Scripture in Schools

In a local Kindergarten SRE class a girl joins in as her classmates walk in a large circle around the room. They are re-enacting the fall of Jericho.

In an infants class the teacher demonstrates the Parable of the Sower using cotton-balls planted with grass seeds that are left in the classroom for a few weeks and the class can watch them grow over that time.

In an older class one student has begun to put the pieces of the Gospel together. Coming from an unbelieving family, some of the only access this student has to the Gospel is through Scripture lessons. She asks her teacher “I know I can ask God for forgiveness when I sin, but do I need to do it for every single sin, every time, in order to go to heaven?”

In a final year of primary SRE a girl learns that the good news of the Gospel is a free gift, but just like any gift, it’s important for us to accept it for ourselves.

I know all these stories because they all happened to me! These are some of the memories I have from attending scripture classes through primary school – some of which were taught by members of our own church!

Over the last few weeks, SRE (Special Religious Education, also known as Scripture) lessons have resumed in NSW Primary Schools. In our local area, 24 teachers and helpers from different churches (mostly ours) will be teaching 35 classes in 6 local schools – Jannali, Jannali East, Oyster Bay, Bonnet Bay, Como and Como West. Around 600-700 students will be in classes every week, many from backgrounds like my own – with parents who do not attend church, but see the value in their children receiving Christian education. The students learn from the Bible through Youthworks’ Connect curriculum – a finely-tuned resource that ensures that the content of each lesson is taught faithfully and age-appropriately to the students in our classes.

It is my privilege to work as the SRE coordinator this year, supporting the team of teachers, some of whom have been teaching for decades and others who have stepped into class for the first time this year.

As you know, SRE has been under attack in the media over the last few years, but as you can see, God’s word is still going out. But we can’t take it for granted, so please join with me in prayer for this vital ministry.

If you would like to know more, or are interested in becoming a teacher yourself, please let me know. This year, we have some large classes, and several teachers would love it if someone would join them as a classroom helper – someone to be in the class, to assist in class management, but not be needed to teach. The only qualifications needed for a helper – beyond a passion for this ministry – is a valid government Working With Children Check (WWCC) number and up-to-date Safe Ministry training. If this is something you think you’d like to do, please let me know.

Thanks for your support of this ministry.

Jenn Phillips
SRE Coordinator

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