Stories to Live By

Bert and Mary Poppins, also known as our Chaplains Andy Fleming and Rev. Katherine

Bert and Mary Poppins, also known as our Chaplains Andy Fleming and Rev. Katherine

 

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
Joan Didion

Rev. Katherine as Mary PoppinsBook Week 2020 was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many students with their books and costumes celebrating the joy and insights that reading offers. Staff throughout the College also got into the spirit of celebrating this year’s theme, Curious Creatures, Wild Minds. 

Stories are vessels for truth and meaning about who we are and how we are to live. Jesus was known for his stories that both challenged and affirmed his listeners. Their response often depended on where they placed themselves in his stories which challenged the status quo. 

The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy was inspired by the words of Jesus. Tolstoy’s story The Three Questions is a parable which explores the question of how we are to live. 

 

In Tolstoy’s story, a King seeks the answers to three questions:

  • How can I do the right thing at the right time?
  • Who are the right people to listen to and who should be avoided; and above all
  • What is the most important thing to do? 


The King felt that if he could answer these questions he would never fail. 

At the risk of giving away that end of the story, which is worth reading in full, the King receives many answers to these three questions from the various people that he consults. In frustration at the unsatisfactory answers he had received from various sources, the King sought the wisdom of a hermit known for his wisdom. 

Through the twists and turns of the story it becomes clear that:

  • the most important time is the present
  • the most important person is the person whose company you are in, and
  • the most important thing is to “do that person good”


An adaption of this story, written for children by Jon J Muth called The Three Questions can be borrowed from the Junior School library or watched here. Students in Years 5 and 6 have been discussing this story as part of their learning in Religious and Values Education (RaVE). 

Anglicare Sunday
Sunday 18 October was Anglicare Sunday. Staff and volunteers at Anglicare are at the frontline of support for people who have been affected by the bushfires and job loss and other hardships due to COVID. This year’s theme for Anglicare Sunday is Love in Action.

Like the story above, Anglicare staff and volunteers listen to the people who they come into contact with, and support them with what they need. Chris and Lisa, who now live in Moruya, lost their home in the January bushfires. In this video they share how Anglicare has helped them to regain a sense of normality through tangible and dignified support. It is a story that is worth watching.

Donations to the valuable work of Anglicare can be made here.

 

A Prayer for Anglicare (and for us)

God grant us the compassion to care deeply for others;

the wisdom to discern how best to help;

the energy to transform emotion into action,

and the joy of wholehearted, loving service.

For Christ’s sake,

Amen.

 

 Anglicare Sunday  Anglicare Sunday

 

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