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 22:37:
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 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 and main purpose of New Church education. They are its life. Teachers and parents should always keep in mind that everything done in the school is meant to relate to them. Academic achievement, while useful, is not the highest thing in the end. Education is one of the means toward the end, which is living a useful life of love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor. We therefore emphasize the following:
Worship of the Lord is part of every day. It includes prayer, singing, reading from the Word, and instruction.
To make religion the true core of the school, all curriculum is continually developing to come more and more from a truly New Church perspective. The Sacred Scripture and Heavenly Doctrine should form the basis for teaching methods, teacher and student behavior, values, attitudes, work ethic, and respect for property. Students are taught the truths of the Word in morning worship, in regular religion classes, and their other classes as well. They memorize scriptural passages regularly. In addition, teachers and parents can grow their own knowledge, by attending church and doctrinal classes and studying the Word independently.
Students are taught to treat each other well, by both 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 the adults and students—founded on obedience to the Lord’s Word. Evils, which oppose charity, are to be shunned, as fleeing from evils is the primary way of gaining spiritual life. From Apocalypse Explained 1027:
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. In addition to doing their schoolwork, they participate in chores and work parties that help maintain the school and grounds.
The four primary avenues just listed—worship, the WORD, charity, and 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, and conjugial (true marriage) love, and therefore to heaven, through the understanding and practice of the truths of the Lord’s Second Coming.
|© 2023 Kempton New Church School|