2023-24 Chapel Theme: Power is Made Perfect in Weakness

The Chapel theme for the 2024-25 school year has been selected after much discussion and consideration by the Lower and Middle School Chapel Councils and the Vestry.

The theme is Power is Made Perfect in Weakness.

"This theme originates in Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians 12:9, which is known as the thorn in his side passage," explained Father Tim Gavin, Hon. "To put it in simple terms, Paul prays to God to remove a personal flaw or harsh criticism he receives from his detractors (the thorn). However, God responds by saying, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in [your] weakness.' "

"The Chapel theme sets the precedent for the entire school year, so it is chosen with a very thorough process," said incoming Vestry Accounting Warden Elizabeth Hershey '25.

Work to select the theme began in early April.

"We considered over 50 different themes referencing Bible verses and moral themes," said incoming Senior Vestry Warden Jacob Kim '25. "After reviewing past Chapel themes and learning what made them successful, we narrowed our list to six.

Chapel Council members, representing the Middle and Lower Schools, joined the Vestry the week of April 29 to discuss the options and narrow the list. "Each council narrows the list to their two favorites, resulting in a list of six strong candidates," said Elizabeth.

"It is crucial to consult both Middle and Lower School students in this decision because we are all members of the EA community; their unique insights brought forward different perspectives from students of all ages," shared Jacob. "The annual Chapel theme applies to the entire school—all students, faculty, and even EA parents."

"Our student Chapel leaders see it as a transcendent reality made possible through our faith in God, faith in our core values, and faith in each other," said Father Tim. "The theme reminds us we are part of something greater than ourselves. Therefore, when we feel incapable of resisting 'the thorns' of society, we can look to our spiritual heritage and believe that with grace, communal support, and individual commitment, we can accomplish the impossible."

"Secular interpretations of this theme affirm that it is okay to have shortcomings and failures," said Jacob. "It is through life's challenges and perseverance that we emerge stronger. This theme is not about perfection, power, and weakness. Instead, it is about empowering the EA community and encouraging humility."

"The idea that we learn from our mistakes is a concept that all can understand, however, there is room for many interpretations," shared Elizabeth. "I am very excited to see the array of speeches we receive next year and I am looking forward to writing a speech myself!"

"I am happy with our decision this year," said Jacob. "Not only is the theme open to multiple interpretations, but it can encourage senior speeches and meaningful discussions."