The vision at Menno Simons Christian School to offer “An education for life” challenges us to provide an education that equips children for now and for tomorrow. It encompasses an academic experience with opportunities to grow in areas of the arts and athletics, but of equal importance we strive to provide an Anabaptist Mennonite education that focuses on peace, service, faith and community.
Service projects at Menno Simons provide opportunities for students to learn about social justice and to also put their faith into action.
During the Christmas season, the students were given a variety of opportunities to serve and give back to the community. Elementary students collected donations that were used to purchase items to put together stuffed socks for the Mustard Seed, which ministers to homeless people in Calgary. After chapel, the atrium was filled with supplies such as toothbrushes, soap, tissues and gift cards to fill almost 250 pairs of socks. Students were asked to write notes of encouragement to stuff into the socks, to bear good witness of God’s love, and the socks were prayed over and delivered to the Seed to bless their guests during the Christmas season.
The junior-high classes were able to learn about reconciliation and restoration at Mennonite Central Committee Alberta and the Dream Centre. Relief buckets for families facing disaster or crisis were put together for the material resource program, and Christmas care packages were put together with personalized letters to individuals in the Circles of Support and Accountability Program, a support group for former offenders who are trying to reintegrate into society. The Dream Centre gave the students the opportunity to bless its residents by giving the students the challenge to set up and decorate the dining room for the centre’s Christmas banquet while, at the same time, educating the students on its ministries and how it helps disadvantaged people reclaim their dignity.
The school’s goal is for these lessons to be etched on our students so that they may see beyond themselves; that they may receive an education that is beyond academic, one that will stay with them throughout their life, that will challenge them to be constantly aware of injustice, and how they can be an instrument of change to bring peace and service into their communities.