25 January 2006

Education Sunday to focus on "Prizes that Last"

Almost every sphere of human activity nowadays has its awards ceremony. It is good to celebrate achievement, but often the recognition won in this way is only fleeting. The theme of Education Sunday this year focuses on St Paul's encouragement to Christians "to strive for prizes that will last forever".

Graham Russell, Education Secretary of the Methodist Church and Chair of the Ecumenical Steering Group responsible for preparing this year's material says : "Sometimes education seems like a sporting event. There are new targets to aim for, new rules to understand and new trophies to claim. Education is not just about being the best : it has wider purposes which need to be valued for their own sake Ð the development of individual potential and the pursuit of knowledge and truth. Education is about becoming spiritually, physically and mentally fit, developing healthy attitudes to others and to ourselves. Christian teachers and students know, as St Paul does, that we should put our efforts into winning the ultimate prize Ð to be with God for ever".

For well over a hundred years there has been an annual recognition in England and Wales of Education Sunday as a "special" Sunday, a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education. The resources that have been prepared for those planning worship for this occasion have been sent to many congregations and schools. They are also available on many church and ecumenical websites. The aim of Education Sunday is to encourage congregations to think prayerfully about the world of education in all its aspects and the countless people who are involved with it.

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