ESD’s Upper School Student Vestry began as a small group of mostly seniors who helped read scriptures and prayers during daily worship. Seven years later, the group has 60 members, comprised of freshmen through seniors, who collaborate with the chaplains in planning, organizing, and leading daily worship.
Not only has the number of students grown exponentially but so have their responsibilities. Students are selected for the Vestry based on their thoughtful application essays, recommendations from Vestry members and faculty/staff, and prior Vestry service. Each member is assigned to one of seven teams aligned with ESD's seven-day academic schedule; led by an upperclassman, each team is then responsible for constructing the daily liturgy and utilizing all members of their team to make sure everyone is involved. “We have intentionally created opportunities for all Vestry members to play an important role,” said Middle and Upper School Chaplain Tim Kennedy. “I am really proud of how we've been able to grow Vestry in number and function over the last three years and cannot imagine doing daily worship without a strong Vestry.”
Beyond the planning of the daily liturgy, Vestry also has smaller subgroups or guilds that manage specific projects. The Acolyte Guild, which ensures training of student acolytes; the Communications Guild, which coordinates both internal and external communications; the Lower School Chapel Guild, which collaborates with the Lower School Chaplain on opportunities to interact in lower school daily worship; and the Senior Advisory Guild, which works with the senior advisories to plan their individual Advisory Chapels.
After the formal commissioning of the Vestry members during daily worship last week, Senior Chaplain Nate Bostian offered up this prayer:
Lord of Love and God of Life, we thank you for our Upper School Vestry, and for the work of worship, planning, and leading you have called them to in this community. Fill them with your Light, that they may be Light to others, and help us worship you in Spirit and in Truth. This we ask for the sake of your Love. Amen.
We are thankful for the leadership of these students. Proud of you, Eagles!