Building Community

Welcome to the beginning of another wonderful year at St Peter’s. Welcome to all our new ​families and staff. Welcome back to all those who are returning from last year. This year we have set ourselves the challenge: To build a stronger community here at St Peter’s.

In recent times, our society has become more aware of personal and global anxieties which pervade many aspects of our life and which isolate us mentally a​nd physically. Social cohesion seems to be at an all time low, with more and more people leading separate, isolated lives. Some may say that social media and technology have made us less able to communicate on a one-to-one human basis, but on the other hand they have connected us in ways that assist those in remote communities be part of the global world. One thing is for sure, the sense of community and commitment to community is not what it used to be.

How can we, at St Peter’s, build a stronger, better community?  
Hugh Mackay, a social researcher and author, suggests that we can build social cohesion or community, by acknowledging each other with a ‘hello’ or a smile. He states that we have ‘plenty of time for solitude at home, so once we step out of our door, we have the responsibility to connect with those around us. You’ve got nothing to lose and a community to gain (Australia Reimagined p.158).’

We know that our lives have become increasingly complicated and busy. Busyness is our​ main excuse for not doing a whole range of things. It overwhelms us to the point that our busyness affects our health, our family life and our community. The effects of busyness can be seen in sleep deprivation, being afraid of being still or in solitude and it can distract us and insulate us from being compassionate to others needs. (Mackay,p.78) Sometimes in our busyness others become invisible to us.

Where to from here? Let’s begin with a commitment to try our best to be physically mindful of those around us. Greet others with a smile. Stop and chat for a short while. Learn the names of the other parents in your child’s class. Make an effort to come along to our​ school functions. Offer assistance to our school fair or Welcome Dance. Keep in the communication loop by reading the newsletter or class letters sent home.

When you choose to belong to our community, you are choosing to take your place as a  member of this St Peter’s community. At our Welcome Liturgy on Friday, every child and staff member made a commitment to making St Peter’s community stronger, by joining a piece of wool together. Parents who were present, we asked to show their commitment by joining pieces of wool as well. If you would like to add your commitment to our ​ community, drop into the office so you can add your piece of wool as well. Here’s our community piece so far: