New York, NY—From October 3rd through 9th, the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) will sponsor its annual Episcopal Schools Celebration (ESC), The theme for the 2010-2011 school year is “From Every Family, Language, People, and Nation” (Rev. 5:9).
Observed annually during the week beginning with the first Sunday in October, ESC is that time when Episcopal schools, early childhood education programs, school establishment committees and their sponsoring parishes, dioceses, and other Church-related institutions collectively celebrate their ministry and that of the over 1,200 other programs throughout the Episcopal Church. At school, parish, cathedral, or diocesan-wide worship services, open houses, or other events, ESC is the time to give thanks and to proclaim to the Church and the wider community the good news that is the ministry of Episcopal schools.
This year’s ESC theme is designed to focus attention on the diversity and religious pluralism found in Episcopal schools, and on efforts to sustain and increase this aspect of our schools’ missions. Commenting on this theme and the work of Episcopal schools, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church and honorary chair of the NAES Governing Board, writes in her annual ESC message: “We believe that the whole of creation is called to participate in God’s reconciling mission—not just Episcopalians. The many families, languages, people, and nations that constitute the learners, teachers, and leaders in our schools are a sure sign of this hope. The commitment of our schools to programs of access, inclusion, and support make this mission manifest.”
The Reverend Daniel R. Heischman, executive director of NAES, writes in his ESC message: “So many of our schools speak of the importance they attach to viewing all members of their communities as children of God. Equally common is the reference to the love of the variety of cultures and traditions represented by the members of the community: because we are an Episcopal school, these schools would say, we welcome the rich and wondrous variety of perspectives represented there—a variety that does not result in a meaningless babble but a reverence for the ways God works through specific languages and peoples, as was the case at Pentecost.”
Episcopal Schools Celebration materials were mailed to all school, early childhood education programs, and school establishment committees in August. A copy of the resource brochure and the bulletin insert are available online at www.episcopalschools.org/celebration/.
The National Association of Episcopal Schools, an independently incorporated, voluntary membership organization, supports, serves and advocates for the vital work and ministry of those who serve over 1,200 Episcopal schools, early childhood education programs, and school establishment efforts throughout the Episcopal Church. Chartered in 1965, with historic roots dating to the 1930s, NAES is the only pre-collegiate educational association that is both national in scope and Episcopal in character. The Association offers a variety of services, publications, resources, and conferences consonant with its mission and focused principally on Episcopal school identity, leadership, and governance and on the spiritual and professional development of school leaders. For information, please contact our offices at 800.334.7626, ext. 6134, or 212.716.6134, or firstname.lastname@example.org.