Dear Friends in Christ,
Next week is Episcopal Schools week, and on Sunday we celebrate Grace Episcopal School at
our 10:30 service.
I want to address a very fundamental question about these celebrations: why are we having them?
My life before the church was in theater education, and I spent most of it in outreach to and
advocacy for public schools. When I came to Grace, I had some questions about the purpose of
private education, especially in a region that has educational disparity.
What I have come to realize is that our school is a great gift to us.
First, it raises up the value of children. The mission of the school is to “honor the gift of
childhood.” Jesus did this—as he invited children to come close to him—and we do it, too.
Second, it creates responsible disciples. As Mother Nina works with the children—both in
chapel and in religion classes—she is not simply teaching them bible stories. She is also helping
create human beings who are alive to both the wonder and the need of God’s creation.
And thirdly, it models formation for service. As we watch children growing “in the knowledge
and love of the Lord” (as the baptismal liturgy phrases it), we pay attention to how we are
growing. Are we becoming the people we want to be? Are our lives in the world reflective of
what we say we believe when we come to church?
This coming Sunday, you will see many of our students and their families in worship. Some of
them are new; others are Grace regulars. I hope you will show love to all of them. You’ll see
the fruits of their education as they contribute their singing and their art (and, of course, their
fellowship as they bring cake to coffee hour).
I am looking forward to their presence, and I hope you will, too—