Sunday, June 4, 2017

May 2017: Graduation and My Retirement

In May the TES Board of Trustees hosted a bodacious reception for me at the Artillery Club to celebrate my service to the school as I approach retirement on July 1.  Among the various tokens of appreciation presented was a framed commemoration of my tenure as Head of School from 2002 to 2017.  A copy of this recognition is to be hung alongside similar ones for Etna Parrish and The Rev. Dick Cadigan in Moody Hall near the portrait of Budgie Hollamon. This is quite humbling for me…to be placed among the significant leaders of Trinity history! I appreciate that the Board indulged me the preference of using an image surrounded by children as opposed to a standard portrait. That is exactly how I wish to be remembered at the school!

Commencement was held in Trinity Episcopal Church on May 31.  The 16 new graduates were as follows: Olivia Anne Baze, Morgan Caroline Chaljub, Sean Tyler Funston, Peyton Anthony Galloway, Daniel George Golan, Dulce María Heller, Walker Denke Williams Janek, Briana Jean Janson, William Christopher McQuitty, Macey Lynn Mefferd, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Mixon, Sean Kalani Nance, Devin David Nash, Caroline Elizabeth Neblett, Landon Bryan Parsons, and Alexandra Lee Vasut.  

I strove to make three points in the graduation address: 1) Consider carefully your definition of “success.” Avoid going too shallow with things like “how you look,” and “the number of toys you acquire.”  I challenged the graduates to go more deeply by considering, for example, that success “is to be loved.” 2) Go ahead and accept that failures are going to happen in your life.  Do not let the direction of your life be deflected by fear of failing. Borrowing freely from the ideas of Brené Brown, I stressed that vulnerability will be required if these graduates are to find their true calling in life and relationships.  And, finally:  3) Never lose sight of the gift of Joy. I’ve done my best to model a sense of humor.  Please, please, enjoy the ride and take time to laugh and to play!


David C Dearman

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trinity Celebrates Grandparents: March 2017

Images from Grandparents' Days Past

Trinity Episcopal School celebrates Grandparents’ Day on March 10.  This day is set apart to acknowledge the role of grandparents in our families.  For some of us, this means remembering those we love but see no longer.  For others, this means giving thanks for loved ones who because of circumstance, and possibly health, we do not often see but will celebrate nonetheless.  Classes in Lower School (Kindergarten through Grade 5) commonly take some time to honor the senior generation(s) of our families with shared stories and images.  The day for grandparents in attendance includes Morning Prayer in Trinity Church, a reception on the Garth, visits to classrooms (Kindergarten through Grade 4), and the 5th Grade Musical performed in The Robert L. and Ann Moody Activity Center under the direction of TES Music Teacher Laura Hyatt.  This year’s play is entitled “A Connecticut Yankee: The Musical” adapted by Tim Kelly and based on the story by Mark Twain.  For purposes of planning and security, we ask our parents to let us know if grandparents will be joining us.  This event is primarily for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  (The Beginning School (preschool) has a different schedule available for the families of our youngest students.)

With 272 students currently enrolled at TES, we have the largest enrollment seen in my 15 years here!  Open Enrollment is well underway.  Prospective parents are urged to contact our Admissions office to check for openings still available for the 2017-2018 school year.

School will dismiss at Noon on Friday, March 10, and Spring Break will be observed the following week, March 13-17.

Also on the Calendar:

April 8 Fun Run (In honor of TES Math Teacher Sue Langston)
April 13 ` Stations of the Cross
April 22 TES Casual


Friday, January 27, 2017

Homily on Micah 6:8: 4th Sunday after Epiphany 2017

This reading from the prophet Micah is one of the appointed ones for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany.  I count Micah 6:8 as one of the most significant verses in all of scripture because it so succinctly states what God desires of us.  Epiphany is the season of God’s revelation to human beings.  The time-tested clear idea of what God wants from us is appropriate for the season.  From the standpoint of Christian faith Jesus lived a life perfectly with regard to what God wants.  That being said, let’s go back to Micah 6:8 to see how it might inform our own day-to-day lives and how it relates to the Mind, Body, Spirit focus at Trinity Episcopal School.

I can see how Micah speaks to the concepts of Mind, Body, and Spirit. A godly life is one in which we walk humbly before God.  Humility is related to the self-construct derived from how we think about ourselves.  If we are puffed-up and self-centered, that is not walking humbly.  On the other hand, if we are self-loathing believing that we are worthless, that too is not humble.  What God has made, do not call garbage.  Humility has to do with correctly assessing our worth in the eyes of God.  The truth is that each of us is a child of God, but we are part of a wider family.  The members of humanity are interconnected; if anyone is diminished, we all are diminished.  Correct thinking requires us to see ourselves in community.

God desires that we love kindness but this seems impossible because how can you make yourself feel something, how can you make yourself have a desire for something?  While it is true to experience that we can’t help how we feel…there are things that we can do to cultivate a desire.  We can’t directly control feelings, but we can direct our behavior which, in turn, can change the way we feel.

