Chapel


At The Episcopal Academy, we believe worship and character education go hand-in-hand with intellectual and social development.

Chapel, a 30-minute Episcopalian service, takes place weekly for the Lower School, and three times a week for Middle and Upper Schools. Guest speakers, dignitaries, and students address the Chapel theme for the year. Middle and Upper School students take further responsibility by planning their own services through their respective Chapel Council and Student Vestry.

Chapel provides an opportunity to inspire students to think how they can lead lives of purpose, faith and integrity. It also offers time for students and faculty to ask two important questions: What do I know about the world, and what do I want to do about it?

An inclusive, Christian community, The Episcopal Academy welcomes and embraces all people with warmth and authentic hospitality. Chapel is where our musicians first perform in public; where ancient stories come alive; and where our entire community comes together to encourage one another on our journeys of faith.

Chapel Talks

Discover Chapel through the inspiring words of our guest speakers. Click here to view our recent Upper School Chapel talks from students, faculty, and community leaders.


Tim Gavin

tgavin@episcopalacademy.org

Tim Gavin was ordained to Holy Orders on January 12, 2013. He has worn many hats at the Episcopal Academy: Media specialist in the library, Dean of Students, Form Dean, English and religion teacher, and Lower School Chaplain. Tim can boast that he has taught every grade at EA since his arrival in 1988.

Now our Head Chaplain, Tim directs the spiritual program and offers pastoral care to our community. He also leads the partnership program for St. Marc’s School in Haiti, and has developed a partnership between EA’s fifth grade and St. James School (Philadelphia) fifth grade.

Tim is married to Joyce and has two sons, Jake and Nick. He loves to run long distances and coaches varsity cross country and track.


Rev. Bert Zug

azug@episcopalacademy.org

Bert Zug first fell in love with Episcopal Academy while watching his brothers play soccer for EA in the early 1960s. He entered Episcopal in Kindergarten and graduated in 1978. His daughter graduated in 2003, his son in 2006.

Bert has worked at EA for almost 20 years, teaching Middle School students and leading the Middle School Chapel program. He considers it a privilege to give back to the institution that was so formative to his early life and faith.

Bert received his B.S. in Religion from Trinity College. After working as a youth minister for five years, he was sponsored for ordination and moved to Sewickley, PA to attend Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. He graduated with an MDiv in 1990.


Michelle Bullock

mbullock@episcopalacademy.org

Lower School Chaplain Michelle Bullock has a diverse background as a youth and family minister. Before coming to EA, she served as a youth minister for Saint Christopher's Church in Gladwyne. Prior to her time in our area, Michelle served in family and youth ministry roles in Raleigh, North Carolina.

An active volunteer, she has experience in coaching the Girls on the Run program, teaching summer art camps, planning diocesan events, and working at soup kitchens. Prior to her work in ministry, she served as a 3rd grade teacher in North Carolina and as an English teacher and curriculum coordinator at a university in China.

The Episcopal Academy offers three chaplains who are on-call to serve the spiritual and intellectual needs of the entire community. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call Fr. Tim Gavin at 610.656.5474. Read more about our chaplains' services below:

Weddings

If you would like a chaplain to preside over your wedding, please contact the chaplain of your choice. As priests of The Episcopal Church, chaplains follow the diocese of Pennsylvania's requirements and will therefore meet with couples at least three times to discuss marriage, faith values, relationships, conflict resolution, the elements of a successful marriage, family, and development of Christian commitment.

EA chaplains may officiate weddings at any venue. If scheduled in advance, couples may choose to be married in the Class of 1944 Chapel on The Episcopal Academy campus for no charge.

Because The Episcopal Church has validated same-gender marriages, chaplains preside over all marriages as long as both people are fit to share in a mutually exclusive and loving relationship. Please note that at least one partner must be a baptized Christian to be married in The Episcopal Church.

Baptisms

If you are interested in being baptized or having our child baptized, please contact the chaplain of your choice. The chaplain will review the process with you.

