Rockway’s chapel theme for the 2021-2022 school year is “Love does no harm.” This scripture passage from Romans brings us to the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What does it mean to love our neighbour as ourselves? To do no harm to a neighbour?
Chapel at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate is a central part of our life together as a community. While COVID-19 places limits on our ability to gather together physically in one location, pre-recorded chapels help build our shared experience. We are all watching the same chapel reflection, and thinking about the same ideas, even if we are not all in the same room. In doing so, we strengthen and deepen our connection to one another, and to God.
Wendy Janzen, pastor of Burning Bush Forest Church, launched our year as faculty and staff with a meditation on the story of the Good Samaritan. Wendy’s insight was that none of the three people who find the injured man on the road inflict the harm. They could easily consider themselves to be innocent onlookers, free of guilt.
The two religious leaders have their justifications for why they need not do anything. But when the Samaritan comes across the injured traveller, he sees him as a person in need. He does first aid, he picks him up and takes him to safety.
In our opening chapel, Rockway’s principal Ann L. Schultz drew inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr. and challenged us to “roll up our sleeves,” to make change and help to repair the harm that has been caused to so many. Doing so will require all of us to listen, to ask questions, to speak up, to mobilize, and, above all, learn what it means to love.
Rockway has a history of actively working to show love of God and neighbour in our community, including the annual food drive in support of the House of Friendship and Envirathon/Servathon day. With these and other commitments, including our new Indigenous learning group, Rockway is well positioned to put love into “radical action.”
What does it mean to love our neighbour as ourselves? To do no harm to a neighbour? Asking these questions and exploring these issues in our chapels and our classrooms will be challenging, but doing so also holds the possibility of living joyfully, of discovering what it means to be “not far from the kingdom of God.”