What is Ash Wednesday? Rev. Kristin Sullivan, School Chaplain, explains what the service signifies, how we celebrate it at St. Mark's, and why it's important.
Our commitment to the Episcopal Identity is steadfast. As stewards of our students’ intellectual curiosity, faith, and passion for discovery, we recognize that our students are God’s children, and ours to nurture. There is a sense of trust amongst the community that is rooted in the Episcopal tenets of inclusion and embracing those from different backgrounds.
At St. Mark's, our religious instruction provides an atmosphere of inquiry and learning for students in the Preschool 3s all the way through 8th grade. We select curriculum in our religion classes that is developmentally and age-appropriate for our students, as we seek to guide them along their spiritual journey with love and acceptance.
Our ordained chaplain enhances the richness of our Episcopal Identity and provided more opportunities to shepherd the faith of our children. Besides the liturgical participation of a full-time ordained priest in the life of the school’s weekly chapel services, the religious teaching is enriched by a seminary-trained instructor. The time spent in the religion classroom reflects the Episcopal educational identity of “scripture, tradition, and reason.”
A large part of celebrating the uniqueness of each child is recognizing the similarities and differences among us, and finding opportunities to understand the traditions of students with different religious backgrounds. We believe that exposure to different traditions and customs creates a special environment, where students are celebrated and known. We include awareness of different religions from an early age and encourage students and families of different faiths to share their own beliefs and holiday celebrations. In order for our students to be good global citizens, an awareness of, and respect for, other religions is a vital part of their education.
Nearly 160,000 students are enrolled in Episcopal schools nationwide. According to the National Association of Episcopal Schools, “Episcopal schools are known for educational excellence. As embodiments of the Christian faith, they serve God in Christ in all persons, regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion and “strive for justice and peace among all people and [to] respect the dignity of every human being.” This intentional pluralism is also a distinguishing hallmark of Episcopal schools.
In addition, Episcopal schools:
Come together for regular chapel and worship services that are creative, age-appropriate, inclusive, and grounded in the traditions of the Episcopal Church.
Value and emphasize a community life in which the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of all are supported and nurtured.
Engage in a study of religion that is academically substantive, age-appropriate, and fosters dialogue with other faith traditions.
Integrate the ideals and concepts of equity, justice, and a just society throughout the life of the school. Community service is an integral part of the life of the school.
St. Mark's Episcopal School was created as an educational ministry of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. As the parish day school of the church, our buildings and grounds are owned by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Priority student admission consideration is given to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church members.
What is Eucharist? What does it mean at an Episcopal School? How do children encounter God at St. Mark's?
How do we return to life as normal after an event like Hurricane Harvey? What is the impact on our kids of such a major natural disaster?