Funerals

Chaplains preside over funerals at The Episcopal Academy. Please contact Fr. Tim Gavin for more information.

Hospital Visits

Chaplains pay visits to the hospital not to evangelize, but to provide support and to help the patient emotionally process all that he or she is experiencing. Chaplains will also visit extended family members of students, staff, teachers, and administrators.

In addition to providing emotional support, the chaplains can offer the sacraments: Eucharist, Healing, or Reconciliation.

Home Visits

During extended illnesses, chaplains make house visits to provide emotional support and to help the communication between school and family if a child is ill for an extended time. The chaplains can also help with making the transition back to school run smoothly as possible. Feel free to contact the chaplains at any time.

Ethical Consultations

Often times when people struggle with making a decision around a moral or ethical dilemma, they find it helpful to talk through all of the options. Chaplains may engage in active listening, ask probing questions, help identify feelings and frustration, clarify confusion, and lend an objective ear.

Pastoral Counseling

When people struggle with their own spiritual journey, chaplains may assist with clarifying language, offering various forms of spiritual disciplines, or helping identify where they are in their spiritual journey. Chaplains will not be judgmental, nor will they try to advocate one spiritual practice over another.

General Counseling

Some chaplains are equipped to provide counseling for students and adults. Please contact Fr. Tim Gavin for more information at 610.656.5474.

The Episcopal Academy Chapel program is home to many rich traditions. Read more by selecting the tradition from the menu below.

Chapel Theme

The Chapel Theme acts as a central thematic thread throughout the school year.

Each spring, the Lower School Chapel Council, Middle School Chapel Council, Upper School Vestry, and the Volunteer Service Board solicit ideas for the theme that will form a purpose and focus for the spiritual development in the next academic year.

Chapel Theme for 2017-2018
"Make Every effort to live in peace with all people." (hebrews 12:14)

Lower School: Stop Hunger Now

Each year, Lower School students work together to pack 10,000 meals for those who suffer from hunger. Before they pack the meals, students and faculty attend Chapel to hear scriptural readings focusing on caring for the underserved and a speech on the importance of feeding others.

Lower School: Hymnal Chapel

Each May, first graders receive hymnals that symbolize their academic and spiritual development over the year. It marks their ability to read independently and participate fully in Chapel. In addition to first graders, all new students receive a hymnal at this special Chapel.

Lower School: Huston Chapel Series

Each year, an age-appropriate speaker is invited to address a topics of religious, spiritual, or character development in Chapel.

Edward H. Vick, Jr. ’62 Veteran’s Day Chapel

During the second week of November, we honor our veterans and welcome an alumnus to give a Chapel address on the importance of Veterans Day and remembering those who served our country. Many members of The Episcopal Academy who have served in our armed forces attend this Chapel.

This Chapel has been named in honor of our former chair of the board, Edward H. Vick, Jr. ’62, who served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War as an officer of the U.S. Navy. He received two bronze star medals with Combat “V,” the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

Blessing of the Jerseys

At the beginning of each sports season, varsity athletes are invited to celebrate the Eucharist and participate in the blessing of the jerseys. This gives us an opportunity to illustrate Chapel's connection with what we do beyond the sanctuary.

Blessing of the Animals

To honor God’s creation and celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we have a blessing of the animals for the Chapel closest to October 4. This tradition reminds us that we are stewards of God’s creation.

Benjamin H. Reed ‘43 Lecture

Each year the recipient of the Benjamin H. Reed

'43 Scholarship gives a lecture on his or her service activity that was completed during the summer before senior year.

The Benjamin H. Reed '43 Scholar is judged based on two main criteria, including demonstrated excellent scholarship in history courses with emphasis on written and oral expression, and a written proposal describing an original and worthwhile project in the field of public service.

