February 2024 Edition
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Newsletter Week 5 Term 1

Hastings Christian School

28 February 2024


One of the things I most look forward to at the start of the new school year are the testimonies from our senior student leaders. Each year we have the four leaders share with the students how God has worked in their lives to draw them to Himself. To date we have had our head boy and deputy head girl share their stories of God’s grace to them. Both shared how God had used tragedy in their personal lives to draw them to see their need for a saviour. Today our head girl, Lucy Smith, shared her testimony. What follows is her story (shared with permission). I trust you find it as uplifting as I did!

John 8:12. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’ My name is Lucy and the name Lucy means “bringer of light.” If I had to describe the light I shine, I’m not a strobe light (super hyped or energetic) or a bedside lamp (a calm, constant and trusting companion). I’m more a lighthouse. I am reliable and strong and grounded. I have been blessed beyond measure to have strong foundations, built on the word of God, fed to me by my parents and community my whole life. And above all, I try to shine a path for those navigating in the darkness and be a beacon of God’s love to those who have never known it. Acts 13:47-48 says, ‘For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”’

As a kid, I've always believed in God, and known the stories and the answers to the Sunday school questions. I was baptised at 8 years old as I never questioned the existence of God and knew I wanted to commit to Him.

However, it was only in year 10, at Easter Camp, where I came with all those big questions like, “What is my purpose? My identity?” when my faith developed into something deeper. Looking back, my early teen years were pretty confusing as I started maturing and all these questions suddenly appeared. I began to start picturing my life stretching in front of me and began to grapple with the questions of life that most people don’t actually stop grappling with.

I remember a moment at Easter Camp, I was filled with energy and passion and love of the Lord and was so inspired by all the speakers and just wanted to DO something with my energy and in that moment, I asked God during praise, “what is my purpose?” An hour later, a family friend came up to me and two girls with me that night and started praying with us. She shared that she felt God had really put it on her heart to tell our group that he had a role for one of us and that it was to be a bringer of light, of joy, peace and love, to the people around us, especially in our high school years when everyone feels a little bit lost or in the dark. She said we were to be conduits for God of His unending love and joy and peace. As Christians, this is what we should strive for everyday, but in that moment I knew her message was for me, as it was a direct answer to my question of God still fresh in my mind. This lady didn’t know the question on my heart, or the meaning of my name. I knew that God was speaking to me through her, saying, “Lucy, Your name means bringer of light, and that is what I call you to do.”

From that moment on, my faith turned from belief in God to a relationship with God. It wasn’t all over though, and our faith journey never is. We strive everyday to live a bit more like Jesus and align our hearts and desires to His will.

When I began rowing at the end of year 10, I didn’t want to talk about God or my faith, because I didn’t want to be ‘weird’ or socially isolated. Rowing was actually my first step into the secular world; I hadn’t realised until then but my whole life was the Christian school, church, and Christian relatives. So I somehow convinced my already socially insecure 14 year old self that people would talk behind my back or think I was weird if I talked about God or acted differently, and then I would be socially isolated. Though I didn’t realise it then, social isolation and rejection was one of my biggest fears and worries.

Unfortunately for myself, by hiding my faith, it meant I hid myself away, and didn’t say much or engage in many conversations, as it was easier to say nothing than to risk saying something that would either be met with opposition or would reveal to everyone that I was in fact ‘weird’ because of my Christian roots. In an ironic way, by trying my hardest to avoid social rejection and isolation, I socially isolated myself.

As I got stronger in my identity in the Lord and more comfortable being myself and not caring what others thought, I began to open up conversations about God and our ways of thinking that are so contrary to the world’s line of thinking. It’s been beyond amazing to have really deep conversations with loads of different people, discussing ideas and sharing my thoughts and convictions, which most often they haven’t heard of or thought of before. The only way these conversations have begun is by sharing my faith and beliefs and creating the space for those living in the dark to ask questions. Often I am able to share a way to do things that my teammates haven’t been brave enough to go against the grain and consider, like not drinking and partying and dating for the sake of it and obsessing over physical appearances. But most importantly, I am able to model the love and kindness and patience received first from God to my team when others may stir up drama and talk badly about someone.

