Public Remarks from Head of School

Thoughts on St. Francis

This sermon was given by The Rev. Michael Spencer on the occasion of the Feast of St. Francis on the annual OES Sunday at The Episcopal Parish of St. John the Baptist.

As the words from the gospel remind us, God’s yoke is easy, and the burden light. Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis, who discovered that liberation comes from being yoked/connected to God. Francis lived in the early 13th century and founded a monastic order devoted to the service of others. I love St. Francis for many reasons. He was an ordained Deacon who exemplified a commitment to service in the world. This was not always the case.

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The Synergy of Sports and Life

These remarks were shared at the Athletic Hall of Fame event on Sept. 21, 2023

It is a pleasure to be with all of you this evening as we celebrate excellence in sports and the excellence of sports. I am especially grateful that alumni from many decades at OES (from the 1960s to the 2000s) have joined this gathering along with parents of alums, former faculty and staff, and current parents and students.

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Holding the Light . . . Repairing the World

These remarks were shared at the first Upper School Chapel event of the school year.

When was the last time you put your hands on an elephant? That poem we just heard is by Rumi, a thirteenth century Muslim Sufi mystic. The poem, Elephant in the Dark, is an invitation to cooperation. The people in the dark make assumptions based on the part of the elephant they feel.

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On the Shoulders of Others

These remarks shared at the end of the Head of School Installation event.

Thank you so much, for these wonderful and thoughtful and fun gifts, and more so for the welcome that Amy and I have received over the past two months since we moved here to Portland. I want to thank everyone who carved out time this morning to be here. I know that it is a great effort to adjust schedules and I appreciate the witness of your presence. 

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An Armory of Aardvarks

These remarks were shared at the opening Belltower event on the first day of school.

I have worked in schools for 30 years, but this is my first year here. So, I feel a special connection with those who are new students, new employees, new families. Being new brings all sorts of mixed emotions –longing for the place you left, excitement and anxiety for the place where you are now, optimism and hope for the future.

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