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April 26, 2023

To the Menaul School Community

It is hard to describe my first year as Chaplain at Menaul school, although the most fitting description that comes to mind is that it felt as if this year both flew by and crept along at the same time.

It flew by, as the events appropriate to each season arrived, occurred, and then faded into the past. Convocation, homecoming, fall sports, Christmas, spring sports, Easter, Mission Week, commencement and 8th grade rite of passage quickly happen and then are immediately memories. As I fall into my identity and role as Chaplain of this special place that God so loves, I am also falling into the cadence of this school rhythm.

The year crept along because in each season, and at each event, moment or celebration, we try to slow down to be fully present…

Fully ourselves, and fully with one another: parents, teachers, administrators, alumni, and students alike.

When we do this, we practice delight. We delight that we are at a place where we can love God with all our minds, showing up every day to approach the task of education with curiosity and enthusiasm. For me, the year crept along because in each moment, I wanted to take it all in – to understand character of this new place to which God called me.

In this spring season, the Menaul school rhythm that most delighted me was Mission Week

Those who have been at this school for any amount of time are at least familiar with this vital part of our Menaul upper school education. Mission Week began 16 years ago, with the understanding that our students needed to learn that part of what it means to live a good life is to be civically engaged, community minded, and others-focused. 

“Our hope is that our students experience the real needs of people and places, and that they see that the work of their hands can meet the needs of others in tangible ways.”

Rev. Scanlon

A related benefit of Mission week is that students are placed into contexts and schedules outside of their normal school day, where they are provided opportunities to connect deeper with one another. Sleeping in church basements, clearing nature trails of litter, and stuffing bags of food for the homeless encourages bonding and connection among our students and teachers.

Ms. Bunn with students on Mission Week

I am so honored to be serving, ministering, teaching and living at a place that values service to others as such a central part of its education

I believe the apostle Matthew who tells us that at the end of all things, God will tell us that whatever we did for one of the least of our brothers and sisters of God, we also did for God. Mark who describes Christ as having come to earth for the purpose of serving and saving the world. From these things, it makes sense to me that as a people who follow Christ, our hearts are molded and our minds are taught that serving others is one of life’s greatest lessons.

In Peace,

Rev. Hannah Scanlon

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