Chaplain’s Blog

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The purpose of this page is to provide the School with reflections from the chaplain, ministry information and connections with our Anglican partner parishes.
It is also an opportunity to ask me a question and I will answer it for you with a confidential response or where appropriate if it is general information I will post the answer here.
Reverend Mark Leam

 
6 May 2014
 
I receive a number of devotions each week via email and find some more useful than others. One site that I receive devotions regularly from is Daily Devotions by Revd. Peter Panagore of First Radio Parish Church of America.
I usually find his devotions interesting and helpful in my times of reflection so I thought I might from time to time  share one with you. This is the one for this week entitled, 'God in a Box.'
 
 God in a Box

I built a wooden box in which to store my God words. I put only certain words inside my box. Important words, descriptive words, historic words, sacred words, like transcendent, merciful, omnipotent, forgiving, beautiful, infinite, perfect, compassionate, immanent, goodness, white beard, Him, and holy. I think that by collecting these words, I can eventually define God, and by defining God, understand God, and by understanding God, confine and contain God. Knowing exactly what God is makes me feel secure.

I simply want to understand God, or at the very least, imagine God as God actually is. I feel safer that way, and then I can string words together and authoritatively explain God to you. I feel comfortable with a God who fits inside my box. With God contained, I don't have to worry about what I don't understand, like mystery, like Otherness, or that God might actually be indescribable. That was my plan. It was working, too. Every week I was adding God words to my God box, when unfortunately, I came upon these words by Saint Augustine, who just ruined everything. He said, "God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand, you have failed."

Now what do I do?

Let's Pray: Dear God, You are beyond knowing, and much more than any words I use to contain You. Yet You are all I desire. Take me beyond words and failure. Amen.

Peace and Blessings
Revd. Mark Leam
 
 
18 February 2014
 
Chapel Captains 2014
Congratulations to the following students who have been appointed Chapel Captains and Vice Captains for 2014.
Chapel Captain - Brandon Meikle
Vice Captains - Annette Hwang and Lindy Van Zyl
I look forward to working with these students as they share in the important ministry at St Paul's assisting in the chapel and participating in worship. Reverend Mark Leam
Thanks also go to Mr Leonard as he works with the students forming the 2014 Worship Band. The ministry of music is a vital part of our worship and celebrations at St Paul's and it would not be possible without the dedication and effort of the students and Mr Leonard.
Reverend Mark Leam 
 
 

Applications for Chapel Captains for 2014 are now open.
 
Students in Yrs 11 or 12 in 2014 on a minimum of Silver Card Leadership Level are invited to apply for the position of Chapel Captain for 2014. Students in Yrs 10 - 12 in 2014 onminimum of Blue Card Leadership Level may apply for the position of Chapel Vice Captian. Would you like to take on an important role at St Paul’s where you can demonstrate your leadership and faith while engaging with opportunities for personal growth? If you would like to know more or have any questions, please contact Rev’d Mark Leam for an information sheet, including, selection information, role description. Applications need to be in writing and close at 3.10pm Friday 15th November 2013.
 
Monday 13 May 2013

Confirmation

Middle or Senior School students, who are a minimum age of 15 years and desiring to make a greater commitment to their faith, are invited to take the journey to Confirmation.
From earliest days, Christians have celebrated their Christian life in this service of Holy Communion sharing bread and wine as Jesus did with his friends at the “Last Supper”. It is usual within the Anglican tradition that before regularly receiving communion, children will be baptised, and participated in a program of admission to communion. Older students, seeking to confirm their faith in Jesus and further explore what it means to be a Christian, are invited to prepare for confirmation. Students who are to be confirmed do not need not be admitted to communion first. Confirmation will take place at the Foundation Day Service on November 5th with Bishop Ron Williams officiating at the service.
We will be running a program to prepare students for Confirmation, beginning in Term Three and would like to hear from those interested in joining or wishing to find out more. An expression of interest form does not mean you are committed to the program on offer but that we will provide you with information to help you make an informed decision. For those wishing to find out more please click on the link and fill in the Expression of Interest Form and return to Revd. Mark Leam.

