Daily Reflection from
The Wednesday after the
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Stay Home. Stop the Spread. Save Lives.
If you have to go out, wear a mask.
Your mask is not a chin guard.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in
In this Convention week, today I give
thanks for our schools. We have one of the largest number of schools of any diocese in our Church, and our schools do extraordinary work. In fact, our schools reach more people than do our
congregations, and they are perhaps our single most important ministry of outreach and evangelism. In our schools not just our students, but our teachers and staff, families and friends, are exposed
to the Christian faith as the Church teaches and lives it, as well as to the values we seek to embody.
All but one of our schools are
connected to a congregation. Most are parish schools of one kind or another, and we have two independent schools which are among the finest schools in the region. Some of our schools serve the
neediest children in their communities. But whatever their circumstances, each one of our schools is making a huge difference in the lives of the young people who attend
Since I became the bishop, we have
been trying to create an intentional community of our schools, and we have been trying to ensure that, when we speak or think about our diocese, we think not just of congregations (as important as
they are), but also of our schools. We are, as I am always saying, a community of “congregations, schools, and special ministries,” all with a place in our diocesan life. I visit all our
schools on a regular basis just as I visit all our congregations, and I am always inspired and encouraged.
Our schools have been doing
remarkable work during this COVID season, and it has not been easy. But they have all responded with imagination and commitment, and our teachers, administrators, boards, and school staffs deserve
our gratitude for their witness, devotion, and sheer hard work.
Here is the list of our schools for your prayers today
All Angels’ Episcopal School, Miami Springs
Good Shepherd Pre-School and Elementary School, Tequesta
Holy Comforter Pre-School, Miami
Palmer Trinity School, Miami
Saint Andrew's School, Boca Raton
Saint Christopher's Montessori School, Key Biscayne
Saint David's-in-the-Pines Episcopal School, Wellington
Saint James Children's Center, Islamorada
Saint John's School, Homestead
Saint Joseph's Episcopal School, Boynton Beach
Saint Mark's Episcopal School, Fort Lauderdale
Saint Mark's Episcopal School, Palm Beach Gardens
Saint Mary Magdalene Pre-School, Coral Springs
Saint Matthews Co-Op Pre-School, Miami
Saint Paul's Episcopal School, Delray Beach
Saint Philip’s Episcopal School, Coral Gables
Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, Coconut Grove
Saint Thomas Episcopal School, Coral Gables
I like to say two things about our Episcopal schools and Episcopal education.
The first is that the Church has been in the education business longer than anyone else. Schools are a
creation of the Church, and we had been educating young people for centuries before the State assumed this responsibility. This is not to dismiss State education. A strong and vigorous public
education system is essential for a healthy society and a healthy democracy, and there is a direct relationship between the condition of our country and the condition of public education in so many
of our communities – but that is a subject for another reflection.
To say that we have been in the education business longer than anyone else is to recognise that education is
at the heart of the Church’s ministry. It is not an “add on” or an extra, and in those congregations where there is a school, we see one of the primary vocations of the Church in action. Our
schools need and deserve our full support, both from the congregations where they are functioning as well as from our diocese.
But why is an Episcopal education so important?
The answer is pretty straightforward. Our Anglican tradition has shaped our English-speaking world more than
any other. In politics, the law, literature, science, economics, and every other field – for centuries our English-speaking world, emerging as it did from Britain to spread around the globe, has been
shaped if not by Anglicans (though there have been many of those), then by a culture in which Anglicanism has been at the heart.
We see this most strikingly in the three most influential books in the English language: the
1662 Book of Common Prayer, the King James Version of the Bible, and the collected works of William Shakespeare. And while there is debate as to whether Shakespeare was an Anglican or a Roman Catholic, that
point is moot: he was formed in an Anglican world.
It is simply not possible to understand our history and culture without a grasp of the Christian faith as it
has been articulated and lived out in Anglicanism. We see this most popularly in literature, where allusions not just to Christianity, but to Anglican Christianity, abound. Whether it is a
19th-century novelist like Charlotte Brontë, a
20th-century poet like T S Elliot, or a modern crime fiction writer
like P D James, without an Anglican formation, there is so much that the reader misses. But the tradition has seeped into every crevasse.
This multi-layered Anglican influence on almost everything our children learn is, of course, not without its
complexities, embarrassments, and even terrible errors. But to know these is also an essential part of understanding who we are and how we got here.
Nowhere can young people learn all this better than in our Episcopal schools.
So, let us give thanks for our schools, for all who work and learn in them, and for all who support our
education ministries. It is tough work at the best of times; in this COVID season it has been so much harder.
Faithful and eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the brightness of your
glory, the one foundation and the chief cornerstone of the Church: we give you thanks for the gift of your Church, and especially for this community of faith in our region of Southeast Florida
as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. Continue to prosper, we pray, the work of your people, begun, continued, and ended in you, that as we seek to become the beloved
community, so may we always show forth your glory in the love we share, through him who first loved us, Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for
With love and prayers,