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Middle School In 1978 the music group Boney M brought out an album that included the single ‘Rivers of  Babylon.’ “By the rivers of Babylon where we sat down yeeah we wept, when we remembered Zion. When the wicked carried us away in captivity requiring of us a song, now how shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” This is in fact a verse from the Psalms of David, 139:1-4, and it illustrates the way in which words from the Bible have permeated our culture and history. It is intriguing further to realise that this African-American group was German based. The music is also a rendition of a Rastafari song coined in 1970. Music and words, culture and creeds, together with experience are filled to overflowing with spiritual or religious imagery and meaning that reach across to embrace an infuse generations and nations. This psalm and this song are about the lament or cry of a people whose hopes and dreams have been apparently dashed by an oppressor. Yet the sense of hopelessness does not in the end have the final word: justice and good do eventually triumph again and again. So throughout the year Chapel provides an opportunity to measure the triumphs we experience through the grace of God, the ways in which humanity has overcome human made barriers and trauma to rise to new heights of excellence and fulfilment to flourish. There is a danger in overzealous celebration however. It needs to be recognised that our achievements do not come without cost: cost to ourselves and to the people and nations around us. We live in a very lucky country, and there are nations around us who have not shared in that luck and are clamouring to do so. There are also people in this land who do have a fair share of the pie. So in Chapel we celebrate, but we also take stock of the realities of the world in which we live, and we practice our belief that God is a positive and real agent for the progress of all to a safer and healthier existence. The Chapel year begins with the observance of the penitential season of Lent and the unfolding of the great Christ Passion narrative: culminating in the proclamation of Easter. It is significant that in our so-called post Christian society many do not have the simplest understanding of the significance or meaning of Easter. Throughout the remainder of the year we have kept Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, an observance of the commencement of WW1

a century ago, ANZAC Day, Founders Day, and reflected on the call to reconciliation with the indigenous peoples of this land. Many of our liturgies have begun with a formal “welcome to country”. This is done not as a sop to political correctness but a deliberate act of generosity and respect to those who have cared for this land long before we knew of its existence. Chapel is neither a performance nor a spectator sport: students are asked to engage positively and consciously with ideas that challenge the comfortable existence which we can recline into. To facilitate meaningful engagement representative from each of the Houses were given the task to lead Chapel. Consequently the themes of Team Work, Freedom, Trust, Accountability and Encouragement were explored in a variety of unique and sometimes amusing ways. Respect gave the opportunity for alternative music to be used: Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T from 1967, amused some of the staff. In all these activities I believe God is present and inviting the students, staff members, the School, and, by reading this article, parents and friends to a profound understanding of ourselves and the life we lead in relationship to God, our neighbours, friends and family and the society in which we find ourselves. This understanding leads us to appreciate the privileges we enjoy and our responsibility to protect it and include others: and thereby to give honour and glory to God which is the ultimate expression of human love and experience. Returning to Boney M: the same song Rivers of Babylon concludes with these words: “May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight here tonight.” Psalm 19:14 To conclude: the work of Chapel would not be possible without the dedication and willing efforts of the Middle School Chapel Servers. I thanks all for their willingness to do everything that has been asked of them. Thanks in particular to Jack Peter and Adam Dendrinos who have provide capable and effective leadership. To all, may your year be blessed and I pray that you find peace. Fr Tony Poole, School Chaplain

GRAMMARIAN 2014 105

Profile for Brighton Grammar School

BGS Grammarian 2014  

The Brighton Grammar School Yearbook, 2014

BGS Grammarian 2014  

The Brighton Grammar School Yearbook, 2014