Tuesday 27 November 2012
Are we there yet? I recently heard those words used not as one might expect coming from the back seat of my car but from the stage as Chair of St Paul's School Council as addressed us at the Senior School and Junior Schol COA. My children have both finished school and so I rarely hear these words spoken these days. Yet they still spring to mind whenever I am forced to wait in anticipation for some event, my own arrival at a destination, when encountering an unexpected delay or standing in line at the ever increasing queues at retailors. We are nearly there; that is the end of the school year. As the school year draws to a close, thoughts of course turn to Christmas, holidays and time spent with family. I pray you manage to find some time to relax and refresh as well as celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, at Christmas we celebrate God creator of all that is and will be, coming into the world as a human child and becoming the Saviour of us all. This must remain our focus for Christmas beyond all else and through all the trimmings and trappings that go with the season let us make time for giving thanks to God for coming into the world. A great way to do this is to come together in worship and community with others ceebrating this wonderful event. Why not join with other families who gather in churches around the school during this Christmas season. (I wonder which of the Three wise men was the first to say, 'Are we there yet? or maybe they just savoured the journey to see the saviour)
Below you will find a link to Local Anglican Church services as well as flyers for two specail events at Strathpine Parish including a Christmas Market and A Night in Bethlehem event.
Peace, joy and blessings to all at Christmas and may God watch over those you love and bring us all safely back to this place in the new year. The Reverend Mark Leam

Friday 25 October 2013

Applications for Chapel Captains for 2013 are now open.

Students in Yrs 11 or 12 in 2013 are invited to apply for the position of Chapel Captain for 2012. Would you like to take on an important role at St Paul’s where you can demonstrate your leadership and faith while engaging with opportunities for personal growth? If you would like to know more or have any questions, please contact Rev’d Mark Leam for an information sheet, including, selection information, role description and expectations or collect one from the chapel foyer or click on the the link. Chapel Captain Information.
Applications need to be in writing and submitted to the chaplain directly or emailed to chapel@stpauls.qld.edu.au . Applications close at 3.10pm Monday 26th November 2012.
Foundation Day 2013

Thursday September 13 2012

Vanuatu Outreach Trip Updates

You have probably noticed I haven't put anything about the Vanuatu Outreach Trip in the blog since our return. Much of it was covered quite well in a separate section of the website and students heard plenty about it in Chapel services where those who attended spoke about the visit and their experiences. From the feedback I have had the students found the trip exciting, challenging and at times thought provoking. However the Outreach Trip does not begin and end at the International Airport. Students and staff spend a great deal of time prior to the trip planning, preparing and resourcing for the work we do in the villages of Lorevilko and Sakau and on our return the work continues. Since returning there has been much going on as a response to the trip and I thought it a good idea to let the SPS community know a little more about some of those things.
Students who attended the trip staff the stand at the Fair.
SPS Fair: Thank you to all those who took the time to come and see the Vanuatu Outreach stand at the fair and talk to the staff and students on the day. The stand displayed photos of many of the activities students participated in as well as some of the projects we are undertaking related to the villages we work in. One of the important things about the relationship we are fostering with the communities we engage with in Vanuatu is that it is not just about those who go on the trips. The commmunities we visit are seeking to grow in relationahip with the whole SPS community and we encourage all members of the school to learn more about our outreach villages and trips.
Parent and participant reunion: On Friday September 7 most staff and students who attended the trip gathered at school to share supper, show pictures, talk about the trip and say thank you to parents who supported them in attending the trip. It was a great opportunity for students and parents to hear about aspects of the trip that they may not have heard from their own child. Parents were also able to ask questions of staff and students and share some of the reflections their children had shared with them. I would personally like to thank those students who attended the trip for their cooperation, their efforts and also the parents who made it possible for the students to attend.
Water tanks change lives: Many of us have water tanks in our yards to collect rainwater, either as part of our desire to engage in some form of environmental stewardship, the convenience of having untreated water available for the garden etc. or perhaps from an economic rationale. It is unlikley however any of us have them there for life and death reasons. For villages in low rainfall areas of Vanuatu however that is the very reason you will generally see water tanks in villages. Rainwater tanks are often the only access many people have to a regular supply of safer drinking water. In the remote village of Sakau, one of our outreach villages, the whole commnuity relies on a 1000 litre tank collecting water off the school building. If it fails to rain for two weeks the supply runs dry. This means children can not attend school, health issues arise and much of the day is taken up with having to travel kilometres to another less safe water supply. Our students noted this while in Sakau Classroom Showing Village Water SupplySakau and decided as a group they would look at ways of changing this if possible. Thanks to donations through a change tin in Sippers, donations through other sources and a collection tin next to our model village at the fair I am pleased to say we have enough to put a more suitable water tank into the village. After St Paul's generousity from the fair in 2010 to a water tank project in Lorevilko we have seen a dramatic rise in student attendance at school and an improvement in infant and child health. We are hoping the same will become apparent in Sakau with this water tank. Thank you everyone.
Junior School on board with library resources initiative: Unless you are a Junior School parent you probably won't know what the RAK group is. RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness group. They perform all sorts of caring and serving acts at SPS. Why? Because they can! SO what has RAK got to do with our outreach trips.
This year we were lucky to have Ms Caron Knight from the junior school library attend the outreach trip. While in Vanuatu she spoke with staff in the schools about their very meagre school libraries offering advice and sharing ideas. On her return two of the members of RAK, Junior School Chapel Captains Julia Munt and Georgia Harper heard about the schools and after putting our heads together came up with a way Junior School students and families can get involved with our Outreach Villages and help build their library resources. Ms Knight is helping them coordinate a program where she selects fiction and fact books appropriate to their, age reading levels, needs and curriculum. St Pauls students then have the opportunity to donate one of the books toVanuatu Book Program Display JS Library the Library of a village school. Children take an envelope with a picture of the book and its price on the front. They are encouraged to do chores around the house or other activites to raise the money for the book. When they have enough they place the money in the envelope and return it to the Junior School Library. Ms Knight purchases the books and they are forwarded to the village schools with a plate in the front saying who has donated it. Books range form about $2 - $15 so are managble for even smaller children and helps them begin to understand ideas of service, giving and service learning. Junior School families are encouraged to support this project as part of our whole community engaging with our outreach program. Many thanks to Ms Knight, Georgia and Julia. Well Done.
I hope you can see that although there much need associated with our Outreach Villages great things are happening at St Paul's as we work towards practical solutions to real problems in daily life for these communities. If anyone at St Paul's or a community group you are asociated with would like to know more about any aspects of our Outreach Trips or the communities we visit I would be more than happy to speak to individuals or groups. Again thank you to everyone for your support of our St Paul's Outreach.
Rev Mark Leam

