
We will be willing to play our part in resolving a conflict.

Now – your turn! Ideas for learning, lessons and life.

  • Could you use this as a part of your daily meetings or your staff meeting to open some dialogue about expectations of your school community?
  • Perhaps this could form the basis for a discussion in your Pastoral Care groups or indeed, in your Religious Education lessons.
  • Maybe your students could develop a contract or a document that the whole class signs?
  • These ideas could be used as prayer points, or form part of your reflection at the end of the day.
  • Encourage your students to turn this document in to a poem, a prayer or to journal about their own ideas of Being Together.

Encourage your students to find ways to link the Archbishop’s Theme of Being Together: Practising Peacemaking to the Habits and Heart. May your classroom be a place of positive peace and wonderful togetherness this year and always.