In my fears and worries, I tried to hide the light of God under the basket so that I wouldn’t be different from others, but by doing so I was going against God’s plan and intention for His people, and so obviously it didn’t work out. Matthew 5:14 tells us straight up, As believers ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’

At our school, there are so many bright shining lights, which is so encouraging to see and be a part of. If there was a map of the world of these lights, there would be a giant big glowing mass on Copeland Rd. We’ve got disco lights (the kids with an endless amount of energy) and book lights (the clever deep thinkers) and flood lights (the athletic, determined ones who don’t give up) and lanterns (the warm welcoming ones that bring people together) and desk lamps (that studious buddy you turn to for a little bit of motivation) and fairy lights (the twinkly people that always create a positive vibe around them) and head torches (the helpful people who are always there to lend a hand when you need). While this is just a fun metaphor to think about your strengths and passions, everyone who has the light of God inside of them is different in how they are called to be that light and who around them they are lights for. The light within you can often be the only light of God some people might see. The reason we are called to be like God, is so that the world can see and know God through knowing us.

I saw a quote once that said, “You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.” Through how we live our lives, by saying no to some things, and by doing things that are hard to do and many would say are illogical, such as loving our enemies and those who hurt us, we are shining the light of God in a very dark world. Don’t ever dim your light so that you can be more like the darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 says, “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”

And so my encouragement is that you grow your light that comes from knowing the light of God and shine as bright as you can now, so that one day, when you leave our school’s blazing bubble, you are a strong light for everyone else in the darkness, lighting the path for them towards God.

Gavin Clark

Secondary Swimming Sports

Secondary swimming sports for Y9-13 students is on at the Sports Park on Percival Rd next Tuesday 5th of March. Please drop your students off at the park and we will meet outside the café at 8:50am for a 9:00am start. Students can wear house colours to the event. They must have:
  • appropriate togs (no swimming in t-shirts, jean shorts etc)
  • goggles if they have them
  • a towel
  • packed lunch
  • water and any medications required
  • NO face paint or hair colouring please
Please let Mrs Clark if your child will need a ride in the school van. v.clark@hcs.school.nz Students should be collected at 2:00pm.

Teacher Profile

Meet Thalita, the new Violin Teacher at HCS.
Originally from Brazil, Thalita made the life-changing move to the picturesque shores of New
Zealand in 2018. Her musical journey began at the tender age of 5 when she immersed
herself in piano, violin, recorder, and choral singing at the Baptist Church of her community.
Thalita’s passion for music education spans over two decades. With a degree in Teaching
Music (BTchg) and a Bachelor of Music (Violin Performance) from the Federal University of
Rio de Janeiro, she brings a harmonious blend of technical expertise and passion to her
teaching. She is a qualified NZ registered teacher with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa
New Zealand and also has been a registered violin teacher with the Suzuki American
Association since 1999. As Thalita embarks on her journey at Hastings Christian School, she looks forward to inspiring young violin students, fostering their growth, and instilling a lifelong love for music. When not teaching or playing the violin, she enjoys beach outings and bike rides with her husband and two sons.

Itinerant Music Lessons

Itinerant music lessons have started. All lesson days/times/locations are posted on the window of C1. Please encourage your child to practice and to bring their instrument on the day of their lesson.

Violin: There is a vacancy for a student to have violin lessons with our fantastic, new and extremely competent violin teacher. For anyone who might be interested can email Nicola Feyter n.feyter@hcs.school.nz

Noah Terry offering brass instrument lessons

I am a year 13 NCEA level 3 music student. I have passed grade 8 music theory, and I have played trumpet since the age of 7. I currently play with the Hawke's Bay Youth Orchestra. I have had the amazing experience of playing with the Deco Bay Brass Band. I have played and arranged music for the National Secondary Schools Brass Band Development Band, and I am currently arranging music for this year's workshop. I have had experience tutoring trumpet and wish to provide the opportunity for students at HCS to learn this instrument. For further information or any questions, please email me at noah.terry@student.hcs.school.nz.


Invoices were sent home today for student costs such as music tuition, technology costs, graphics stationary and school diaries. Please pay these as soon as possible. If you have any queries about your account, please email Adair Rolls adair.rolls@hcs.school.nz

Items Needed

So many students were making a joyful creative mess at lunchtime yesterday, creating their wings for the parade at the end of term. We still need plenty of the following items:
  • Plastic trays
  • 2 or 3 litre milk/just juice bottles
  • Drink cans
  • Plastic flowers
  • Packing seeds
  • Plastic milk lids

Mufti Day Next Friday

Next Friday 8th of March will be a whole school mufti day to raise funds for the HCS Girls Senior volleyball team who will be travelling to Nationals in Palmerston North for the week of 18-22 March to compete against other teams from around NZ. Please help support the girls by sending your child/ren next Friday with a gold coin donation. Thank You.