Thursday September 13 2012

JUNIOR ICHTHUS 23 – 28 September (For Students in Middle School)

I have spoken in chapel about Junior Icthus and time is running out for anyone interested in attending this great camp in the upcomming vacation. Junior Icthus is an exciting 6-day holiday experience that challenges young people to step outside their comfort zones through group and individual activities, and to form new friendships within a safe Christian community that encourages participants to meet the God who challenges us to step out and live a life of faith in Jesus.
Junior Ichthus has been running in Queensland since 2002, and many of the leaders grew up attending them as campers.
The total cost to attend Junior Ichthus 2012 is $278. This includes all food, accommodation and activities during the week. Visit the website at www.ministryeducation.org.au/youth-children-families for answers to other FAQs and to register. All activities are staffed by qualified and experienced adults who have undergone stringent Safe Ministry Checks. For further enquiries, call Jonathan Kemp, Director of Youth, on (07) 3514 7432
or email jdkemp@ministryeducation.org.au .
Alternatively give me a ring at School and I would be happy to talk to you about it.
Places are limited, so don’t delay: JUMP to it

Thursday July 26 2012
Greetings all and welcome back for the new term. It seems there is never enough time hours in a day to do all the things we think I need to do. However, it is important to remember that sometimes we need to dicern the difference between busyness and business. God's business should always be our first priority whether that is prayer, reading the Bible, ministering to others, helping those in need or proclaiming the gospel. Sometimes I realise after a full day that I have been caught up in the busyness and completely neglected God's business. Spirituality in so many forms is about discipline and discipline is about prioritising and making time for God each and every day and the business God calls us to carry out in God's name. After all surely that is what we should be doing most of all since that is what we were made for. Spending time with God and spending time doing the Lord's business.

