“Learn to do what is right; seek justice, defend the oppressed.”

This year we decided to align our theme choice with that of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and many other Episcopal Schools around the country by choosing to focus on Isaiah 1:17 – “Learn to do what is right; seek justice, defend the oppressed.”

This theme is one of so many scriptural expression of our first statement of belief: “Each person is uniquely created in the image of God and we are called to recognize, respect, and honor the freedom and dignity of every person.”

As has become our custom, the year’s theme has helped to shape the Wednesday and Thursday chapel lectionary (the cycle of readings for our weekly worship) and a collection of books, activities, and other age-appropriate resources have been assembled for planned visits by the chaplain into every classroom to “unpack” how the theme may impact students’ lives.

Our theme logo (designed by Good Shepherd Director of Student Ministries, Roger Speer) depicts the three ways we will focus our work with this important and challenging scripture. First (in green in the logo) we see a student in school – a reminder that “learn(ing) to do what is right” is as much a part of our educational experience at EDS as are reading and math. Next (in blue and beige in the logo) we see two students on a teeter-totter – an image that shows balance, which is central to the language we will use in talking with students (in age-appropriate ways) about justice. God has lovingly created this world and all people in it with a perfect and divine balance that we seek daily to restore by loving our neighbors, caring for the earth, and sharing out of gratitude to provide for those in need. Finally (in red in the logo) we see a representative group of children holding hands – bearing witness to the importance of our responsibility to stand up for and support others.

Every year we are blessed by stories of family dinner table conversations about our theme so, as you and yours reach thoughtful insights, please do share with us. Happy New Year!

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