Sarah Kates

The calling to influence, teach, and shepherd a flock 5 days a week tugged at my heart a few years back when I was serving as a youth minister at an Episcopal church with a school. Between me and God, I knew he was calling me to school chaplaincy but I had no idea how that was going to happen. Three years ago, I took a short leave of absence to discern my vocation and lo and behold saw the Chaplain job opening at St. Luke’s Episcopal School. I wish I could “go tell it on the mountain” what is happening here at St. Luke’s School every day. I have the best job in the world. I get to share the love of Jesus, and listen to and love children every day starting with morning chapel. The rituals of morning chapel center the heart and mind to approach and embrace the day with peace and love. It takes practice, openness, peace, and discipline to plan and prepare for two chapels a day. It is a challenge I do not take lightly. I know God has blessed me with the gifts to preach a message of love & joy for all God’s children, a message that no matter what there is always hope, and a message that you are not alone. Using all the wonderful, amazing and crazy stories of the bible, I humbly and passionately share those messages. I would say to chaplains everywhere: Don’t be afraid to retell stories from the bible in your own words. You can’t mess it up. The Holy Spirit will take your words, break them, bless them and make them abundant in the hearts of your students. Storytelling is powerful. Jesus did it and wants us to do it too. It sparks creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and more which is what Episcopal Schools are all about. Worry less about the lessons you want students to learn. Tell the stories. The lessons are the fruit that comes later.

Sarah Kates is Chaplain at St. Luke’s Episcopal School (San Antonio, TX).