Middle School

Chapel & Community Service

Chapel is a safe haven from the hectic pace of school life, a place to slow down, and to be mindful of God’s presence.

Why Daily Chapel?

Daily chapel is at the center of our shared life together.  It is in this sacred time and space that members of the community gather to lift our hearts in prayer and praise to God.  The daily ritual of chapel gently cultivates spiritual disciplines such as silence and gratitude, and sets aside a space in the midst of our often busy and fast-paced lives to reflect on our lives and who God is calling us to be. 

What Happens in Chapel?

In chapel students might hear a homily from the chaplain, their teachers, or their classmates, they might enjoy a musical or artistic offering, they might celebrate the life of a saint, they might engage in a time of quiet contemplation, or they might have an opportunity to learn about and experience another faith tradition.  Students are given the opportunity to serve as acolytes, readers, and chapel musicians, and in the Middle and Upper Schools they may serve on leadership teams that help shape the chapel program.  In addition to daily chapel, special days in the Christian calendar such as Ash Wednesday, All Saints’ Day, and Easter are celebrated with services of Holy Communion.

How Are Other Faiths Included?

Worship at St. Andrew’s is rooted in the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church and the Christian story of God’s love and grace, but is also welcoming and inclusive of those who do not identify as Episcopalian.  Holy days from a variety of religious traditions are celebrated in chapel, and students from diverse faith backgrounds are encouraged to share about the rituals, prayers, and practices that they hold dear.  All students and staff attend daily chapel, and are invited to participate as they feel comfortable.

Community Service

Community Service at St. Andrew's is seen as a natural extension of the chapel program. As students hear the spiritual messages of compassion, service, and love, they are compelled to put these lessons into action through working to improve the world around them. Throughout the year students participate in a variety of in-school projects that are accompanied by intentional service learning and education about the social justice issues addressed.

In the Middle School, students are asked to complete at least 15 hours of service in both the seventh and eighth grades, for a total of 30 or more hours. Students can attend organized service trips through St. Andrew's (Austin Parks & Recreation, El Buen, or Lower School student mentoring), volunteer at school-wide events (Family Fair, Heritage Picnic) or they can volunteer on their own at area shelters, churches, or other non-profit organizations with prior approval from the Community Service Director. Those who complete 30 hours graduate from the eighth grade with distinction.
 
For more information about Community Service in the Middle School, please contact Annie Sykes.

Daily Chapel

All are welcome and encouraged to attend daily worship.  

9:50-10:15 am - 6th, 7th, and 8th grades
 
Please submit prayer requests to LS & MS Chaplain Ashley Brandon.

Middle School Chapel Elements

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  • Lessons

    In Middle School, students are introduced to more complex theological issues through faithful interpretation of Biblical texts from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible. Lessons follow the Revised Common Lectionary. From these readings, students explore a range spiritual and moral themes such as community, friendship, forgiveness, compassion, honesty, decision-making, identity, and service to others, just to name a few. Chapel lessons also follow the themes of the Anglican liturgical calendar.

    In addition to lessons from the Bible, students learn about Christian holidays, and the lives of the saints. Special chapel services are held on St. Andrew's Day, Lessons and Carols, All Saints' Day, Ash Wednesday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Veteran's Day, and St. Francis Day. Students also get the opportunity to learn about other religious traditions, and regularly hear from guest speakers about a variety of relevant topics.
  • Prayer

    Each day in chapel personal and community prayers are raised up during chapel time. As a result of this daily practice, students learn about the importance of prayer in response to the concerns and celebrations of life. Students may tell Ms. Brandon or their teachers if they have prayer requests.
  • Music

    As an offering of praise to God, students learn age-appropriate liturgical music using the Hymnal 1982 and other supplementary resources. Chapel music is accompanied by piano on most days and guitar on Tuesdays. Students also get the opportunity throughout the year to hear chapel concerts from their peers and from guest performers.
  • Liturgy

    The daily chapel service follows the Morning Prayer Rite 2 service from the Book of Common Prayer.
  • Student Participation

    Student participation is an important part of chapel life. All students are expected to participate in chapel, though students of other faith backgrounds may choose to participate by sitting quietly during the service. Each student has the opportunity to acolyte and read the Bible lesson of the day. English and History teachers help each student hone their public reading skill so that students will feel confident reading from the Bible in front of the entire Middle School community.
     
    Each student advisory has the opportunity to completely organize and lead one chapel service each year. These services usually fall on Fridays, and parents are encouraged to attend.

    Middle School faculty members also contribute by sharing personal experiences with students in the form of chapel talks. The goal of the chapel talk time is to demonstrate the wisdom and insight gained through personal experience. The faculty share with the community during chapel on Wednesdays.

    All are welcome and encouraged to attend the Middle School daily worship service.

Need More Info?

Contact:
- LS & MS Chaplain Ashley Brandon
- Director of Diversity Kendall Evans
- MS Community Service Coordinator Annie Sykes

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Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.