Still time to be involved in Confirmation preparation

It has been a very busy start to the term after a hectic end to the first semester and so for those who thought they may have missed the boat it is still possible to be involved in preparation for Confirmation for this year.
Below is some information in regards to the Confirmation Program.
The 2012 Confirmation program is designed to fit within the busy schedule of Senior School Students with minimal impact on their study and other commitments. Students can work at their own pace through material that will be provided to them prior to 4 group topic discussion meetings. There will be Three in Term Three and one early Term Four, where we will discuss the various topics. This will allow the program to finish immediately prior to the Foundation Day service when students will be Confirmed. The Topic Discussions will run at lunchtime in the Chapel on the set dates and students are welcome to bring their lunch with them. The program is based on reflection and journaling as well as considering questions and responses related to topics being explored.
The program is not intended to overload students with too much information, but to guide them to a better understanding of what Confirmation is. It is also intended to help them understand that Holy Communion is a special occasion we can all participate in as part of God’s family. It is hoped that, by participating more fully in the service, they will; engage at a deeper level, be encouraged in their journey of faith, be comfortable in exploring their faith collectively and independently, and feel more a part of the wider church.
If this is something students are interested in they can download the Expression of Interest Form here or pick one up from the Chapel. If anyone has further questions please do not hesitate to contact me at the school by phone or by email. chapel@stpauls.qld.edu.au
Link for Expression of Interest for Confirmation
I look forward to hearing from any interested students or parents and also sharing more information.
Peace and blessings to all, Reverend Mark Leam.

Monday June 4 2012

Confirmation and Admission to Communion

I am delighted to announce we have been busy putting together two programs for students and will be offering them the opportunity to be prepared for Confirmation (Students 15 years and older) and Admission to Communion (Junior School Students 8 years and over).
Below is some information in regards to the Confirmation Program. Information for the Admission to Communion program will be available soon.
The 2012 Confirmation program is designed to fit within the busy schedule of Senior School Students with minimal impact on their study and other commitments. Students can work through material that will be provided to them at their own pace prior to 4 group topic discussion meetings.The program is based on reflection and journaling as well as considering questions and responses related to topics being explored.
An introductory meeting is set for early term 3 followed by 4 group meetings (Three in Term Three and one early Term Four) where we will discuss the various topics. This will allow the program to finish immediately prior to the Foundation Day service when students will be Confirmed. The Topic Discussions will run at lunchtime in the Chapel on the set dates and students are welcome to bring their lunch with them.
The program is not intended to overload students with too much information, but to guide them to a better understanding of what Confirmation is. It is also intended to help them understand that Holy Communion is a special occasion we can all participate in as part of God’s family. It is hoped that, by participating more fully in the service, they will; engage at a deeper level, be encouraged in their journey of faith, be comfortable in exploring their faith collectively and independently and feel more a part of the wider church.
If this is something students are interested in they can download the Expression of Interest Form here or pick one up from the Chapel. If anyone has further questions please do not hesitate to contact me at the school by phone or by email. chapel@stpauls.qld.edu.au
Link for Expression of Interest for Confirmation
I look forward to hearing from interested students or parents and also sharing more information on our Admission to Communion program soon.
Peace and blessings to all, Reverend Mark Leam.

Wednesday May 16 2012
Peace and blessings to all. The other day I was trying to catch up on some work and thought I had best see where I was up to on this blog. I was horrified to see that it was a month ago and the beginning of the term since I had placed something on it. I had so much I wanted to tell you about and realised how little I had put out there in the blogasphere.
One of the reasons has been focussing on new things at the beginning of the term and letting a number of things I try and do regularly slip. Often we are enthused by new and what can come across as more exciting or interesting projects and we let the regular, daily or what may appear more mundane activities and committments slide. Sometimes we need something to grab our attention and help us re focus on what we are called to do regardless of how we might feel about them at the time.
I remember during my time in training and formation for the priesthood how the leadership team would press home the need for a discipline of prayer that was to take precedence over almost everything else we did. As far as I was aware all of us in training maintained a strong daily prayer regime. However, we were also honest enough to acknowledge there were times when we would replace our regular time of prayer or reflection with what we believed were more pressing matters.
I remember one time struggling with a series of situations some folks were having that just didn't seem to be resolving themselves and I was becoming more and more frustrated as were they. Deciding to seek the counsel of one whose wisdom I respected I explained the situation to her. After listening to me, she sat for a few minutes in silence looked at me and said, 'And how is your prayer life at the moment?' I was clever enough to keep my thoughts that this was not about me to myself. It didn't matter, she knew what I was thinking and added that if my part in all this was to be the one who was to pray about the situations, then if I was not offering prayer perhaps I was the reason there had been no resolution. Needless to say once I resumed my more disciplined regime of daily prayer thing sorted themselves out.
There are still times when I let things get in the way of what I know I should be doing or I prioritize what I am doing trying to justify the importance of the 'other' above the apparently mundane. But now I think I have become more willing to stop and challenge myself to spend that time in prayer. After all if it is important enough to receive my attention and time, surely it is important enough to pray about and be offered up to the one through whom all things are possible?
Loving God, grant us the courage and wisdom to offer to you those things we hold to ourselves and that distract us from offering them to you in the first place. Amen.
For those who are not aware another reason I have not blogged much lately is that a couple of weeks ago I broke my hand and have also just had discovered a new fracture in my wrist. This has meant typing, emails and writing have been very slow, painful and tedious. I had just begun getting back into it but my physio severly admonished me today for stressing the injury so I will need to slow down a bit and perhaps some of the things I wish to share will have to wait a bit longer.
Thanks for your wishes and prayers and peace and blessings to all, Rev'd Mark Leam

