“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters; he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3
A U-Knighted Homecoming
Dear Episcopal School of Baton Rouge Community Members and Friends,
As the waters of the Flood of 2016 started to recede, the Episcopal community began to rise up. In the ugliness of the carnage, the Episcopal community went to work for others and on rebuilding physical damage and loss to the school. In those early moments, responding was visceral, automatic and free of ambiguity. The actions of a few--students, school staff, coaches, parents, and faculty-- inspired many and brought forth a powerful, grassroots movement for good and goodness.
“Angels with smiles and pizza” is the way a family member on Woodland Ridge described the Epsicopal students who waded through water and muck to bring food and, more importantly, feelings of unity to her family, forced to move to the curb so much of what they owned. The movement ignited spontaneously within Episcopal was a part of the glorious collective actions of good people throughout Baton Rouge. Episcopal folks were tightly united in the post-flood effort from showing up at Celtic Studios to enlisting in the Cajun Navy and more. We were dedicated before the rains stopped to ensuring, too, that the school would be “there” and “strong” for its students, families and employees. From the epicenter of the flood in zip code 70816, we were early to open. It was a start of school like none other.
Tonight, symbolism will abound at Homecoming. Baton Rouge and Episcopal are winning the war against the flood’s evil. Much work is yet to be done, but the positive outcome becomes clearer every day. Looking back, perhaps the 23rd Psalm was in our subconscious, reminding us that we would be led to “still waters” and that our souls, bruised as they were, would be restored. I believe the faith represented in our school buoyed us, one and all. Tonight, with humility, we will pause and be grateful and rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our school’s unique role in Baton Rouge.
Tonight, the gathering will be a symbol of how we are “UKnighted” by common bonds. Tonight, a signal will be sent that Episcopal will continue to be a sustaining institution of Greater Baton Rouge, remaining “Strong to Serve.” Tonight, alumni will recall times over the 50-plus years Episcopal has stood like a strong tree beside the waters and brought so much good to thousands of students and families. Tonight, also, our air will be heavy with empathy for our fellow citizens in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina as we watch with enhanced sensitivity the troubles arriving on their shores. Tonight, we will sense that the bonds of our union---our “U-Knighthood” ---now extend beyond the field of play before us to embrace human dignity and goodness wherever found.
There is so much for which to be thankful. So much in which to take pride. So much compelling work to be done. So much living and loving ahead. Let us be joyous and thankful and more U-Knighted.
Hugh M. McIntosh