Monday, April 15, 2013

Wow! So it happened. We are not sure how many actually came, but it was definitely over a thousand and could be as high as 1300. Give credit to Mr. Curtis Prather, he predicated the rhythm of the day most accurately - literally hundreds arrived after 6pm to hear Five Iron Frenzy. The earlier part of the day had a feel of a delightful parish picnic with live music. The weather was perfect; the family atmosphere was delightful; the Quidditch was fabulous (and congratulations to the team from the Diocese of Easton); and the food was good. Then in the evening the numbers materialized to create the rock concert.
We should as a Seminary enter into a thoughtful discussion about the implications of this day. One powerful learning is that we can host a major event; we can organize a hundred volunteers; and we can bring on this campus potential new friends whose views of the Episcopal Church and the Seminary were transformed. There were many ideas about possibilities for the future circulating on the campus as the concert was happening - from Jazz on the Lawn to an Outdoor Family Movie.
But for now, let us just marvel and give thanks. And the list is long - so in no particular order: we are grateful to the extremely hardworking committee - Ms. Heather Zdancewicz, Mr. Marshall Finch, Dr. Lisa Kimball, Dr. Tricia Lyons, Mr. Chris Pote, Mr. Curtis Prather, Ms. Meredith Pilling, Mr. Dave Mutscheller, Mr. Benjamin Judd, Mr. Rick Hord, Mr. Kenn Katona, Ms. Chandler Whitman, and Mr. Bill Campbell. Then as the event got closer: Rev. Kyle Oliver helped with the social media; Mr. Weston Mathews for the focus on the Chaplains and Episcopal tents; Mr. Dorian Del Priore for leading, by example, the student body into the event; Mr. Xavier Belanger helped with the network needs and email confirmations; Ms. Jennifer Southall helped with the preparation of the program guide; campus photographers Rev. Jim Said and Rev. Fanny Sohet Belanger and the videographer, Mr. David Johnson, kept a record of the day; and Mr. Sophocles Grafas was the artist for the concert poster. Dr. Mitzi Budde had a really busy day in the library - 239 new friends viewed and learned about the Assyrian Reliefs. And given this was music, Dr. Bill Roberts enthusiastically affirmed the importance of music in all forms.
But most of all, I want to thank those who volunteered for the day. You were amazing. Church is an organization dependent on volunteers. On Saturday you stepped forward - you ran for the bands, you parked cars (for hours), you sat in tents, you put out trash boxes, you coordinated, you created signs and so the list goes on. You were, quite simply, incredible. I not only thank you - but I invite you to reflect on what made you get involved. Discovering the secret of volunteer participation can be a precious asset in ministry.
Finally, I lost count of the handshakes and expressions of gratitude from our guests. There were people there who had traveled nine hours to get to this concert. The bands were so impressed with the hospitality. This was an important day: it was a day when the Seminary made many new friends. Now let us just thank God for the gift of the day (especially that amazing weather) and pray that God will use the inevitable ripples coming out of this extraordinary day for the glory of God.
The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President