Thursday, November 06, 2008
National Association of Episcopal Schools Biennial Conference
I am in beautiful Tampa, Florida for the National Association of Episcopal Schools Conference (NAES). As a relatively new chaplain (just my second year), I am really excited to meet some folks, go to some sessions, and perhaps have my thinking broadened about how I can do my work as a chaplain at an Episcopal School. It is an interesting role, to be an ordained priest, but to have the bulk of my work being done not in a church, but in a thriving, active, and busy school.
We have chapel 7-8 times a week in total (3 for upper, 2 for middle 3 for lower), and these are great occasions to worship, to teach young people about God, about our tradition, and hopefully also give them some ways to relate their lives to the lively tradition that is our church. Beyond chapel, my work ranges from teaching in the upper school to serving on committees, to offering pastoral care to students, staff and faculty, and to be a resource to our administration. It is a specific type of ministry that is not always clearly translatable to what people understand about doing ordained ministry at a church. However, I do conceive of myself as the "parish priest" of the school, and I work to fulfill this role. It is a great ministry to do, albeit with challenges and stresses (of course), but I am excited to spend some time with other good people who are dedicating their time and gifts to Episcopal Schools over the next few days.
Peace to you, have a great day!!
~ The Rev. Peter Carey