The values that sustain our community are grounded in our Christian faith. Our goal as an Episcopal School is to nurture the moral, religious, and spiritual development of each child and to welcome everyone into our school family. St. Michael’s instills strong morals and ethics in children by incorporating spiritual development into daily life—in chapel, in class, and in the community. We believe children develop greater understanding of diverse spiritual traditions, and to that goal we actively seek students from many different religions and traditions.
There are four areas that comprise our Episcopal identity:
1. Worship – Children are expected to attend religious services and participate to the extent that their faith and background allow. Most days at St. Michael’s begin with a chapel service, and Mass is celebrated once a week.
2. Religious education – Beginning in fourth grade, students attend a religion course once a week which examines scripture, comparative religion, and ethics.
3. Serving others – All students engage in a variety of community service projects during the year. Eighth grade students must complete an independent service project for graduation.
4. Community life – The focus on our external relationships forms the final pillar of our Episcopal identity. As an entire school community, St. Michael’s explores a different value—such as honesty, stewardship, forgiveness, or courage—each month.
Chapels and Mass
Fulfilling its Episcopal mission, St. Michael’s holds chapel services throughout the week for children of all ages. Students gather Monday morning for an all-school chapel in our Student Center. Additionally, they attend age-specific chapel services twice a week and Mass once a week. Through our chapel program, students are taught to show respect and concern for all people, to pray, and to live lives that exemplify Christian love.
Student involvement is a cornerstone of our worship time. During Primary Mass (grades K-3), children assist the priest as “apostles” circling the altar during the holy prayers. During Upper School services, students read scripture, serve as acolytes and crucifers, present offerings, and prepare skits, songs, and sermons.
Our chapel program follows the holy seasons of the church calendar, including Advent, Lent, and Pentecost. Christmastime traditions at St. Michael’s include the celebration of St. Nicholas Day in grades K-5, our Las Posadas procession—complete with mariachi band—and a formal Lessons and Carols Advent service in our chapel. Mardi Gras is celebrated with a free pancake feast at lunch, impromptu dancing to steel drums, and, in the middle school, a pancake-eating contest.