In October, our themes in SMMS Chapel are fear and courage. Sometimes we make the mistake of imagining fear and courage to be separate, when in fact fear and courage go together. In fact, we often discover our courage hidden within our fear.
How do YOU and YOUR CHILD experience the relationship between fear and courage?
This month in Chapel, we are learning a soothing song that we can sing to help us find peace and courage in moments of fear, worry, or anxiety. The words come from the Bible (Psalm 46:10). The melody is by John Bell.
Be still and know that I am God.
In October Chapel we are also exploring a wide variety of stories in which characters experience both fear and courage.
(October 2) In "The Dark" by Lemony Snicket, the main character discovers a lightbulb hiding in the depths of a dark bottom drawer. Sometimes the darkness holds the light, just like fear holds courage.
(October 9) In the Godly Play story of the Great Family we explore the fear and courage that accompany ancestors Abraham and Sarah --and every family--when they have to move into the unknown and make their home in a new place...again and again and again.
(October 16) In a story about Daniel found in the Hebrew Scriptures, we meet a character who has the courage to stick with what he believes is right even in the midst of fear and a den of lions!
(October 23 Chapel & October 26 Evensong) In "God Bless the Gargoyles" by dav pilkey, rich illustrations and lyrical poetry invite us to join the author in imagining that the strange and scary-looking gargoyles who guard the old churches also guard and protect all the lonely, lost, and forgotten people of the earth.
(October 30) At last, with various illustrative and poetic interpretations of Psalm 23, we are invited to remember that "even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places...I won't be afraid. Because my Shepherd knows where I am, and is here with me...and makes me strong and brave."
One final note for the month of October...
I hope that you, your child, and your whole family will plan to join us on Saturday, October 26th, beginning at 5PM for our annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration....a chance to celebrate the many beautiful and surprising ways that light and darkness, fear and courage, the living and the dead, and St. Mark's School and Church communities fit together!
There will be opportunities for children who wish to do so to actively participate in our 5:00 "Evensong" (a traditional sung evening prayer service in the Anglican tradition). Children can help lead the procession into church, light candles, listen to a story ("God bless the Gargoyles"), and enjoy peaceful, beautiful music from our church choir. Throughout the service, children are welcome to sit on cushions at the front of the church (like they do in Wednesday chapel), sit with their families in the pews, or do quiet activities at the tables at the back of the church.
In preparation for Evensong, children can learn the simple song "Come Light of Lights", below, and be ready to join in singing for the opening procession and candle lighting! You and your child might also enjoy listening to the recording below of the "23rd Psalm" by Bobby McFerrin--one of several beautiful pieces of music the choir will be singing for Evensong.
Following Evensong, our Dia celebration continues with feasting, games, dancing, and a silent auction to support SMMS! Hope to see you there!
Come Light of Lights into my heart
Come Wisdom of Spirit into my heart
The concept and experience of "Peace" is central to our weekly Chapel program at Saint Mark’s Montessori School.
We come to Chapel to create peace by singing and praying and listening together; to receive and experience peace in our minds, our hearts, and our bodies; and then to go out and share peace wherever we go--with our friends, our teachers, our family, and our world!
We usually open Chapel Time by greeting one another by name and singing "Shalom my friends".
Shalom my friends, Shalom my friends, Shalom Shalom (2x)
Shalom to Ms. Laura, Shalom to Ms. Cleo, Shalom, Shalom
Shalom to Asha, Shalom to Nate, Shalom, Shalom (etc.)
We usually close Chapel Time by singing "Go now in Peace" as we bid farewell to one another and return to our classrooms.
Go now in peace, Go now in peace
May the love of God surround you
everywhere, everywhere, you may go
As we begin a new school year, we are focused on developing our spiritual capacity for Getting Ready and Beginnings. What are the things—what are the objects and practices-- that can help us prepare for new experiences, and get ready to create, receive, experience, and share peace more fully?
In our first Chapel Session of the school year, we took time to explore several of the special items we keep at the back of the church to help us “get ready” and open ourselves to peace when we come into the church for Chapel Time: an icon, candles, water, fragrant oils, and colored glass “gems”.
What are those special things—in your home, in your family, and in your spiritual tradition--that might help you and your child prepare for new experiences and get ready to create, receive, experience, and share peace more fully each day?
My name is Sylvia Miller-Mutia (aka Mother Sylvia), and I am a priest in the Episcopal Church. I am delighted to grow and share spiritual support with the families at St. Mark's Montessori School, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, NM