Home & School

The H&S committee is run by a group of willing parents who work to raise funds for the school.
We meet together approx 1x per term and plan what we will do that term.

For the last couple of years we have been focused on the new gym, but now we need to discuss some new projects that the school is planning on doing and decide what we would like to contribute towards.

Each Friday we sell Pizza and that all goes towards the H&S funds. We would love to hear from any new people who would be willing to join our very small team. We are planning to get together Monday 4th March so please make contact for more details if you can join us.

We totally welcome any ideas or support you are able to give us. You don't have to commit to helping out with every fundraiser etc but you may have 1 great idea to share!!
Please contact Daphne Hawken for more info.d.hawken@hcs.school.nz 027 668 0357

E3 Camp

Day 1
After leaving school at 8:40, we were on our way to Guthrie-Smith camp grounds. Once we had set up all the tents, we went to the high ropes. With excitement and fear in our veins, we learnt how to put our harnesses on and, after all the other safety briefing, we got up onto the 10 metre high ropes. As we walked along the pencil thin ropes, we wondered if we would fall or reach safety on the other side. After a long day of risks and overwhelmed students, we still had 2 days to go.

Day 2
Waking up at 6am we had a long day of canoeing and gorging ahead of us. Once we had all been checked, we hopped into the vans and went to Lake Tutira where we would go canoeing. When we had arrived we put on life jackets and got the oars. After getting ready , we pushed the boats into the water and got in. After a few lessons on rowing, we played a game where you have to collect balls in the water and see who can collect the most. After canoeing, we went straight to gorging where we walked through a stream with slippery rocks and bugs. It took around 3 hours and at the end we climbed up a hill and made our way to the van.

Day 3
This was unfortunately our last day at camp, but we still had a 3 HOUR HIKE ahead of us. The hike started off with almost every single student hating the uphill part of the climb to Bell rock. With breaks along the way, we were still very sore and tired. But even with all our obstacles along the way, we managed to reach Bell Rock, which truly was a sight to behold.

Written by Tyson N and Seth F

Ice Blocks for Sale

Lemonade iceblocks will be on sale for $1 on THURSDAYS this term. Order before school outside the staffroom (juniors) or bring your dollar at lunchtime (seniors).Term 1 only!

Pizza Lunches

Order before school outside the staff room on Friday mornings. $1.50 per piece, cheesy garlic, pepperoni or ham and cheese. Gluten Free $2.00 per slice.

Secondary Athletics Day

Teacher Only Day & Easter Dates

Advance notice: Friday 22nd of March will be a teacher only day. All staff will be travelling to Palmerston North for professional development. HCS will be closed this day.

The Easter break for all schools will be Friday 29th March, Monday 1st of April and Tuesday 2nd of April. Easter falls outside the school holidays this year and term 1 will end on Friday 12th of April.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 4th-Tuesday 5th - Basketball HB training sessions for primary
  • Tuesday 5th Mar - Y9-13 Swimming Sports
  • Wednesday 6th Mar - Mitre10 Tough Kids (B1&B2)
  • Friday 8th Mar - Y12/13 Tongariro Trip
  • Friday 8th Mar - Mufti Day Volleyball Fundraiser
  • Friday 15th Mar - Duke of Ed tramp
  • Wednesday 20th Mar - Secondary Interschool Athletics
  • Friday 22nd Mar - Teacher Only Day
  • Monday 25th Mar -Thursday28th - E1 Optimist Yachting
  • Monday 25th Mar - Y7/8 Immunisations
  • Wednesday 27th Mar - Whole school Easter assembly
  • Wednesday 27th Mar - Y12 Biology Trip
  • Thursday 28th Mar - House Event
  • Friday 29th Mar-Tuesday 2nd -Easter Break
  • Thurs 4/5 April - Duke of Ed trip
  • Monday 8th Apr - HCS Board Meeting
  • Thursday 11th Apr - Vietnam Cultural Trip