Greetings, fellow Patriots! Welcome to the 2022-23 school year. Let me extend a special greeting to our 30 new students and their families who are now valued members of Patriot Nation. We warmly welcome you into our community.
If you attended our Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday you heard me talk about this year’s annual theme, imago Dei, translated from Latin to English as “in the image of God.” For the last 31 years, I have introduced an annual theme to the school communities that I have led. An annual theme serves as a focal point, or point of emphasis, for the entire community. It usually reflects a core value or essential belief of the school and is a way to reinforce that core value throughout the year. Imago Dei is actually embedded into Habersham’s mission, which states, “partnering with God as His servants in seeking the restoration of His image in our students through education.” I encourage you to memorize this mission statement as it explains why The Habersham School exists and is a great way to communicate with others what our school is all about. As I reminded the faculty and staff earlier this week, we are all agents of restoration who are developing and equipping future agents of restoration. May God alone be glorified in all that we do this year.
In addition to our theme, I want to emphasize the covenantal nature of our school. As you know, The Habersham School requires that families align with and submit to the school’s statement of faith and Christ-centered teaching. We are different from missional schools where evidence of alignment is not required for admissions. At Habersham, we are serious about entering a covenantal partnership with our families. In biblical terms, a covenant is much deeper and more binding than a contract. A covenant requires that all members of the community make promises to one another and those promises are unilateral and non-negotiable. As I shared with our new families during their orientation on Monday evening, the faculty and staff make three promises to our families. First, we will know your child, including his or her strengths, weaknesses, and unique giftings. Second, we will love your child unconditionally as we love our own children and as God loves us. Third, we will prepare your child, not just for college, but for life. We measure success, not in secular terms that define people according to their achievements, but in biblical terms that encourage human flourishing and the pursuit of God’s divine plan for us as His servants and appointed ambassadors. Our ultimate goal is to produce students who are committed followers of Jesus, fully versed in a biblical worldview, and who will become leaders of their college campuses, their future families, their professions, their churches, and the communities in which they live.
In turn, we ask our parents to make three promises to the faculty and staff. First, parents should commit to pray for their child’s teachers and administrators by name during their family devotional times. We need and covet your prayers. Second, parents must support the school when we hold their child accountable for his or her actions or misbehavior. One of the most valuable lessons our children can learn is the law of sowing and reaping. Please don’t inhibit the school from teaching and reinforcing this spiritual truth. Third, parents should model how Christians resolve conflicts with other Christians by honoring the Matthew 18 principle of conflict resolution. Our children need to see how adult believers honor Christ by actually following His command to go directly to the person who offended them rather than communicate their grievance with non-involved parties via social media or other means.
If faculty and staff honor their covenantal promise to know, love, and prepare, and parents honor their promise to pray, support, and model, The Habersham School will continue to be a “city on the hill” that exemplifies what it means to be a God-honoring, Christ-centered, biblically-integrated community. May God help us to mature in our faith and be the salt and light that a decaying world desperately needs.
Soli Deo Gloria
Interim Head of School