Pastoral Care: A Ministry of Being

Both Episcopal and non-Episcopal schools are in the business of educating students of all ages, backgrounds, races, religions, cultures, and abilities in caring, nurturing environments. What is unique about Episcopal Schools however, is that Episcopal Schools are “embodiments of the Christian faith…that honor, celebrate and worship God as the center of life,” and as such “are created to be models of God’s love and grace.”  One important way we share God’s love is through pastoral care. The Episcopal Church defines pastoral care as “The ministry of caring at the heart of the church's (or school’s) life.” In my ministry as a school chaplain, pastoral care is woven into every aspect of my day. Tending to Jesus’ sheep is multifaceted, and the following are a few of my reflections about pastoral care after serving forty years in education, the last ten as a chaplain in an Episcopal School. Read More »

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion: The Episcopal School Perspective

In recent months, the role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in schools has faced increasing scrutiny, with some arguing that it promotes indoctrination rather than education. More than two dozen states, including here in North Carolina, have taken legislative steps to restrict or outright eliminate DEI initiatives and roles in public colleges. This debate has significant implications for the education sector, particularly for schools rooted in principles of diversity and inclusivity, such as those affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Read More »

The Synergy of Community

I have lived and worked in boarding and day schools—secular and Episcopal—for thirty years. Throughout this time, I have appreciated the different ways that schools sustain community. The... Read More »

Choosing Religion

I have been teaching Religion and Philosophy at independent Episcopal schools in New England for almost a quarter-century, and much has changed over that time! Specifically, our students’ level of interest in studying these topics, going on to major in them at University, and even adopting new spiritual or religious worldviews for themselves has been steadily increasing. It is not what I expected, and I am fascinated and delighted by it. Read More »

They Understand

If you had to buy all of your groceries at CVS, what would you be able to eat? What wouldn’t you be able to eat? These are questions that we pose to our second graders to get them to think, not only about food insecurity but also about food access. Washington, DC has inequitable access to fresh food/full service grocery stores in certain areas of the city. Second graders can understand Food Justice.  Read More »

The Beauty of Holiness

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2 We know how essential worship services are in our schools when our grown students come back to their roots and ask to be married or have their... Read More »

Where the Learning Happens

At St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, one strategic initiative for us is to enhance curriculum and teaching methods while upholding excellence in academic programs, teaching, and faculty expertise. This commitment is vital in providing outstanding education for our students and aligns with our Episcopal identity, emphasizing the honor and respect for the dignity of every individual, which speaks to both hearts and minds. Achieving this goal is possible through ongoing professional development. An illustrative example of such professional development was when, earlier this school year, our Visual Arts Director took three preschool teachers and three high school teachers on a curated professional development opportunity to see the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence. It is not just a college but also a museum, and it opened our eyes to innovative educational spaces. Read More »

Run the Race with Well-Being

The world of athletics is rapidly changing. The establishment and growth of “pay to play” club sports opportunities at a young age promotes performance-based development and success. Many club sports programs are transactional in nature, focusing on winning results, college recruiting, and NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) deals. It seems that professional sports have bled into college sports and high school sports are now replicating the level of professionalism of Division I college athletics. Now, more than ever, it is critical to maintain focus on education-based athletics and developing student-athletes holistically. Read More »

Unreasonable Hospitality

For many of our schools, we are growing if not by numbers by innovation, technology, and new research. As educators, most of this is aimed at helping us better understand each student and reach them where they are, so we can grow them to where they need to be for the next step in their academic chapter. Read More »

Thank God It’s Today!

Each year, TMI Episcopal chooses a theme to represent how we are committed to serving our students and their families. They are not simply words on a banner, but a creed, a motto, by which we will easily live into on the “lighter days” and a belief that we will serve as a buoy on those days that are more challenging. This year’s theme is “Thank God It’s Today.” As the familiar saying goes, “Yesterday is in the past, tomorrow is in the future, but TODAY is a gift.” And that is how I have decided to lean into this school year—knowing that after almost three decades of working with children, I am still blessed with the opportunity to start anew and to receive the gift of a new day and a new year. Read More »