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Students, staff and teachers of church-related schools in the Diocese of Los Angeles joined Bishop J. Jon Bruno and Bishop Suffragan Mary D. Glasspool to welcome the National Association of Episcopal Schools to Anaheim for the opening Eucharist of its biennial conference Nov. 20.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presided and preached at the service, which was designed by the Rev. Lee Harris, deacon at St. Mark’s Church, Upland and included prayers written by students at St. Martin’s School, Winnetka, and St. Patrick’s School in Thousand Oaks. Readers included Belin Lopez and Mackay Armstrong of St. Mark’s School, Upland, and Celine Park of St. James’ School, Los Angeles.

Music was provided by the choir of St. James’ School and orchestras from Campbell Hall, North Hollywood, and the Gooden School, Sierra Madre. Other schools of the diocese represented among the acolytes, oblation bearers, ministers of communion, ushers and others were St. Margaret’s School, San Juan Capistrano, and St. John’s School, Rancho Santa Margarita.

Ministers of ceremony were Canon Serena Beeks, executive for schools in the diocese, and Fernando Valdez of St. John’s ProCathedral, Los Angeles The Soldiers of Steel steel drum band from Campbell Hall provided a rousing postlude.

Conference-goers chose from a wide range of workshops and lectures, including two presented by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. Many of the other workshop leaders were teachers, heads of school or rectors of sponsoring congregations in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Students from several local schools preached and otherwise participated in daily worship.

Participants got a special treat when basketball legend, business mogul and Episcopal school parent Earvin “Magic” Johnson spoke at the 50th-anniversary awards banquet on Nov. 21. The former Laker point guard praised Campbell Hall, North Hollywood, the Episcopal school from which both of his children graduated and where his granddaughter now attends, and encouraged the gathered educators to continue teaching and mentoring children from all walks of life. He also affirmed his strong faith in God, reminisced about his basketball career, described his business ventures, answered questions from the audience, and amiably posed for photos.

For more about the conference and NAES, see “Episcopal schools celebrate 50 years of education as mission,” by the Rev. Pat McCaughan, on the Episcopal News Service website.