“God has given us many faiths but only one world in which to co-exist. May your work help all of us to cherish our commonalities and feel enlarged by our differences.” ― Jonathan Sacks
Homecoming Week at Berkeley was full of festivity and spirit, capped by a victory on the field against Robinson High School and a fun-filled dance on Saturday evening. Many of our alumni returned to participate in reunion events throughout the weekend. The buzz on campus throughout the week was palpable, with spirit wear that was adorned with a different theme each day (my personal favorite was Zoom Business Day). A variety of activities were offered to pep up the student body and bring people together to cheer on the mighty Bucs.
One such activity was Powderpuff football, with girls competing against one another and boys taking on the role of cheerleaders. Student coaches drew up plays and organized the team practices. Games were intense, as teams were vying to make it to the championship on Friday after the pep rally. 
One Powderpuff game, in particular, stood out to me. The game was held on McCleary Mound on Tuesday during Upper Division lunch. Meanwhile, adjacent to the game was our weekly service of Holy Communion in Aye Arboretum. And, while the teams and coaches and fans were cheering loudly with each big play, fellow students were offering prayers and singing and breaking bread together. On the surface, this could have been a distraction (to either group gathered), but instead, ended up being a beautiful twenty minutes. In some sense, all students involved understood at a deeper level the value of each occasion, giving way to harmony and coexistence right next to one another. 
This sort of tolerance and hospitality could stand to be embraced more often in our society, as we ever learn to appreciate difference and extend grace a bit more freely. Judgment could have easily won the day, from either perspective, but somehow, did not. 
Both participants of Powderpuff and Holy Communion were leaning into spirits of their own sort, but somehow seamlessly united by sharing the same time and space. This holy partnership is a model for relationships, not just the human kind, but also relating with the world around us. 
As I reflected more on these gatherings, my heart sang with joy. Not just because of the harmonious nature of the two happening side-by-side, but also something more. Weekly Holy Communion, in just a handful of months, has blended into our rhythms of campus life. By extension, spirituality and the presence of God is seen and known and understood as a part of who we are as a school. The fact that singing and praying and breaking bread could be offered alongside an intense Powderpuff football game is a true reflection of the weaving of the holy into the regularities of Tuesdays at Berkeley. Both were joyous occasions, and lifted up as valuable. 
I could feel the spirit of those competing on McCleary Mound. And I somehow knew they could feel the spirit of those celebrating Holy Communion, as well. 
That, is truly worthy of praise.
Founded in 1960, Berkeley is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory day school located in Tampa, FL, for boys and girls in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. Approximately 1,400 students gather here from the greater Tampa Bay area to form ONE Berkeley.