Reflections for the inner life.
Jill Rowe, Director of Ethos and Formation at Oasis in the UK (fast forward to 8:00)
Recently, I have been listening to an amazing podcast...over and over. Not one podcast "stream," but one specific solitary podcast. And it just keeps sinking in deeper and deeper.
A foundation in the United Kingdom called OASIS has become intimately involved with the public school systems. On their website, they explain, "Oasis has a radical and genuinely distinctive vision of community, seeking to reconnect people to each other and to the services they need. In the UK, Oasis works across 35 hubs. We are the second largest multi-academy trust in the UK, with 47 schools serving 25,000 children and their families."
Oasis is also unapologetically Christian. As a result of their involvement, schools and the communities they serve are transforming from the inside out all over the country. Their reputation is spreading with great favor as they employ and celebrate people of a wide variety of ethnicities and faith backgrounds as both teachers and administrators.
I have loved listening to Jill Rowe, "Ethos and Formation Director" at Oasis, describe the ethos and values of her organization. She candidly describes meeting with brand new schools who are coming under the care of OASIS for the first time. In these early moments of transition, she gathers the faculty and administrators together to begin sharing the contagious heartbeat of Oasis. She is also very up front about Oasis being uniquely Christian in its theology. Knowing there will be fears and concerns, she makes plenty of room for spending time for individual conversations that need to take place.
The more I hear Jill's heartbeat, I can not help but see the dynamic parallel between Oasis and Elbow Tree. We, too, hope to enter into our work from a shared theology that does not impose itself on clients but shows up in the way we live out what we believe.
"We act out of what we believe…and what I believe, I will eventually live out." -Jill Rowe
Jill Rowe breaks down five core theological beliefs of OASIS along with their invitation to teachers and administrations to partner with them in living these out in the classroom. Each core belief is paired with a practical lived expression to be lived out and modeled among students, teachers, and the administration
Here are the five core beliefs and lived out expressions:
So, what does any of this have to do with our small mom and pop counseling shops in Chattanooga and Saint Augustine?
We are committed to building an ethos of trust. That does not happen overnight. In Chattanooga, that has looked like decades of relationship building. Elbow Tree has become a trusted ally to the community as we routinely are sought after to speak, offer critical incident response with banks and the local police department, partnering with the counseling department at nationally renown boarding schools, and serving churches and non-profits locally and all around the country.
As we open our doors in Saint Augustine in the next month, we want to build relationships first and partner only when it makes great sense to us both. If you have any questions about anything you've read here or seen on the sight, don't hesitate to reach out and email Hayne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's get a cup of coffee soon. My treat.