Have you ever thought upon returning from vacation that you might have been better off not going? The thought briefly crossed my mind as the week of Spring Break, though a positive time for renewal, took valued hours of preparation away from preparing for the flurry of new activity coming so quickly at UCA this coming month (only a few days away).
Field trips, graduation, VT State Education forms, and the usual spring activities have now been combined with some exciting new times at UCA. Just think of the preparation needed for the following:
- GO.90 and our UCA Visit/Kindergarten Days (see dates enclosed) require promotion, and are already resulting in visitors and the connected Educational Success Consultation Interviews.
- While leaders had decided not to continue the Annual Dinner and Auction in its current form, a dedicated group has gotten the replacement event – the UCA Golf Tournament (May 14) – off and running in record time. More on this elsewhere in this newsletter. In addition, a modified Dinner/Silent Auction will end the day at the golf course and be a separate opportunity to support UCA.
- The Search Team has made progress in defining the qualities needed for a new Head of School and anticipate starting to broadcast the opening in June.
- The Board and others are in the middle of budgeting and renewing contracts as we make progress towards financial sustainability of UCA’s future.
- The BLOCK PARTY, Art Show, Concert (held all on May 7), and Book Fair (all week through May 7) have come together, and excitement is building. Invite friends and neighbors to this joyful evening.
- Our first annual Grandparents' Day was a rousing success, and it returns again on May 6. I'm already hearing students talking about it. Are your student’s grandparents coming?
All of these require enormous amounts of planning and time on the part of the UCA leaders. So when it comes time for prayer, the urgency is to say, “I don’t have time for prayer; I have too much to do for God’s ministry at UCA.” To which Jesus replies, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
I am especially aware of this each day as faculty members gather at 7:15 AM for prayer. Seeking God’s guidance and strength in the midst of chaos, even enthusiastic activity for Kingdom work, is essential, or we lose sight of the One for whom we live. Not only are the activities which keep us busy have the potential to draw us away from the Vine – the source of life and energy – but the unending news of unrest and chaos in our community, state, nation, and world create concern, anxiety, and worry for which the only true and lasting antidote is maintaining our relationship with the Vine of Life!
So the call recently made to have a Sacred Assembly, to take an hour for corporate and community prayer on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 PM here in the UCA auditorium is so important. Not only is it providing an opportunity for all of us, in the midst of busy lives, to seek God, hear His assurance and calling, but it is also a chance for us to do it in the unity to which we as Christians are called.
Jesus said to his disciples as His time was drawing to an end, “Can you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Mark 14:37). To “remain in the Vine,” the Disciples were called to pray. When our life seems too frazzled, that is the warning sign that more than ever we need to take time for prayer, for reconnecting to the Vine. That is our call on May 4; to come together for an hour to pray for your lives, our school, our community, our state and nation, our world. An announcement went to all reachable area churches. Please invite others to join us in this gathering of prayer. It will be a time of thanking, connecting and listening to the Lord of Life; a time of intercession. No other agenda is more important. Let’s make this a time of prayer in the midst of a busy Spring. Join us next Wednesday at 7:00 PM for a Sacred Assembly!
Rev. J. Loring Carpenter, Interim Head of School