Upper School Chapel Celebrates New Beginnings

Upper School Chapel Celebrates New Beginnings

The Upper School held their first chapel of the new year this week, with the theme of new beginnings. With Head Chaplain VJ Sathyaraj, the students shared what they might reimagine as their response to major events in the world, especially to climate change. 

Anna K. ’26 shared what she and other students, including Maija L. ’26, Tiago M. ’24, Riley S. ’26, and Arun Sharma ’23, experienced at the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) they attended this summer, and how their leadership helped to inspire other students. Anna said, “The most empowering thing that I got out of the EYE experience was actually hearing and meeting people who are also invested in this fight against climate change. If we all work together, we can achieve even bigger goals.”

Tiago read the OES land acknowledgement and the statement made by the Episcopal Church regarding climate change:

The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recognized climate change as “an all-encompassing social crisis and moral emergency that impacts and interconnects every aspect of pastoral concern including health, poverty, employment, racism, social justice, and family life and that can only be addressed by a Great Work involving every sector of society, including the Church.”

Maija spoke about education to increase environmental awareness. The final student speaker, Athena H.C. ’24, encouraged students to take further action for climate justice, including attending the climate strike being held in downtown Portland on September 15. She is organizing OES students to attend. Students will depart right after Advisory today.

Head of School The Rev. Michael Spencer spoke about holding the light and repairing the world, including the effects of climate change. He described coming together as a beloved community, despite the polarization that is constantly happening in our world, and sharing our power for good. Please enjoy reading Michael’s full remarks here.