Thursday, September 12, 2013

It was lunchtime yesterday when the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins and I returned to the campus. We had started our journey at 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in Hawaii. With a stop over in Dallas, we were pleased finally to get home.

The Diocese of Hawaii is fascinating. It is indeed full of spectacular beauty - soaring mountains surrounded by the seductive Pacific. It is diverse in highly distinctive ways - about half of the population is Buddhist, and the rest of the population is divided by the different Christian groups with the Roman Catholics, United Church of Christ, and the Mormons having the largest share. Traffic moves slowly around Honolulu; tourism and the military are the main drivers of the economy.

It was a great honor to preach at the Cathedral. It was interesting to learn about the Hawaiian royal family and the deep and close connection that the Cathedral has with groups which continue to honor that distinctive history. The focus of our trip was to lead a clergy retreat. The themes were liturgy and priesthood. We learned much about the demands of ministry in this very distinctive diocese. The whole trip concluded with a lunch with our talented alums. They are making a difference.

Over the next few weeks, we are hoping to explore the possibility of a continuing deeper relationship between the Diocese of Hawaii and Virginia Theological Seminary. It is good that the diocese issued this invitation and we are looking forward to seeing how the relationship will develop in the future.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President