Yesterday I attended the most extraordinary high school graduation I have ever witnessed. At Besant Hill School of Happy Valley, 25 students graduated, and each graduate gave a brief speech including my favorite new alum, Jasmine.
My personal memories of high school include close friends but also fights, bullying and condescension. The brief reflections of these graduates spun a different thread, including the following echo:
• “Besant Hill is more than a school. It’s a community.”
• “I’m very thankful to be part of this community.”
• “because of this community”
• “The sense of community built me back up.”
• “community, vulnerability, confidence”
• “lovely community”
• “community -building”
• “peaceful, comforting, nurturing”
• “We all support each other.”
An effective organization communicates its core values and makes its decisions based on these values. Authentic values are the brightest threads in the fabric of any organization. At Besant Hill School, community forms and reforms students.
I hope that my congregation cultivates community as well.