The School Crest
The School crest emerged during 1991 as a recognition of ten years of God’s continuing presence in the ministry of the School. The formation of its design sought to embody the original vision of the School and to incorporate the ethos of its life.
The Burning Bush
The appropriate central imagery of the flames of fire reminds us that the Lord appeared to Moses in such flames from within a bush which burned "yet was not consumed". Turning aside in wonder, Moses was reminded by God that He was the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now the God of Moses.
Our School had its beginnings in May, 1981 within the church and precincts of St David’s Presbyterian and later St David’s Uniting Church at Thornleigh. The centre window of that church was a stained glass featuring the burning bush, which was subsequently given to our School. It is a reminder of our roots as a School and also is an inspiration for our life of faith. It contains the rich symbolism of the holiness of life and vocational calling that comes from God to each man; for it signifies the encounter—a living encounter—of one man with God. An encounter we can all experience today.
The stained glass window from the St David’s Church is now an integrated feature, set high in the glass partition entrance into the N. F. Cannon Library.
The School Motto
At the heart of Moses’ response that day, lay his Hebrew understanding of "hearing" being inseparable from "obedience". "To Hear is to Obey". And, in that obedience, not as the shepherd of the flocks, nor the prince of Egypt, but the prophet of God emerged from that burning desert in obedience, to lead his people from captivity to the land of God’s promise. Likewise, when we hear God, it is not an issue of having to decide to obey but rather one of just responding in obedience.
The Abandoned Boat
The motif of the boat—without sails—takes us to the New Testament apostle, Simon Peter the fisherman, who in obedience to the Galilean Jesus, discovered in the miracle of the haul of fish the Christ of Jew and Gentile alike—Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. Like Moses, awed by the living encounter with God, Peter with his brother fishermen, heard the call to follow; and in obedience ... "They Left Their Nets".
To the Galilean fishermen, it was an abandonment of all their security; of all their roots, of town, of livelihood, of friends, of family. One day, on the hill of Calvary, they would see the supreme abandonment of Jesus Christ to the will of His Father: "Father, remove this cup from me; yet, not what I will, but what You will". We, too, can know that singular call in our lives.
The boat is also a reminder that a part of our history lies in the ministry of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Houston, Texas (USA) from whence comes our name, Redeemer Baptist Church. The Rector of the Church of the Redeemer, Graham Pulkingham, recorded that church’s remarkable encounter with God, in a book, "They Left Their Nets". The obedience of the congregation to that encounter saw many of them emerge as the Community of Celebration and the worship ministry of the "Fisherfolk", which continued to make a formative impact on the lifestyle and ministry of our Church.
The Golden Crown
The crest is surmounted by the crown, symbolising the sovereign rule of God and His Lordship of our lives. Like Moses and Peter, we hear the call of God revealed in the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the obedience of faith, we too follow our Redeemer.
The Church Logo
At the centre of the crown is the Church logo reminding us of the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ. That cross is surrounded by the circle of fellowship of those who bow to the Christ of that cross, and whose lives appear as the fruits of that discipleship. The Church logo reminds us that the School is an expression of the ministry of the Church.
Flames of Fire
Beautifully portrayed in the original stained glass is the white heat intensity of the centre of the flames. The light was in the bush. And the light was the Presence of the Lord. Men of old were undone and transformed by the Presence of God. The prophet Isaiah cried, "Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips, yet with these eyes I have seen the King". The disciples’ hearts burned within them as He talked with them on the Emmaus road. Saul of Tarsus fell to the ground, as the light of heaven flashed about him and in response to his cry, "Who are you, Lord?" he heard the voice say, "I am Jesus, whom you persecute".
For each of these people, their knowledge of God by hearsay, became a knowledge of Him by experience. Each recognised that they had been in the presence of the Living God and Ruler of lives; someone whom they could acknowledge was their Lord. When Moses walked down the mountain, he and God walked together, the earlier glow of that bush now transformed by the Fire of God’s Presence. Fearful disciples believed; and the Christ-hating Saul became the God-loving Paul. Henceforth each would walk daily in the Light, seen in the Pentecostal tongues of fire of the outpoured Holy Spirit or through eyes from which the scales had fallen.
This crest has been fashioned to remind the School Community that the education of our children will be founded on certain, clear assurances that:
- God can visit any man; a princely Moses turned shepherd, a humble fisherman, unlettered disciples, or a learned Paul;
- The communication of the word will allow truth to flame forth by the Revelation of The Word;
- The incarnation, the advent of God made flesh in Jesus Christ, is more than a pleasant nativity story about a babe in a manger;
- Christ’s coming to earth was in truth expressing the continuing possibility of His coming to each man and dwelling in him.
That possibility remains for all those today who willingly embody the truth that:
"TO HEAR IS TO OBEY."