You may have heard from your child that our theme at HDCH this year is ‘Belonging’. Over the last month, we have had a number of short assemblies, long assemblies, grade-specific conversations and class devotions connected to this theme. There have been some really good returns from this focus.
Students have shared what actions create belonging, and what actions break community. We have heard that most students feel belonging more often than not, but we still have room to make it better. We’ve all been challenged to make a choice, each day, about at least one thing we can do to help create belonging at HDCH.
One of the benefits of this focus is that, in my experience, HDCH as a community has had what I would call a sunny climate to start the year. This climate is a feel of connection and community all around the building. Belonging is happening at HDCH. I have loved walking the hallways and sensing the Spirit working in our school through this theme.
This theme has me contemplating how longing connects to belonging. And here’s why: I have understood belonging as the feeling of fitting in with others. It was a feeling for me, when I went into a room, as to whether I fit in with the group. It’s that moment when I do an assessment as to who I am and if I am welcome. If I feel like I belong, I can enter the space and feel relaxed.
But I want us to consider a different perspective. What would it be like for me to enter a room, not looking to belong, but rather longing to connect with the other people in it? What if I flipped the script on the word belong, and instead longed to show God’s care for others as fellow image-bearers? What if I had a posture of longing as I walked into a room as opposed to a posture of defensiveness or self-protection? And then I wondered, what if every student and teacher at HDCH walked into the building with a posture of longing like this?
So, consider what it might be like to be longing. And be encouraged by the example of our God, “longs to be gracious to us” and who is the reason we have the capacity to grow in belonging together.
PS – And speaking of connections, our staff looks forward to connecting with you and your kids at this semester’s Student Learning Conferences.