Celebrating Cultural Diversity Commitment

At Calgary Christian School, our vision is…

God’s children making the world a better place.

As we continue to learn, to shape God’s world we want every student, teacher, and parent at CCS to know:

You are loved. You belong.

You and your gifts are needed here.

Calgary Christian School (CCS) has grown in both size and breadth of ethnic cultures represented in our students, families and staff of our CCS community.  Our common desire is to have our children educated in a Christ-centered environment by integrating our Biblically-based faith into our curricular and extracurricular activities.  As we have journeyed along the path to welcoming more students, families and staff into our CCS community there have been challenges at times in seeking to understand and to embrace some of our differences.

Our school’s journey to better understanding our cultural diversity began in 2018. At that time, some of our students, families and staff shared some of their experiences in our school that stemmed from misunderstanding and mistreatment that unfortunately caused harm and hurt. We wanted to   intentionally become a more loving and safe community that embraced, valued and cared for one  another. Principals and teachers were doing their best to deal with each incident, to restore relationships, and wondered: what else could we do to encourage a healthier culture within our school? These conversations led to the creation of the Celebrating Racial Diversity Parent Team 1.0.

Pastor Layne and the Secondary School Counselor, Tamara Menzies, invited a group of culturally diverse parents around a table and asked the question: what can we do to encourage a healthier culture at CCS? The resulting conversations eventually gravitated towards a key Biblical passage found in Revelation 7:9-10 which states: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’.”  

The original team understood that although we sometimes say well-meaning things like “God doesn’t see colour”, we actually may need to learn that God sees, loves, and celebrates all the colours He has made! God made room for all this diversity to celebrate around his throne together! The team knew we were on a long learning journey and decided to act by hosting the first Celebrating Cultural Diversity Night in our Secondary School gym. This fun and imaginative event gathered numerous cultural groups within CCS to share the songs, dances, teachings, clothes and special food of their distinctive cultures. It was a great night and a good start towards CCS practicing for heaven with Revelation 7:9-10 in mind!

After that celebration, we made a collective commitment to move forward as a school community that exemplified heaven as described by the Apostle John in Revelation 7:9-10. But the question remained - how? While we  prayed for direction and support, we were interrupted by the worldwide CoVid pandemic. This pause in regular activities created space for Pastor Layne to take an on-line course offered by Calvin University, which in turn led to the creation of the Celebrating Racial Diversity Parent Team 2.0. While some of the original team members continued their involvement, new members were also added. As this new team formed and began learning from each other and building strong relationships, they also produced the 13 Recommendations for CCS to help make our school even better.  These 13 Recommendations were presented and approved by the CSCE Board in 2022.

Today, we have revised the structure of the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Parent Team to create version 3.0 with the focus to providing more visibility, and to engage students, families and staff to support CCS as we continue to grow to be a more loving and safe community that embraces, values and cares for all just as Jesus does.  The Celebrating Cultural Diversity Team will make recommendations to the Leadership Team (Executive Director, four Principals, and Director of Faith Formation) and CSCE Board to help with the implementation of the 13 Recommendations.   They will also report to the both Parent Councils (Elementary and Secondary) on a monthly basis. 

We believe this will help equip our students, families and staff towards achieving our school vision of God’s children making the world a better place.  We want to ensure that everyone at CCS is loved, belongs, and that their gifts are needed and utilized at CCS!

With this in mind, we ask you to:

  1. Read the 13 Recommendations and to prayerfully ask Jesus to help our school to live them out.
  2. Encourage the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Team through our Board, by sharing what you appreciate about the recommendations and to respectfully ask questions or make suggestions you have to board@calgarychristianschool.com
  3. Consider joining or nominating someone else to join the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Committee by emailing ccsscouncil@gmail.com