Wednesday April 18 2012
Greetings and welcome back, staff, students and parents. It seems like an eternity since I posted something on here but I won’t go into excuses why that might be. I pray you all had a blessed and Holy Easter. As we return to the busyness of school life it is important to remember that Easter is more than just Easter Day where we might go to church, eat our eggs and spend time with family and friends. Easter is a season lasting fifty days leading up to Pentecost and the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
On Easter Day we celebrate the love of God seen through the resurrection of Jesus and the freedom from death and sin we gain through Jesus selfless giving of himself on the cross. Through the season of Easter many of the readings we have in church explore who Jesus is and who others understood him to be. Of course this is highlighted for us and made abundantly clear in the Gospel of John 14:6 where Jesus aid to Thomas, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
I pray you continue to have a holy and blessed Easter Season and that you too will come to know Jesus more each day and in the words of the prayer ascribed to St Richard (of Chichester) and made popular through the song ‘Day by Day’ in the 70’s musical Godspell let us all offer the prayer that;
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day
Peace and blessings, Reverend Mark Leam

Tuesday 6 March 2012
Thailand Outreach Trip Leaving Friday 9 March
On Friday 10 students and three staff will depart for Thailand as part of the St Paul's and Macarthur Anglican school joint Thailand Outreach Trip. As much as students will probably gain much from the trip the philosophy behind such trips is about giving rather than receiving. Such trips can help students to develop a greater sense of appreciation of just how blessed we are as a nation and individuals. As they engage with other communities and cultures their world view often shifts from me to us.

Tuesday 28 February 2012
Vanuatu Outreach Applications Close Friday March 2
Attention senior school students and parents. Due to a variety of circumstances the closing date for application for the Vanuatu Outreach trip in June/July has been extended to Friday March 2. If students are still interested in applying they can collect an application from either Reverend Mark from the chapel or from the Wellbeing Centre. Some students were concerned that as they were not able to attend the information night they believed they could not apply. Although the information night provided much infromation about the trip attendance was not a requirement for applying. Time is running out though so if students or parents have any questions or would like more infromation contact Rev'd Mark by email or phone.
This trip is a wonderful opportunity for students to participate in a unique outreach program and engage in experiences that may change their life. V2 Vanuatu. Is this for you?

Thursday 9 February 2012
Connect to Church Sunday. 12th February 2012
When was the last time you attended your local Anglican church? Christmas, Easter? Perhaps it was for a wedding, Baptism or funeral? Maybe never?
For many who have attended church for a pastoral service or for Sunday school, sometimes the only reason they have not returned is they have not been invited. For many who attend our church schools the only reason they have not attended is because they have not been invited. In February 2012, Anglican Churches throughout the Brisbane Diocese will be participating in Connect2Church welcoming people to church to make a connection.
Connect2Church is about church members inviting their friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues to Come 2gether in their local Anglican Church. The services held on these Sunday’s are often made more accessible to those who are not as familiar with the traditions of regular church worship. The Anglican Church is known to be rich in diversity yet retaining strong connection through familiar and accessible corporate worship.
This Sunday is Connect to Church Sunday and you are invited to connect or reconnect with one of the local Anglican Churches surrounding our school. I am sure at any of these churches you will be made to feel welcome and bump into other St Paul’s families and staff as they gather with their worshipping community. Below you will find the times of some of the local parishes and services. Why not Connect2church this Sunday?
Sunday Service times for some local Anglican Churches.
Sandgate – North Point: 8:45am at St Margaret's; 58 Rainbow Street, Sandgate & 10:00am at The Church of the Holy Spirit; Denham St, Bracken Ridge
Aspley –Albany Creek: 7.00am Eucharist with hymns & 9.00am Eucharist with, children's talk & Children’s Church. Church of the Resurrection; Ridley Road, Bridgeman Downs
North Pine 7.00am Holy Communion & 9am Holy Communion with Baptism & Kids Church at St. John’s Cnr Dayboro Rd & Wyllie St, Petrie
Strathpine 7.00am Eucharist with hymns & 9.00am Eucharist with hymns and Children's Church at St Faith’s. Samsonvale Road; Strathpine.
Peace and Blessings. Reverend Mark Leam - Chaplain

