Building Project Update, Student Tech, SGM Meeting Minutes

Happy Summer MRCS Community! We hope you have had a good first week off. The staff have been busy wrapping up a great year and construction has started full force in the front office, kitchen, and staff room. We would like to share a bit of information before closing down for the summer.

1. Summer Hours
The office is closed from Tuesday, July 2 and will reopen Tuesday, August 20.
The first day back to school for students is Tuesday, September 3 and it will be a full day of classes.

2. School Supplies for 24/25
Please see the app message from June 14 for all information about school supplies for next year.

3. Celebrating Grad 2024
On June 24, we celebrated Grad 2024 with our Grade 12s and their families. It was a beautiful night of celebration, reflection, and encouragement for the future. Congratulations, Grads!

Visit our grad web page.

Photo credit: Laura Berkenpas Photography

4. Building Project Update
Much is happening! Watch the latest building project update video

5. Student Technology Use Policy
As with many schools around the province, we have updated our student tech use policy. In brief, the key points of the policy are:

  • No mobile devices (including smart watches, bluetooth headsets) for students K-8 at all during the day
  • Students Gr. 9-12 may use personal tech only during lunch and outside of school hours
  • Devices must be stored in a backpack or locker or; the device cannot be on the student
  • Students may be given a reminder but if they are seen with a device, the device will be taken and handed in at the office where the student may pick it up at the end of the day
  • For a third occurrence, a parent will need to pick up the device
    We appreciate your support of this policy in ensuring every student thrives within their learning community.

6. Thoughts from our lead principal on a Theology of Rest 
As we enter our summer break, I want to share with you some thoughts I shared with the staff at our recent Tuesday morning devotion time. I recently read a devotional from Dr. Uli Chi of the De Pree Centre and wanted to share some of his thoughts, my own reflections and insights to help us all build a good theology of rest and play that will not only impact our summer but help us through the fall and winter and beyond.

I want us to think of Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Being still… that is hard. Over the course of the last year or so, I have been reminded in different ways and by different people and in different contexts that we are Human Beings not Human Doings. Beings not doings.

We are loved by God because of who we are, not what we do. Even here at Maple Ridge Christian School, in a work of ministry,  this deeply important faith formation work of Christian education, does not ultimately define us. Our roles in this school, our service, and the deep dedication to this task are all things that we all appreciate in each other and that this Christian community values but actually is not our identity. Even this good work can become an idol for all of us. We need to have a better perspective.

Dr. Uli Chi, says this:

As important as work is, work isn’t meant to define us. To say it more precisely, work should be an expression of our identity, not a means through which we “earn” our identity.

In a 24/7 world of work, both ancient and modern, God calls us to remember who we are and whose we are. We are children of God, made in God’s image and likeness, who are loved not because of what we do, but simply because of who God is and who we are.

Taking time to rest is important because it reminds us that God is God and we are not. Taking time to play is even more important because it reminds us that our relationship with God is fundamentally one of love and freedom, not one of obligation and coercion. Without rest and play, we become a workaholic parody of who we were meant to be. So, how do we re-orient ourselves?

God expects you to do what you can, not what you can’t. In contrast, my tendency is to try and “power through” by adding a long list of “rest and play” items to the end of my never-completed to-do list!

So, what are we to do right on the precipice of summer, here are two thoughts, adapted from the devotional by Dr. Chi:

1. Sleep. While sleep is a biological necessity, when it is embraced willingly, it can also be an experience of freedom and growth. We don’t often think of sleep as an act of faith But sleep is meant to be a letting go of the cares of the day to God (including your incomplete to-do list!) and an act of trust in God’s care and provision. Also, sleep reminds us that we are not in control.

So, this summer, find time for sleep. And in the fall, make sure you also sleep. Sleep willingly and trustingly.

This is something that I have had to work on over the last number of years and to realize that I can sleep and that MRCS will run just fine if I’m not working crazy hours;  the work is always there.

2. Find a fun way to rest and play at least once a week, if only for a few hours. Take time to do something for enjoyment and pleasure; whether it’s a coffee date with your spouse, appetizers and music with friends, a walk in the park with friends and family. These are sabbath practices that are both relationship-saving and life-giving. I’ll admit this has been harder to practice for me with our family’s pretty busy schedule, but I’m working on it. It does require, on my part, intentional scheduling. To carve out time to be… to do things that aren’t “productive.” But things that are just meant for joy.

I’m trying to find those moments of silence and solitude; to be still and to hear God and just to know him and that he affirms me as a human being  not a human doing.

Sabbath is not only about rest but about play. And play is doing something purely for the joy of doing it. Like sitting on my deck, drinking coffee, and talking with my wife; or hitting the golf course or basketball court with my boys, or hanging out at the park with my daughter. Your version of that will be particular to you. The important thing is to find a small and simple way to begin.

So, as we enter summer, whether your summer is going to be busy as I anticipate mine will be or not quite as busy, take time to sleep. Take time to play. Do things because they are life-giving.

When we engage in those things year-round, we will have the energy to bring our best versions of ourselves. When we are living as image-reflectors and God-worshippers in all areas of our life, God honours those choices and equips us for the good work we are doing. So this summer and this fall and this winter: Be still and practice sabbath.

7. From the Board

Thank you all for your support over the year by attending our AGM, town hall, and SGM. You can view the SGM minutes from our meeting on May 29 and look forward to seeing everyone at our Fall AGM. Have a great summer! 

The MRCS Board of Directors
Nate Searle – Board Chair
Bob Barclay
Jesse Bodner
Alm Casey
Andrea Davies
Quentin Flokstra
Candee Goh
Krystle Hussey
Jonathan Robbins
Karen Volcz
Neil Zandbergen