MAESA and host school, Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School were proud to welcome students and families from across our local Episcopal schools to the MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration and Service on Tuesday, October 4. The theme, designated by the National Association of Episcopal Schools and celebrated the same week at Episcopal schools across the country, was "Be Strong and Courageous." (Deuteronomy 31:6) It was wonderful to gather with friends from all our Episcopal schools for the first time in three years!
St. Patrick’s Grade 5 students attended the service at the Washington National Cathedral and offered the anthem, “When I Close My Eyes,” by Jim Papoulis. Our Day School Chaplain, Father Ed, led the service, and our Head of School, Mrs. Spain Thomas, offered a wonderful sermon, reflecting on her experience in Episcopal schools, and how being strong and courageous is best expressed in being a community of care and blessing and is a sign of hope to the world.
This year MAESA offered the opportunity for schools attending the Episcopal Schools Celebration to engage in a brief service learning “exercise,” walking laps around the Cathedral immediately following the worship service. Doing so helped students recognize how many miles people without homes have to take every day just to manage. Before taking their walk, students heard about the work of Friendship Place, an organization dedicated to helping to address and alleviate homelessness in the Washington, DC area. Friendship Place’s mission is to empower people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives. Their vision is “a DC region and a nation in which every person has a place to call ‘home.’” Friendship Place is a frequent partner with Washington National Cathedral. The hope is to continue to build service learning into the annual MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration, and we look forward to participating in these moments in the future.
Please keep an eye on our social media pages for photos from the event. And we look forward to our own Episcopal Schools Sunday Celebration later in November!