Community Gathering, Chapel & Our Faith in Action
At The Epiphany School of Global Studies, we celebrate modern Christian traditions, but we do not maintain any specific doctrine, nor does the school require any statements of belief from students, faculty, or staff. As a community of open-hearted faith, we celebrate the inherent dignity of all human beings, and our school community includes students from more than twenty different denominations, as well as agnostics and atheists. We encourage all to honor the Judeo-Christian—indeed, universal—commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself.
This means that 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 virtues of respect, responsibility, integrity, and service in our students so they may live out these virtues in their lives.
Every school day begins with Community Gathering, a period of fellowship, reflection, and open-hearted faith. At the Community Gathering, announcements and occasional presentations are made, and a brief school prayer is recited. We affirm the notion that everyone has been blessed with innate gifts, and we appreciate the dignity of all people.
On Fridays, the school community gathers for a brief Chapel Service, which focuses on a discussion of what it means to truly honor the commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself. The service may also include guest speakers, African dancers, singers, or other culturally diverse interactive experiences. Presentations and announcements are also offered. Chapel Services are open to the community, and we encourage all community members to actively and respectfully participate in the spiritual life of the school. Parents and families are always welcomed participants.
Open-Hearted Faith in Action
To Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself is more than simply a phrase; it’s a verb as well.
The Great Commandment also requires an ethical responsibility of service to others, and students at Epiphany 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 every student participates in 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 assist at the local 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, seniors 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, bagged over 90,000 meals for the poor in developing countries, and helped provide various families with Thanksgiving dinners right in our own town.
Special Seasons and Occasions
As a school community that celebrates Christian traditions, we light Advent Candles during the Christmas season, observe Lenten traditions and celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany in January.