Monday 23 January 2011
Welcome Back for another great school year. A special welcome to all the new students, parents and staff.
I have to confess I had all the good intentions in the world to keep adding to the blog over the summer break but of course it takes more than good intentions for things to actually become a reality. However, that said I hope to keep things ticking along in the blog and keep you informed about what is happening in chaplaincy and related areas of St Paul's as well as our local Anglican Parishes.
A great bit of news to share is to let you know the names of our Chapel Captains for 2012. Alexandra Godbold and Eloise O'Brien have been appointed Chapel Captains and Alex Reynolds the Chapel Vice Captain. I look forward to working with them this year as they add their talents and skills to chapel life at St Paul's.
Well the rain may be falling now as this first day of the 2012 school year draws to a close but it certainly hasn't dampened the spirits of our new students for school especially by all reports many of our newset and youngest St Paulians, our new Prep students. Welcome to all of them as they begin their learning journey here at St Paul's.
Again to all have a great year and peace and blessings to you from the chaplain, The Reverend Mark Leam

Wednesday 29 November 2011
As the school year draws to a close, thoughts of course turn to Christmas, holidays and time spent with family. I pray you manage to find some time to relax and refresh as well as celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes at Christmas we celebrate God creator of all that is and will be, coming into the world as a human child and becoming the Saviour of us all. This must remain our focus for Christmas beyond all else and through all the trimmings and trappings that go with the season let us make time for giving thanks to God for coming into the world.
This link leads to times for local Anglican Church services over the Christmas period.
Peace, joy and blessings to all at Christmas and may God watch over those you love and bring us all safely back to this place in the new year. The Reverend Mark Leam

Friday 11 November 2011bible etc
Applications for Chapel Captains for 2012 are now open.
Students in Yrs 11 or 12 in 2012 are invited to apply for the position of Chapel Captain for 2012. Would you like to take on an important role at St Paul’s where you can demonstrate your leadership and faith while engaging with opportunities for personal growth? If you would like to know more or have any questions, please contact Rev’d Mark Leam for an information sheet, including, selection information, role description and expectations or download it from 'Edukate' or click on the the link. Chapel Captain Information.
Applications need to be in writing and submitted to the chaplain directly or emailed to chapel@stpauls.qld.edu.au . Applications close at 3.10pm Monday 28th November 2011.

Monday 7 November 2011
What a wonderful day last Friday was as we celebrated Foundation Day.
I must say thanks to everyone who helped make it a success. Huge thanks to the groundstaff for their efforts in getting the PEC looking fantastic and moving everything back and forth to set it up. The lead up to the start of the service had the Jnr School students sharing their chapel songs led by Mrs Adams. Thanks to the three fantastic music groups on the day and the very hard working music staff. The St Paul's Chorale sang the anthems and setting for the service which was just beautiful. Chamber strings and Senior Strings combined to provide stunning and stirring accompaniment throughout the service. Worship Band were just awesome and really drew the gathering to join in singing the worship songs. Well done to the soloists who pulled it together beautifully. Thanks to Reverend Lynda for an entertaining and meaningful address and to Reverend John for his help during communion. Students Sam, Alice and Lindy handled their roles in the sanctuary party well in front of a huge crowd.
Sometimes on such occasions I am so busy inside praying it will all work on the day I fail to engage at some levels but I must say there were moments in the service where I was truly moved. The foundations we are continuing to build on in our school and our worship are solid and one thing is for sure God was in the house.
Again thanks to all for the service and also the house lunches and activities to make a good day great. As it was my son's last Foundation Day I finally threw off my impartiality and cheered on Halse in the netball. They may not have come out on top in all the games I watched but it was a top afternoon spending time with students and staff enjoying the fun. Foundation Day, can't wait for next year now.
Happy Foundation Day to all from Reverend Mark Leam

