Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A sabbatical is a great privilege.  It is a pause in the hectic pace of life; it is an opportunity to read carefully; it provides space to pray and journal at some leisure; and it is an opportunity to write.  I am grateful to the Board of Trustees which authorized the break.  And I grateful to my leadership team that covered my responsibilities in my absence.  In particular I would like to recognize my good friend and distinguished colleague, Dr. Timothy Sedgwick.  He has maintained the daily tradition of writing the commentary; he has kept the Board Chair informed about the Seminary; and he has protected me from the inevitable issues that cross his desk.  Thank you Tim. 

Of the many special moments in my sabbatical, I would like to share one research episode.  This was the 'proof' stage of the Wiley Blackwall Companion to the Anglican Communion.  Lord Carey (our former Archbishop of Canterbury) had two missing page references for his article, which he was not able to identify because the books were at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, where he originally wrote the article.  This became the ultimate test of any library.  And our library did well.  Our Bishop Payne Library had both books in the collection and, more importantly, on the shelves.  In addition, when it came to that wonderful John Wesley quote "God preserve me from being a half-Christian", they had helpful secondary texts that directed me to the right place to find the relevant quote in the primary text.

It was several hours of my sabbatical spent solving this mystery.  And my gratitude for working at the Seminary and having such a splendid resource in our midst was overwhelming.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President