To do justice is the behavioral part.  It is not enough simply to know what is good.  Surely the folks who doubled the price of epi-pens were aware that this was wrong, to give one example from recent headlines.  Our minds are such that we can too easily compartmentalize, rationalize, or explain away our actions: I’m not going to turn in the money I found because everyone knows its “finders keepers!”  I know that when I’m stressed that going for a walk helps to reset how I’m feeling.  What we do impacts how we feel.  Being kind to others, I think, helps invest us in that direction.  It is a step toward loving the good.

When we look at the whole idea of what God desires of us, it is critical to be mindful that human nature is fallen.  No human being can ever completely achieve what God desires.  We can experience it momentarily, perhaps…but there is always the relentless human ego and those human appetites lurking just below the threshold of consciousness.  Being a member of God’s family is not something we could ever earn; it is a gift.  Forgiveness is not something we deserve; it is given by God to those who ask for it.  Circling back to Jesus…forgiveness is the love of God made known on the cross of Calvary. Seeking to do God’s desire is, then, most properly and simply our response to God’s love.  One way to evoke this response is by practicing thankfulness…being intentional about being grateful for all that we have been given.  Practicing what God desires of Mind, Body and Spirit…these are efforts we fail at repeatedly, but come back to time and time again because of the forgiveness God so freely and lavishly gives. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lessons and Carols at TES

Image: From the December 2015 Festival of Lessons & Carols

The annual Festival of Lessons and Carols is arguably the most sublime moment of the school year. This order of worship takes the form of anthems interspersed with choral readings given by each class in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. In the midst of this, the costumed First Graders re-enact the ancient and familiar Bethlehem drama. As students repeatedly experience the story over the years, we hope that the central message becomes a part of who they are. The Nativity Story is about a God who cares for people and out of compassion enters human history in a very humble way. Jesus is born in a stable and placed in the animals’ food trough because there was no room at the inn. Shepherds, angels, and kings bear witness to the divine happening in these otherwise quite lowly circumstances.

This time of year is busy. There is so much to do and so little time. We can feel overwhelmed and only one step ahead of disaster. Lessons and Carols is for many a kind of “reset button” for the Season. If we let them, the students can remind us of what Christmas is about...simplicity, humility, giving, family, caring, and compassion shown first by God to humanity and then mirrored in the lives of those whose hearts are so moved. The Festival of Lessons and Carols is scheduled to begin in Trinity Episcopal Church at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, December 21. Please join us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Head of School to Retire in July 2017

Portrait of the Head of School as A Young Man

April 26, 2016

To the Board of Trustees of Trinity Episcopal School:

God willing, on June 30, 2017, I will complete my 30th year as a priest serving Episcopal Schools including 15 years as Head of School at Trinity Episcopal School.  I continually give thanks for the call that brought my family to Galveston.  The work here has allowed me to make a difference in many lives and to leave a good mark on this institution.  It is what I had always wanted to do, and I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve here.  Watching the children grow into young men and women all these years has been such a blessing.  We can all be proud that Trinity has maintained a core focus on the education of Mind, Body, and Spirit even as the school has continued to develop and respond to all kinds of challenges in each succeeding generation.  

I have come to discern that the time for me to step down as Head of School will be in the summer of 2017.  It is important to announce this now, so that appropriate time may be given to the search for my successor.  This process should be deliberate and thorough, and the time given to it should be a signal of the health of this institution.  While The Rev. Susan Kennard and the Board of Trustees are about that work, I plan to focus my energy on making the 2016-2017 school year one of the best.

Retirement is a hard decision because I have grown to love the place and the people with whom I have shared this ministry…I will miss you all.  Trinity and me…we’ve been through a lot together over the years!  I am grateful for the school’s Trustees whose leadership and wisdom helped the school come back from Hurricane Ike and enter an unprecedented phase of its history.  The work has been difficult at times, but this place has a lot of grace for those who seek to persevere.  Those of you who know me best know that my best friend and love, Layne, keeps me grounded and as sane as can reasonably be expected.

Layne and I plan to remain in Galveston after my retirement, and I hope to do part-time work in other places as a teacher and priest in accordance with Diocesan policies and best practices.  I still feel called to serve in the Church but in a way that will allow more time for prayer, study, and writing.  Please know that while I am working in other parts of God’s vineyard, Trinity will always be in my heart.


(The Rev.) David C. Dearman
Head of School

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Darth Vader, Jesus is Not" / My sermon given at Trinity on April 3, 2016

This is my sermon for the 2nd Sunday of Easter preached at Trinity Episcopal Church, Galveston, Texas, on April 3, 2016. The Gospel reading appointed was John 20:19-31. For the contrast between faith and certainty I borrowed from the research and writing of Brené Brown. I refer the listener to Brown's book The Gifts of Imperfection. See Guidepost #5 "Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith."