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Episcopal Identity and Spiritual Care at The Gooden School

December 05, 2023
By David Kitch


As we move into our second trimester of the 2023-2034 school year, it is a wonderful time to reflect and share an update on Gooden’s Episcopal identity with our community. Laying the foundation for our character development program, we start the year by focusing on the Gooden School motto and the Golden Rule.


Respect for Self, Respect for Others, Respect for the World and Do Unto Others as You Have them Do Unto You.


Each school year Chaplain David Kitch composes a blessing for our Gooden community. This year it reads:


Our choices change us.
Our creativity remakes us.
Our loves transform us.
How we live shapes and reshapes us,
Others, and the world.

Living and Life-giving God,
In all our choosing, may we be wise;
In all our creating, may we be courageous;
In all our loving, may we be bold;
In all our living, may we become whole,
and join in making others and our world whole.

And may compassion, joy, and grace attend us;
our words,
our thoughts,
our hands,
our hearts.

May we live a life worthy of our humanity. 

In chapel, we focus on the concept of all creation being an integrated whole and the shared responsibility to care for this creation. We take inspiration from the lives of Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi and the stories of their dedication to the concept of this integrated wholeness of creation. All this gives context and meaning to our Blessing of the Animals service.


One of the aspects of Episcopal identity in schools is their adaptation to local contexts and circumstances. This leads to a lovely variety of expressions. Within that variety, the National Association of Episcopal Schools identifies five characteristics that are part of the “DNA,” if you will, of what it means to be an Episcopal identity school. These are: academic excellence, concern for the faith-life of the community (inclusively expressed), chapel, moral development, and social justice. These are certainly a part of our “DNA” here at The Gooden School. You find these core characteristics expressed in our twice-weekly chapel gatherings, our classroom environments, our practice of restorative discipline, our commitment to service learning, our partnership with Friends in Deed, and our dedication as a school community to living out our school motto in word and action on a daily basis.  





Chaplain David, as well as our student chaplains Quentin and Reilly, and the entire Gooden community invite you to our annual Lessons and Carols celebration on December 20, 2023. This Gooden Christmas tradition is a presentation by students, with faculty support, for families and friends. The students have performed this for nearly 50 years, and most alumni remember this phrase, “And it came to pass that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.”  Please join us at St. Rita’s Church on December 20, at 6:00 p.m.