How do Lutheran learning communities “recognise that God has intentionally created each person and that each person is uniquely gifted to live in relationship with God and others.”? (Growing Deep)
Is this something we just ‘teach about’ or something we live, model, promote? What does this even mean, to recognise that God has intentionally created each person? Jesus gave us a pretty good idea. He not only ‘taught’ that ALL people are loved and uniquely gifted to live in relationship with God and others, but he lived it. The people he hung out with, and talked to, showed interest in, loved, respected, and stood up for. He simplified but also complicated things by saying and doing ”love God, love others” (Luke 10:27) – all others, not just the ‘others’ who we find acceptable.
What does that mean for our learning communities? If everyone is intentionally created and uniquely gifted, then how do our schools love and respect them? How do we ensure that all students, families experience love and acceptance? How are they empowered? Do we include them in decision making about the what, how and when of learning or do we make them do things ‘our way’?
Do all students, staff and community members, regardless of gender, culture, socio-economic status, learning capabilities, interests and dispositions have a place in our schools to flourish as the unique person they were created to be? Do our policies, practices and principles ensure that we are a truly inclusive learning community?
On our own, this is such a big ask, but with the Holy Spirit working in and with us, our biases can be revealed and new ways of loving as God loves can occur. It is radical and can be uncomfortable but when we are open ti collaborate and co-create inclusive learning environments with ‘others’, we can also fully become the uniquely gifted people God created us to be!
Psalm 139:13-14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvellous! Of this I have no doubt.
Educational Leadership Director