National Policy on RELIGION AND EDUCATION


Over the last few months and especially since the last post I made I’ve received many questions regarding whether or not churches may operate in a public school system or if we do so “on the sly”.

I was very happy to hear Barbara Creecy, Gauteng Education MEC, addressing questions to this point yesterday on the radio and decided to go and find the National Policy on Religion and Education and make it available to any interested parties who may read this blog.

A couple of points to highlight which were applicable to me:

  • 61. School Governing Bodies are required to determine the nature and content of religious observances for teachers and pupils, such that coherence and alignment with this policy and applicable legislation is ensured. It may also determine that a policy of no religious observances be followed. Where religious observances are held, these may be at any time determined by the school, and may be part of a school assembly. However an assembly is not necessarily to be seen as the only occasion for religious observance, which may take place at other times of the day, and in other ways, including specific dress requirements or dietary injunctions. Where a religious observance is organised, as an official part of the school day, it must accommodate and reflect the multi-religious nature of the country in an appropriate manner.
  • 63. A school assembly has the potential for affirming and celebrating unity in diversity, and should be used for this purpose. Public schools may not violate the religious freedom of pupils and teachers by imposing religious uniformity on a religiously diverse school population in school assemblies. Where a religious observance is included in a school assembly, pupils may be excused on grounds of conscience from attending a religious observance component, and equitable arrangements must be made for these pupils.

You may view the whole document on the government website here: http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=70211

I’ve begun to put together an approach which is mutually beneficial to a local church and a public school here: https://markpenrith.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/nkosi-sikelel-iafrika-pastor-to-pupils/

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Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika – Pastor to Pupils


From Pastor to Pupils

Presenting the National Anthem in a School environment

Crystal Park High School

Crystal Park High School Assembly. Click image to enlarge.

If South Africa is to experience a renewal, a revival, a renaissance, it will come when the ethics, the moral fibre, the direction of our people is aligned to the Word of God.

To that end Pastors ought to apply themselves diligently to reaching out to their communities with the Gospel. One door which is open to the church is that of schools. The opportunity to address a local high school or primary school’s assembly on a regular basis is a blessing to the local church on a number of levels.

However, how does one start? I have found that a principal faced with a compelling value proposition is most inclined to be accommodating to a local church. Our church has the opportunity to address the local high school and primary school on a weekly basis because we went to the school principal and clearly stated what content we would present, how long we needed to present that content and how the school would benefit from allowing a pastor to conduct devotionals in the school’s morning assembly.

In the following set of articles I briefly describe the devotionals that we’re currently presenting to the schools in our area. We work line by line through the national anthem of South Africa. The Gospel goes out each week, which is what the church wants, and the school benefits because currently nation building and the national anthem are in the spot light.

This is a work in progress and I’ll be most grateful if you gave me feedback.

Lesson 1

Lord bless Africa – Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika

It is wise to familiarise oneself with some of the basics of the national anthem. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was composed in the year 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist school teacher. It was originally sung as a church hymn but later became an act of political defiance against the apartheid government. Die Stem van Suid-Afrika is a poem written by C.J. Langenhoven in 1918. Our anthem is unique in all the world in that it includes 5 languages and is the only anthem to begin in one key and end in another.

The first line, ‘Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika’, translates to ‘Lord bless Africa’, the key word to transfer in the first lesson is the word bless, what does it mean? why did the author use it?

A good text to read in this lesson is Numbers 6:24 – 26,

    24 “‘“The Lord bless you
        and keep you;
    25 the Lord make his face shine on you
        and be gracious to you;
    26 the Lord turn his face toward you
        and give you peace.”’

The text above is unlocked by seeing how it advances our understanding of how God’s blessing extends those whom He loves. Firstly there is a prayer, a desire if you will, ‘The Lord bless you’, this is clarified by the sentence, ‘the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you’, and then further enhanced by the phrase, ‘the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’

God’s blessing is experienced by God’s people when He turns His affections towards them, when He presences Himself amongst them.

Consider the companion blessing in the New Testament, 2 Cor 13:14,

    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Communion with God, experience His very real presence, His love, His grace, His blessing.

The Gospel message is very appropriately expounded at this point. God is Holy, He is separate from sin. Man is sinful, he is separated from God. In a very real way we are not under blessing but under curse. Jesus died for our sins as a substitute. By believing in Him, trusting Him completely, turning from our sin and turning to Him, receiving the free gift of salvation, we are reconciled to God, we enter into His presence, we enter into His blessing.

Organ donation (via Crystal Park Baptist Church)


Hey, I’m quiet. I’m quite busy. Anyway this is what we were up to this weekend.

Organ donation Hehehe, I love that header. On Saturday we dropped an organ (of the electronic variety) off at Etwatwa Emanuel Baptist Church. … Read More

via Crystal Park Baptist Church

Report on the outreach to Olievenhoutbosch


<— Click here for Assignment 1
Report on the outreach to Olievenhoutbosch

Click here or on the icon to link to the pdf.

This isn’t as academic as the catagory I’ve stuck it in. Truth is it’s more of a report back on a prac.

I’d love to get constructive feedback or criticism as this is a skill I’m going to be using quiet a lot going forward.

You could click on the big icon on the left hand side of the page or click here (Adobe PDF) to link to the paper titled: Report on the outreach to Olievenhoutbosch.

Thanks,

Mark

Didn’t do too bad on the marks.

<— Click here for Assignment 1

Steve Tshwete Secondary School tutoring and Olievenhoutbosch outreach


Steve Tshwete Secondary School

This Saturday 10 tutors met at the Steve Tshwete Secondary School. Click image to enlarge.

On Saturday morning 10 members from Midrand Chapel congregated at Steve Tshwete Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch and assisted the Grade 10 learners with extra lessons in English, Maths and Science.

Over the past few years this school’s Matric pass rate has steadily declined. Sammy Leballo, a missionary and church planter from Midrand Chapel, identified this as an avenue to build bridges into the community. The children’s need, matched with the Chapel’s skills and Sammy’s mandate mean that the community can see a group of Christians authentically making a difference.

Tutoring at the Steve Tshwete Secondary School

This week the tutoring intervention was three to one. Click image to enlarge.

20 learners and 10 tutors arrived. At the end of the morning it was agreed that the programme will need to run twice a month to be successful. Each Saturday two tutors would be required for each subject (if my Maths is correct that means six a week). The groups will be broken into three smaller units and rotated at 45 minute intervals through the English, Maths and Science classes. The classes will run from 8:30am until 11:30am.

Tentatively the dates are:

  • 10th and 24th of April
  • 8th and 22nd of May
  • 10th and 24th of July
  • 7th and 21st of August
  • 4th and 18th of September
  • 2nd and 16th of October
Empty stand across the road from the School

An empty stand across the road from the school might be an ideal place for a church building to be established. Click image to enlarge.

Maybe you could help? We need more tutors for this to be successful. People need only to commit to one week a month. If you could assist tutoring English, Maths or Science could you please drop a comment and I’ll get the details to you. Maybe you can’t tutor but could assist someone who can (mark class tests so the results can be given at the end of the class, make sure the boards are clean, that there’s chalk available, assist the kids… whatever).

Did this interest you? Click here (https://markpenrith.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/olievenhoutbosch-outreach-midrand-chapel-and-sammy-leballo-part-1/) for more regarding Steve Tshwete Secondary School and Olievenhoutbosch.