Earlier this year, some high school students at Grace Church School in New York City were asked about their hopes for the future of Grace Church School. One answered, “Rooted in values but open to new traditions.”
This student captured the essential mission of so many Episcopal schools: to sustain roots that are strong and deep while remaining vibrant and relevant places for today’s students and families. Staying true to core values while simultaneously open and adaptive to new ways of being (new traditions, no less!) can be a challenging place to live. Sometimes it seems easier just to choose one or the other.
Ideally, our Episcopal roots ground and sustain our very being as schools—our core values—and inform the questions “Who are we?” and “Why are we here?” At the same time, the here-and-now of today’s world and new generation rightly demand that we think deeply about “How shall we live this mission for today?”
At Grace Church School, like so many others, each stage and step in the school’s long history tested leaders in different ways and every turning point required them to confront these same core questions: Who are we? Why are we here? How shall we live this mission for today?
“Rooted in values, open to new traditions.” Pretty good words to live by, especially as Episcopal schools.