When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.
Dear Fellow Episcopal School of Baton Rouge Community Members,
The goodness and faithfulness inherent in our school community have saved this Thanksgiving for me. The force of this innate goodness and faithfulness has caused me—a relatively private person when it comes to my feelings—to send this letter.
I am not thankful for the flood that hurt our school, our city and Southeast Louisiana with such general and uneven evil; similarly, I am not thankful for the well-publicized deaths still lingering from the summer. In all candor, for those of us in and around Baton Rouge, we have a lot to overcome this year before diving deeply and sincerely into the turkey, fixin’s and good times around the Thanksgiving table. My prayer is that this letter will help move us more toward the gratefulness we feel near to our hearts almost all the time.
As you know, sometimes I struggle to keep my messages short. This time, though, there is one simple, clear thought to convey: The actions of students, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends of the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge community in the flood and its aftermath are embedded deeply and fully in my heart and soul. The forces of goodness and faithfulness shining through those actions have inspired and propelled me. Thanks to the loving dynamism of our school community, I can go into Thanksgiving reminded of how God’s presence among us “UKnights” us in love and heightens our regard for others. I will sit around my Thanksgiving table grateful for (and grateful to be a part of) the strength, love, empathy, caring and energy in the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge community at large.
Archbishop Romero (a Roman Catholic Priest martyred in El Salvador), wrote this: “Peace is dynamism.” I adopted that piece of wisdom the moment I first saw it! At Episcopal, we are dynamic; we are earning our “peace.” We know Isaiah was correct when he wrote God’s message to us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”
Please watch the recently completed video directed by Mr. Otey White and narrated by Ms. Kaylee Hartung ’03 which chronicles in factual and dramatic ways how our school was hit by the flood and our community’s response.
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and for peaceful political conversations around your table.
Head of School