Today the Seminary will close and all the employees gather for a day of learning and fun. In a personnel presentation, which Vice President Glover and I will share, we muse on the sheer quantity of a life that is spent at work. In the 19th century, the great trade union mantra was "eight hours work, eight hours sleep, and eight hours to do what I like with". (This was all part of a campaign for a reduced working day.) The mantra does reveal that for many years of our life we can anticipate spending a third of our time at work (and given sleep isn't overly interesting, it is half of our waking hours). So we want work to be a good place to go. We want an environment where work is enjoyable and interesting. This is the goal of the Seminary.
Since coming back from my sabbatical in January, I have taken the opportunity to meet with every department. At many of these meetings, I was joined by our Director of Communications, Curtis Prather, and videographer, Vin Si Ngo. Inspired by a video produced by St. Stephen's and St. Agnes' School, we now have our own summer orientated celebration of employees. You can view the video here.
Today is a pause. It is a space to think about our life together. I am grateful for this remarkable group of women and men and their dedication to this place. I pray for you all often. May God bless this day of employee appreciation.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President