We are a community of Faith ...
At The Epiphany School of Global Studies, we believe that God is the source and summit of our existence, and while we celebrate at the school with Christian traditions, the school does not maintain a specific doctrine, nor do does the school require any statements of belief from students, faculty, or staff. As a community of faith, we celebrate the inherent dignity of all human beings who are made in the image of God, and our school community includes students from more than twenty different Christian denominations, as well as students who are Jewish, agnostics and atheists. We encourage all to honor the Judaic-Christian commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself.
We further affirm that the Great Commandment means we compassionately respond to the needs of others. Therefore, our faculty and administration strive to meet the intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of every student. We also instill the core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity and Service in our students so that they may live out these Judeo-Christian values in their lives.
Every school day begins with Community Gathering, a period of fellowship, reflection and faith. At the Community Gathering, there are announcements and occasional presentations along with our school prayer, and it is affirmed that everyone has been blessed with God-given gifts.
On Fridays, the school community gathers for a brief Chapel Service, which includes a biblical passage and an explanation of what it means to truly honor the commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself. The service can also include guest speakers, African dancers, singers, or any other culturally diverse interactive experience. Presentations and announcements are also offered. Chapel Services are open to the community, and we expect that all community members will actively and respectfully participate in the spiritual life of the school. Parents and families are encouraged to join us for these gatherings and to explore their faith as well, so it will become even more meaningful in their lives.
To Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself is more than simply a phrase; it's a verb as well. A wonderful poem attributed to Mother Theresa (but likely based on an earlier composition by Kent Keith), provides a wonderful example as to how to incorporate the Great Commandment into all our lives:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.
The Great Commandment also includes an ethical responsibility of service to others, and students at The Epiphany School of Global Studies regularly participate in a variety of community service projects. We offer service experiences on specific school days and we also mandate an "Odyssey Week” during the first week of school in which students undertake numerous service projects throughout the New Bern community before diving into their scholastic endeavors. During this time, students volunteer with literacy programs, visit and feed the infirm, clear trash from public parks, or spend time at the hospital. Upper School seniors conclude their Epiphany journey by spending the last six weeks of their senior year participating in the "Love in Action” program that serves as a capstone to their Epiphany experience. To complete their "Love in Action” projects, senior spend one-month off campus focusing on servant leadership with a marginalized population. At the end of year banquet, each senior makes an oral presentation on his or her community service experience. Additionally, students have participated in Crop Walks, Race for the Cure, hosted numerous food collections for the poor, provided gifts for the less fortunate during the holiday season, have bagged over 90,000 lunches for the poor in developing countries, and helped with providing various families with Thanksgiving dinners right in our own town.
As a school community that celebrates Christian traditions, we light Advent Candles during the Christmas season, we observe Lenten traditions, we honor all Christian holidays, and we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany Day in January. The graduation ceremony also includes Christian elements, as it brings home once again the commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself.
Day by day, dear Lord,
for these three things I pray -
to know you more clearly
to love you more dearly,
to follow you more nearly,
day by day.