MAESA Matters March 2020

A Lenten prayer for young people:
Lord, Teach me a new freedom. Freedom to reject comparison and to embrace uniqueness. Freedom to cut ties with greed
and feast on love. Freedom to abstain from over indulgence and feast on self-control. Freedom to leave behind selfish thoughts and to focus on the needs of others. Freedom to fend off insecurity and to embrace grace. Lord, at this time of Lent,
Thank you for the freedom you bring.
(from www.lords-prayer-words.com)


Greetings from MAESA!

We are busy preparing for our final event of this school year, the MAESA Scholars Fair on Friday, April 17th, and already gearing up for next fall. Please take a moment to read about what we are planning and also share these events with your school community!

Registration is open for the MAESA Scholars Fair for students in 4th-8th grades at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School on Friday, April 17th. Registration forms and updated event guidelines can be found on the MAESA Scholars Fair page of our website. New this year, MAESA is excited to introduce a Math Challenge category with both individual and group contests! Please share this news with your math teachers who may not be familiar with our Scholars Fair, and plan to send students to participate. Each year 2D and 3D art work, multi-media presentations and science projects with various themes are showcased along with students who are competing in the spelling and geography bees as well as the non-competitive design thinking challenge. Download the registration form and the category rubrics and guidelines today at this link . April 3rd is the registration deadline for the Scholars Fair.

2020 MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference: The planning committee wants to hear from you! We are soliciting workshop proposals from your talented teachers in preschool through third grades. This year's conference will be on November 6, 2020, at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda. Registration forms will be available later this summer. In the meantime, please encourage your faculty to participate by offering a workshop at our conference! Proposals may be submitted by May 1st at this link .

MAESA Annual Members Meeting and Luncheon on October 2, 2020 at Grace Episcopal School in Kensington, MD. Mark your calendars and invite your school leadership teams to join us. This annual gathering is a valuable time for leaders in our MAESA schools to gather in fellowship and learn from one another. We want to thank our sponsor for the luncheon, Southern Teachers , for supporting us again this year!

"Why I Teach in an Episcopal school" This month MAESA is very pleased to present a reflection from Washington Episcopal School chaplain, The Rev. Kristen Pitts. She reflects on entering the Episcopal Church as an adult and how becoming a priest and chaplain in an Episcopal school has allowed her to understand the notion of "Episcopal identity". We'd love to hear from an adult or an upper school student in your school about why they value being at an Episcopal school. Please contact us at  maesaschools@gmail.com to be included.

The MAESA Choral Evensong at Washington National Cathedral was an uplifting and beautiful service that included 11 schools and 400 voices forming the MAESA combined choir: National Cathedral School, St. Albans School, St. Andrew’s School, DE, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, MD, St. Catherine’s School, St. Christopher’s School, Saint James School, St. Margaret’s School, St. Paul’s School, MD, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School and Stuart Hall School. They joined to sing with the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Michael McCarthy. The music and the sermon by The Rev. Mark Andrew Jefferson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Virginia Theological Seminary was superb! If you missed it you can still view the service 2020 MAESA Choral Evensong .
Why I Teach in an Episcopal School
The Reverend Kristen Pitts
Washington Episcopal School, Bethesda, Maryland

When I first came to the Episcopal Church as an adult, it changed my life. In my church community, I was invited to experience God all around me, to see the ways that God showed up for me in the tangible realities of my daily life. I was encouraged to explore different ways to pray and to learn from the spiritual journeys not only of other Christians, but of faithful people from all religions and no religion. I was exhorted to be a person who acted in service to Love, and each week, by being blessed in the service, I was empowered to go out and bless others with my words and my actions.
I became a priest because I wanted to accompany others on their spiritual journeys and offer them gifts like those that shaped and formed me into a faithful person. I am in every way a better person because of the ways “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement,” as our Presiding Bishop calls us, has called me to a deeper spiritual life and a more authentic living out of that spirituality in the world.
I teach in an Episcopal school because I believe that the Episcopal identity that so sculpted me has the potential to form us all for good, and I want to walk with others in this formation. Here, I get to encourage others to “see deeper” and recognize the ways Love is present with us, whether we call that presence God or not, and I get to learn from the ways children are uniquely adept at seeing the world in this way. I get to explore with children how they best connect with God, and how the stories of the Bible speak to them. I get to share how my own spiritual life influences my relationships and how I live, and I get to help students consider how their spiritual life does the same. And every week I get to offer blessings to remind our community that they are the beloved of God and called to be the hands and feet of Love in the world.
I am here as a priest because of how the Episcopal identity helps me grow more connected to God and to others. I am here as a chaplain because I believe in the potential of that identity to help others do the same.

Mark your calendar for next year!
 2020-2021 MAESA Events
Members' Meeting and Luncheon Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10 am  
The MAESA Members' Meeting will be hosted by Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington, Maryland.

Episcopal Schools Day Celebration, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, October 7, 2020  at 10 am at Washington National Cathedral hosted in partnership with Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School.

Episcopal Schools Day Celebration in Richmond, VA on Wednesday October 21, 2020  at 10 am. The service location in Richmond will be announced later this spring. MAESA is expanding this celebration to include elementary, middle and upper schools in our central Virginia region and hopes to include a service opportunity in conjunction with the worship service. 

MAESA 2020 Early Childhood Educators Conference Friday, November 6, 2020  hosted by Washington Episcopal School, 5600 Little Falls Parkway, Bethesda, Maryland. This year’s conference will feature our teacher-to-teacher workshops. Please share this link with your teachers to submit a workshop proposal .

MAESA 2021 Choral Evensong Sunday, January 31, 2021  at Washington National Cathedral in partnership with St. Albans School and National Cathedral School.

MAESA Scholars Fair 2021  will return  St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School  in Washington, D.C. for the annual scholastic fair for students in 4 th -8 th  grade. Our Scholars Fair is always on a Friday in mid to late April and we will be confirming and announcing the exact date later this spring. 
Let us hear from you!
Katherine F. Murphy 
MAESA Executive Director