What Can You Expect at Kainon?
At Kainon our goal is to have our spiritual values guide everything we do. Whether it’s in the classroom with the students, or with parents in a private conference, or in a staff meeting in the afternoon, we strive to embody the Lord’s teachings.
There are many ways that we pursue this goal. This is a list of what students can expect while at Kainon in the area of spirituality.
Chapel and Classroom Worship
Almost every day begins with some form of Worship. On Tuesday through Thursday the whole Primary Phase gathers in the church for chapel. The students will sing two hymns, say the Lord’s prayer, and recite the weekly recitation. One of the Pastors will share a passage from the Word and a short talk on how it applies to our lives. Parents are more than welcome to attend. It runs from 7:40-7:55, Tuesday-Thursday.
On Friday, the whole school, including the Pre-Primary Phase, gathers in the church. With the younger ones present, the format and content are simpler. It is beautiful to see the little ones being looked after by the older students. Our grade 5s meet them down at the Pre-Primary, lead them up to the Church, sit with them during the service, and lead them back down at the end. To accommodate the little ones, this service is at 9:30.
On Monday, every grade does worship in the classroom with their class teacher. The format is similar to Chapel, but smaller and more comfortable. The younger grades also have classroom worship during the week, to supplement the chapels.
Grades 4-7 have Bible Study twice a week, for an hour each time. These are taught by one of the three pastors. Bible Study is an opportunity to dive more deeply into the details of the Bible than is possible in a short chapel talk. The basic format of Bible Study is to work through books of the Bible, always looking for what they teach us about the Lord, our relationship with Him, and our relationships with others. A lot of life-orientation takes place in these Bible Study classes.
Behaviour and Counselling
We meet the children where they are. When they struggle or act out, we first try to get to the heart of the matter and support them emotionally or spiritually. We help them form a conscience so that they know right from wrong and can make good choices from that inner strength.
Yearly Theme and Weekly Recitations
Every year we pick a theme from the Bible to be our focus. We explore it and apply it in many ways, especially during the first term, but also coming back to it throughout the year. This theme will be the topic of various chapels, events, and talks to the learners. We think of ways that it can improve our lives as individuals and shape our behaviours both at school and at home. Some past themes include Listening Well; Prayer from the Heart; Living Gratefully; and Watching Our Words.
We also have a short sentence of scripture as a recitation each week. We recite it together during chapel and worships, and ask the students to have it memorized by Friday. We hope that by having the children memorize passages from the Word the ideas will stick with them and be useful to them as they go through life.
Singing for Church and Bible Pageant
Once a year each grade prepares a few hymns in music class and then performs them as part of a Sunday service at New Church Westville (the same building in which we have chapel).
Every other year the students put on a Bible Pageant based on the yearly theme. They dress in costume and act out various stories from the Word. This takes place during a special Sunday service at New Church Westville.
What We Believe
The New Church is based on the Old and New Testaments and the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth, completely Divine and completely human, and that by His life, death, and resurrection He conquered hell and redeemed mankind, offering salvation to all who faithfully follow Him. We believe that the Bible is His Word to mankind, and contains infinite truth within it. We believe that faith and charity can only exist together in a marriage, and that these two express themselves in a life of active service. We believe that everyone has an obligation to shun evils as sins against God, and to do so as if from their own power, while acknowledging that it is only God who enables them to do so. We believe that Jesus is the full manifestation of God, and the Bible the full manifestation of His Word, but that in every religion God has offered enough truth that those who strive to love God and their neighbour according to what they do know may be saved, since such a life opens them up to acknowledging the full truth when it is presented to them clearly.
These beliefs are drawn from the Bible as interpreted in the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th-century scientist, theologian, and revelator.
Who Was Emanuel Swedenborg?
Emanuel Swedenborg was born in Sweden in 1688, and as a young man displayed enormous intelligence, becoming one of the foremost scientists in Sweden by the time he was thirty years old. He was active in the Swedish parliament throughout his life, and served for a time as assessor of the Board of Mines for Sweden. In 1744, at the age of 56, Swedenborg experienced a spiritual crisis. He recounts that God appeared to him and called him to turn his attention toward writing and publishing spiritual works. From that time on he wrote and published books about heaven and hell (he describes regularly being allowed to see in to heaven and hell and speak with angels and spirits), about God’s Providence, about deeper meanings within the Bible, and about Christian theology. Despite the fact that he was allowed to speak with spirits, Swedenborg consistently stated that the only things he wrote and published were things revealed directly by the Lord alone while he read the Bible.
We believe that the wisdom, clarity, and depth in his works attests to the truth of his claims, as do the copious references to Scripture. Swedenborg’s works do not replace the Bible. Instead, they provide a framework for reading the Bible that reveals hidden depths within the Word of God.