Sunday, 29 November 2015

All Saints Blog Week of November 30th, 2015

First Week of Advent - Hope

We celebrated the first week of Advent this past Sunday, and as a Christian community, we light the first candle in our wreath and consider the theme of Hope.  This focuses our attention on the true preparation for Christmas that is often competing with the messaging that comes so quickly in our malls and in our media.  We are fortunate at All Saints to have a number of practical ways of spreading the message of hope within our wider community.  Our sponsorship of a Syrian refugee family and our collaboration on Christmas Hampers for the needy allow us to sow the seeds of Hope with others.

All Saints sponsors Syrian family - Meet the Salamehs:
The Salameh Family is our refugee family being sponsored by St. Elizabeth Parish in collaboration with All Saints and our HOPE Team social justice club. The Salameh’s father, Naji, was a taxi driver in his home region of Dara’a, Syria. One day in 2011, he was called to drive some individuals to a remote area of town. There he was forcibly told that he must join the Syrian Free Army or he would be killed. He falsely told them that he would join them to save his life. They tortured him and he finally managed to escape and decided to flee Syria with his family. Naji is 47 years old, speaks Arabic and can read some English.   
Naji’s wife Georgette Matouk was a hairdresser when the family lived in Syria. She is 39 years old and speaks some French.  Their daughter, Victoria, recently turned 18. She was at school the day militants stormed the school and terrorized all of the children. They forced the children out and bombed the building. Victoria can speak Arabic and French, and understands some English.  Their son, Tony, just turned 16 years old in early November. He has not yet completed high school and speaks Arabic and some French.
The Salamehs are devout Christians. They have been residing in a refugee camp in Lebanon, but just recently discovered that they would be travelling to our city. The staff and students at All Saints have been gracious in their donations of various household items and their assistance in preparing an apartment for the family.  We sow the seeds of Hope for the Salameh family.

Christmas Hampers at All Saints
Our expression of Hope also extends to our organization of support around our Christmas Hampers and the assistance that provides to families in our wider community.  Each homeroom has been assigned a family to help.  Collection of food and gifts will continue this week and we encourage all students to get involved.  This year we are helping 45 families from our own school, our sister school St. Elizabeth, Lester B. Pearson and a couple of families who have been referred to us from the community.  This is one of our biggest charitable endeavors of the year and we really encourage families to engage in conversation about giving and respecting the dignity of those in need. This is a wonderful example of Restoring One Another in the Spirit of Gentleness (our Board theme) and we know from past years how much our assistance means to the families we help.  We so the seeds of Hope for our community

School Production: The Delightful Quarantine
Congratulations to our students and staff involved in organizing this term’s production of A Delightful Quarantine.  The play focused on a number of vignettes of individuals “stuck” with each other during an alien quarantine, and the resulting situations are both humorous and uplifting.  The students’ enthusiasm in preparing their roles was very evident, and their collaboration on the final product was great.  

Ottawa Senators Ticket Fundraiser
The All Saints School Council has teamed up with the Ottawa Senators to bring hockey tickets to our community at a reduced rate.  In addition to the savings to ticket purchasers, a portion of the ticket proceeds go directly back to the school.  We are looking to use the funds to begin refurbishing our weight/exercise room for students.  Tickets are available for a number of games with different seating levels for each.  Order forms are available from your son/daughter or you can download the form here (click on link), fill it out and send it into school with your son/daughter.  Please make cheques payable to All Saints School Council.  Makes a great Christmas gift!

All Saints Christmas Concert
Our School Christmas Concert is this Wednesday, December 2nd from 6:30 to 8:30.  We encourage all of our community to attend and bring a canned food for our food drive.

Check out our blog – and our twitter @AllSaintsCHS as well as our website for all that is happening at All Saints!

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