“Bishop, what do you like about Trustee Day at Breck?” I was so caught up in the moment that it took me a second to focus on the fact that I was being spoken to directly. And then without any forethought I blurted out, “All of this!” as I waved my arms around. The simple reply of a smile seemed more about good manners than any appreciation for my pronouncement.
Entering the classroom, the voluminous chatter quickly turned to quiet order. It did not feel regimented but more synchronistic. In addition, as laptops, books, and other supplies were being pulled out from desks, there seemed to be a real sense of eagerness to see what the day’s learning would hold. Some students began to work independently while others worked quietly in pairs, but all were deeply engaged in the material at hand. And as I began to move through the students, looking over their shoulders to see what each of them was working on, many of them happily stopped what they were doing and began to share (or more aptly stated “teach”) me what they were working on.
Breck’s present tagline is “Perpetually Learning.” I love this phrase. And to the best of my knowledge, it is not just a tagline, but something that is truly embraced at all levels amongst students, teachers, staff, and administration. How about we try it on for size: “The Episcopal Church in Minnesota – Perpetually Learning.” What if every one of our faith communities at every level actively embraced being perpetual learners? And I’m not referring to Sunday School, Bible Study, or a great sermon. While those are all great opportunities for learning, I’m actually suggesting an overarching openness to perpetually learning, which at its core is perpetually being open to the movement of Spirit… leading and guiding us to new possibilities and new learnings.
I am truly grateful for the chance to spend the day with the 4th graders at Breck. They reminded me of the importance of being a perpetual learner – perpetually open to the movement to the Spirit.