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Vocations In the Kingdom of God

One of the best parts of my job is teaching the Vocations In the Kingdom of God 12 course because it is such a gift to get to know each of our grade twelve students. From our class opening circles to presenting a final Capstone project, I feel like I really get to know our grads. They are such a joy to teach.

One of the best parts of my job is teaching the Vocations In the Kingdom of God 12 course because it is such a gift to get to know each of our grade twelve students. From our class opening circles to presenting a final Capstone project, I feel like I really get to know our grads. They are such a joy to teach.  

The Deep Hope for this course is, “We will explore and develop our gifts so that we can work as peculiar people in God’s kingdom.”

Author James K.A. Smith writes, “The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people – a people who desire the kingdom of God and thus undertake their life’s expression of this desire.” Each of us is created in a unique and peculiar way. I hope each of our grads knows this and feels it in their heart.

In this course, we also explore the concept of vocation. Frederick Buechner describes vocation as “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”It is within this intersection that you may find your joys and your purpose.

One of our final class circle questions was, “How are you a peculiar image-reflector of God?”

After I asked the question, there was silence. Heads dropped. More silence. And then, a hand went up… and a student said, “I think I’m a peculiar image reflector because I love people; I love caring for them and building community with them.” And then a few more students shared. But then we came to a student who had nothing to share. My stomach dropped. I felt a bit of panic. This student could not see or could not yet share what their peculiarness might be.

Our class storyline is Here I am! We are here, at this particular time in history. Our grads have attended Surrey Christian, and they are about to graduate having been nurtured and formed into a peculiar person who has a desire to use their peculiarness to play their role in the greater narrative of God’s story.

And then, when I was at my most doubtful and discouraged, another student in the circle began to speak: “You are a peculiar image reflector when you use your woodworking skills to build things for other people.”

And then, another student said, “You are a peculiar image reflector when you help me with Calculus homework”.

This was an important moment for my students and also for me. Sometimes we need the help of others who know us and love us – our friends, our families, our teachers, our mentors – to help us see what our peculiarness might be.

Our class storyline is Here I am! We are here, at this particular time in history. Our grads have attended Surrey Christian, and they are about to graduate having been nurtured and formed into a peculiar person who has a desire to use their peculiarness to play their role in the greater narrative of God’s story.

This story is still unfolding; as Rachel Held Evans wrote, “We live inside an unfinished story, a story that began with the Spirit of God hovering over the primordial waters at the beginning of time and which took a dramatic, climactic turn two thousand years ago when that same God became human, lived among us, and beat death once and for all.”

“The stories we tell with our lives, then, aren’t meaningless absurdities, tragic in their brevity, but rather subplots of a grander narrative, every moment charged with significance, as we contribute our own riffs, soliloquies, and plot twists to the larger epic, the Holy Spirit coaxing us along with an ever ebullient,

And then?, And then?, And then?”

We at Surrey Christian School cannot wait to see our grads go out into the world to play their peculiar role in the greater narrative of God’s story.  

Janice MacDonald
Teacher | Instructional Coach