Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The start of a new academic year is always a special moment. This is our 190th year of operation. God has been faithful: each year, new vocations have been raised up to come and be formed at Virginia Theological Seminary. Each year we are reminded that God wants an opportunity to take our lives and transform them into vehicles for the service of the Gospel. We are all serving out of faithfulness to our baptismal vows; and this Seminary is a place that is continuing to raise up women and men for both lay and ordained ministries in the Church and the world. A new academic year is a new opportunity to reflect on the miracle of this moment - the miracle of new vocations and the miracles that underpin the various stories that led people to the Seminary and to service in God's church.

It is lovely to welcome to the campus today our Board Chair who celebrates at our noon Eucharist for the start of the semester. The Rt. Rev. James Shand (known as Bud), the Bishop of Easton, has led the Board of Trustees with grace and effectiveness. He was the Board Chair during the chapel fire; he served on the Capital Campaign Committee; and he worked with the Board of Trustees to think about their appropriate size and organization. But most of all, he loves getting to know the faculty, staff, and students. My personal debt to Bud is enormous - he has been most supportive at the hardest of times. It is with deep gratitude that I welcome Bishop Shand to the campus today.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President