Religious and Faith Life
A central pillar of the Emmanuel Anglican College Strategic Plan is Faith, Values and Service and it is underpinned by a core goal to provide all members of our community opportunities and avenues to explore, share, celebrate and live out our Christian faith and values. To support our community as it strives to achieve this goal the College has undertaken a broad range of initiatives designed to support, enhance and enrich each individual’s journey as a person seeking truth and meaning. The following is an overview of the different realms which support the faith life of the College:
1. Religious and Values Education (RAVE)
All students throughout Kindergarten to Year 10 are involved in the RAVE program. Students undertake lessons once a week in the Primary School and twice a week in the Secondary School. Each year group follows an age appropriate program that has at its heart the Christian story and message. In the youngest years the program centres on Bible stories and Heroes, introducing key elements of the Christian story and exploring Christian Values. As students grow and mature the program develops to match student intellectual, social and emotional development. Students in the secondary years explore world religions, religion and ethics, religious history and issues relating to identity and meaning. All students undertake assessment programs and their performance is reported in academic reports. The program is coordinated by the College Chaplain and delivered by teachers with a genuine faith commitment and an understanding and appreciation of the Christian message and story.
2. Prayer and Worship Life
The College has many opportunities for all members of the community to come together for prayer and communal worship. On two occasions each term the entire College Community gathers at St Mary’s Anglican Church for our Whole College Chapel Service. It is a wonderful experience to see students from Kindergarten to Year 12 worshiping along side staff, parents and members of the broader community. The Primary School also come together once a fortnight to worship together at the Primary Chapel Service. Secondary students enjoy Year Group and Stage based services each term. All staff meetings and school assemblies also commence with prayer. The College also has prayer groups that meet regularly for staff, students and parents.
3. Retreats and Reflection Days
Students from Year 6 through to Year 10 are involved in reflection days that provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop appropriate themes through a Christian lens. In Years 11 and 12 students undertake an overnight Christian retreat experience that provides them with an opportunity to take time out to explore, reflect, share and pray about issues and themes that are significant for senior students.
4. Service and Outreach
One of the highlights of 2016 was the introduction of our service and leadership program known as Lighthouse. The program has been greatly received and many students have taken up the opportunity to have their volunteering, service and leadership activity acknowledged and rewarded as part of the program. The philosophy of the Lighthouse program centres on the Christian call to service. Students are invited to look for opportunities to serve their school, local and wider community. As students accumulate service hours they are recognised and awarded.
While currently working through a transition phase, Emmanuel Anglican College is committed to supporting a full time Chaplain and developing and extending a Chaplaincy team. The role of a Chaplain is to lead the worship life in our school, to serve as an integral part of the College Executive team and a member of the Pastoral Care team. They also assist with the development, resourcing and delivery of the Religious and Values Education curriculum. The Chaplain leads College Chapel Services for staff and students, and is also available for staff, students and their families to support them in a broad range of ways including prayer, counsel and pastoral care.
6. Relationship with surrounding parishes
The College enjoys a wonderful relationship with the Community of St Mary’s Anglican Parish in Ballina. The College regularly visits the parish for Whole College Chapel Services and Rev Matthew Jones is well known and greatly valued by the EAC community. The College enjoys the prayerful support of the parish and regularly looks for opportunities to share in the life of the Parish. In recent years the relationship between EAC and the parish of St Barts has begun to flourish and this had been greatly supported by the efforts of Rev Greg Ezzy and Rev Sally Miller.