Spiritual Life

As an Episcopal school, Bethany is rooted in the Christian tradition.  The school cultivates the spiritual life of its students through:

Chapel services;
Daily, weekly, and yearly traditions;
Religion classes ;
Service to others

Students attend Chapel once a week (grades K-4 and grades 5-8).  The service follows the “Morning Prayer” format in the Book of Common Prayer from the Episcopal Church.  While rooted in Christian tradition, Chapel is designed to be a place for the entire school community to gather.  Therefore, it is ecumenical and interfaith in style and tone.  Students participate in the service as acolytes, lectors, prayer leaders, and sometimes as the ones delivering the sermon.

There are other special events that are a part of the Religion program such as the Lessons and Carols service during the Christmas season.  In addition, students also participate in daily devotions during homeroom and prayers at meal times.

Students at every grade level have Religion class twice a week.  The classes are taught by the Sisters from the Community of the Transfiguration and Bethany teachers who have a background in the area.  The curriculum spirals through the study of the Bible, ethics, and world religions at age-appropriate levels over three-year cycles from kindergarten through 8th grade.  Topics include: the major stories and personalities of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Episcopal theology, Christian worship symbolism, Church history, Saints, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam, and Ethical systems from Western and Eastern Philosophy and Theology.

Service is also an important part of what constitutes the spiritual life at Bethany School.  Each grade level plans and coordinates an age-appropriate service project.  This teaches the students the importance of giving back to our community and the interconnectedness of God’s creation.  Some service opportunities include: working with the elderly, feeding the homeless, food drives, making blankets for those less fortunate, and volunteering at an animal shelter.

Underlying all of this is the fact that Bethany School resides on the campus of the Community of the Transfiguration, an Episcopal religious order of Sisters who founded the school in 1898 and who still play a vital role in its overall mission.  The Sisters can be seen attending Chapel, teaching Religion classes, assisting with the reading program for younger students, and providing that sense of home and family that makes Bethany such a unique educational environment.