Tuesday 25 October 2011
Thirty Anniversary CakesAs we approach our Foundation Day Celebrations it seems it is the season for anniversaries. Last Sunday the Anglican Parish of Aspley-Albany Creek celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. As well as placing a time capsule in the grounds of the church to be opened in thrity years the parish made thirty cakes for the morning's festivities. Each cake was themed on the year it represented either depicting an event of the year in the life of the church or the person who made it. There was a breakfast and enough treats to cater for even the sweetest of tastes. It was a wonderful day of celebrations with members of the parish being Confirmed and admitted to the Anglican Church.
The day was a great celebration and a reminder of the wonderful wider Anglican community that our school is a part of. If you are interested in finding out more about your local Anglican parish feel free to conatct me, check out this link on our website to local parishes http://www.stpauls.qld.edu.au/page/holistic-education/parish-partnership or better still, attend a Sunday Worship service.
God bless and congratulations to Aspley-Albany Creek parish, Reverend Mark Leam
 

Monday 24 October 2011
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Acts 1:8-9 (NRSV)
As a priest and chaplain a couple of the most frequently asked questions of me are; how do you know God exists and what proof is there for God? I am never sure at the time if the question is a genuine search for truth or an opportunity seized to try and stump the religious person but I will always answer in a way that honours the enquiry being asked in a true spirit of searching.
Jesus spoke to his disciples telling them they would be his witnesses. By this the implication is that through their witness, ministry and testimony the whole world would come to know him and his teachings. As inheritors of their faith and our call to ministry we also are called to be the same.
I think the words of Keith Robinson who wrote about this very idea sum it up so eloquently. “Still today I believe God’s people offer the most basic proof of God. A changed life is still the best testimony of the presence of God and God’s power. Divine love reflected in a Christian heart which accepts, forgives and loves the unlovable is still the best witness of the nature of God. Hope that will not die is still the best proof of eternal life. Faith which cannot be shaken even in the face of death is still the best demonstration of the absoluteness of God’s promises. We who have been granted the imponderable privilege of partaking in the divine nature are the witnesses, the demonstration, the proof of the divine presence in the world. Books and lessons and sermons and reason may have their place, but the real test is in the lives of God’s chosen people. If that proof is not clear and constant, everything else is just meaningless chatter.”
I think for us too, if we want our children to believe that Christ and his teachings are important, that Christian principles and values are foundational for a complete life then we have to live like we believe. Our lives need to be a living witness to the love, care, compassion, respect and forgiveness that Jesus says God has for all people. It should also reflect the traditions Jesus and his followers established including a regular pattern of prayer, Bible Reading, Worship and reflection. Otherwise we may as well be speaking another language that cannot be understood or not speaking at all.
Let us pray; God of grace and wisdom, you continually raise up good people who show with their lives that they follow a holy and loving God. Let our lives be as true as our faith. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may have the courage and strength to live our lives so all we say and do may be witness to your living presence among us. We ask this through Christ our Lord .Amen.
Peace and blessings to you; Reverend Mark Leam.
 

Wednesday 5 October 2011
 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
Welcome back to our students and those staff who have been on leave. I pray all who managed to have a break are feeling refreshed and ready for this term. I was talking to some of my Year 12 RAVE students today about this final term of their formal schooling here at St Paul's and asked, how many pieces of assesment each had remaining. It was interesting the different looks on their faces as some looked anxious and others appeared completely none fussed at the work ahead. I expect all our year 12s will be reminded more than once of the importance in striking a balance between the excitement of this last term a need to continue working right through to the finish. It can certainly be a time where discipline may be tested and by this I mean student’s ability to make appropriate decisions on use of their time and talents to achieve the best results they can. It is a time to put good study and learning habits and practices at the forefront of your routines. Of course students are free to choose to apply themselves or not but I am sure they all know the importance of continuing the good work done so far. Blessings and prayers to all our students as they apply themselves to the term’s work ahead.
Discipline in ones study life is important and likewise it is important to be disciplined in our spiritual lives. Regular prayer, Bible reading, worship and reflection are extremely important to our spiritual journey and growth and can have a profound affect on other aspects of our life also. For instance, as we grow in knowledge of Jesus love and sacrifice for us on the cross; we can’t help but be moved to want to share that love with those around us. We will desire to be more Christ like each and every day in our thoughts, our words and our actions as we follow Jesus command to, “Love one another as I have loved you”. Sometimes it may be hard to find the space to pray or read your Bible and you might feel you would rather lie in than get up to worship, but God through the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and power to do all things. This is because God loves us and wants us to become the best person he knows we can be. All we have to do is be willing to ask for help and pray for that help.
Let us pray; Creator God, at the beginning of time you gazed upon the universe you had spoken into being. Through the darkness, your light shone and the potential of this world became a reality. Help us to grow in knowledge and wisdom this term so that we may realize the potential in all of us. Guide us as we seek love and justice for all. Walk with us as we journey ever closer to you. We ask this through Jesus, our friend and guide. AMEN
Peace and blessings to all and have a fantastic term; Reverend Mark Leam

