Throughout the many talks that 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave to all types of audiences in His travels, He consistently interspersed the subjects of service and sacrifice. These presuppose basic choices that one must make in changing one's life from predominately self interest to one of sharing. Moreover, such sharing and service must occur well beyond an individual's 'comfort zone' to have any significance. This essay deals with the human resistance to such change and the unexpected but uplifting rewards that follow. It further emphasizes the fact of our spiritual nature and the challenge we face in recognizing that fact. In the process of shifting a personal paradigm from self-interest to concern for others, a spiritual transformation will often follow.
'Abdu'l-Bahá describes four significant levels of sacrifice and identifies physical/spiritual types. The ultimate goal is to attain the 'station of sacrifice'. Within this context, 'Abdu'l-Bahá provides a supreme example of a life of service to God and to humankind. He expounds upon the meaning of suffering and the mystery of sacrifice.
References are made to the Heroic Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation and the extraordinary sacrifices by the early believers. Early centuries of Christianity are also mentioned. The unconditional faith that the many heroes of religion expressed provides tremendous inspiration for today. 'Abdu'l-Bahá brings all of this into focus in His unique style, a style that connects us to our own deep purposes in life.
High School National Honor Society
Pikes Peak Christian School is very pleased to have a charter of the National Honor Society. The NHS strives to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership, and to encourage the development of character in the nation’s secondary school students. Membership in this organization is open to students in the tenth grade or higher who meet all of the following requirements for selection and complete the necessary procedures:
- Cumulative, unweighted, GPA of 3.5 or higher following the first semester of the sophomore, junior or senior year defines initial eligibility for students.
- Demonstration of leadership qualities, volunteer service, and exemplary character as defined in PPCS National Honor Society guidelines are the key components for selection.
- The NHS advisor will review student academic records and verify those students who are academically eligible at the beginning of the second semester.
- A letter of invitation will be delivered to each academically eligible student. This letter will notify the student of the guidelines, procedures and deadlines to follow if they wish to seek National Honor Society selection.
- The responsibility for obtaining, completing, and returning the Student Activity Information forms and the essay by the deadline lies with the student.
- Student Activity Information forms and essay must be returned by the date and time they are due. Failure to do so, or turning in an incomplete form, will disqualify the student from consideration.
- The NHS advisor will review student records, including discipline and attendance records for further information regarding each student. All high school faculty will be asked to complete a NHS Candidate Evaluation form.
- Faculty members should consider this input in the most professional manner and consequently be able to substantiate substandard evaluations as outlined by PPCS National Honor Society guidelines.
- All input from faculty should be signed, but will remain confidential as per NHS and PPCS policy.
- The Student Activity Information form, essay, Candidate Evaluation form, along with any other verifiable information about the candidates relevant to their consideration will be forwarded to the Faculty Council, whose members are appointed annually by the high school principal, for review.
- Faculty Council members shall consider all provided information, including a student’s consistent attendance (no excessive absences as outlined in PPCS policy unless supported by medical conditions) when considering candidate membership into the NHS.
- Faculty council members are encouraged to deliberate in order to guarantee that their decisions are based on accurate and complete understandings of all information presented for review as well as PPCS Guidelines.
- With the vote on each candidate, those receiving a majority vote of the Faculty Council will result in selection for membership.
- All candidates not selected should have a list of those criteria not met by that individual candidate listed next to their name to assist the NHS advisor and principal in handling inquiries regarding non-selection.
- Prior to notification of any candidates, the NHS advisor will report to the principal the results of the Faculty Council’s deliberations for approval.
- Lists of selected and non-selected students, as well as reasons for non-selection may be incorporated into the meeting.
- This step will assure the support of the administration prior to any notifications.
- The NHS advisor will personally inform each student about their non-selection. At no time, and under no circumstances, will any NHS advisor or sponsor reveal to a student, parents, or other faculty: 1) who reported the student; 2) what the incident might have been; or 3) the Faculty Council vote.
- Students who are not selected will be eligible for consideration the next year providing they meet candidacy requirements.
- Students who are selected will be notified by letter, informing them of future expectations, responsibilities and events.
- New members will be formally inducted into the society at the Spring Induction Ceremony.
- To remain a member in good standing, each student must perform 24 hours of volunteer service per semester and maintain the standards by which he/she was selected. Failure to do so will result in probation and or expulsion as defined by the PPCS National Honor Society Constitution and Guidelines.
A candidate must be able to demonstrate an outstanding record of conduct and behavior with regard to school and community rules, guidelines and policies; or must be able to demonstrate sufficient growth and improvement to compensate for previous inadequacies.
In order to be considered for selection a candidate must:
- Uphold principles of morality and ethics
- Demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and reliability
- Regularly show courtesy, concern, and respect for others
- Manifest truthfulness in obedience to rules, avoiding cheating, refraining from gossip, and showing an unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others
- Cooperate by complying with school rules, regulations and expectations
- Observe instructions and rules; be punctual and faithful both inside and outside of the classroom
- Take criticism willingly and accept recommendations graciously
Any candidate whose conduct includes major and/or repetitive actions that violate, or reflect an attitude or spirit in opposition to the above expectations may be excluded from selection.
No student may be excluded without verification of the inadequate or substandard behavior by means of any of the following:
- Administrative School records
- Discipline/Conduct record
- Behavior/Conduct ratings on grade reports
- Records of individual faculty members based on professional evaluation and action
- Parent Conference Records
A candidate must be able to demonstrate the potential and skills to lead within the school and the community.
In order to be considered for selection a student must:
- Exercise positive influence on peers in upholding school ideals
- Exemplify a positive attitude
- Encourage positive behavior in others
- Demonstrate academic initiative
- Be thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted
- Be willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude
Other leadership qualities to be considered are:
- Initiative in promoting school activities
- Ability to delegate responsibilities
- Success in holding school offices or positions of responsibility
- Leadership in the classroom, workplace community or other school activities
A candidate must be able demonstrate actions which are done with or on behalf of others without any direct financial or material compensation to themselves with an acceptable attitude of service.
In order to be considered for selection a student must:
- Volunteer and provide dependable assistance
- Be gladly available
- Be willing to sacrifice to offer assistance
- Work well with others
- Show courtesy by assisting others
- Be involved in at least one of the following activities:
- Participate in some activity outside of school
- Church groups, scouts, volunteer services for the elderly, poor or disadvantaged, etc.
- Mentor persons in the community or other students
(Exceptions to this requirement may be made by the Faculty Council based on individual student circumstances)
Other qualities to be considered are:
- Cheerfully and enthusiastically render any requested service to the school
- Do committee and staff work without complaint
- Willingly represent class or school in inter-class and inter-scholastic competition