Kempton New Church School
The Purpose of Kempton New Church School:
The focus of the Kempton New Church School is to help children develop into good neighbors and good citizens, who know and care about what the Lord teaches, and who can be useful and happy members of society both in this life and the world to come. The primary aim is to teach them how to love the Lord and others, as in Matthew:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God in thy whole heart, and in thy whole soul, and in thy whole thought. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Also in the Arcana Coelestia (8988:3):
Love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are the very being of heaven and of the church.
These loves are the central theme of New Church education. They are the life of what we teach and do. Teachers and parents should always keep in mind that these are the main purpose, and that everything done in the school is meant to relate to them. Academic achievement, while useful, is not the main thing. It is one of the means towards the end: living a useful life of love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor. The following are some of the principal ways that this goal is approached.
Worship:Each day begins with the worship of the Lord, with prayer, singing, reading from the Word, and instruction.
The Word:Students learn the truths of the Word in morning worship, in regular religion classes, in church on Sunday, and in other classes when appropriate. Children memorize scriptural passages regularly. In addition, teachers and parents have the opportunity to attend doctrinal classes and study the Word in their homes.
Charity: Students are taught to treat each other well, both by example and instruction. The emphasis is on maintaining a sphere of charity and good will in all relationships among the students, among the adults, and between adults and students, founded on obedience to the Lord’s Word. The evils which are opposite to charity are to be shunned, and this fleeing from evils is the primary way of gaining spiritual life:
Spiritual life is acquired solely by a life according to the commandments in the Word. These commandments are given in a summary in the Decalogue, namely, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shall not murder, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet the goods of others. These commandments are the commandments that are to be done, for when a man does these his works are good and his life is spiritual, because so far as a man shuns evils and hates them, so far he wills and loves goods.
A Useful Life:A key to the practice of charity is to learn to be useful both to oneself and to others. This is primarily taught at home, but at the school, too. The students are taught the importance of self-discipline, making an effort, taking initiative, and being cooperative and responsible. They participate in chores and work parties that help maintain the school and grounds.
The four primary avenues just listed—worship, the Word, charity, a useful life—have many branches, but they all relate to our central purpose: to assist parents in encouraging the love for these things in their children. The promise of the New Church is that people can be led to a true worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, a life of uses, conjugial (true marriage) love, and therefore to heaven, through the understanding and practice of the truths of the Lord’s Second Coming.
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