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By Adam Wasik, Secondary Principal

“But ask the animals, and they will teach

you, or the birds in the sky, and they

will tell you; or speak to the earth, and

it will teach you, or let the fish in the

sea inform you. Which of all these does

not know that the hand of the Lord has

done this? In His hand is the life of every

creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:7-10

In the midst of his suffering, Job

reminds us that the Earth is the

handiwork of the Lord. If we look and

listen, we see and hear the goodness

and greatness of the Lord for it is

He who gives us life. At John Knox

Secondary School, “Encounter Days”

are an invitation to encounter the

Lord of all creation. Encounter Days

are an opportunity for students to

re-encounter each other and reform

friendships that may have been distant

over the summer.

During the first week of school,

our school ventured to Belcarra,

Port Moody. Since then, Belcarra

Regional Park’s name was changed to

təmtəmíxʷtən, pronounced Tum-tumee-hw-tun,

to better reflect its

history and to mark a milestone in

the ongoing collaboration between

Metro Vancouver and Tsleil-Waututh

Nation. We paddled traditional canoes

and learned about their culture in

an authentic way. Before we began

paddling, students were invited to

understand and respect the traditions

of our Indigenous guides. On the

water, we enjoyed the Coast Salish

tradition of story-telling and on land

students learned about the culturally

significant local forest plants that

were used as food, medicine, clothing,

and shelter. I was proud of our

students’ respectful curiosity, which

enabled us to learn more about

Canada’s Indigenous history, culture,

and perspectives. As we engage other

cultures and ways of understanding

the world with open minds and hearts,

we remain firmly rooted in the truth

of scripture and the love of Christ.

Back on land, John Knox students

were given time to reflect upon our

responses to some of the stresses of

the last year and what ways we feel

encouraged to change our lives in

the months to come. Afterward, we

continued our school community

building through fun team-building

activities hosted by Pinnacle Pursuits.

The following day sent students

around the Lower Mainland for grade

specific activities as a way to grow

and connect as a grade group. Grade

7’s enjoyed Dragon Boating on False

Creek, Grade 8’s went wakeboarding,

Grade 9’s went river rafting in

Chilliwack, Grade 10 students

went kayaking, Grade 11’s went

paddleboarding off Jericho Beach, and

Grade 12 students learned to sail.

The start of this school year has

been accompanied with a sense of

hope. It was a joy and a privilege

to be able to come together as a

school to celebrate. We more keenly

appreciate these opportunities to be

with one another after the challenges

of the previous year. As I witnessed

our students paddle across the bay

and play in the fields of Belcarra,

it filled my heart with joy to see

their happiness, exuberance, and

excitement to be together again. The

Lord’s presence and pleasure was

palpable. Like Job, our hope remains

secure in Him.


Below: Students paddling traditional canoes

Right page: Students work on building activity (top

left and bottom right), Grade 9 rafting (top right),

Grade 11 paddleboarding (middle right), students

paddling a traditional canoe (middle left), Grade 8

wakeboarding (bottom left)

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