It is a truism that good teachers don’t know all the answers, but they know where or how to find them. We try to do the same here at NAES, particularly when those uniquely “Episcopal school” questions and dilemmas arise. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll share our networks of knowledge and relationships to head you in the right direction.
One the benefits of working here at NAES this past year has been the chance to learn more about the resources for schools within the national Church and its related organizations, resources that I often overlooked in my years as a parish day school head. In addition to the various Episcopal social service and social justice groups that provide opportunities for education and service partnerships, here are two Church-related resources that Episcopal school leaders should know.
Church Publishing Group (CPG)
While CPG primarily focuses on congregational life and denominational formation, many titles are relevant to Episcopal schools, particularly in the areas of religious studies, chapel and worship (including music), ethics and spiritual formation, and social justice. In addition to Bill Gordh’s classic Building a Children’s Chapel and Dan Heischman’s newly published Good Influence, here are some of my current favorites:
- Bead One, Pray Too: A Guide to Using and Making Prayer Beads by Kimberly Winston — A colorful volume that includes a history of prayer beds in the world’s major religious traditions, a detailed look at varieties of Christian prayer beads and rosaries, and how to create your own prayer beads. Adaptable for all ages.
- Praying by Lucinda Mosher — Volume Two in the Faith in the Neighborhood Series that explores over a dozen of America’s faith traditions across broad themes. Other volumes focus on belonging, public and private worship, death and grieving, faith and family life, religious instruction, and works of charity and social activism. An excellent reference for Grades 7–12.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers by Julie B. Sevig — A small and eclectic volume of seasonal prayers and rhyming graces for meals for the nursery, early childhood, and elementary levels.
- Music by Heart : Paperless Music for Evening Worship — This wire-bound volume offers an introduction to a way of leading and teaching song without words written on paper, including rounds, chants, simple melodies, echo, and call and response. Includes eighty-five songs with music for all ages and skill levels.
Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF)
Don’t let the name fool you! The Foundation provides programs, products, and services to Episcopal congregations, dioceses, and related organizations (including Episcopal schools) in the areas of financial resource development, leadership, and training. ECF offers workshops and consultations on capital campaigns, fundraising, and finance; assists Episcopal organizations with investment and other governance polices; and provides endowment management services, including small endowments of under $1 million.