Dear St Andrew’s Community,
I trust you have had a terrific mid-year break and managed some time to relax with family and friends.
As I reflect on the past six months, I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone. Having joined the staff team in January this year, there was so much to learn and adapt to in my new role as College Chaplain. At the beginning of the year when the staff were gathered for their professional development days, we were reminded of the need to continually foster a deep sense of gratitude for all we have. It is often the case that I, no doubt like many others get caught up in the day to day routines of life and forget to give thanks for the little things (or the big things) I enjoy. This year, however, I have worked hard to have a more grateful spirit. The result has been that I can honestly say that I have loved every minute so far at St Andrew’s and serving in this great College.
One of the highlights of my first Semester has been working with an incredibly dedicated and friendly staff team. From those who teach to those who ensure the College runs smoothly, everyone has been a joy to work with. Their energy, commitment and passion is infectious. They are without a doubt, some of the most dedicated people I have ever come across. Likewise, getting to know each of the students has been a real joy. Their response to lessons, Chapels and just stopping for a short chat at morning tea or lunch has been great. They have demonstrated a real willingness to build relationships, learn and make their lessons and Chapels fun and engaging. If someone was to ask me what we mean when we talk about the Spirit of St Andrew’s, it would have to be the people and their contribution to the unique culture of St Andrew’s. The relationships I have built so far with staff, students and families are all wonderful. As part of the St Andrew’s Community we have a lot to give God thanks for and be grateful.
I have had a little more time over the break to reflect on the good things God has done in my life. As a person of faith, I thank God that I can know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. I am incredibly grateful for God’s love and the hope this brings me. I also thank God that I live in such an amazing part of the world, enjoying the many blessings of life in a tranquil, beachside location. Our community is safe, peaceful and orderly, and provides world class education and healthcare. I have a loving family and solid friendships (both new and old). I was recently reading a verse from Psalm 106 in the bible; “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” I cannot help but thank God for how good he has been to me. Even in the hard times, the business of life, the stressful times, and those times when things are not going that way I want, I still enjoy God’s many blessings. I just need to be reminded to open my eyes and be grateful for all He has done for me.
My hope and prayer is that every person in our College community will strive to live a grateful life and look forward to everything that the coming months have in store.
Reverend Gary McClellan