Since I have come to RJC I have changed the way I look at the world.
I have learned that community is one of the biggest needs we all have but many do not get to experience and that it really does matter what type of people we surround ourselves with. I came to RJC with a couple close friends and a small world view. I didn’t think three years of my life attending a highschool would change my life forever but at RJC I have found faith not only in God but I have found faith in community. A community that extends farther than just the students at this school. By attending this RJC I have learned that no matter where any of us end up there is someone that will love and support us even if we don’t know them, just because of where we chose to go to school.
One of the things I have found most meaningful to me throughout the past three years I have spent at RJC is the time that we spend singing together.
Every year I have joined every choir that I was able to and not even because I love to sing but because of the feeling that doing it together brings. Our school is based on this feeling. I’ve never felt closer to my classmates, friends, and teachers, than the times in which we gathered to sing. We have sung in times of rejoicing but we have also sung through tears in times of uncertainty and heartbreak.
When I was in grade ten I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and join the after school choir we called Ensemble. It was a very small group with maybe 13 students. Through this experience I made many new friends I wouldn’t have otherwise made and had countless wonderful experiences. In April of that year we took a choir tour across Alberta. Of course travelling as a group is always fun and I could talk about just the van rides alone but the part of the trip I know I will remember forever was the very first night of the tour.
After driving for over ten hours through the prairie we came upon Springridge Mennonite Church in Pincher Creek, with mountains on the horizon. Anxious to get out of the vans we all went for a walk before going inside for a potluck supper which has come to be one of my favourite ways to eat. After that we were to sing for the congregation that was made up of less than 20 people and mostly older couples. We sang through our set of songs but one song had a different reaction from the crowd. We sang an old German Hymn called Lieber Vater. This had been a simple song and not one we had ever thought of as special until some members of the congregation looked like they might cry. Afterwards they informed us that this was a song many of them had sung as children and had not heard since. They requested that we sing it again and we decided that not only would we sing it again but we would sing it with them. We left the stage and each went to sit throughout the pews sharing lyrics with people we had never met but somehow already felt like family. This was one of the most beautiful and meaningful songs I have sung while at RJC and is one I will never forget.
At this moment I felt the support that our school had from that church and those people.
Although there weren’t many of them it felt as though every person in that small chapel now had a deeper connection with one another. This is where I find my faith in our school. This year we have had to do things in a different way but through watching our virtual choirs we have been able to include more alumni than ever before and all of those people you have seen on your screens care about you, they think about you, and they support you. Our community is not only those who we see in the hallways everyday. It extends so much farther.This school has helped me to see the love and support I have not only from my family, not only from my school, but from around the world.