Advent Series Kick- Off Today

Today we mark the first day of Advent.  Over the next 4 weeks we will be sharing reflections and stories from members of the congregation and the St. Stephen's Episcopal School community.   During the first week of Advent members of the community were asked to engage the question, "How have you witnessed or experienced light and darkness in your own life?"  Our first reflection comes from Zack Coapland who encounters the movement of darkness and light in the lives of his students.

 As an educator, I find that I encounter darkness and light in the lives of my students. As a college administrator, I’m often assisting those in crisis. These students come to me with histories, backgrounds, and experiences that many would find depressing, demoralizing and unthinkable. It is impossible not to feel darkness in the midst of such reality.  I’m more likely to see students as the light. The hope, joy, creativity, and spirit of college students sustain and bless me daily. Their happiness is contagious.  This week, the students in a course I teach on Wednesday evenings made presentations about their future careers. They were nervous and I was nervous for them.  A Vietnamese-American student who had only been in the US for a few years was particularly worried. She is shy and unsure of her language skills. She avoided presenting until the last possible moment. I realized during her presentation that her classmates were nervous for her, too.  They loved her and wanted her to do well.  Kieu’s presentation was excellent; her classmates and I were so relieved! We celebrated. I am so fortunately to work in such light.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     -Zack Coapland

As an educator, I find that I encounter darkness and light in the lives of my students. As a college administrator, I’m often assisting those in crisis. These students come to me with histories, backgrounds, and experiences that many would find depressing, demoralizing and unthinkable. It is impossible not to feel darkness in the midst of such reality.

I’m more likely to see students as the light. The hope, joy, creativity, and spirit of college students sustain and bless me daily. Their happiness is contagious.

This week, the students in a course I teach on Wednesday evenings made presentations about their future careers. They were nervous and I was nervous for them.  A Vietnamese-American student who had only been in the US for a few years was particularly worried. She is shy and unsure of her language skills. She avoided presenting until the last possible moment. I realized during her presentation that her classmates were nervous for her, too.  They loved her and wanted her to do well.  Kieu’s presentation was excellent; her classmates and I were so relieved! We celebrated. I am so fortunately to work in such light.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   -Zack Coapland