A year-end message from Noam Kleine (Grade 9 at ECNS).

Thank you, parents, teachers, volunteers and staff for the guidance and support you have given to us throughout our year …

Parents, you have helped with homework, prepared lunches, volunteered for field trips, and so much more. Thank you for showing love to us in all those ways. Teachers, you filled our days with authentic learning, consoled us when we were hurt or sick, you put up with our noise, and disciplined us when necessary. Thank you for taking care of us all these years. All of these things are examples of parents, teachers, and classmates playing a role in God’s story.

Acts 17:26 highlights our school theme, Playing your role in God’s story.

God decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live.

God has a role for each one of us to fulfill.

As a community at Edmonton Christian Schools, we have been servant-workers through our donations to the Mosaic Center; We discovered the order in God’s world through water cycles, elements, fractions, and angles. We enjoyed creation through our trips to Jasper, Fall and Winter Camp, and at Frontier Lodge. We helped each other, learned, and grew together on our class trips, and have supported our classmates each day we were at school. These are just a few of the roles that God set for us to play.

We have cultivated community, grown in grace and gratitude, and shown God’s love living here.

We have been moving up through the grades, performing Christmas concerts, researching science fair projects, writing exams, and exploring creation through amazing trips. All this time we have been playing a role, our role, in God’s story.

But let’s be honest, there have been times when we were unhappy and confused about our role. There have been struggles along the way. We’ve each had our challenges to overcome. Looking ahead, our story will take unwelcomed turns. In Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, when the protagonist Frodo Baggins realizes that a dangerous task has fallen to him to complete, he tells his friend Gandalf the wizard, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” Gandalf empathizes, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Unforeseen circumstances in our lives may cause us to question our abilities, friendships, and maybe even our faith. However, later in Tolkien’s story, Gandalf reminds Frodo, “…I don’t think you need to go alone. Not if you know of anyone you can trust, and who would be willing to go by your side — and that you would be willing to take into unknown perils.”

Sometimes we may not understand our circumstances, but in these situations, just as we have been there for each other all these years, we know that God is never far from any one of us. We have seen this in past hardships. But we got through those hardships. Here we are. We got through those hard times by trusting God, and he was always beside us, whether we realized it or not.

So here we are as image reflectors, beauty creators, justice seekers, God worshippers, and community builders, some of us are starting our school journey, others of us at the end of our final year together, celebrating all the many roles we have played.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:16

In the future, no matter where our journey takes us, my hope is that we all remember that we are always part of God’s story.