As the Faculty gather today, there will be a recognition of the changing nature of our Faculty. As you all know, Dr. Amy Dyer will be taking a much deserved sabbatical before concluding her service in December 2018. Dr. Dyer has shaped this institution in key ways. From highlighting the imperative of children in ministry as a scholar to bringing efficiency and grace to many of the administrative operations, Dr. Dyer has been skilled and effective. Her imaginative capacity is astonishing: she was the one that suggested that that the old auditorium of 400 seats should be filled in with gravel and a flat floor created so that space could become our interim chapel. Initially, I thought the proposal was bizarre. Later, I realized it was inspired. And from that one action much more is following as we think about the redesigns of Addison. I am deeply grateful to Amy: her love for the Seminary runs deep. And she has been a grace filled presence.
Meanwhile one outcome of the Board meeting last week was the election to the Faculty of Dr. Joseph Thompson as the Assistant Professor of Race and Ethnicity Studies and Director of Multicultural Ministries. Joe has been unique: he has been simultaneously a student on the MA, a staff member in the library, and a visiting professor. Now his status is clarified. And he will bring such gifts to this role. With an impressive raw intelligence, an engaging manner, and a deep commitment to conversation, learning, and justice, Joe can take the Seminary to the next level in anticipating the important work of the kingdom and creating the church that we need to be.
Dr. Dyer is moving on; Dr. Thompson is arriving. "For everything there is a season," Ecclesiastes reminds us. And so a season of transitions start. May God's grace be in this moment.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President