My Episcopal Grammar School and my Episcopal High School have been sending letters and glossy brochures which for the past several years have been a source of irritation to me, and it is not that I am offended by the ask, but it is what these schools seem to be deliberately omitting from their descriptions of their achievements and how they prepare students for life after graduation that upsets me. You see, they scrupulously avoid mentioning the name of Jesus in all of their literature. So this year I finally got around to writing the letter that I have been meaning to send to my Alma Maters.
To: The Reverend ********
****** Episcopal School
Head of School
Re: Titan Fund
Dear Mr. ******,
Thank you for your kind solicitation for the ****** Titan Fund. As an alumnus of both ****** Episcopal School and ****** Episcopal School, having been married in your Episcopal Church, and having preached sermons in the Chapel for both of my parents' funeral services, I have a deep connection to the school and the church. Before I contribute financially to any of the aforementioned institutions, I would like to know that the money was going to promote the Gospel of Christ. I have been disappointed by the one word avoided in both ******'s and *******'s requests this year, and that word is the name of our Lord. Are we afraid to mention His name, or is that not part of the mission of our schools? My ****** years as an Episcopalian taught me that we assume too much that our children will “get it” passively, and that we need to work harder to create new disciples out of these young people. Yes, it is good to focus on “kindness, stewardship, goodness, competence, responsibility”, and developing a “moral compass” as you noted in your solicitation, but it is more important for them to learn from whence those things flow, and to understand to whom we owe thanks.
I hope that these concerns will be addressed in future fund raising drives, but more importantly that they will become a visible mark of a Christian education, something that the founder of the school wished all of her children would show to the world.
P.S. The Titans were Greek Gods descended from Gaia and Uranus. Needless to say, the Titan Fund could be re-named to better reflect the goals of Trinity Episcopal School.