Reflections from Head of School Scott Montgomery
If you are familiar with Hamilton, the hit musical from a few years ago, you will recall that there is a scene in the second act where George Washington asks Alexander Hamilton for assistance in writing his farewell address. The theme of that scene is knowing “how to say goodbye.” I’m no George Washington, but I understand the value and importance of goodbyes. Truth be told, I’m not fond of goodbyes and try to avoid them at all costs; however, I also understand their importance in remembering and setting the stage for the future.
A great deal has transpired over the past three years – a good chunk of which I assume we would all like to forget: COVID, a derecho, the tragic loss of student and friend. If you think about the past three years, they have not been peaceful. Even outside the context of school, our current culture has been strained by events that have created racial and social unrest, revealed scandal and sin in the lives of leaders – including some in the church, and frayed the fabric of our society. We could all use a little peace.
But peace as defined by the world – everything running smoothly with no real trials or problems – is a surface peace that is wholly dependent on our circumstances. Thankfully, God has promised something much better. He offers an inner rest that remains unshaken regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in – completely opposite to what the world defines as peace. We see this in John 14:27 when Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
This year’s theme of Thrive has often felt elusive, but I have been reminded over and over that God’s definition of peace and thriving is not that of the world’s.
We could have easily let COVID derail an entire year+ of schooling but God provided, staff rallied, and the school grew and was sustained. The derecho – while a challenging way to open a new school year – provided a new roof to the building that otherwise would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace. The tragic death of Alli Olsen last year on the last day of school, brought together our school community in such a way that the fragmentation of a year with COVID restrictions was forgotten as the body of Christ came together to mourn together and encourage one another.
Over the past three years, God has been faithful at every turn. He has provided hope and relief in the midst of pain. He has provided resources and new families that have helped sustain Heritage in times that initially appeared uncertain. He has provided teachers and staff to fill positions – often at the last minute when there seemed to be no known solution. But God … (always one of my favorite passages to read in the Bible) had other plans. Plans to prosper and not harm. Plans to give hope and a future. In the midst of chaos, God provided a way; and His ways have vastly outdone what we could have possibly imagined.
My deepest and most fervent prayer is that in the coming years God will continue to show his favor and grace on Heritage Christian School. I’m praying for staff, students, and families that each of you be filled – as the Apostle Paul prayed for the Roman Church, and has been our theme this year – “with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
I am praying that the school community thrive and flourish as He continues to pour out His faithfulness on Heritage Christian School. May God’s blessings, peace, and grace be with you all.