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St. Andreans Celebrate Chinese New Year

On Thursday, February 16, Peter Geng '20 and his parents, Yan Qian and Xiaoping, presented a Chinese New Year's Dinner to our Chinese students, their advisors, and Head of School Tad Roach. Continuing the tradition they started at Peter's previous school, the Gengs brought more than 18 meat and fish dishes to the celebration, made homemade dumplings in the Arts Center kitchen, and decorated the Arts Center with colorful red and gold banners, displaying blessings for health and wealth in the New Year. The Gengs gave great thanks and praise for family, including the extended family St. Andrew's provides for their son and all of the Chinese students. Dinner was complete with oranges for good luck, many traditional Chinese sweets sent by other Chinese parents, and traditional red envelopes for the students from international student advisors, Chiachyu Chiu and Louisa Zendt.

On Friday, Sage Dining Service joined in, offering a "Taste of Home" at lunch (in place of the regular "Tastes of Home," a cultural experience started by Richard Zhang '18, usually served on Saturday night). The full community enjoyed a feast of Chinese specialties, homemade by Chef Ray. The celebration of the Chinese New Year continued after lunch with a well-attended voluntary chapel service during which seniors shared their own Chinese New Year's traditions with a slideshow of colorful photos and stories.

Richard Zhang '18 commented, "Many students attended the voluntary chapel on Friday, and we were able to introduce this great holiday to many members of the community, which made all of us feel like we were at home. I hope that more students from different countries and backgrounds will celebrate their cultures and festivals with the SAS community too!"

Chapel Program

We are an Episcopal Church School, but our students come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. In addition to those from Episcopalian and other Protestant denominations, our community includes students of Catholic, Jewish and Muslim faith, as well as students from no religious tradition at all. We gather twice weekly for services in the A. Felix duPont, Jr. Memorial Chapel, and we honor all, welcome all, and celebrate all who join us in the Chapel and in our community.

Our Chapel services provide welcome shelter from the whirlwind of our daily life, and offer us a time to look inward, a chance to focus on what we have done and left undone, a space to think of loved ones and those in sickness, sorrow, or need. Most importantly, Chapel services turn our attention the great, eternal mysteries of life.

Following dinner on Wednesday evenings, all members of the faculty and student body gather in the Chapel to hear a faculty, staff, student or guest speaker deliver a Chapel Talk on a subject of his or her choosing. Wednesday night speakers are encouraged to share personal experiences and stories of emotional or spiritual growth. On Sunday morning, all members of the student body and weekend faculty group attend Chapel service, which follows the Episcopal Church liturgy. Students who wish to attend other worship services off-campus may do so with a faculty chaperone. We also offer one voluntary service each Friday afternoon. Special programs throughout the year lend variety to our moments of communal reflection. Among the most popular of these are the Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols, St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, and outdoor Earth Day and Easter services.

Whether we are in the Chapel or not, we work to practice radical hospitality and acceptance of others; we work to "love our neighbors as ourselves." To express empathy, share compassion, foster generosity of spirit, and build courage, we thus come together as a faith community to recognize and affirm our common humanity. Both our Chapel program and our community service program are rooted in our need for deep contemplation of our values and our desire to share generously with those less fortunate than we are. In all of our pursuits, we aim to instill in our students a reverence for the humanity in each of us, and a sense of personal responsibility to use their talents now, and throughout their lives, to serve others and the world in which we live.

Why are we here? How did we get here? Do people have a purpose? Do I have a purpose? What is it? Is there a God? These are all questions which all of us face in some capacity at some point in our lives. As students who are about to find themselves on the brink of the big, bad, adult world, where we must pave our own way, I can think of no better time to start asking these questions, if you have not already. Chapel serves as a place where we are invited to explore.
Thomas Lindemann ’16

Chapel Student Leadership Roles

Students help to lead all aspects of individual Chapel services, and the overall Chapel program. The Student Vestry determines and carries out fundraising activities to benefit St. Andrew's sister school in South Africa, St. Mark's College, and to support charitable organizations and causes in and beyond Delaware. Vestry leaders also work with School Chaplains to plan upcoming Chapel services, and help to lead those services as

  • Speakers;
  • Readers;
  • Acolytes;
  • Sacristans;
  • Communion assistants; and
  • Sunday School teachers.

Two representatives from each Form are elected to lead the Student Vestry by their respective Forms.

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