Blessing of the Artists

Prior to opening night of the school play, we have a special Eucharist in which we bless our school's artists, giving thanks for the many creative gifts they offer our community. This tradition reminds us to be grateful for our talents and the talent of others.

Family Eucharist Celebrations

Throughout the year, a few Friday morning Eucharist Services are set aside to celebrate students and families by giving thanks to God for all the gifts they bring to our community. Families are honored by class in Upper School, and by division in Middle and Lower School.

All Saints Day

During All Saints Day Eucharist and Chapel, we honor all our loved ones who have entered the embrace of our Loving Lord in the company of Heaven with the reading of the necrology.

Haverford / AIS Weekend Chapel

On the Friday that begins Haverford/AIS Weekend, we gather in Chapel before the festivities and competitions to help our students focus on the Stripes of Sportsmanship, Respect, and Courage. Two seniors, one male and one female, share inspirational words to motivate the players and fans to enter into the spirit of competition and to perform to the best of their ability.

Maura Murphy '96 Lecture

Each year, an expert in the areas of ethics or theology offers a lecture to Upper School students that focuses on contemporary moral concerns and issues. The lecture is given in memory of Maura Murphy '96 and made possible by her family and friends.

Scrooge Chapel

The annual “Scrooge Chapel” has become a highlight for Middle and Upper schoolers. Each year, our faculty don costumes of the characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and offer a unique portrayal of this traditional tale of personal spiritual transformation.

Lessons and Carols

Lessons and Carols is a traditional Anglican Christmas worship service with Biblical passage and hymns. The Lower School service is tailored to the students' age group. We follow the traditional Lessons and Carols for Middle and Upper Schoolers.

Ash Wednesday

Each Ash Wednesday, the chaplains offer the imposition of ashes to the entire community.

Middle School: Faith Papers

When a student enters eighth grade, he or she has developmentally reached the point where abstract thought has become meaningful. Students begin to understand the complexities of relationships and can examine his or her convictions.

During this time, students have come to the place where they can more fully incorporate discussions of philosophy and theology into their lives, we ask them to look deep within themselves and consider questions of faith: What do I believe what I believe? And why do I believe it? The strongest of these essays are shared in Chapel.

Senior Class Family Baccalaureate Communion

On the eve of graduation, the senior class and their families are invited to Eucharist to celebrate the class by giving thanks to God for family, relatives, and friends who have shared the seniors’ journey to this point. The Head Chaplain gives a sermon to commemorate the occasion.

Designed by alumnus and Pritzker Prize winner Robert Venturi ’44, the Class of 1944 Chapel seats 900 and features a 180-degree arc. The Chapel is the centerpiece of Episcopal’s campus. Situated at the highest point of the Clark Campus Green, it is home to many historic items taken from Christ Chapel on Episcopal’s former Merion campus, including stained glass windows and organ pipes.

Chapel Organ

The Chapel organ required more than four years of planning and construction. It was completed by R. J. Brunner & Co. of Silver Spring, PA in 2008. Read more here.

Bible Study meets twice monthly. All are welcome to attend the class, which meets at 8 a.m. in the chapel conference room.

We will study the concept of Radical Hospitality and how we can apply the concept to our daily lives. The Bible, time and time again, offers illustrations of the concept. From the moment of creation in Genesis, God offers radical hospitality to humankind by making them in his image. Abraham demonstrates radical hospitality to the three strangers who visit Sara and him. The prophets explain that Israel's exile is the result of neglecting offer Radical Hospitality to the poor. The father of the Prodigal Son embraces his youngest son with Radical Hospitality as he returns home after losing everything. Of course, Jesus' ministry, passion and death are all motivated and informed with the concept of Radical Hospitality.

We as a community can hold fast to what is good by living Radical Hospitality and welcoming everyone into our community, granting them dignity, affirmation and love. Through Radical Hospitality, we can make the stranger our neighbor and break through the barriers that separate us.

Please join Bible Study to explore how Radical Hospitality can be applied to our everyday lives.

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