It happened again.  It has happened many times in the history of Edmonton Christian Schools.  God’s grace burst through our brokenness.  It flooded into our hurts.  We loosened our grip on the things that caused others pain. Wounds were soothed.  We knew, once again, “We are God’s people.  We are in this together.”

Over the past year, our school has moved more deliberately towards restorative practices in our schools.  You can read a bit more about that in two previous blog posts, Rebooting Relationships–A New Year Begins  and Restoring and Flourishing.   It has led to ways of being together, healthy interactions, and positive attitudes towards “discipline” that promote student learning, restoration, community and forgiveness.

diversity-1350043_1280In all of these restorative practices, we have grown in grace and in gratitude.  But the grace we sing about, the AMAZING grace, that grace always overwhelms us when we experience it.  Many that participated in a recent restorative circle, did experience it.  This restorative circle had been convened to try to bring healing and restoration to an unfortunate situation which had brought some dark clouds over parts of our community.  The circle was made up of students, parents, staff, and a few people from outside of our schools who could speak into the healing that needed to happen.  This included two facilitators trained in restorative practices.  sunshine-1461984Those that had wounded were held accountable; those that were wounded expressed their hurt; all were heard; forgiveness was given; all made commitments to move forward together.  It was in this circle that grace washed in, dark clouds cleared, light broke through. What was broken became whole, even though some scars remained.

This is who we want to be as a school. We come together as broken people, but God loves us too much to leave us that way!  When we open ourselves to restoration and wholeness, when we invite grace to change us and then let it flow through us to others, we truly can be God’s people.

B. Doornenbal