Reflections from Head of School Scott Montgomery
Love. Grace. Reasonableness.
I used those three words during our back to school in-service meeting with staff. I used them to discuss the kind of attitudes we would need to display this year, in what would undoubtedly be a year unlike anything we had seen before. Those words are still on the whiteboard in my office as a reminder of how we would need to live out this school year.
We knew this school year would require patience and kindness. We knew that we would need to bear each other’s burdens, and believe, hope and endure many things – the way love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
We knew we would need to be gracious, compassionate, and forgiving with one another (teachers as well as students) during a year that would likely challenge what we knew about education and schooling. Ephesians 4:32 gives us those instructions to show and extend grace to one another.
However, the word I most prize in that string is reasonableness. The Greek word translated as reasonableness in Philippians 4:5 is epieikes; it’s one of those words that has a much deeper meaning than a single English word can often convey. Softness, moderation, gentleness, and forbearing are often used in other Bible translations to describe epieikes.
I purposely chose that word because of the uncertainty of what the year would bring, and the way we would all need to bear with one another over the course of a challenging school year. In August, many people fully expected the need to close down schools again at some point. The unknown of what might occur during the year would require us all to be reasonable with one another, to look out for the welfare of others, and to show patience under adversity.
It was inspiring to see the way our staff displayed love, grace, and reasonableness throughout the year and labored to ensure Heritage’s mission was lived out daily. Every one of our teachers and staff pulled together to keep in-person learning alive throughout the year. I am proud of the work they put in – often well above the call of duty – they succeeded in a year like no other, and so did our students! Thank you for your efforts and all you did this year. Rest well this summer and recharge and renew, you deserve it.
Next year, our school theme will be Thrive, based on Romans 15:13. After a year (actually, almost a year and a half) of surviving, it is time for us as a school community to come back together and Thrive! As we depart for the summer, may the blessing of that verse encourage you, comfort you, and prepare you for the year that lies ahead,
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13
Have a blessed, safe, and renewing summer. God bless you all.