Friday 9 September 2011
An update on St Paul’s Vanuatu relationship.Typical Lorevilko House
A few people have asked me how the recent outreach trip to Vanuatu went. In response and hoping others are interested I thought I would post some bits and pieces about the trip and a few pictures from along the way over the coming weeks. I have just received some letters from one of the teachers at the school we visit so I will also pass on some recent news.
A few background details for today. The village we visit is Lorevilko and is located in the North East of the island of Espirito Santo. The village population is about 80 but it services the surrounding area taking in about 400 persons. The only permanent structures are two classrooms, a church and a small wooden house / shop where the local priest and his family live. All other accommodation is bamboo and woven palm thatching. There is no electricity running water or phones and mail is collected from the main town on Santo Luganville approx. 45 kms away.
As most of the St Paul’s community are aware the school supported a water project in the village last year supplying a series of 5000 litre tanks strategically around the village to Water Tanks in usesupply clean water. Prior to this they would have had to travel to a waterhole in the forest collecting from the same supply as the local cattle and pigs drink from. Although it was quite wet during our visit in June lately it has been hot and very dry so the village people have been able to collect their drinking water from the school tanks and they are so glad the tanks of clean healthy water are there. However at the time of writing it had rained for three days so the tanks have filled up again. In her letter Martha Japeth the year six teacher again thanks the St Paul’s on behalf of everyone and wants to let us all know how important this is to the village. ‘THANK YOU!’
As many of you are aware the chief of the village, Chief Silas died at the time of our visit. The village is still in mourning and Martha who is not only one of the teachers but the Chief’s niece (and sister in law) tells us;
“It is now 61 days after the chief’s death. It is our cultural practice that we count the days until 100 days then all the family members will get together and bake some pudding before they will cut their hair short and the men will remove their beards and hair. We believe this is a sign of sorrow, after loosing (sic) someone from the family.”
Unfortunately this was a double blow to the close village family as one of the chiefs daughters had died while collecting water (before the tanks were fully functional) 60 days earlier. This is a reminder to us all of the fragility of life in so many places and also how important outreach and projects such as the water tanks are to such communities. Please pray for our ongoing relationship with the Vanuatu people, our outreach trips to Vanuatu and Thailand and the people of Lorevilko in this time of mourning and as they prepare to select a new chief.

Thursday 8 September
Some vacation activities.
Hi all, I just want to let you know about some activities for children during the upcoming vacation period. I wrote about junior Icthus for Middle School students a couple of weeks ago and North Pine Parish Petrie are running a holiday club. Why not check them out? It is great to see St Paul’s students stepping up with 2 past students and 2 current year twelve students taking roles as leaders at Junior Icthus.
North Pine Parish
Kids . . . You’re Invited To:
The 2011 North Pine Kids’ Holiday Club
THE PIRATES WHO DON’T DO ANYTHING
September 26th - 30th
 
Junior Ichthus18-24th September
Grades 7-9
Run, jump, swim, camp, laugh, sing, share!
Ichthus is an exciting holiday experience that challenges young people to step outside their comfort zones through activities like rock climbing, canoeing and camping out. All of this takes place in a safe Christian community that encourages participants to meet the God who challenges us to step out and live a life of faith in Jesus.
For more information, please contact Tom Van Den Bos,Camp Director, Junior Ichthus
tom.vandenbos@gmail.com or phone 0406 775 794

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." (Matthew 19:14 NRSV)
This morning I was reading my Sunday Journal (volume 99) and reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s readings. I like to re-read the passages before the gospel and the verses following to consider it in context. The following reflection is a combination of part of the reflections in the journal and my own thoughts.
We are reminded by the verse above that access to God and God’s kingdom is not something restricted to the learned and pious but all who seek him. We are all called to mirror God’s concern for children. How we treat children and respond to how they are treated by others calls us to reflect on how well we are living out that call.
Last modified on 05 May 2014 at 18:43