After an extended spring break, St. Mark's is back, albeit from a distance. Beginning today, classes resume through remote learning. The re-opening of learning at St. Mark's was launched by a morning chapel service on the Zoom platform, attended remotely by more than 250 members of the St. Mark's community.
Rev. Barbara Talcott and Rev. Katie Solter, the School's chaplains, ran the service, along with St. Mark's Director of Music James Wallace. With the Belmont Chapel sanctuary as a backdrop, Rev. Talcott welcomed everyone back. Rev. Solter led prayers and Mr. Wallace performed the hymn "For the Splendor of Creation."
Students participated as well. There were three student readers—VI Formers Illia Rebechar, Paige LaMalva, and Paula Hornbostel. Music was provided by Padma Mynampaty '22, who performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," accompanying herself on guitar. Lina Zhang '21 shared Reinhold Neibuhr's "Serenity Prayer."
Head of School John C. Warren '74 was the speaker. In his address, he thanked the hard-working St. Mark's staff for their efforts, both on-site and from home, in keeping the School going. He also thanked the dedicated faculty for their work in preparing to deliver curriculum remotely. He spoke of St. Mark's strength and praised the positive energy of the entire School community in these challenging times, all in the spirit of Age Quod Agis.
Prayers were also said to celebrate the arrival of two brand new members of the St. Mark's family: Kason Ivey Walter Lee (born March 19 to Associate Dean of Students Stacey Lee) and Henry James Maddock (born March 26 to Head Athletic Trainer Ashley Maddock). Following the traditional three minutes of silent prayer/meditation/reflection, Mr. Warren led everyone in the School Prayer, and the virtual congregation was then dismissed with a blessing.
The first St. Mark's Chapel service in more than three weeks was welcomed by all. "After all that's been going on," commented one St. Marker, "it was kind of like coming home." And one faculty member summed it up perfectly. "Who cares about the tech delays, no Chapel this year has been more important and needed than today's. I literally cried twice— 'Hallelujah' was powerful! The magnitude of what we are dealing with is overwhelming. It is great to be able to hold on to our faith."
Age Quod Agis indeed!