November 2, 2022

To the Menaul School Community –

Excitement. Gratitude. Anticipation. Hope.

These are a few adjectives that most accurately describe my first months at Menaul School. Menaul will always remain fond in my memory as the place I was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in Hart Park on September 27, 2022.

My ordination day will live in my memory for many reasons, but one of these reasons is my deep intuition that Menaul is a special place. New to New Mexico, new to Albuquerque and new to Menaul School’s beautiful campus, this intuition has come to me through several snapshots. For my first fall Chaplain update, I want to share a few of them with you.

The first snapshot is the classroom.

Mondays through Fridays, students and teacher come together to this specific place with a shared commitment. The commitment is to pursue new learning, to build on old learning, to ask questions, to challenge assumptions, and to fall in love with chasing wisdom and understanding. I feel so blessed to be in a place where intellectual curiosity lies at the core of its values.

The second snapshot is the Refectory.

When I sit down at lunch everyday and look across the room, I see a vast array of countries represented in our student body. Within the hum of conversations, I hear languages that put on display, the incredible beauty and uniqueness of God’s good Creation. Menaul is a microcosm of a global community of God’s beloved people. Menaul school values diversity.

The third snapshot is at the athletic center.

On the track, in the gym, on the court, and in the field, Menaul students learn through their bodies. Through movement, students learn how to respect their bodies as gifts that they’ve been kindly given. Through sport, students honor one another as individuals with unique dignity. Through teamwork, they learn that a fundamental part of being human is learning how much we depend on one another. Our Creator built us for community. Menaul school values respect for ourselves and for one another.

The fourth snapshot is the Commons.

During Homecoming Week, students, teachers, administration and alumni all come together to gather to celebrate our shared home, here at Menaul. I loved experiencing this season of the school year for the first time. The pep rally held in the Commons brought a spirit of joy, celebration and camaraderie. Teachers and students raced one another across the basketball court, played tug of war, and tried on oversized football gear while attempting to score a basket. Hilarity ensued.

Also during this week, a sense of community service was shown. Alumni returned to celebrate this place that provided so much for them during their formative years. Students, teachers, administration and alumni all pitched in to ready our campus, to decorate, and to host events for one another. I imagine that this is just a glimpse into what Mission Week will be like. Menaul school values responsible leadership and civic duty.

The fifth snapshot happens in the Chapel.

Tuesdays, from 12:20-1:40, is the one time of the week we come together as an entire school. We worship with songs that remind us of Whose we are. We greet one another, reminding ourselves that we were made to love one another. We hear the Words of ancient Scripture, reminding ourselves that we are a part of a larger story.

My sermons have touched on several important lessons so far. From the book of Romans, Paul tells us that human beings are naturally the kind of beings who serve and that we should be discerning about who and what we serve in our lives. From the Book of Luke, we hear the story of Jesus’ birth, and learn that although change can be unexpected and sudden, change can help us grow, if we let it. From John’s vision of heaven in Revelation, we learn that the Kingdom is made beautiful by worshipers of God from all nations.

The prophet Hosea teaches us that it makes most sense to think of God as a patient mother rather than a temperamental toddler, too immature to handle our questions and our doubts. Menaul is a place where students’ moral and spiritual muscles are exercised.

I have only been teaching, preaching and living in this place for several months. But if these months represent the regular patterns and rhythms at Menaul school, I feel incredible gratitude to be welcomed as your new Chaplain, Menaul School.

In Peace,
Rev. Hannah Scanlon

Read more on Menaul Religion and Spirit

Comments

  1. 1
    Marilyn Bauer on December 1, 2022

    You are a good fit.

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