Joint Denominational Special Religious Education

The beginning of this school year continued the tradition of Charlestown Joint Denominational Special Religious Education (SRE) teachers coming together for commissioning, reflection and shared hospitality.

This year, C3 Victory Ministry hosted the event.  Prayer partners and extended family members were also welcomed and thanked for their support and often-unseen contribution. SRE teachers spent the Sunday afternoon in friendly review of the past year, and in discussion around how best we could, together, cover as many SRE classes in the local State Schools as possible in 2015.

Pastor Karen Thorpe led the biblical reflection with reference to the Book of Esther and the role of SRE teachers “...for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Karen drew out four main themes for SRE teachers, including the need to stay in touch with the ‘bigger picture’, and to seek the wisdom, through prayer, to know when to speak up and when to stay silent.

Joint Denominational (JD) Christian classes are increasingly common as recruitment of parishioners to take individual, for example Catholic/Baptist/Anglican, classes continues to decline. Churches reach agreement on the SRE program to be used and, currently, Godspace or Connect are most commonly used. SRE teachers work together to organise Easter and Christmas school assemblies and often join together for prayer before classes.

Each Church denomination cross-authorises other JD teachers, with respective Churches taking responsibility for ensuring all State Government conditions for SRE teachers attending State Schools are met by their Teachers. All SRE teachers are required to complete a WWC check and complete training modules.

This year’s commissioning concluded with a personal blessing for each teacher and with SRE teachers agreeing to prepare well for classes, pray for students and their teachers and be ready “for such a time as this”.

While the Catholic community in MacKillop Parish supports St Mary’s High School, other Charlestown Christian Churches join to bring SRE to Whitebridge High. A qualified teacher is employed to provide SRE classes at the school, and fundraising events happen through the year to finance this outreach.

Helene O’Neill will be guest speaker at the annual Business Breakfast on March 17th at the Mattara Hotel, Charlestown.

SRE Teacher vacancies exist across the Diocese – ring 49791 328 if you are able to help in this outreach ministry.

Photo: Some members of the Charlestown Joint Denominational SRE team.

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