The Third: Come Holy Spirit
Four years ago around Saint Valentines Day, my pastor, Father Richard, said: “Why not start a school?”
That seemed . . . Crazy.
Eventually I got an offer for a college presidency, but Father Richard kept saying: “Why not start a school?” I said: “It would have to be pre-school through college: Pre-16. We need one of those.”
He said: “Good.”
I thought: “What?”
Father Richard birthed a vision as fathers often do. The first year of the school came when a group of academics left a “higher” education to start a reformation in education. We would call this new vision: The Saint Constantine School.
What if college could be debt free? What if the Orthodox moved from the back of the bus to the front and treated all God’s children the way we wished we had been treated? What if there was a place to fill the pews at wonderful churches like Saint George? What if a world class classical education was affordable in Houston, the American city of the twenty-first century?
The school community was born at about one hundred and fifteen students ranging from kindergarten to freshman year of college. Like all newborns we were a bit ugly, but also cute! Every word was a first word of its kind and every event was a first step. We had a Gala that united our community and it was good. Like all newborns, the possibilities were greater than the actuality, but that is as it must be.
We needed time to grow!
The second year with students, last year, was a year where the vision became incarnate. We suffered Harvey and ice storms, but we persisted. With the help of our patrons, practical people who persevered in putting a place together for this new community, we offered to buy our facility and begin a new building. Year two was beautiful, human while divine. One hundred and fifty students came, we educated, and Christ was victor. God helped us find people who could make the dream real. The little school began to grow in favor with God and Houston.
Our school was born, has grown, and now we ask for the special work of the Holy Spirit for this third year with students. The vision has not changed, the School continues to grow, and possibilities are becoming actualities quickly. The next step will require the words that are unknown until the Holy Spirit comes and the rapid growth that happens when God is in a place.
We need power from on high. We are born of the fathers, bow to the Lordship of the Son Jesus Christ, and pray for the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. We begin this year of the Holy Spirit with roughly two hundred students: preschool through junior year of college. We will compete in our first athletic competition, send a graduate to Georgetown, and begin our college students in a major.
We need the fire from on high to do this exciting task: more patrons, more student for next year, but mostly more Holy Spirit. Buildings are good, but the people are best, because the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost to men and women, not to institutions. The Saint Constantine School will remain people centered: debt free Orthodox college, affordable classical university model high school, elementary school that centers on a catechism for life for all God’s people.
Come Holy Spirit.