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Celebrating Episcopal Schools

Visiting small children is an exquisite experience that fills my heart with boundless warmth. Their sparkling eyes and infectious giggles are a testament to the joy of life. Time spent with these little bundles of energy rekindles a sense of wonder within adults, reminding me of the magic in the everyday world. It reminds me of unbridled faith. It is reminder of the incredible beauty of God through the eyes of a child.

In the last few weeks, I have had the joyful opportunity to spend time at all eight of our diocesan schools. Traveling from Temecula to Hillcrest, La Jolla to Coronado, Poway to Pacific Beach, La Mesa to Bay Park, the sounds of children’s laughter has guided my journey. Our Episcopal Schools are an exceptional blessing to the children and families that they serve and the communities that surround them!

While curriculum and ages vary from campus to campus, the guiding light of an Episcopal School is God’s Love, and that shines brightly in all of them. Episcopal Schools are not there simply to educate children but to ensure that every student is seen, valued, and loved in all of their messy goodness. That love is a promise offered to every community member, a promise of belovedness and acceptance precisely as they are.

Episcopal Schools are guided by four principles that help them to live out that promise every day. 

  • School Worship that is creative, inclusive, draws fully upon the liturgical resources of The Episcopal Church, and is a regular part of school life for all faculty and students.
  • Community Life, in which reflection, prayer, and matters of the spirit are honored and cultivated and the physical, mental, and emotional health of all are supported and nurtured.
  • Religious Formation and Study that is meaningful, academically substantive, and age-appropriate; and in teaching the Christian tradition, fosters dialogue with other faith traditions.
  • Social Justice, which is the integration of the ideals and concepts of equity, justice, and a just society throughout the life of the school; the embracing and honoring of diversity; and the inclusion of community service and service-learning as an integral part of the life of the school. 

The National Association of Episcopal Schools

Lofty goals, but principles that are in practice in each of the schools in our diocese. I saw them weaving through my visits in countless ways. Below are a few pictures and reflections that I hope will help you to see them too.

Children sing, and dance, and wriggle with fun in Chapel at St. Andrew’s in Pacific Beach.

 

 Stuffed animals and family pets were blessed at St. Andrew’s in La Mesa.

 

Families and staff at All Saints Preschool work together to create a community garden where students can plant seeds and dreams for the future.

Children engage with a story that deepens their faith while “looking for God” in the world around them at St. Thomas’ of Canterbury in Temecula.

 

Children are reminded that God is with them during Chapel at St. David’s in Bay Park.

 

Staff at Christ Church Day School are honored for the work they do every single day to support and nurture students.

 

 Children at St. Bartholomew’s in Poway balance outdoor play with indoor learning engaging both mind and body.

 

The chapel at Bishop’s School is decorated for PRIDE/Allyship Week. Chapel included presentations and music from student leadership.

I feel so blessed to support the schools in our diocese. I hope you will join me in giving thanks for our exceptional Episcopal Schools, and Episcopal Schools across our country. 

God of knowledge and wisdom, we pray to you for all the schools across this country, which are part of The Episcopal Church. We remember them in their variety, in their differences, and in what they share. Give us open doors, open minds, and open hearts that we might accept, learn, and love everything and everyone whom you have given us. Help us to share our lives and what we have, and to learn from all those who are in school with us. We pray in the name of Jesus who opened his arms to all, young and old. Amen.

(National Association of Episcopal Schools)

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Category: #Worship & Formation

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2 replies to “Celebrating Episcopal Schools

  1. Pat Escher | on November 1, 2023

    Wonderful article. We miss you!

  2. Stephanie Jackel | on November 1, 2023

    Couldn’t agree more! I graduated from Rowland Hall, an Episcopal school in Salt Lake City, UT. Starting each day with chapel was a blessing for each of us.

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