Our mission includes caring for the whole child in a setting that reflects the faith of the Episcopal Church. As a church school, the expression of our foundation of faith is an important aspect of our life together, and one of the more outward and visible expressions of our community faith is worship. All of the mission and ministry of the school finds its specific expression within the structure of the faith and practices of the Episcopal Church.
From the early childhood program at Miss Lee’s through grade eight in Middle School, students attend age-appropriate chapel services. At Miss Lee’s, preschool students have chapel once a week at Miss Lee's or in the ASC room. These short services reinforce the message that every child is loved by God, and provide the opportunity for students to celebrate birthdays, new siblings, and other important events in their lives.
Lower School and Middle School students attend chapel services twice a week in the Church. These services are led by the Rector, clergy, and staff of Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and typically include an adapted form of Morning Prayer with collects from The Book of Common Prayer, a scripture reading, and a short homily from one of the clergy/staff or a chapel talk presentation by one of our 8th grade students. The chapel talk series—a tradition at GSL—allows 8th graders the opportunity to stand up in front of the school and speak about their unique experience at GSL. Chapel services generally conclude with the school prayer and a hymn. Students serve as acolytes, readers, and sometimes as musicians for these weekly services.
I love the motto we have for GSL, "an anchor for life.” I attribute a lot of my early spiritual training to chapel at GSL. It definitely helped to foster something in me that keeps bearing fruit.
— Ashley Freeman Wright, '83
Attendance at chapel is required of each student, and full participation is strongly encouraged; faculty and staff also regularly attend. Our intention is to offer an open, inclusive environment that is welcoming to students of all faiths. Messages in chapel reinforce the Traits for Success program that was initiated several years ago to teach the principles of good character in Middle School and Lower School.
On Fridays, the students in senior kindergarten through 8th grade come together in the Church or the Gymnasium for Celebration—a more high-spirited school assembly in which student and teacher birthdays are celebrated, and other special individual, classroom, and team achievements are recognized and honored.