"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Faith in the Life of St Vincent's School

The web site of St. Vincent's School has a wealth of information about our institution, but a few weeks ago I noticed a curious deficiency: there was no mention of Jesus, the Bible, or even Christianity on our web page! The only time "Christian" appeared on the site was in connection with a parochial school athletic league we belong to and on the faculty page in the CVs of those of us with degrees from TCU. No doubt this lack of discussion of Christianity was just an oversight, but it bothered me. I raised the issue with Dean Reed and he enthusiastically endorsed my efforts to "beef up" the faith profile of the web site. This is the entry I have drafted for inclusion on the site:

While St. Vincent's Cathedral School welcomes students from all religious backgrounds, we are grounded within the great educational tradition of Anglican Christianity. As a Christian school SVCS is intentional about helping each student cultivate his or her spiritual life. Our goal is to produce graduates who will honor their Creator not only with well-developed minds and bodies, but also with the choices they make in their lives.

Every school day our students encounter the Good News of Jesus Christ in morning chapel. While participating in chapel students hear readings from Holy Scripture, sing hymns of praise to God, receive religious instruction from our clergy and lay ministers, and develop a custom of daily prayer.

But spiritual development at SVCS does not stop at the doors of the chapel. Our faculty strives to model love and care in their interactions with students and each other. And students are encouraged to strive for the highest ethical standards in the classroom. As a result, in addition to receiving an education of the mind and body of the finest quality, SVCS students also develop the spiritual and moral character one expects of society's future leaders.

I understand there is some discussion of reverting back to our old name, "St. Vincent's Episcopal School," so the name may be SVES again when this statement finally appears on the web site. Personally I do not find the word "Episcopal" has the same positive connotations as does "Anglican," but apparently market research here indicates that the VGR affair has not tainted the name "Episcopal" in the public mind as much as it has for me.


Blogger Richard said...

I'd certainly send my, hypothetical, children to the school with a blurb like that, Randall.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randall, you have nailed it. While you have a greater ability with verbage than most, it is amazing that similar statements were not already in the website. And who has done the research that indicates that Episcopal should be reinstated in the name of the school? Was this truly research or just someone's opinion stated as a researched fact?

2:05 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

I get the impression that there was a marketing research firm hired to look into how to increase the visibility of the school. They theorized that in the general public's mind two years of controversy had not erased the 200 years of "good will" that "Episcopal" has attached to it as a brand name in education. (Episcopalians have the highest average educational levels among Christian denominations, and some of the finest private schools in the country have "Episcopal" in their names.) Also, some of the non-parishioner parents at the school don't care for the name "St. Vincent's Cathedral School" because it sounds too "Catholic." (Oh well.) If ECUSA falls apart after the next GenCon (as the left apparently now thinks it will), all this could be academic and short term any way.

3:33 PM  

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