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15 March 2020

The Rite Journey 2020

  • From the Head of Middle School

The hearts of the young seek
The hearts of those who love them try
When hearts unite, God’s joy in us will multiply

It was a tremendous joy to see our Year 9 students surrounded by their families at our recent Departure and Calling Ceremonies that mark the launch of our Rite Journey program. It is exciting to see expectancy in the students for what this transformational journey will involve. Students are encouraged to leave their childish ways behind and grow in maturity and responsibility. We also recognise that we are and will always be God’s children. Jesus Himself said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (NIV) How freeing it is to know who we are because we first know ‘whose’ we are. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

The Rite Journey teachers take the three Year 9 academic classes and meet in four single gender Home Groups. They also share four Rite Journey lessons together each week to build relationships, engage in challenges, and
to engage in meaningful discussions about what it looks like to transition well from childhood into adulthood. Students have embarked on a year of growth and transformation. They will engage in a range of opportunities to
grow their faith, responsibility, relationships and independence. And what a privilege it is to partner with families along this journey! One challenge that many students look forward to with excitement and nervous energy is the
‘solo experience’ on the Rite Journey camp where students spend time on their own in the outdoors, sleeping for one night under a shelter they create using a tarpaulin and rope. It is a time for self reflection, for students to
be stretched beyond their normal comfort zone, to let go and step up, and to realise that we never have to face challenges solo (alone), “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV).

At Emmaus, rather than removing challenges from our young people or rushing in to ‘save’ them when they encounter hardships, we desire to come alongside them with encouragement and support, that they might grow
stronger through the challenge. This not only helps them now but allows them to face future challenges with greater confidence. Having experiences that seemed really challenging at the time but were worked through well become opportunities for them to draw upon. What a joy it is to see students growing this resilience and stepping into all that God has created them to be.

In His Service,

Jonathan Carpenter
Head of Middle School