by Angie Copetillo
Open Zoom.us? Yes.
I wonder who will join us today?
Join using audio? Yes. Join using video? Yes.
I knew to expect the usual colleagues and friends.
Join meeting now? Yes.
I opened to a filled screen. Courtesy of Zoom’s gallery view, warm familiar faces flooded the page. I scanned quickly. John and Kim. Carrie. Allison. Jay & Laura. Megyn. April. Mark and Carol. Connie. Sara. Clay and Carin. Jason and Louise. Lauren. Dave. Chaston… And then another page. Meg. Mary Ann. Casey. Sweet students filled the pages as well. In all, well over 50 students and families joined together this morning as part of our Campus Prayer Initiative to pray for one another, the school, and the new campus.
Today, Jesus also asked friends to join him as he prayed.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said unto them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
— Matthew 26:36-39
More than ever, our community as a body of believers, resonates within me. As a private, Christian school, what a unique privilege it is to come together during these dark times and pray for one another, our city, and our country. Matthew 26 has always struck me deeply. That the Son of Man sought his friends. That the Son of Man was troubled. That the Son of Man sought refuge in prayer. Praise be to God that though he desired for the cup to be taken from him, Christ was obedient unto death. In a posture of complete humility in prayer, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus laid his life before his Father and prepared to complete his life’s mission.
This dark time also causes me to pause and think more deeply about what really matters in life. As I spend the days home-schooling, I want our nine-year-old to learn to master her multiplication facts and elapsed time exercises, but far more than that, I want her to grapple with the fortitude math requires for her. I want her to learn to ask questions and solve problems on her own precisely because we know life requires such, as it is so pointedly demonstrating to us now. But most of all, I am praying that our mornings beginning with prayerful liturgy and song will create the most important habit of all – humility in prayer. I am grateful that for our Savannah Habersham community, prayer is not a new habit utilized only in times of crisis; it is an everyday habit. Seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful isn’t new either, just more apparently worthwhile during these times.
I was struck today by two different conversations with alumna over the last month. Listen to how they describe Habersham’s influence on who they have become:
“Teaching someone to find a derivative or write an essay is straightforward. Teaching someone to lead, to follow, to give everything, to take everything, to do what it takes, to sing in the silence, to fall flat on their face, to keep trying, to love people completely, and to never settle, is difficult. Habersham didn’t just teach me eleventh grade math, it taught me who I am and why,” said alumna Grace Miller (‘19), Stanford University.
“Parents tend to look for a high school to prepare their children for college, and that is important, but what about preparing them for life? Habersham did not only prepare me for college but helped shape me into the person I am today, and I don’t know how many people can say that about their high school education,” said Ashlyn Burnsed (‘17), Georgia Southern University.
The faces of Zoom this morning presented a tangible reminder of our sweet community and purpose together. But then again, except for the Zoom interface, and the now familiar reminder, “Jay, you’re muted,” there was not much new about our time together. After all, we pray together often.
So why did it seem so especially sweet? Ahh. That’s the fragrant beauty of community. May this season of quarantine mark us indelibly with an unquenchable longing for such time together. May this mark last. May it be the mark of a Habersham Patriot.
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. — Psalm 18:6.
#Community #Habits #Prayer #Alumni #TruthGoodnessBeauty
Angie Copetillo is the Chief Communications Officer and Head of School Emeritus. She was the founding Head of School when Habersham was started in 2012. She earned a graduate certificate in School Leadership & Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and School of Business and is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism.